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Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

The moment Denis Owen saw the 70ft catamaranQuicksilver rotting in a St Martin boatyard, he had to have her which surprised the people there.

“She had a tree growing out of her and had been there for over 20 years,” he said. “She was basically trash.”

The 33-year-old calls himself a “boatyard hunter” and enjoys picking through them for interesting finds.

“She was by far the most fantastic thing I have ever found,” said Mr Owen, who owns Atlantic Mooring Maintenance with his 31-year-old brother Andrew.

They both saw the potential in the vessel, which was one of the largest when built in the 1960s.

“She was having a hard time,” Mr Owen said. “A lot of people down there thought we were crazy. They said don’t touch that thing, it is too old.

“We had it surveyed and found that the hull, the part sitting in the water, was really sound and in good shape.

“The hull was made of really thick fibreglass. It was sitting in the boatyard since 1995.

“It was wrecked on the rocks and it sank and they had a crane pull it out and just left it in the boat yard.

“It never moved since then. So that was 23 years it sat there before we came along.”

The Owen brothers bought the boat and since 2008, have worked tirelessly to restore it.

In 2010 they sailed her to Bermuda and then worked on her some more.

Tomorrow they will relaunch her officially, under the name Ubervida. The brothers plan to use her as a charter and tour boat operation.

“I’ve been told that when you do the amount of restoration work that we’ve done, it’s okay to rechristen her,” Mr Owen said.

With the help of Jason Williams and Darius Birch the brothers redid all the tray ceilings in mahogany.

“It was so much work, but it is worth it because now it looks really gorgeous. We put wrap around wooden stairs in the front of the boat.

“People love lounging there. We just finished building the bar last winter,” Mr Owen added.

When asked how much it cost to refurbish, the answer was “more than we had”. They saved money by doing most of the work themselves.

“It has been quite a learning experience but we are now pretty close to being master boat builders,” said Mr Owen. “She is really good in the water. She slides through really nicely.

“She was originally a sailboat and had two masts. The hardest part about the restoration was deadlines.

“We were always working trying to get ready for the tourist season. You start a project and there is always a lot more than you think needs to go into it. We were sometimes working from 7am to 2am for weeks at a time trying to get it done.”

Work on the Ubervida also had to be balanced with their business, Atlantic Mooring Maintenance.

“We have the balance under control and we are doing really well with that one as well,” said Mr Owen.

“We really enjoyed building this boat. I think if we were well-funded and didn’t have these crazy timelines it would be fantastic [to restore another].

“Maybe in a few years when things settle down we might do it again. We want to get this one going and then maybe look at something else.”

Mr Owen rode out Category One Hurricane Igor on the boat at its storm moorings in Ely’s Harbour in .

“She sat great through the storm,” he said. “I built the mooring so I was very happy with how strong the mooring was going to be.

“I wasn’t worried about us having issues, but in hurricanes very often other boats break off their moorings, and I didn’t want our paint to get scratched.

“We were sitting on our boat in the hurricane and a 40-footer broke off its mooring and sailed past us.

“I came up and started the engines and was ready to avoid it, but it just missed us by ten feet.”

The boat builders were introduced to the ocean by their father, Ernie Owen, who took them snorkelling from a very early age.

“Once, we went out to a protected marine area off Bermuda known as the Eastern Blue Cut with some of the dive operators back then,” said Mr Owen. “That was the best snorkelling we had ever seen.

“We had been practising for years on the shorelines. I was saying to my brother the other day, I think I got this boat because of that day.

“That was like the best day we ever had as a family.”

This summer, as part of their operation, they plan to take other people out to the same area, so they can see the beauty of Bermuda’s marine life in all its glory.

“We think it is Bermuda’s best wilderness,” said Mr Owen. “We will be starting that in about a month. The idea we have is to do day trips from 10am to 3pm.

“There will be a full buffet on-board and snorkelling gear. Patrons can come out and enjoy a fantastic full day on the water.

“It won’t be rushed. People can suntan and go snorkelling and relax.

“The idea from the beginning was that we wanted to share our passion for the water with everyone.

“A lot of people have their own boats, but it is a lot of work to go boating. If they can come on our boat and have a great day on the water without having to work too hard it would be fantastic.

“We have done company fun days, graduations, client dinners and other events and it has gone really well.”

Every Friday, starting tomorrow, they will be offering no cover charge mini-cruises to Paradise Lakes.

The adults-only cruises will leave from the Number One pier in Hamilton at 5.30pm and return at 7pm.

A second cruise will leave at 7.30pm, returning at 9pm. There will be music and beverages.

The boat can also be chartered for $600 an hour for as many as 150 people. For more information telephone 236-2222 or e-mail ubervidabda@gmail.com.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Navy's speedy transport vessel to be named Millinocket

 

The Associated Press

 

MILLINOCKET — A speedy warship built to transport troops, military vehicles and equipment is going to be named the USS Millinocket.

 

click image to enlarge

The high-speed catamaran transport ship USS Spearhead, the first ship in the JHSV class that will include the USS Millinocket, is shown here undergoing sea trials on April 19 by shipbuilder Austal in the Gulf of Mexico. The Millinocket, which has an identical design, is under construction and scheduled for christening in January.

Austal USA photo

click image to enlarge

 

Austal USA photo

 

Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and Congressman Mike Michaud were informed Wednesday of the Navy' s name for the high-speed vessel under construction on the Alabama coast.

Collins says the Navy chose the name because "Millinocket personifies the American values of ingenuity and community."

Snowe says the decision honors Maine as the USS Stephen W. Groves is retired. Groves, from East Millinocket, died in the Battle of Midway in World War II.

Congressman Mike Michaud says Maine has a long, proud history of shipbuilding that deserves to be recognized and honored by the naming of the Navy's vessels.

The ship is tentatively scheduled to be christened in January.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

It looked like a textbook win-win deal when Australian high-speed ferry designer AMD Marine Consulting formed a joint venture in 1993 with the engineering arm of a state-owned Chinese shipbuilder.

The joint venture partner, Guangzhou Marine Engineering Corporation, a subsidiary of the giant China State Shipbuilding Corporation, gained access to state-of-the-art technology in wave-piercing, aluminium-hull designs.

For AMD, a Sydney-based private company, the payoff was a foothold in China's maritime market during a period of rapid growth.

The joint venture, Seabus International Co, began designing high-speed aluminium catamaran ferries and sea rescue vessels for China's inland and coastal waters, according to the company's website.

That's when a third winner emerged.

Attracted to the performance of these fast, stable and relatively cheap vessels, the Chinese military adopted the technology as it began replacing its aging missile boats that had been derived from an obsolete Soviet design.

