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Waterjet propulsion solutions

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Wärtsilä designs waterjet propulsion systems for the commercial, military and superyacht market. A unique welded modular jet construction is used that makes it possible to offer competitive solutions in stainless steel as well as custom solutions in every power range and in every form and execution. In close co-operation with a limited number of partners, experienced in building welded constructions in stainless steel and titanium for the marine and nuclear power industries, we are developing the future of waterjet propulsion. The waterjet range starts at around 500 kW. Every LIPSŽ jet is optimized using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) calculations based on the design details and operating profile of the vessel. The result is the standard of excellence in performance and reliability that our markets expect.

Propulsion solutions with waterjets Waterjets propulsion is the most successful and efficient method

cruising condition, resulting in improved efficiency, low noise

of propulsion for high-speed applications. The advantages are

and vibrations and a smaller propeller diameter.

not only higher efficiency, but also lower vessel resistance due to

Looking for excellent manoeuvrability at all vessel speeds and

the absence of underwater appendages like shafts, rudders and

fast turn-around times? Waterjets outperform almost every

shaftstruts. The absence of any parts below the waterline also

propulsion alternative. With catamarans it is usually possible to

makes waterjets an ideal solution for shallow water operation.

achieve pure sideways movement and 360 degree turning

The unique design features of the Lips jet will ensure access to

without a bow thruster.

even the smallest ports. Hybrid propulsion systems - the use of two fixed or controllable pitch propellers in combination with a centre waterjet - combine the best of both worlds. The propellers are used for normal cruising while the combination of the propellers with the centre waterjet is used to achieve the top speed. Hybrid systems allow optimization of the propellers for the normal 2

Thruster DT-type jet with 360 degree revolving nozzle.

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Feadship with hybrid propulsion system.

Custom-designed reversible unit for the military market.

Designing the solution With the largest type and size range of waterjets available, we

characteristics for all main operating conditions of the vessel. In

can offer an optimized configuration for every propulsion

all cases the solution is competitive with standard solutions,

solution based on the required operating profile of the subject

especially when considering the true lifecycle costs of the

vessel. We use Computational Fluid Dynamics to design the

customized propulsion system.

optimum inlet characteristics based on the hull designed by the

On request we can also deliver designs fulfilling very specific

naval architect. We can also contribute know-how during tank

demands for the use of advanced materials, special steering

tests. Several waterjet/stern mounting and installation options

layouts, control systems, resistance to shock loads or whatever

are available and if required we can take responsibility for

may be required. Examples of our special designs successfully in

complete solutions with intermediate shaftlines up to the

operation are a 20 MW jet built according to NATO shock

gearbox flange.

requirements with a special, high-speed, full power crash-stop

We aim to be more than just a supplier - we actively co-operate with all parties involved. The result is a waterjet

installation, and a waterjet that supplies thrust in all directions through a 360 degree revolving nozzle.

propulsion installation with the lowest possible weight, lowest maintenance costs, and optimized efficiency and cavitation For more details visit or call 0871 8732404



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Meko A-200 corvette with LJ210E reversible waterjet. The inboard thrust bearing and advanced hydraulic systems put safety and reliability in first place.

Key benefits of the Lips jet The design of our jets has evolved since the first units were

and outboard thrust bearings praise this unique feature of the

delivered in the 1970s. The design is unique and focused on

Lips jet.

reliability and ease of maintenance. The main distinguishing technical features are listed below.

Reliability: the inboard thrust bearing A waterjet thrust bearing can be placed in two positions: on the shaft end outboard of the ship in the waterjet stator bowl, or inboard in the engine room. Only one solution makes sense inboard in the engine room - for three clear reasons: the hostile sea environment is avoided, the risk of failure is reduced and maintenance, if required, is far easier. The inboard thrust

Its advantage is reinforced by the solution we have designed for the outboard shaft end. The sea environment, unsuitable for a thrust bearing, is ideal for a water-lubricated bearing due to the high pressure and flow aft of the impeller. This makes a water-lubricated bearing a highly reliable, high-tech and low-cost solution. The tip clearance between the impeller and the impeller seat ring is accurately tuned by a specially designed interface between the impeller and the stator bowl, which balances the impeller and makes the pump efficiency independent of bearing wear.

bearing, accessible with the ship afloat and without dry-docking or disassembly of the jet stator bowl, minimizes downtime and

Reliability: few moving parts

maintenance costs. Furthermore, the additional space available

The design of our jets, and especially the design of the steering

inside the ship makes it easier to install large bearings for

assembly, is based on the philosophy that the greatest possible

increased lifetime. Every Lips jet has the thrust bearing inside

reliability and lowest maintenance requirement is achieved by

the ship and operators who have experience with both inboard

limiting the total number of moving parts.


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HSV-XI with 4 x LJ150D waterjets.

Military vessel operating in hostile waters.

OCEA fast patrol boat with 2 x LJ65E waterjets.

LJ120E waterjets with inboard hydraulic system.

