The Ship of the Year award of the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers is given to innovative vessels built in the past year based on technical, artistic and social considerations. This year, the 29th year of the annual event, had nine vessels to consider. The candidate announcement meeting and the selection meeting for the Ship of the Year Award 2018 were held on May 13 at the Meiji Kinenkan in Minato-ku, Tokyo, and the winner of the award was the PCC BELUGA ACE with car carrying capacity of 6,800 units. Compared with previous PCCs, the BELUGA ACE has a streamlined appearance of original design and uses innovative technologies as the next generation PCC.
The special award for technological accomplishment was given to the LNG carrier CASTILLO DE MERIDA constructed by Imabari Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.. The ship features a gas and oil dual-fuel main engine, dual-fuel diesel generators, dual-fuel auxiliary boilers, reliquefaction unit, and high-pressure gas piping and duct systems, together with high-level gas-handling systems.
The 12 members present, of the total of 13 incumbent selection committee members, made the choice of the BELUGA ACE, and other winners of individual sectors included the SUNFLOWER SATSUMA (large passenger ship sector), the UMINOKO (small passenger ship sector), the COOL EXPRESS (large cargo ship sector), GENKAI (fishing and work vessel sector) and the NMRI Navigable AUV NO 4 (offshore structure/ equipment sector).
The prize award ceremony, a joint event organized by the three academic societies in the maritime science sector, took place on July 12 at the Kaiun Club.
SUNFLOWER SATSUMA / KIRISHIMA, sister ferries
UMINOKO, a study ship for elementary school children
COOL EXPRESS, a versatile reefer transport together with vehicles and containers
GENKAI, a fishery investigation control vessel
NMRI Navigational AUV NO. 4, an experimental AUV equipped with echo sounder research devices