The new fleet of missile boats are part of a naval buildup that back up China's claims to islets and reefs in the South China Sea, waters rich in oil and gas and which half the world's ship tonnage passes through each year.

This growing military muscle has prompted the United States to make a strategic shift toward Asia.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, on his first visit to the region since announcing that shift in January, will brief allies about it this weekend, beginning with "The Shangri-La Dialogue". The event brings together senior civilian and military chiefs from nearly 30 Asia-Pacific states to foster security cooperation and takes its name from the host Singapore hotel.

 

 

 

MISSILE BOAT

Since 2004, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy has deployed a rapidly expanding fleet of heavily armed, Houbei class fast-attack missile boats based on AMD's advanced catamaran hull.

In a clear demonstration of the value of foreign dual-use technology in China's rapid military buildup, the Houbei class or Type-022 as it is also known, appears to be adapted from the AMD 350 patrol boat design, Chinese and Western analysts say.

However, AMD's technical director, Allan Soars, said the Australian company was not involved in the design of the missile craft.

He said after the joint venture company Seabus International had designed some fast ferries it appeared the PLA Navy had decided the company's wave piercing technology would make a good platform for a military vessel.

"I have no knowledge of the mechanisms at play, but it would appear that Seabus International was co-opted by the PLA navy to design the vessel platform," Soars said. This was not done at the Seabus International offices but at a military establishment.

"The whole process was carried out in secrecy and under strict confidentiality agreements directly with the Seabus International staff who are all Chinese nationals."

 

PENTAGON REPORT

In its annual report on the Chinese military, the Pentagon said earlier this month the Chinese navy had deployed about 60 of the Houbei class patrol craft.

"These boats have increased the PLA Navy's littoral warfare capabilities," the Pentagon said.

The United States is also beefing up its littoral warfare capabilities in the region. The USS Freedom, first in a new class of combat ships, will be sent to Singapore next year.

The smaller, shallow-draft ships are intended for operations close to shore and capable of deploying quickly in a crisis. Singapore has discussed hosting up to four such U.S. "Littoral Combat Ships" on a rotational basis at its naval facilities.

From putting marines in northern Australia, stepping up military ties with Vietnam and strengthening its long-standing alliance with the Philippines, Washington has quickly begun executing the "Asian pivot".

 

"ANTI-ACCESS STRATEGY"

In the report, the Pentagon said China's defence and civilian sectors work in close cooperation to incorporate technology that could accelerate military modernization.

The cumulative effect of dual-use technology transfers, particularly from the United States, could make a substantial contribution to Chinese military firepower, it said.

The mass production of the Type-022 suggests the Chinese navy believes these vessels will complement its so-called "anti-access" strategy aimed at keeping foreign forces away from waters surrounding Taiwan in time of conflict, said Sam Roggeveen, an analyst and commentator at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute for International Policy, an independent private foreign policy research group.

China considers self-ruled Taiwan a renegade province to be brought under mainland control eventually, and by force if necessary. The United States is Taiwan's biggest ally and arms supplier and is duty-bound by legislation to help the island defend itself.

"China's anti-access capabilities are now such that it would be very difficult for the U.S. Navy to intervene in a conflict over Taiwan at an acceptable cost," Roggeveen said. "The Type-22 has made a contribution to that capability."

UNDER THE RADAR

Some analysts forecast the Chinese navy will take delivery of up to 100 of these vessels, which carry an estimated price tag of about $15 million each.

No one has suggested AMD Marine Consulting has done anything illegal. Under Australian law, exporters of military equipment must seek government approval for foreign sales but these restrictions do not apply to work done by Australian company subsidiaries operating offshore.

Soars said the advantage of AMD's wave piercing hull design was that it delivered exceptional sea keeping qualities, allowing smaller vessels to sail into rough water.

"While the military could obviously afford larger vessels we speculate that they wanted to keep the vessel size down to minimize radar signature although we cannot rule out cost considerations given the number of vessels," he said.

An Australian company is also providing aluminium hull design technology to the U.S. military. Western Australian shipbuilder Austal has won contracts to design and build a new class of littoral combat ship and high-speed transport catamarans for the U.S. Navy.

 

WESTERN WEAPONS SALES BAN

Despite bans on Western weapons sales to China that have remained in place since the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, Beijing has mounted a rapid military build-up that has made the PLA increasingly capable of challenging the military dominance the United States has enjoyed in Asia since the end of the Cold War.

Average annual increases of almost 12 per cent in military spending over more than two decades have allowed China to deploy an expanding force of potent warships and submarines, long-range strike aircraft, missiles and modernised nuclear warheads.

Early in this period, China relied heavily on imports of Russian weapons but this has slowed as the domestic arms industry gears up to build more locally designed hardware.

As part of this shift, dual-use technology from abroad has been crucial to advances across a broad range of China's military technologies including satellites, communications networks, helicopters, radars, marine engines, signals processing and training simulators, military analysts say.

China's state-owned commercial shipbuilders, who also deliver warships for the navy, have been at the forefront of absorbing foreign technology.

 

TOP PLA PRIORITY

The link between AMD's designs and the Chinese navy was first reported in 2007 in SIGNAL Magazine, a Fairfax, Virginia-based specialist defence technology publication. Roggeveen also reported on the deal in a Lowy Institute blog.

Since then, the expanding Houbei class fleet has become a top priority for China's military with mass production involving up to five shipyards, defence experts say.

With an estimated top speed of more than 36 knots, the 225-tonne boats were clearly designed for offensive missions where they would attack with their YJ-83 anti-ship missiles, which can strike targets at a distance of more than 200 km, experts say.

They also appear to be equipped with advanced data processing links so these missiles can be directed from sensors on other aircraft or ships.

The Type-22 also has a close-in weapon system for defence against incoming missiles and what appears to be a launcher for anti-aircraft missiles.

 

"CARRIER KILLER"

Naval strategists suggest that deployed in big numbers in wartime, these fast and stealthy craft could overwhelm bigger and much more expensive enemy warships with waves of missiles fired from different directions.

Combined with missiles from China's land-based launchers, surface warships, submarines and strike aircraft, these attacks could sharply raise the stakes for an enemy operating close to the mainland.

"This craft is a purebred ship killer, perhaps even a carrier killer," wrote John Patch, a retired U.S. Navy officer in an article for the United States Naval Institute.

In its report on China, the Pentagon said it would continue with efforts to block the transfer of important technology to China that would contribute to China's defence industry and military firepower.

