Another innovative project from Aries Marine & Engineering Services is the longest snake boat (Chundan Vallam) made of steel. Aries Punnamada Chundan has a length of 144 ft and can accommodate up to 141 rowers. This snake boat has found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records and Limca Book of Records as the longest snake boat made of steel.
Kerala’s snake boats have long, tapering front portion and the rear portion towering to a height of about 20 ft. The length of snake boats range from 110 ft to 138 ft with carrying capacity of 100 to 110 people. Snake boats are the traditional battle vessels of Kerala and they were originally designed as a naval vessel to be used for battle.
According to Mr. Sohan Roy, the Naval Architect of the project, the aim of this innovative concept is to create an international market for snake boats. The steel snake boat could make revolutionary changes in Kerala’s tourism sector since the present snake boats, made of wood are used only for certain events in a year and then remain idle for the rest of the year. Going global will make sure that the boats are not idle throughout the year.
Aries Punnamada Chundan stands apart from other traditional snake-boats for its scientific design. The existing 18 traditional snake boats in the state have eighteen different lengths, breadths, depths and carrying capacities. There is no scientific method to substantiate the stability, strength, buoyancy and speed of the wooden snake boats. On the other hand the Aries’ steel snake boat’s design is finalized based on the latest scientific methods in Naval Architecture. Its shape and stability have been designed using the world famous ‘AUTOSHIP’ software. The strength has been analyzed by finite element method. An overhanging test was also conducted to analyze the longitudinal strength practically and sinking tests were conducted to prove its 'unsinkability'.
The engineering strength of Aries Design team was fully utilized for this challenging project to rewrite the 200 year old conventional Snake boat design for higher speed and better stability. Experts in the field of ship design like Dr. Pyarilal S.K, from Cochin University of Science and Technology, have given the final expert opinion. Moreover, in order to maintain the traditional concept of snake boat building, the construction has been entrusted with a traditional Thachan (carpenter) Mr. Surendra Babu Kainakari. The effort of this team was acknowledged in the media and by the people.