Development of a public transport vessel with low environmental impact characteristics


The LIUTO project, which commenced in 1996 with the support of the European Commission, had the objective of developing a public transport vessel with low environmental impact characteristics, to be utilised on urban waterways. The project, co-ordinated with the development of a hybrid propulsion system, commissioned by ACTV, has resulted in a vessel that has:
  • A low generation of waves and wash
  • An attenuation of the noise
  • A significant decrease in polluting gas emissions and fuel consumption

The Dept. of Naval Engineering (Univ. of Naples) identified and tested a hull design satisfying the objectives, while Schottel and SVA finalised the design of the azimuthal propulsion system, with blades constructed in carbon fibre composite. MARIN refined the hull design by exhaustive computer simulations and basin tests. The resulting design achieves a reduction of up to 30% in wave generation and an increase of up to 15% in propeller efficiency. Based on these results INTERMARINE constructed the hull and the superstructure using a purpose tested fibreglass material and its patented manufacturing process.


The LIUTO project is supported by the European Commission, DG XII Research and Technology Development, under the Brite-Euram programme, and is being carried out by:
  • ACTV – Azienda Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano, Italy (Co-ordinator)
  • INTERMARINE S.p.A., Italy
  • MARIN – Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, Netherlands
  • Schottel-Werft Josef Becker GmbH & Co., Germany
  • SVA – Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt Potsdam GmbH, Germany
  • Department of Naval Engineering, University of Naples, Italy

The project has been managed by Ing. Attilio Brighenti, Italy, now President of S.A.T.E.


The characteristics of the vessel designed and built during the project are the following:
  • Length: 24.75 m
  • Breadth: 4.95 m
  • Light ship displacement: 37 t
  • Passenger Capacity: 230 (of which 100 seated)

The innovative characteristics of the vessel are:

  • Reduction in wave and wash generation
  • Better manoeuvrability and energy saving
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Reduction in noise emissions
  • Reduction in polluting gas emissions via the use of the hybrid energy system

See the video

Video made with director Piero Fontana and music by Maurizio Piccoli. ACTV – Area Comunicazione & Immagine 1999 Read moreBertolo G., Brighenti A., Galletti R., Tassan Lugrezin M. L I U T O “ Low Impact Urban Transport water Omnibusâ IMTA 2000 Conference Venice, 23-26 Oct. 2000Bertolo G., Brighenti A., Galletti R. LIUTO “ Low Impact Urban Transport water Omnibus. A solution to water city transport, Aquapolis magazine, n. 2, 2000, Marsilio Ed.Balsamo F., Brighenti A. & others: “The contribution of D.I.N. to “LIUTO” European Project”, 8th International Congress on marine Technology (IMAM ’97), Istanbul October 1997Bertolo G., Brighenti A., Kaul S., Shulze R.: LIUTO “ Development and optimisation of the propulsion system, study, design and test, PRADS 98 7th Intl. Symposium on Practical Design of Ships and Mobile units, The Hague sep. 20-25, 1998