However, for the United States and its allies, it could be difficult to evaluate which technologies or materials should be restricted, according to military analysts, particularly for countries that benefit from close trading relationships with China.

"If you were going to be terribly rigid about this, you'd argue that Australian iron-ore exports indirectly benefit the PLA and thus should be stopped," said Roggeveen.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Southland's fastest sea-going vessel was the 74m Hoverspeed Great Britain, an ocean-going catamaran built in 1990 by International Catamarans in Tasmania. She called in at Bluff on her delivery voyage toBritain, having crossed the Tasman from Hobart in 23 hours and 42 minutes. She crossed the Atlantic in three days, seven hours and 54 minutes, averaging 36.6 knots (67.8 kmh). She was later called HSC Sea Runner and now plies between the Greek Islands as Cosmosjet.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

A high-speed catamaran operated by the United States Navy is visiting a number of South African ports on a maritime security cooperation initiative.

 

HSV-2 Swift, a non-commissioned, hybrid catamaran chartered to the United States Navy Military Sealift Command, is primarily used for fleet support and humanitarian partnership missions and is currently in East London on her Africa Partnership Station mission. Prior to her arrival in East London she visited Simon’s Town in Cape Town.

 

The Africa Partnership Station (APS) is the US Naval Forces Africa’s (NAVAF) flagship maritime security cooperation program. The focus of APS is to build maritime safety and security by increasing maritime awareness, response capabilities and infrastructure.

 

Through APS, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and NAVAF conduct engagement activities with international partners and governmental/non-governmental organisations. “2012 marks the fifth year that Africa Partnership Station has been working to improve maritime safety and security in Africa,” explained Lieutenant Nathan Potter of the US Naval Forces Africa Public Affairs Office.

“The first official APS deployment took place during 2007-2008 in West and Central Africa. US Navy vessels participating in APS 2012 so far includes the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) and the high-speed vessel Swift (HSV 2),” Potter added.

 

To illustrate the increased importance of Africa to the US, the Swift recently made a port visit to Walvis Bay in Namibia, the first US Navy vessel port-of-call to Namibia in over a decade. The last time a US Navy vessel visited Namibia was in 1999.

 

Explaining APS at an official reception on board Swift hosted by the US ambassador to Namibia, Captain Susan Dunlap, director of Navy Africa Region, noted that a united global maritime community made up of partner nations is essential to the APS mission. "APS aims to help African navies provide for their own maritime security. Besides the US, there are 11 European partners and 27 African partner nations that have participated in APS since its inception in 2007," said Dunlap.

According to Potter, interest from African, European, North and South American countries to participate in APS continues to grow.

 

Prior to visiting southern Africa, Swift visited Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo, Lome, Togo and Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire. From East London, Swift will visit Durban before going to Mozambique and thereafter continuing up the east African coast.

Built in Australia and privately owned and operated by Sealift Inc, the Swift is chartered to the United States Navy Military Sealift Command for her humanitarian partnership missions. As a result, the ship operating crew is civilian, while the balance of the crew is made up of US Naval and Marine members. As part of APS, the Swift transports US military training teams to conduct maritime training with regional civil and maritime services.

 

With its’ large cargo deck, the Swift is able to transport approximately 615 t of cargo. Much of this is carried under Project Handclasp. Project Handclasp is a US Navy program that accepts and transports educational, humanitarian and goodwill material on a space-available basis aboard US Navy ships for distribution to foreign nation recipients.

According to Wikipedia, the Swift is a wave-piercing, aluminum-hulled, commercial catamaran with military enhancements, such as a helicopter flight deck, strengthened vehicle deck, small boat and unmanned vehicle launch and recovery capability, and an enhanced communications suite. It features a new, modular design, which will allow the ship to be refitted to support any mission without requiring long shipyard periods. As a logistics vessel, it does not have water-tight compartments or weapons systems. Its propulsion is provided by directional water jets, powered by four Caterpillar 3618 marine diesel engines.

At low weight and under ideal conditions, the Swift is able to achieve a top speed of 45 knots.

Although home-ported in Norfolk, Virginia, the Swift only spends a few weeks a year in the continental US for maintenance. The rest of the time is spent delivering aid and advancing maritime security.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Incat Crowther is pleased to announce the launch of the 24m Catamaran Ro-Pax Ferry, Runö. The vessel was recently launched by Baltic Workboats in Estonia and successfully completed sea trials. Runö is the second Incat Crowther-designed vessel to be built by Baltic Workboats, after VÄ—jÅ«nas, a 24m Catamaran Scientific Research Vessel. Runö will be operated in the Gulf of Riga, Estonia, between the mainland port of Parnu and the islands of Runhu and Saaremaa.

Incat Crowther worked closely with Baltic workboats to secure the build contract for Runö, offering a vessel based on VÄ—jÅ«nas, including some refinements that included the extensive use of pre-fabricated extruded panels.

In addition to passengers, Runö features a small cargo deck aft that can carry two passenger vehicles (up to 6.5m), a mini-van or deck cargo. These are loaded onto the vessel either over the hydraulically-operated stern visor. An 8t-m Guerra M 75.90A1 Deck Crane handles the loading and unloading of mixed freight.

Side passenger gates forward of the aft deck lead passengers directly to the cabin, which features 60 seats. Passenger toilets are located on a central corridor, and there is a small bar to port. Large luggage racks in this corridor allow passenger to place their bags upon boarding, streamlining the process.

To starboard is a crew accommodation space, featuring a mess, dedicated crew bathroom and bunk beds. There is also a large storeroom.

Upstairs, the wheelhouse features a guest lounge and navigation table. Good all-round visibility from the helm seat ensures safe berthing operations.

Runö is powered by a pair of Volvo D16MH R2 main engines, each producing 751hp. It will have a cruise speed of 22 knots and achieved a top speed on trials of 24.7 knots.

Strengthened structure and associated foundations have been included to allow 4-point lifting of the vessel for transportation and dry docking.

Incat Crowther is proud of the support offered to Baltic Workboats that allowed them to efficiently construct a competitive vessel.

