The high-speed sightseeing cruiser “SEA SPICA” will be born in summer of 2020!
“SEA SPICA” is a high-speed sightseeing cruiser, and the “West Japan Railway Group” and “Setonaikai Kisen Group” are developing this special ship together.
This is the third report on the shipbuilding of it.
Our first report was about the first-rate process of building the ship body with an aluminum alloy, and we talked about the “reversal procedure” done during the shipbuilding in the second report.
In this third report, the entire structure of the ship is emerging in front of us, and we introduce you to the process of putting the superstructure, which will be the passengers’ cabin, on the base – which was turned over in the last report.
2 members of STU48, Hina Iwata and Marina Otani are our reporters today.
An idol group based in Setouchi area, STU48 is the official ambassador of the “SEA SPICA.”
Putting the superstructure (which will become the cabin) on the hull, the base of the ship
This is the part which will become the passengers’ cabin and is called the “superstructure” at shipyards. It is made of aluminum alloy just the same as the base, or the “hull.”
This section is obviously a huge box with a length of 20 meters and width of 7 meters, andit is easy to imagine that this will be a cabin because it already has a long window which stretches along the side, as well as an entrance.
Today’s operation is attaching this part to the hull.
There are regular patterns on the surface of the superstructure, and they are marks made after shaving slight roughness off (which had been made during the shipbuilding process). The solid aluminum is shining beautifully, as if it is pure silver. Also, it seems like some sort of animal if we look at it from a distance.
The craftsmanship stands out! The union of the aluminum alloy ship hull and the superstructure.
Now, the operation starts…! We were a little bit nervous, but the crane lifted the superstructure up very easily and moved it above the hull. Mr. Shintaro Kawaguchi, the sales director of “Setouchi Craft Co., Ltd.,” which engages the shipbuilding of SEA SPICA, told us that this part weighs only 2 tons. A common automobile weighs about 1 to 1.5 tons, so it is surprising to us that this large structure is so light when compared to a car. This is because of the material, aluminum alloy.
The next process is where the shipyard shows you its great skill. To fix the superstructure to the right position exactly, the staff had to keep doing so many fine adjustments in advance of the final attachment – lowering it onto the hull, and lifting it up again to process their measurements. At the end of the procedure, some workers do the final modification in millimetres. This technique is possible because the structure is light. Finally, the slight gap between the hull and superstructure is welded, and this process is done.
Let’s introduce you to the passengers’ cabin in “SEA SPICA.”
We are allowed a special chance to go inside of the superstructure. It is very spacious, and we still can see additional reinforcement on its wall and ceiling. This is actually a shiny silver world, just beautiful…!
“The hull is made of thin aluminum plates,” a staff member, Mr. Ikeuchi told us. “Its thickness is only 2-4 millimeters, therefore, we put these ribs (reinforcement) to avoid distortion.”
There is a big long window on the side. You can see the beautiful scenery of the Seto Inland Sea from this window after this cruiser enters service in the summer…! As you see, there are so many ribs for reinforcement around the window, as if for an unthankful task.
This is an image of the finished interior of SEA SPICA. These seats are custom-made. This is a very slight difference, but the seats near the window will be angled 3 degrees to face the outside. It allows the people who sit in these seats to see the outside view easier than normal.
The cabin on the stern has a more luxurious atmosphere. It seems like a lounge of a high-class hotel…!
This is a view of the interior of the cabin. The far end in the photo is the head side, where seats will be placed, and the foreground is the stern side, which will become a lounge. The wall in front will have a big display, and the big holes on both sides on the floor are for the engine heads.
Ms. Iwata and Ms. Otani from STU48, how did you enjoy this tour today?
“It was a very exciting experience for me,” Ms. Iwata said, “because it is usually impossible for us to see the inside of the walls. It is also interesting for me to learn how an engine bed, windows and so on, are created. I am looking forward to the process and completion of the shipbuilding step by step from now on.”
Ms. Otani’s eyes are shining, “I realized that the ship is created by the hands of real people from the beginning, because I could see the shiny metal surface on the outside of hull without any painting at all. Also, it was so surprising that the huge superstructure was lifted so easily and attached in a short time.”
Please wait for the next report, vol.4!
Setouchi Finder Editorial Department
The name of the vessel : “SEA SPICA”
SPICA is the brightest star in the constellation Virgo.
This star shines blue at night in spring, and is one of the first-magnitude stars which forms the Spring Triangle.
It is called the “pearl star” in Japan.
The vessel brilliantly and beautifully shines, and invites people to have free and open travel on the blue sea in Setouchi – this is SEA SPICA, the Setouchi high-speed sightseeing cruiser.
Setouchi Palette Project
Name of the course｜Setouchi Shimatabi Line
Operation area｜Tobishima Kaido and Shimatabi Kaido area which connects Hiroshima Port (Ujina) and Mihara Port
Operated by｜Setouchi Sea Line (a group of Setonaikaikisen)
Ship owners｜ Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) and Setouchi Shimatabi Corporation
Shipyard｜Setouchi Craft Co., Ltd.
