Hatsu Smile, the fourth in a series of ten 7,024 teu S-type container vessels that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Kobe shipyard is constructing for the Evergreen Group, was christened on February 4, 2006. Hatsu Smile will join the three previously launched S-type vessels in the fleet of London-headquartered Hatsu Marine Ltd.
Hatsu Smile was named by Mr. Kuo-Cheng (K. C.) Chang, Vice Group Chairman of Evergreen Group and Chairman of Evergreen Marine Corp. The honor of cutting the ceremonial rope sending the traditional bottle of champagne against its bow to launch and send the vessel on its way down slipway has been given to Mrs. Kuo Yeh Chiung-Yu, wife of Capt. S. Y. Kuo who is as well a Vice Group Chairman for the Evergreen Group.
Hatsu Smile is due to be delivered to Hatsu Marine in May and will commence its maiden voyage to Europe shortly thereafter. In addition to the four S-type vessels, the Hatsu fleet also comprises five 6,332TEU E-class vessels and two 1,618 teu P-class vessels currently deployed in regional Asian services within the Evergreen Group.
With an overall length of 300 meters and a beam of 42.8 meters, the S-class vessels are able to carry containers 17 rows across on deck and 15 rows across below deck. They have a deadweight of 78,700 tons on a service draft of 14.2 meters. The ship also has 839 refrigerated container slots.
The Evergreen Group is taking delivery of 18 large post-Panamax containerships over the period 2005 to 2008 - 10 S-types and eight 8,063 teu C-types - allowing the Group companies to upgrade existing services and phase out older vessels.