SPECIFICATIONS - 24m CATAMARAN RO-PAX FERRY
PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Length Overall 78’ 5” / 23.9m
Length Waterline 76’ 5” / 23.3m
Beam Overall 26’ 3” / 8.0m
Draft (hull) 4’ 3” / 1.28m
Draft (prop) 4’ 9” / 1.4m
Depth 11’ 2” / 3.4m
Construction Marine grade aluminium

CAPACITIES
Fuel Oil 1 100 gallons / 5 000 litres
Fresh Water 396 gallons / 1 500 litres
Sullage 396 gallons / 1 500 litres
Passengers 60
Crew 3
Commercial Vehicles 2
Vehicle Axle Load 1.85t

PROPULSION AND PERFORMANCE
Speed (Cruise) 22 knots
Speed (Max) 24.7 knots
Main Engines 2 x Volvo Penta D16MH R2
Power 2 x 559 kW (751hp) @ 2200rpm
Propulsion 2 x Propeller
Generators 2 x Cummins 17.5 MDKBR
Bow Thrusters 2 x Side Power SH550 (33kW)
REGULATORY
Flag Estonia
Class / Survey LR+100A1SSC Passenger Catamaran
HSC G3 MCH UMS

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

UNE 12, 2012 —Two 35 m Incat Crowther designed catamaran passenger ferries, Hai Ju and Hai Yao, built by Afai Southern Shipyard in China.  have been commissioned by Zhuhai High Speed Ferry Co.

The vessels accommodate 198 passengers, all seated on the main deck in comfortable reclining seats. A large bar is situated amidships, serving beverages and snacks as well as offering a tourist information service.

A pair of VIP rooms is located at the aft end of the main passenger cabin, each offering six business class seats with a small table. A large crew accommodation space is located aft, adjacent to the passenger amenities. This area features a pantry, electrical rooms and a bunk room for sixcrew members.

The vessels are powered by MTU 16V2000 M70 main engines, each producing 1,050 kW.

Hai Ju and Hai Yao have both completed sea trials. The vessels comfortably achieved their loaded service speed of 28 knots.

Of over 340 vessels built worldwide to Incat Crowther designs, over 20 have been constructed in Chinese shipyards. Afai Southern recently delivered a pair of 34 m catamaran ferries, Xun Long 5 and Xun Long 6. In addition, a pair of 36 m monohull crewboats are under construction at Cheoy Lee's facility in Doumen, South China.

Incat Crowther says its relationship with Chinese shipyards such as AFAI and Cheoy Lee opens up new opportunities for operators worldwide to source high quality Chinese built vessels, whilst giving operators in China access to Incat Crowther's product range.

Length Overall:     34.9 m
Length Waterline:     33.0 m
Beam:     9.0 m
Depth:     3.5 m
Passengers:     198
Crew:     9
Fuel:     5 000 liters
Fresh Water:     1 000 liters
Sullage:     1 000 liters
Service Speed:     28 knots
Maximum Speed:     29 knots
Main Engines:     2 x MTU 16V2000 M70
Installed Power:     2 x 1,050 kW @2100rpm
Gearboxes:     2 x ZF 4650
Propulsion:     2 x Propellers
Generators:     2 x Cummins CCFJ-&%JYA, 75kW, 50Hz
Construction Material:     Marine Grade Aluminum
Flag:     China MSA
Class:     CCS CSAD Catamaran HSC, Passenger AS, Coastal Service Restrictionnc.

 

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

THE biggest loch-based cruise ship in Scotland made its maiden voyage yesterday, carrying visitors attracted by the enduring fascination with Loch Ness and the legend of its monster.

 

The Jacobite Warrior, a catamaran capable of 11 knots, will carry up to 1500 tourists a day on the globally famous waterway this summer.

The vessel was known as Les Sept-Iles when she offered cruises from Vannes in Brittany, but her new decidedly more Caledonian-sounding name represents an investment of over £1 million for multi-award winning Inverness-based Jacobite Cruises, which will soon welcome its millionth passenger to cruise on Loch Ness.

The Jacobite Warrior, which can carry 250 people, will be taking tours from the new £2.5m headquarters, visitor centre and cafe the company is building on the A82 lochside road at Brackla, nine miles outside Inverness.

In the meantime it will operate out of the nearby Clansman harbour, along with other vessels, sailing down the loch to Urquhart Castle. The Jacobite Queen will continue to offer its three-and-a-half hour cruise up and down the Caledonian Canal and loch to the castle.

Freda Newton, owner of Jacobite Cruises, said the new vessel was necessary because there were times when passengers were being turned away as the existing cruises on offer were full.

She said: "The Jacobite Warrior joins our fleet of three cruise ships with the ability to carry 250 passengers in comfort. She is more than twice the size of any other cruise boat on the loch and we believe the first catamaran on the water here.  

"This investment will allow us to provide a magical Loch Ness experience for up to 1500 tourists on the Warrior every day, in addition to 900 each day between the Jacobite Queen and Jacobite Legend. In the last few years we've seen numbers surge, particularly from groups from China, Brazil and Russia. 

"The legend of Loch Ness is famous all over the world and most visitors to the Highlands are keen to experience the magic."  

The new boat travelled from Brittany in France, stopping at Milford Haven in Wales and Bangor in Northern Ireland on the way. She then had a complete makeover in Corpach before arriving in the Caledonian Canal.

Jacobite refitted her with a bar, luxury seating, viewing deck and state-of-the-art tour guide audio system that allows passengers to listen to tales of Nessie sightings and Loch Ness's history, backed up by printed leaflets in 10 languages.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: "The launch of the Jacobite Warrior is fantastic news for the Highlands of Scotland and will help encourage even more visitors to this wonderful part of Scotland."

 

 

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Commissioners invest in new patrol boat

22/06/2012

Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC) has welcomed a new patrol boat to its fleet this week, the culmination of a two-year project.

 

The £100,000 investment, which was unveiled at international trade show Seawork 2012, will replace the ageing patrol boat Killigrew which will be disposed of and take over the name. 

The new 7.9m catamaran will be used for safety and enforcement patrols in the harbour, as well as survey and research work. She will also guide ships docking within the harbour and provide back-up and assistance for emergency response.

Falmouth Harbour Master Captain Mark Sansom said: “We are delighted to welcome the new Killigrew into service. She is a fantastic asset for Falmouth and one of which we are very proud.

“Killigrew is a versatile workboat and much more economical and environmentally friendly than the old boat, so will be cleaner and quieter.

 “We would like to extend a big thank you to all those who have worked so hard to get the work finished. We are very pleased with the results and looking forward to getting her up and running in time for peak season.”

Killigrew’s special features include an electric winch with swinging davit for deployment of survey and monitoring equipment when working with researchers and students.

Killigrew has been designed and built by Cheetah Marine, leaders in the design and construction of catamarans under 10m.

Sean Strevens, Cheetah designer, said: “While our catamarans often have highly specialist equipment, the configuration and stability allows use for a diverse range of applications. As cut backs increase, it is critical that we continue to provide the most flexible solutions and cost effective vessels with minimal running costs. We are delighted to work with Falmouth Harbour Commissioners on this project.”