“SEA SPICA” contributes to “C to Sea Project” run by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and Maritime companies, which introduce people to the enjoyment of the sea, and vessels to liven up the sea.
Umikoko by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
C to Sea Project in “Setouchi” carried by the Department of Transportation in the Chugoku area
Website of Department of Transportation in Chugoku (C to Sea Chugoku area)
Give us your Like
Setouchi Finder Editorial Dept.
> Speaking of Setouchi, the must-eat item is seafood! – A selection of 7 spots where you can try fresh seafood.
> A selection of 7 cafes and restaurants in Setouchi with superb scenery and views of the sea.
> A tranquil garden full of Japanese beauty and a huge carpet of green moss. / Gallery Teahouse Kokemushiro (Seiyo-shi, Ehime)
> 3 places for barhopping in Yokogawawhich carefully selected by a “hard-drinking” writer / Nice Yukari, Gohan-ya Haru-chan, and Trois Copain
> Please fully enjoy local sake brewed in Tokushima at the shop where you can “buy and drink.” / Taro Saketen (Tokushima-shi, Tokushima)
> A century-old Japanese house which an Onomichi merchant used as a villa has been renovated for accommodation. / The house rental “Kujira Bekkan” (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima)
> An inn where you can find “ordinary Kobe” / Guesthouse MAYA (Kobe-shi, Hyogo)
> This could be the best choice for your stay in Awajishima! How about having a family trip while staying at a hot spring resort where you can get a great ocean view? / Hotel New Awaji Group (Sumoto-shi, Hyogo)
> Come and see, rail fans! A new base for a circular sightseeing tour in Shikoku, which is produced by JR SHIKOKU./ 4S STAY Awaikeda Sta.(Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima)
> Books, a bar, and international exchange!? 3 selections of hotel and guesthouses which have attractive little perks in the center of Hiroshima / (KIRO Hiroshima -THE SHARE HOTELS-, EN HIROSHIMA, and 36HOSTEL)
> Visit historic spots in the city center of Hiroshima on foot and learn about the history of peace (Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima)
> This is the ultimate soothing trip – feel the sense and the heart of Japan in Uchiko Town and Ozu City in Ehime.
> Beauty exists in every detailed corner of your eyesight! 8 spots where you can see wonderful views of Setouchi and its beautiful islands.
> Visiting the well-known “power spots” where mystical energy flows! This northern drive route visits temples, shrines, and cultural heritage sites in Tottori, Shimane, and Yamaguchi
> A continual stream of natural beauty which will make your heart tremble! The eastern drive route covers the best viewing spots in Okayama, Hyogo, and Tokushima
> Let’s enjoy a liberating new Setouchi voyage by “SEA SPICA”!
> The last report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi -Vol.5. STU48 members attended the launching ceremony. / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi -Vol.4. STU48 members paint the ship’s logo! / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the merging of the superstructure and the base of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi Vol.3 by members of STU48 / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi. Vol.2 shows you the “Reversal Procedure” where the ship is turned over. / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> Shimanami Kaido - Cyclist's Paradise
> Onomichi U2 and the Giant Store – the perfect partners for enjoying the Shimanami Kaidō
> Eating, Cycling & Getting Warm : Akiyoshidai Karst Road (Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)
> Kasaoka Island Hopping by Bike : A perfect 2-day trip! (Okayama)
> A Rare Lighthouse & Spelunking!? Traversing Ogijima by Bicycle! (Ogi, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture)
> “ONOMARU SHOUTEN” is the shop which has all of Onomichi’s fascinations. / JR Onomichi Ekisha (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima)
> Kobe Shopping: 3 Distinct Local Brands to Bring Home（Kobe, Hyogo）【PR】
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
> “Meika Shitatsuzumi, ”a Japanese sweet from Yamaguchi which is soft, pleasant and melty on your tongue / San-in-do (Yamaguchi-shi, Yamaguchi)
> Let’s enjoy taking a walk down the shopping street near Matsuyama Castle./Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping Street (Matsuyama-shi, Ehime Prefecture)
See more articles about "Cruise"CruiseList
Kobe City Himeji City Amagasaki City Akashi City Nishinomiya City Sumoto City Ashiya City Itami City Aioi City Toyooka City Kakogawa City Ako City Nishiwaki City Takarazuka City Miki City Takasago City Kawanishi City Ono City Mita City Kasai City Sasayama City Yabu City Tanba City Minamiawaji City Asago City Awaji City Shiso City Kato City Tatsuno City Inagawa Taka Inami Harima Ichikawa Fukusaki Kamikawa Taishi Kamigori Sayo Kami Shinonsen
- Okayama Pref.
- Hiroshima Pref.
- Yamaguchi Pref.
- Tokushima Pref.
- Kagawa Pref.
- Ehime Pref.