Daihatsu Marine Engines Dominate the Philippine Ferry Fleet

In the field of marine main engines, it is the Daihatsu make that dominate our ferry fleet. About a third of our steel ferries mount Daihatsu main engines (as differentiated from auxiliary engines) for their propulsion. This is so because in Japan it is Daihatsu that dominate the small ferries and most of our ferries are small and sourced from Japan. Daihatsu cannot be found in the bigger ferries from Japan because what was used there were licensed-built European engines like MAN, Pielstick, Sulzer and B&W. Japan actually had no competent big engines in the past so they took the shortcut of license-built engines although Mitsubishi also builds big engines now.

Sometimes, to power ferries of medium size (or even large ferries), Japan shipbuilders sometimes use four main engines and use synchronizers to transmit the power to two propellers. This is the arrangement in the likes of MV GP Ferry 2, the MV Asia China, the MV Trans Asia, the MV Asia South Korea, the MV Filipinas Iligan, the MV Filipinas Butuan, the MV Reina del Rosario, the MV Princess of New Unity, the MV SuperFerry 10 and some others more. But added mechanical contraptions add to complexity and lessens reliability and this became a problem for some of the ships above. Failure of one engine can have a calamitous effect on the running of the ship.

For local shipping companies, the Daihatsu marine engines are highly prized. They are known to be tough, reliable and ages well. Replacement parts can easily be sourced or fabricated abroad. Plus there are also so-many local marine engineers who know Daihatsu engines well and have the experience. Fact is, we have a number of Daihatsu-engined ferries which are now over 40 years old and they are still running well and reliably. In local shipping, Daihatsu is preferred over competitors like Niigata, Hanshin or Akasaka,

Below are some of our still-active ships which have Daihatsu main engines. I will remove the “MV” so as not to be repetitive. And what will follow will be the shipping company, date (year) of build and the PSSS Classification, to wit:
L = Liner
OF = Overnight Ferry
SDF = Short-distance Ferry