Smithwick, which came into service in 1992, did not comply with modern safety requirements and costs to run her were escalating. The boat will now be sold.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Monday at 5:35 a.m. passengers will begin making the run to Seattle on the lowest-wake passenger ferry in the world, with a crossing time nearly twice as fast as they're now getting on Washington State Ferries.

Operated by Kitsap Transit, the Rich Passage will be making eight runs a day between Bremerton and Seattle, carrying passengers while doing wake research tests in its namesake waterway. The $5.3 million, foil-assisted catamaran, built with federal grant funds, is the result of seven years of research to develop a fast. fuel-efficient craft that could meet the passage's unique challenges, which defeated the state's foot-ferry service.

Federal grant money covers the four-month testing period, but plans and funding are uncertain beyond that.

As traffic volume, gas prices and environmental pressures increase in our land-based transportation systems, the advantages of water transit systems are becoming more evident in the Puget Sound region. King County is actively growing its successful Water Taxi service to West Seattle and Vashon.

Fast, passenger-only ferries also have the potential to play a significant role in our area. Because Kitsap County's population is projected to rise faster than its employment opportunities, Washington State Ferries predicts overall passenger ferry ridership will grow — with the greatest increases in walk-on passengers rather than drivers.

All that adds up to small, fast, foot-ferries, transporting passengers more quickly and with less environmental impact than larger ferries carrying vehicles.

It also means that between now and November, the Rich Passage I's service will be testing not just the boat, but the passengers. Crossing times will be nearly twice as fast and fares will be slightly less than state ferries — $7, collected only when boarding in Seattle. That's a heckuva deal, and one that couldn't be financially sustained beyond the federally funded test period. In other words, it's a unique opportunity to ride a unique boat.

Even if you're not a regular commuter, we urge you to take a ride on the Rich Passage I, evaluate its performance and time-saving and give Kitsap Transit — and yourself — some honest feedback.

For the fast foot-ferry to be part of Kitsap's future, it will need low-level wakes and high-level public acceptance. We urge you to take a ride on the Rich Passage I, give yourself and Kitsap Transit some feedback, and play a part in determining that future.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Topaz wins ferry contract for Sharjah Government

  • United Arab Emirates: 6 hours, 25 minutes ago
  • Renaissance subsidiary, Topaz Marine Engineering (Topaz), a UAE-based full service ship building, ship repair and engineering services company, confirms it has been commissioned by the Government of Sharjah's Royal Court (Al Diwan Al Amiri) to build and deliver one Catamaran passenger ferry boat.

 

With a focus on passenger luxury and efficiency, the Catamaran will be designed to accommodate 40 people, with passengers all seated on the main deck. It will be used to transport people between main land Sharjah and the Abu Musa Island, situated 70 kilometres offshore.The ferry will be built at Topaz's Nico craft Shipyard in Abu Dhabi and is scheduled for delivery in January 2013. 

Thomas Bower, Managing Director of Topaz Marine Engineering, commented: "Ferry boats are becoming increasingly common across the Gulf countries and Topaz is responding to this demand by working to worldwide standards and developing new designs which offer the very best in luxury, high speed, maneuverability and excellent sea keeping characteristics to make this kind of transportation more safe and comfortable. Securing this contract comes as testament to our competitive advantage and we look forward to winning more as we continue to expand our services in this growing niche market."

Topaz Marine Engineering has had an excellent start to the year. It has recently delivered two 18 metre Catamaran ferry boats to a client in the UK and completed the delivery of two wind farm support vessels (WFSV) to ASP Work Boats Ltd. 

Topaz is also completing the delivery of two Anchor Handling Supply (AHTS) vessels, Topaz Dignity and Topaz Triumph on behalf of BP, which are due to be deployed in the Caspian Sea on long-term contracts. Furthermore, Topaz was awarded a contract from GAC Group to provide completion services for two crew/cargo vessels.

Topaz Marine Engineering and its sister company, Topaz Oil and Gas Engineering, covers fabrication and construction; maintenance services; ship building and marine repair for the offshore support vessel and engineering services. The companies are part of Topaz Energy and Marine, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Renaissance Services, a Muscat-based oilfield services company and are both regional leaders in undertaking turnkey engineering, procurement and construction projects with over 35 years of experience operating in MENA and more recently in the Caspian.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW


A 41 metre high speed aluminium passenger catamaran, “Vale Grand Sud” has recently entered into operation for mining company Vale Nouvelle-Calédonie, marking the fourth Austal-built vessel to operate in New Caledonia.

“Vale Grand Sud” was designed to provide new levels of speed and comfort to members of the company’s 1,000 strong workforce, as they commute between Noumea and the Goro mine site’s Prony Port.

The vessel will offer Vale’s Goro workforce a safe, reliable and comfortable commute of approximately one hour, which makes it possible for mine workers to return home each day, instead of staying on the mine site or driving approximately two hours through mountainous terrain from Goro to Noumea. The introduction of “Vale Grand Sud” makes a considerable difference in improving quality of life for employees.

“Vale Grand Sud” is a milestone vessel in that it is the first significant step in Austal’s strategic plan to work more closely with resource companies and provide both marine and non-marine products utilising Austal's extensive capability in design, modular manufacturing and in-service product support.

Earlier this year, Austal delivered a 35 metre monohull passenger ferry, “Mary D Odyssey” to Noumea-based tourism operators, Mary D Enterprises. It has been successfully transporting passengers between Noumea and Amadee Island, as well as servicing other locations on New Caledonia’s south and west coasts, since April 2012. “Mary D Odyssey” joins Austal-built “Mary D Dolphin”, which has transported more than 300,000 passengers on the Amadee Island route since its delivery in 1998.

The 52.4 metre passenger catamaran, “Betico”, delivered to Compagnie Maritime des Iles in 1999, is the largest Austal-built vessel to operate in New Caledonia to date.

Austal Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Bellamy, said Austal is pleased to have delivered another quality product to New Caledonia, and commented that the company works hard to create and maintain strong relationships with all of its customers.

“Throughout the sales, design and construction process of “Vale Grand Sud”, Austal worked closely with Vale's Marine Operations team in New Caledonia. Our Design Manager and Sales Manager spent a significant amount of time assessing every detail of the operational requirements between Noumea and Prony Port,” he said.

“This close interaction between client and builder benefited the development of this vessel immensely, as we were able to see first-hand the operating environment of the vessel.

“This close relationship continued with Austal's Project team during the construction and commissioning stages, and resulted in a vessel that is truly customised for optimal passenger convenience and operational efficiency,” said Mr Bellamy.

