Medium speed Austal catamaran for Tahiti

08 Feb 2012
Austal’s existing customer Aremiti has ordered an 80m 20-knot catamaran for its inter-island service

Austal’s existing customer Aremiti has ordered an 80m 20-knot catamaran for its inter-island service

Shipbuilder Austal of Western Australia has secured an order from an existing customer, French Polynesia operator SNC Aremiti Ferry, for a medium speed 80m vehicle-passenger catamaran ferry, for October 2013 delivery.

With a fully loaded speed of 20 knots, the ferry is designed for efficiency and advantageous operating costs rather than outright speed. Austal says that its high-speed ferry experience in aluminium construction and multihull vessel design, with over 220 vessels including more than130 catamarans and trimarans produced, can be leveraged to provide an efficient hullform and optimised propulsion system for medium speed ro-pax applications.

The ferry will be powered by four MTU 16V 4000 M53R engines coupled to fixed pitch propellers. Four rudders and twin bow thrusters will provide manoeuvrability. Austal’s own ride control system, comprising forward T-foils and aft interceptors, will allow trim to be adjusted to enhance operating efficiency.

With a capacity for up to 967 passengers and up to 146 cars, or a mix of cars and trucks, the new GL-classed ferry will sail under the French flag and its design will meet EU domestic voyage rule requirements, including those for carriage of hazardous cargoes. Bow and stern ramps will allow drive-through operation, with the vehicle deck featuring hoistable mezzanine decks and 228 lane-metres suitable for trucks weighing up to 50tonnes. Passenger seating will be provided on two decks, with catering facilities. Crew facilities include a laundry and separate crew and officers mess areas.

Austal says that this is the fourth of its vessels sold to Aremiti and its associated companies. The new ferry is expected to operate alongside an existing Austal catamaran between Tahiti and Moorea.

Austal CEO Andrew Bellamy said he was happy to be welcoming Aremiti back as a customer and said the contract provided further evidence that the company’s strategy was working: “Repeat business is the ultimate measure of customer satisfaction, and so it is particularly gratifying that our first two new contracts for the year have come from existing clients.

“Austal has identified medium speed ferries and wind farm vessels as areas where we can apply our skills to create growth within the business. These two new orders show that our strategy of continuing to apply and expand our portfolio of intellectual property through product development and research is paying dividends,” said Bellamy. “It is helping us to build upon our very substantial defence shipbuilding order book by securing orders from the commercial vessel sector.”

Aremiti has been operating shipping services between Tahiti and Moorea since 1991. Its current fleet includes the 56m high speed ferry Aremiti 5 which Austal delivered in 2004.

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