St. Augustine of Hippo (2GO), 1989 L
St. Anthony de Padua (2GO), 1986 L
St. Ignatius of Loyola (2GO), 1988 L
Trans-Asia 2 (Trans-Asia Shipping Lines Inc.), 1977 OF
Trans-Asia 3 (Trans-Asia Shipping Lines Inc.), 1989 OF
Trans-Asia 8 (Trans-Asia Shipping Lines Inc.), 1984 OF
Asia Philippines (Trans-Asia Shipping Lines Inc.) OF
Filipinas Nasipit (Cokaliong Shipping Lines Inc.), 1992 OF
Filipinas Iligan (Cokaliong Shipping Lines Inc.), 1978 OF
Filipinas Butuan (Cokaliong Shipping Lines Inc.), 1982 OF
Filipinas Iloilo (Cokaliong Shipping Lines Inc.), 1979 OF
Filipinas Dapitan (Cokaliong Shipping Lines Inc.), 1971 OF
Filipinas Dinagat (Cokaliong Shipping Lines Inc.), 1972 OF
Filipinas Dumaguete (Cokaliong Shipping Lines Inc.), 1970 OF
Stephanie Marie (Aleson Shipping Lines), 1979 SDF
Stephanie Marie 2 (Aleson Shipping Lines), 1986 SF
Danica Joy (Aleson Shipping Lines), 1972 OF
Danica Joy 2 (Aleson Shipping Lines), 1982 OF
Trisha Kerstin 2 (Aleson Shipping Lines), 1989 OF
Trisha Kerstin 3 (Aleson Shipping Lines), 1995 OF
Ciara Joie (Aleson Shipping Lines), 1979 SDF
Neveen (Aleson Shipping Lines), 1975 SDF
Joyful Stars (Roble Shipping), 1971 OF
Theresian Stars (Roble Shipping), 1973 OF
Blessed Stars (Roble Shipping), 1979 OF
Sacred Stars (Roble Shipping), 1979 OF
GP Ferry 2 (George & Peter Lines), 1972 OF
Lite Ferry 1 (Lite Ferries), 1969 SDF/OF
Lite Ferry 2 (Lite Ferries), 1969 SDF/OF
Lite Ferry 3 (Lite Ferries), 1969 SDF/OF
Lite Ferry 6 (Lite Ferries), 1972 SDF/OF
Lite Ferry 9 (Lite Ferries), 1997 SDF
Lady of Love (Medallion Transport), 1979 OF
Lady of Good Voyage (Medallion Transport), —- OF
Lady of Miraculous Medal (Medallion Transport), 1984 SDF/OF
Lady of Angels (Medallion Transport), 1977 SDF/OF
Lady of Charity (Medallion Transport), 1969 SDF/OF
Maria Beatriz (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Maria Diana (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF/OF
Maria Erlinda (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Maria Gloria (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Maria Helena (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF/OF
Marie Kristina (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Maria Oliva (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Maria Querubin (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Maria Rebecca (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Maria Sophia (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Marie Teresa (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Maria Ursula (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Maria Yasmina (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Reina del Cielo (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Reina de Luna (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Reina Magdalena (Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc.) SDF
Starlite Annapolis (Starlite Ferries), 1982 SDF
Starlite Ferry (Starlite Ferries), 1971 SDF
Starlite Pacific (Starlite Ferries), 1983 SDF
Starlite Atlantic (Starlite Ferries), 1983 SDF
Starlite Nautica (Starlite Ferries), 1985 SDF
Starlite Polaris (Starlite Ferries), 1975 SDF
Super Shuttle Ferry 1 (Asian Marine Transport Company) SDF
Super Shuttle Ferry 3 (Asian Marine Transport Company) SDF
Super Shuttle Ferry 5 (Asian Marine Transport Company) SDF
Super Shuttle Ferry 9 (Asian Marine Transport Company) SDF
Super Shuttle Ferry 10 (Asian Marine Transport Company) SDF
Super Shuttle Ferry 18 (Asian Marine Transport Company) SDF
Super Shuttle Ferry 20 (Asian Marine Transport Company) SDF
Island RORO II (VG Shipping), 1978 SDF/OF
Super Island Express III (VG Shipping), 1972 SDF
Island Express III (VG Shipping), 1978 SDF
Lady of the Gate/Yellow Rose (JJA Transport), 1980 SDF
J&N Carrier (J&N Shipping), 1970 OF
J&N Ferry (J&N Shipping), 1982 OF
J&N Cruiser (J&N Shipping), 1979 OF
Grand Unity (Navios Shipping Lines), 1969 OF
Grand Venture 1 (Navios Shipping Lines), 1970 OF
Melrivic Three (E.B. Aznar Shipping), 1975 SDF
Melrivic Nine (E.B. Aznar Shipping), 1979 SDF
Mika Mari (Jomalia Shipping), 1975 SDF
King Frederick (Sta. Clara Shipping Corp.), 1987 SDF
Nelvin Jules (Sta. Clara Shipping Corp.), 1985 SDF
Hansel Jobett (Sta. Clara Shipping Corp.), 1979 SDF
Nathan Matthew (Sta. Clara Shipping Corp.), 1973 SDF
Anthon Raphael (Penafrancia Shipping Corp.), 1990 SDF
Don Benito Ambrosio II (Penafrancia Shipping Corp.), 1967 SDF
Don Herculano (Penafrancia Shipping Corp.), 1970 SDF
Eugene Elson (Penafrancia Shipping Corp.), 1965 SDF
Regina Calixta II (Regina Shipping Lines), 1986 SDF
Regina Calixta VI (Regina Shipping Lines), 1988 SDF
Star Ferry II (168 Shipping), 1961 SDF
Star Ferry III (168 Shipping), 1987 SDF
Grand Star RORO 3 (————–), 1987 SDF
Marina Empress (Denica Shipping Lines), 1972 SDF
D’ASEAN Journey (JVS Shipping Lines), 1980 OF
Baleno Otso (Besta Shipping Lines), 1984 SDF
Calixta III (Aqua Real Shipping Lines), 1988 SDF
Milagrosa J-5 (Milagrosa Shipping Lines), 1978 OF
Ever Queen of Pacific 1 (Ever Lines), 1968 OF
Jadestar Legacy (Ibnerizam Shipping), 1982 SDF
Mama Mia (Sing Shipping), 2011 OF
Kalinaw (Philstone Shipping), 1972 SDF

A total of exactly 100 still-active ferries. However, this is not a complete list as in a fraction of our steel ferries I do not know the engines mounted. Foreign databases don’t know either and that data is also not visible in the MARINA (Maritime Industry Authority) database. There are still ferries arriving from Japan and maybe the list will still grow especially if I am able to determine the mounted engines of our other steel ferries. May I add, however, that for our wooden-hulled and small ferries it is rare that Daihatsu marine engines will be mounted. For those crafts, it is the engines from trucks that predominate as it is cheaper and truck mechanics and spare parts are available anywhere in the country.

Hail to Daihatsu!