The Head of Vale Nouvelle-Calédonie’s Maritime Section, Olivier Rousseau, commented that Austal impressed throughout the design, construction and delivery process of “Vale Grand Sud”.

“We were most impressed with the Austal sales, design and project teams we worked with throughout the build process. Austal always sent us very professional teams, which gave us the confidence in the product, and the feeling that our assets were always in good hands,” said Mr Rousseau.

Seating for “Vale Grand Sud’s” 439 passengers is spread over two decks, with functionality and comfort a priority. The spacious upper deck also includes a large meeting room, captain’s office and crew mess. A kiosk is located on the main deck. Flat screen televisions are located throughout the vessel, and all passengers are provided with comfortable Beurteaux reclining seats.

Working closely with the customer, Austal’s designers developed an interior colour palette that complements Vale’s brand identity while matching the vessel’s sleek green, yellow and white exterior. The interior of the vessel was also designed to reduce maintenance requirements with the selection of hard wearing, easy-to-clean material for bulkheads and flooring.

The vessel’s wheelhouse contains ergonomically designed navigation and control stations as we ll as Austal’s Marine Link fully integrated monitoring and control system. This provides the ferry’s Engineer with the ability to monitor and control the vessel’s safety, propulsion, generating and other operationally critical systems, as well as the option to be monitored remotely.

Capable of travelling at speeds of up to 37 knots, “Vale Grand Sud” offers a fast, smooth and quiet journey, powered by four MTU 16V 2000 M72 engines coupled to Kamewa waterjets through Reintjes gearboxes.

Demonstrating the versatility of Austal’s existing product range, “Vale Grand Sud” was based on the same platform design as used for four 41 metre catamarans designed and constructed for the National Infrastructure Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago. Delivered in mid-2010 and able to carry 405 passengers at speeds of more than 37 knots, the Trinidad and Tobago vessels were designed to help reduce road congestion by establishing a water taxi service between San Fernando and Port of Spain in southwest Trinidad.

At present, Austal is contracted to build 24 vessels at its shipyards in Australia, the Philippines and the United States.

Austal is currently building an 80 metre vehicle-passenger catamaran ferry for French Polynesian operator, Aremiti Cruise. The vessel will have the capacity to carry up to 967 passengers and 146 cars at speeds of approximately 20 knots, and is due for delivery in late 2013.

The company is also building a 27 metre TRI SWATH wind farm support vessel for UK operator, Turbine Transfers Limited. Launched in mid-2010, Austal’s Wind Express vessel range has been designed specifically for the burgeoning offshore wind farm support market, offering safer and more efficient offshore wind turbine service. 

On the defence side, Austal is contracted to build eight 58 metre monohull Cape Class Patrol Boats, nine 103 metre catamaran Joint High Speed Vessels and five 127 metre trimaran Littoral Combat Ships.

Austal also continues to provide support for vessels operating worldwide, including from its three shipyards; service centres in Darwin (Australia), Europe, the Caribbean, and the Middle East; and its recently opened Marine Support Base in Henderson, Western Australia.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

An ambitious ocean exploration project sponsored by Sir Richard Branson appears to be foundering in the waters of Newport Beach.

The Five Dives Expedition was previewed at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club last spring, with international news reporters flocking to see Branson atop a high-tech submarine.

But more than a year after the splashy announcement, the sub has still not performed a manned practice dive, and local organizer Chris Welsh has pleaded with city officials to give him $320 free monthly rent on a mooring for the 125-foot mothership catamaran, the Cheyenne, the Daily Pilotreported.

Officials recently cut him a deal by reserving the space for the boat, but he'll pay only for the months the boat is moored.

"It had to be fair and equitable for everybody involved," said Harbor Commissioner Dave Girling, who studied Welsh's pitch and recommended the new rental arrangement.

Officials were letting Welsh moor for free, beginning in early 2011, but some boaters complained he was getting an unfair deal.

Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller said Welsh will be billed retroactively for the first half of 2012.

Welsh reportedly told the Harbor Commission that he postponed the submarine expedition because a cracked windshield wouldn't be able to withstand the expected 13 million pounds of pressure, and his engineers were fashioning a new dome.

The Five Dives Expedition plans to go to the deepest points of the world's oceans, with Welsh piloting the first one to the Mariana Trench and Branson the second one to the Puerto Rico Trench. Researchers would accompany the men as they study sea life and ocean conditions.

Other dive "opportunities" are "monumental" for human pilots, reads the website of Virgin Oceanic, Branson's company. It's a sister to Virgin Galactic, which plans to sell seats on space flights.

The 60-foot-wide catamaran has mostly sat idle in Newport, its large Virgin logo and bright white hull drawing the attention of tourists.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Incat Crowther is pleased to announce the launch of Zenith, a 40m Catamaran Motor Yacht constructed by Sabre Catamarans in Western Australia.



The vessel is a result of a collaborative process whereby all partners brought their best ideas to the table. Incat Crowther performed naval architecture and engineering work on the vessel, whilst exterior design was supported by Waterline Design, who also designed the opulent interior.

Incat Crowther worked closely with the designer to interpret the aesthetic features of the vessel and resolve the designer’s vision into workable, buildable structure.

Zenith’s structure is all aluminium, and has been finished to a very high standard. All fittings and systems are of the highest grade, and the outfitting second to none.



Guests will board the vessel via gates to starboard, which feed into a lavish foyer amidships. Aft of the foyer is an expansive main deck saloon and dining area, adjacent to a commercial kitchen. Forward on the main deck are three large guest cabins, each featuring en suites, lounges and robes. A gymnasium is also situated forward.

The mid deck features an additional guest cabin and the captain’s suite. The immaculately appointed bridge has an elevated guest lounge and access to the external bridge wings and forward outdoor lounge. The aft end of the mid deck is dedicated to a luxurious owner’s suite with lounge, walk-in robe and desk. The owner’s suite has direct access to a private aft deck with day bed.

The sun deck features day beds, bar and barbecue. Tender storage and a crane are situated aft on this deck.



Below decks, Zenith’s crew members are well accommodated with a total of three cabins with en suites, laundry, crew galley and mess.

Zenith is powered by a pair of MTU 12V4000 engines and cruises at 20 knots, with her efficient hullform giving a range in excess of 3500nm.

Zenith is in Survey to Lloyds Register, under a Cayman Islands flag.

Zenith is an excellent example of Incat Crowther’s experience and expertise being involved in a collaborative process. Zenith is currently available for sale.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

A catamaran made out of 30,000 cans has set sail in Darwin, Australia, much to the astonishment of onlookers.

A catamaran made out of 30,000 cans has set sail in Australia.