Reliability: inboard hydraulics As an option the hydraulic system can even be brought entirely inside the vessel if required by the operating conditions. This removes all hydraulic hoses and feedback cables from outside the vessel, which increases the system availability.

Flexibility: welded jet construction Since the only cast piece is the impeller, we have almost unlimited flexibility to design the waterjet based on what is required. This is demonstrated by the many special designs we have produced over the years, our customized waterjet/stern mounting options, and the wide range of types and sizes available. We can offer the exact jet size required with the

Main bridge panel of the Lipstronic/j 7000 Joystick control system.

weight optimized for the engine power and ship speed.

Flexibility: Lipstronic/j 7000 jet control systems

movement of the vessel and 360 degree turning around the

Various control system layouts can be realized including

turn-around times. We have optional solutions for a number of

intelligent joystick control systems that integrate the control of

different ship types and operating challenges, such as portable

the waterjet and the bow thruster. As a result, pure sideways

panels for luxury yachts.

ship’s axis is possible, enabling fast docking and fast

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Rodriquez TMV84 with 4 x LJ91E waterjets.

Optimized efficiency: CFD calculations Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) calculations

Safety: manoeuvrability, acceleration and crash stop

revolutionize the hydrodynamic optimization process of the

Waterjets offer excellent manoeuvrability from zero to full ship

waterjet. With CFD we can optimize every waterjet installation

speed, good acceleration and excellent crash-stop capabilities.

we supply for the specific design requirements defined by the

Special reversing designs can enhance these features even

naval architect. We have developed a highly advanced CFD


model of our waterjets that is capable of analyzing every

Comfort: low noise and vibrations

operating condition fast and at low cost. Our CFD model has been validated in hydrodynamic research centres around the world.

Noise and vibrations and hydro-acoustic noise are far lower for waterjets than for propellers. This improves passenger comfort and reduces the signature of a naval vessel.

Safety: reduced risk of clogging The Lips jet has only 7 stator blades in the jet bowl after the impeller compared to 11 or more in other designs - another positive spin-off of our inboard thrust bearing. In our design, the "crash-stop" forces acting on the thrust bearing are not transferred to the stator section of the jet, which allows fewer stator blades. The low number of stator blades in Lips jets substantially reduces the risk of clogging

Easy maintenance and service Key factors in successful operation include low maintenance costs and reliable service without downtime and delay due to mechanical problems. To achieve this we have designed our jets to avoid complex oil-lubricated mechanical components outside the vessel and with a philosophy focused on limiting the total number of moving parts. To reduce the maintenance costs even further we have introduced standard maintenance sets for all main mechanical maintenance jobs. To find what is needed to overhaul a


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Rodriquez TMV115 with 4 x LJ114E waterjets.

InCat hull 051 with 4 x LJ150D waterjets.

InCat hull 050 with 4 x LJ150D waterjets.

Austal Autoexpress 86 with 4 x LJ120E waterjets.

hydraulic cylinder, for instance, you no longer need to browse

showing the replacement. The maintenance sets will reduce your

through parts lists. The maintenance appendix of our electronic

costs by saving time during both preparation and overhaul.

manual lists all the necessary parts for the job. Simply print the

Furthermore, since the maintenance sets are standardized,

sheet, add notes as you please and fax it to our offices. The

logistics costs are reduced on our side and the value of the sets is

maintenance set you receive includes all parts and a drawing

far higher compared to the individual ordered parts.

Example of maintenance set for a rubber bearing. One maintenance set includes all the numbered parts, a drawing showing the replacement, and the consumables required for mounting.

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Townsend Bay Marine 21m sportsyacht with 2 x LJ51E.

Standard scope of supply Waterjets are standard delivered with: n

Hydraulic powerpacks


Load-sensing PTO-driven variable displacement pumps


Inboard thrust bearing complete with oil lubrication set


Feedback frame for position indication of the steering assembly


Bridge control system including engine room control cabinets


Design of inlet duct hydraulic profile. This scope of supply can be extended, if required, with

intermediate shaftlines in steel or composite materials, shaft

the ship. We employ the most modern CFD tools in

couplings in steel or aluminium, and (partial) waterjet inlet

combination with the deep knowledge we have gained from


cavitation and wind tunnel tests to match the pump and inlet duct characteristics. The structural design and construction is

Waterjet inlet duct

normally made by the shipyard. The inlet duct can then be built

The hydraulic profile of the waterjet inlet duct is always

as an integrated part of the ship. If required we can also include

designed by us based on the design and operating parameters of

the (partial) inlet duct in our scope of supply.


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CFD optimisation of waterjet propulsion system.

Hydraulic powerpack and oil lubrication set.

Six-bladed impeller and thrust bearing block.

LJ65E waterjet.

