October 3, 2003
Milestone for CATS ferry
The Canadian American Transportation Systems (CATS) high-speed fast ferry marked an important milestone this weekend when it was unveiled to the publicfor the first time.
The ferry, being prepared to embark on its journey to Lake Ontario, leaves the Building Bay at Austal shipyards in Perth, Australia on Thursday evening and will undergo a final fitting for masts and exhausts, before being launched and towed to its berth on Sunday, October 5, 2003.
The ferry will spend another eight weeks undergoing final construction, such as final machinery alignment and testing of all equipment and safety systems. In addition, the finishing touches will be added to the accommodation areas before it leaves Perth for Rochester, New York. It is expected to arrive in April of 2004.
"This is an important day for CATS, taking us one step closer to the Spring 2004 launch of our international high speed ferry service connecting Toronto and Rochester, and signaling a new age of transportation and complementary community development between Ontario and New York State," says Howard Thomas, president, CATS. "Our research shows that the service will be an important stimulus for both economies, representing millions of dollars in incremental tourism spending and creating potentially more than 1,300 jobs in the sector on both sides of the border.
The CATS high-speed ferry was built by Austal Ships of Australia, one of the world's largest builders of fast ferries. When the service launches, it will hold 774 passengers, 238 cars or 10 trucks and reduced number of cars, manned by a crew of 26, traveling at a speed of over 42 knots (50+ mph).