''It's like a big relief. It's like now I can sit down and have a rest after six months (of work).''

The 2.5-ton boat, named Extravacanz, was launched at Dinah Beach, Darwin, and made an impression with onlookers, who were stunned to see it float.

Since the boat set sail on its maiden voyage it has appeared at the 2012 Beer Can Regatta at Mindil Beach and attracted hundreds of onlookers.

Skipper Mick Keely joked he was never worried about whether the catamaran would float before admitting it was a ''big relief''.

He told NT News: ''It's like a big relief. It's like now I can sit down and have a rest after six months (of work).''

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Hampton Roads fast ferry service pitched as viable commuter alternative to congestion

(Metro Marine Holdings,…)

July 19, 2012
By Jon Cawley, jcawley@dailypress.com
757-247-4635

CHESAPEAKE — The company behind a plan to introduce fast ferry service to Hampton Roads wants to perform a test run in October and says an introductory route connecting Peninsula and Southside docks could be operating in as little as a year.

But challenges remain that could delay or derail the proposal by Alexandria-based Metro Marine Holdings which has partnered with Norfolk By Boat, a company that providesHampton Roads Transit'spaddle wheel ferry service between Portsmouth and Norfolk.

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A presentation of plan specifics seemed well received by commissioners on the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization — at least in the sense no pointed comments or questions were posed. No action was taken at the meeting.

Metro Marine first pitched their idea two years ago for a series of fast ferry landing points that would connect multiple locations on both sides of the Hampton Roads harbor in order to provide commuters alternative options in an effort to alleviate congestion.

The 2010 proposal failed to gain traction, but it resurfaced this year when state Sen. Frank Wagner, R- Virginia Beach, sponsored a budget amendment that resulted in a $200,000 allocation to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation to plan and develop a fast ferry demonstration program.

Metro Marine is proposing a "concept proving route" that would connect locations in downtown Hampton and Newport News with Naval Station Norfolk, the Portsmouth Naval Hospital, and other locations in Suffolk and downtown Norfolk.

The company plans to use high speed catamaran-style boats that produce low wake/wash, use low emission diesel fuel and hold up to 149 passengers — a size typically employed in other metropolitan areas such as New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

Information provided by Metro Marine indicated a trip from the Newport News shipyard to Naval Station Norfolk would theoretically take about 17 minutes or 22 minutes from Hampton.

Robert "Bob" Heffley, of Metro Marine Holdings, said a lot of lessons have been learned from the company's previous foray into Hampton Roads ferry service — HarborLink offered a point to point service linking downtown Norfolk and Hampton from 1999 to 2002. It closed due to a lack of sufficient ridership.

All of the work so far has been theoretical, Heffley said, in advocating for a real world trial in October when a ferry that operates seasonally in Nantucket will pass through Hampton Roads on its way to Florida.

"You never know how it will work until you have an actual vessel on the water," he said. "Its critical to test in real world sea conditions."

Commercial marine traffic and pleasure boaters also must be considered in how the service would operate and night operations would be essential for a successful commuter service, Heffley said.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW


Western Australian (WA) ship builder Strategic Marine has signed a contract with repeat client Offshore Plant Hire for the construction of a 24 metre heavy duty offshore cargo catamaran.

The catamaran will be built at Strategic Marine's Singapore facility which is nearing the end of a major expansion program which will see the shipyard more than double its capacity. The vessel will be completed in the first quarter of 2013 and is expected to operate in WA’s North West.

The contract follows the delivery of a 27 metre work barge to Offshore Plant Hire earlier in 2012.

Designed by Australian company Global Marine Design, the vessel will service the burgeoning energy and resources sector and be used to transport cargo and personnel to and from inshore and offshore projects in the region.

Strategic Marine Chief Marketing Officer Terry O'Connor said he was extremely encouraged by the trend of winning repeat contracts with highly valued clients like Offshore Plant Hire.

"It demonstrates confidence in our ability to deliver quality products," Mr O'Connor said.

"Australia is one of our focus markets and continues to provide increased opportunities in vessel construction, heavy fabrication and engineering projects, as well as providing supply base and maritime logistic support to local markets, which is all part of our diversification strategy.

"Our board of directors are committed to this strategy, which will provide Strategic Marine with a more robust and flexible business model capable of tackling the challenging international market and economic forces we have all experienced over the past 12 months.

"I am pleased to say, that we have had an outstanding second quarter, signing multiple contracts and adding a total of 12 new vessels to our order book. Several of these contracts will be the subject of future announcements."

This latest announcement follows contracts awarded to Strategic Marine for fabrication and design work at John Holland’s coal seam gas (CSG) operations in Queensland on the QLNG and GLNG gas terminal projects and another to build pontoon structures for the Sydney Harbour Wharf Upgrade project.
About Strategic Marine

Established in 2001, Strategic Marine has grown from a West Australian based crayfishing boat builder to a multinational shipbuilder with operations in Australia, Vietnam, Mexico and Singapore. For more details visit:http://www.strategicmarine.com.au

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

We’re going on a seafari in North Berwick


Published on Tuesday 7 August 2012 12:00

 

A GRANDMOTHER from Pencaitland has come up with the name for a new seabird boat in North Berwick.

 

Building works for the new Scottish Seabird Centre and Seafari Adventures custom-built boat are well under way and the winning name for the catamaran is now revealed.

Margaret Bissett, a childminder, mum and gran submitted the winning name, coming up with Seafari Explorer.

This was selected by Seafari Adventures managing director, Colin Aston, and former chairman of the Scottish Seabird Centre, Rear Admiral Neil Rankin.

The new catamaran – a first for East Lothian – should be making its way to North Berwick in the coming months from its current berth in Southampton.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

A catamaran hit a pier on the River Thames, injuring 14 passengers, after the master used a control joystick known to be faulty, an accident report revealed today.

The vessel, Moon Clipper, was running late and the speed of its approach accentuated the effect of the steering control failure, the report from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said.

Distractions on the bridge adversely affected the master's reactions and crew resources were overloaded during the response to the emergency on the Thames in London on the night of October 5 last year, the report added.

Passengers were not mustered and a headcount was not taken prior to the passengers being allowed to disperse, the MAIB said.

Moon Clipper had departed London Bridge City Pier with 53 passengers on board and headed for Tower Millennium Pier on the opposite side of the river.

Approaching the pier, the vessel suffered a steering control failure and veered to port. During the master's attempts to regain control, the starboard main engine stalled and, five seconds later, the stem of Moon Clipper's port hull made heavy contact with the pier, causing her passengers and crew to be thrown forward.