Hydraulic system

Oil lubrication system

The main components of the hydraulic system are the variable

The oil lubrication system dissipates the heat generated in the

displacement pump and the powerpack on which the

bearings and seals of the thrust bearing and provides lubrication.

proportional valves and the normal safety and indication devices

The oil is pumped from the reservoir into the pressure line

are mounted. The proportional valves operate the steering and

through a filter and a cooler.

reversing functions via double pressure lines. The variable

In the thrust bearing housing the flow is divided over the

displacement pump controls the flow so that both functions can

radial and the axial bearings. Since the thrust bearing is inside

be used simultaneously. A load sensing control system, supplied

the vessel, lubrication under pressure is not required. An

as standard with the variable displacement pump, optimizes the

electric-driven gear or vane pump feeds the oil into the housing

efficiency of the system by minimizing the heat losses.

from where it leaves via natural flow through the return line

The variable displacement pump is typically driven by a

back to the reservoir.

power take-off on an engine or gearbox. A small separate

To minimize losses and weight the thrust bearing housing is

electric-driven pump including motor is mounted on the

only partly filled. A minimum oil level is maintained at all times,

powerpack for start-up and back-up. A three-way valve enables

to ensure that the bearings are always running through an oil

the replacement of the filter cartridge in the return line of the

bath. In the event of a power failure onboard the ship the waterjet

system during operation. The hydraulic system can be supplied

can stay in operation at approx. 30% of its normal capacity.

in various executions and with several optional functions.

Systems independent of electric power are available as an option.

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Lips jet E-series, 6-bladed waterjets Relation between power and vessel speed for the most often used waterjet sizes

Waterjet selection The above graphs indicate the jet size required based on the relation between the engine power and the design speed of the vessel. For instance a ship with four 4000 kW engines and a corresponding design speed of 35 knots will need four LJ91E jets. A ship with three 9000 kW engines and 37 knots will need three LJ135E jets. The correct jet size is thus indicated by the line above the intersection of the power and the design speed (see examples in above graphs).

often-used waterjet sizes up to 50 knots. We are available from the earliest design stages of the vessel to work with you on an optimized propulsion system. Please contact us for an accurate jet selection based on the specific vessel design parameters, or for details of waterjets for speeds above 50 knots and 40,000 kW. DXF / DWG format general arrangement drawings of the most often used sizes are available.

The above size range is not complete but represents the most


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Lips jet E-series, 6-bladed waterjets Generic weights and dimensions for the most often used waterjet sizes outboard length

inboard length

Waterjet size1

Outboard length [mm]2

Inboard length [mm]3

Transom4 flange Æ

Weight steering [kg]5

Weight booster [kg]5

Entrained6 water [ltr]


1175 (1260)







1275 (1370)







1395 (1490)







1505 (1620)







1635 (1760)







1780 (1910)







1935 (2070)







2110 (2250)







2290 (2450)







2490 (2660)







2705 (2890)







2945 (3140)



5730 ~ 6860

4085 ~ 4730



3100 (3320)



6720 ~ 8100

4755 ~ 5535



3270 (3500)



7805 ~ 9635

5605 ~ 6570



3465 (3700)



9415 ~ 11170

6625 ~ 7630



3685 (3930)



11160 ~ 13160

7925 ~ 9065



3880 (4140)



13100 ~ 15390

9395 ~ 10725



4095 (4370)



15630 ~ 18560

11195 ~ 12765



4285 (4570)



18120 ~ 21170

12985 ~ 14755



4475 (4770)



20505 ~ 23815

14715 ~ 16635



4665 (4980)



23205 ~ 27815

16745 ~ 19255



4880 (5210)



26410 ~ 31605

19320 ~ 21940



5185 (5530)



32805 ~ 37240

23671 ~ 26075



5460 (5830)



38100 ~ 43870

27900 ~ 30255


Notes: 1. The waterjets defined in the above table are the most often used waterjet sizes. Intermediate sizes for the above range like a LJ160E or LJ175E size and the data for the range up to the LJ400E size are available on request.

4. Transom flange connections can be custom designed. Smaller transom flange diameters are possible if the requirements for the interface with the hull are met.

2. The data in brackets is the maximum outboard length in full reverse and steering.

5. Weights are calculated based on jet power density. Please contact us for the weights of the jet sizes above the LJ99E based on the power density of your design. Weights include an inboard bearing, but exclude hydraulic powerpacks and oil lubrication sets.

3. Inboard length may vary depending on the optimized shape of the inlet duct.

6. Water in the inlet duct is calculated to the transom and based on the standard shaft height.

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W0404/bock´s Office/Printer

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Wärtsilä is The Ship Power Supplier for builders, owners and operators of vessels and offshore installations. We are the only company with a global service network to take complete care of customers' ship machinery at every lifecycle stage. Wärtsilä is a leading provider of power plants, operation and lifetime care services in decentralized power generation. The Wärtsilä Group includes Imatra Steel, which specializes in special engineering steels. For more information visit

WÄRTSILÄ® and LIPS® are registered trademarks. Copyright © 2004 Wärtsilä Corporation.

Wärtsilä Propulsion Netherlands B.V. Lipsstraat 52, P.O. Box 6 Tel: +31 416 388115 5150 BB Drunen Fax: +31 416 373162 The Netherlands

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Wärtsilä Corporation - Water Jet Drives  

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