Fourteen passengers and two crew suffered whiplash and/or minor injuries and the stem of the vessel's port hull was fractured.

The report said that earlier in the day, it was noticed that Moon Clipper's steering control joystick was sticking hard over, rather than centring when released.

The defect could not be immediately rectified but the vessel remained in service on the understanding that the helm wheel would be used to steer the vessel.

The report went on: "Moon Clipper veered to port because the master had reverted to using the joystick, which subsequently stuck hard over to port during the approach to the pier.

"The joystick had not been designed for continual operation, and its centring spring had failed."

The MAIB made a number of safety recommendations and added that the Thames Clippers company and the Port of London Authority had taken action.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW





The Athena pulls into Block Island's Old Harbor in a 2008 file photo.



Rhode Island's two most popular summer destinations will feel a whole lot closer to each other next summer, after Interstate Navigation introduces a new high-speed ferry service that will provide vacationers with a smoother ride, a quicker trip and more convenient travel times between Newport and Block Island.

The service is anticipated to begin running around July 1 of next year, says Joshua Linda, vice president of the Point Judith-based ferry company. The ride will take about an hour — half of the time it takes now. And with more trips, it’ll be possible for islanders to take a day trip to Newport, and easier for East Bay residents, as well as people from Massachusett's South Shore, to spend a day on-island.

“I think it’s a whole new market we’re going to tap,” said Linda. “People who wanted to make a day trip and go back that day had to go to Point Judith. Now they can travel in both directions to the island in one day.”

Rides between the two ports will be offered on a brand new addition to the ferry company’s fleet, an aluminum catamaran that has yet to be named, which will completely replace the current traditional ferry service aboard the Nelseco.

While the Nelseco travels at a speed of about 13 knots, resulting in a one-hour-and-50 minute trek across the seas, Linda estimates that the new vessel will be travelling at double the speed: around 27 knots. That’s similar to the Athena, the company’s other high-speed ferry, which spends summers racing between B.I. and Point Judith.

Nelseco’s a great boat,” said Linda, “but we feel the high-speed will achieve the full potential of a trip between the two spots.”

Good news for those that get seasick: the catamaran will provide a calmer journey — a particular improvement over the Manitou, which provided the service in the early 2000s. Shorter travel times, Linda noted, also help lessen the severity of motion sickness.

“I’d be the first one on that boat,” says Kathy Szabo, executive director of the Block Island Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve been talking about this for a long time. Years ago, when someone brought up high-speed services, we thought Newport would be a perfect fit. It’s such a great opportunity for everyone.”

Linda added that this plan has been in the works for several years. Interstate has had a license from the state to operate the service for years, but was waiting for the right vessel to make it possible. Based on market research, Linda believes the service will revive the Newport line, but shouldn’t adversely affect the company’s business at Point Judith.

Schedule and fares have yet to be determined, but the company says they'll be posted soon on the Block Island ferry website at blockislandferry.com.

 

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

The world's largest carbon catamaran has arrived in the Dalmatian city of Split after making the journey all the way from Norway, writes daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija.

"Krilo Carbo" is the world's largest carbon passenger catamaran in the world and its owners hope that within just a few weeks it becomes one of the fastest methods of transport to the Dalmatian and Kvarner islands in Croatia.

"It is hard to say at this stage what routes we will travel, but we will be in competition for the Split-Jelsa, Split-Lastovo, Split-Vis and Rijeka-Mali Losinj routes," says Ivica Tomic, owner of Krilo Carbo, whose son Luka will be the catamaran's first captain.

Krilo Carbo will be able to accomodate 350 passengers, and the total costs for building the 90 ton catamaran was 7.5 million Euros.

Tomic says that with this catamaran the company is waiting for Croatia's entry into the European Union, when then he says they will not only be competition on the Croatian coast, but also for international routes.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

INCAT Vessel Success on Taiwan Strait

Cross-Strait sea trips between Fujian province in China and Taiwan more than tripled in the first seven months of 2012, mainly due to the operation of a new express passenger liner, local transportation officials said Thursday. More than 90,000 people traveled by sea between Fujian and the main island of Taiwan from January to July this year. More than 16,800 made trips in the peak season of July, marking a rise of 446 percent year on year, statistics from the Fujian transportation bureau showed. Officials attributed the surge in cross-Strait travel to the operation of Haixia, an INCAT high-speed passenger ferry linking the city of Taichung in Taiwan and Pingtan county in Fujian since November last year. On average, more than 10,000 people have traveled on the Haixia every month since April, statistics show. The operator increased the ferry service to four times a week from June to August. [The Haixia is a 98 metre catamaran built in 2002 by INCAT of
Australia. It was originally operated by Bay Ferries in Canada as The Cat.]

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Feasibility of a catamaran service

Reaching Gozo takes several hours. Those of us who live in Malta can afford the time perhaps, but many tourists cannot.

I think that a catamaran service will be of great help to take tourists directly from the Grand Harbour to Gozo. It can start with a few trips a day and if it turns out to be successful, the frequency can be increased.

A stop in Buġibba would help, since many tourists rent apartments or stay in hotels there.

I hope a study will be carried out to see whether the catamaran service is feasible and whether it will promote tourism in Gozo.

I am sure it will be a very successful venture.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

A review of our timetables on both the Portsmouth-Fishbourne and Lymington-Yarmouth car ferry routes and the Portsmouth Harbour-Ryde Pier Head catamaran route has been undertaken, and a decision has been made to bring forward the winter timetables to 17 September (normally these come into effect on 5 November).

 

The changes have been necessary due to the significant fuel increases that we have incurred this year along with the inclement weather which combined with the economic downturn, has impacted our business. This is a trend which is affecting both the Isle of Wight and the UK as a whole and many businesses have had to adapt to remain viable.  Therefore we have had no option but to reduce our on-going costs wherever possible and by bringing the winter timetables forward to the middle of September, we can continue to operate a viable operation whilst crucially controlling our operating costs.

 

The main changes to the sailing schedules are as follows:

 

Portsmouth-Ryde - an hourly timetable being operated at weekends

 

Lymington-Yarmouth – a two boat service all week - with the exception of Friday 21 & Friday 28 September, where a three boat service will operate.  The 2025 sailing from Lymington and the 2115 sailing from Yarmouth has been withdrawn, with the exception of Fridays & Sundays

 

Portsmouth-Fishbourne – a three boat service in the mornings Tuesdays-Thursdays

 

We are aware that the change to our sailing times may not suit all of our passengers; unfortunately these changes are essential to ensure the future of the routes whilst minimising the impact for the majority of our passengers.

 

Wightlink would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause

 

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