April 28, 2009
112 m Incat for Dover-Boulogne route
France's LD Lines is to start operating the largest ever fast ferry to operate on the cross channel routes between England and France. The 112 m Incat catamaran will enter service between Dover and Boulogne on May 29. The new fast ferry will be the first-ever freight carrying high speed vessel to operate across the Dover Straits and LD Lines becomes the first-ever French ferry company to operate high speed ferries on the short sea routes from Dover.
The vessel is also the world's largest diesel-powered catamaran and it is the first Incat 112 metre to operate in Europe.
At nearly 11,000 gross tonnes the new craft is one of the largest vessels yet built by Incat, providing significantly greater seakeeping qualities and passenger comfort than earlier generation fast ferries familiar to Dover Strait passengers. LD Lines' new Dover-Boulogne service will be greatly enhanced as the new fast ferry will increase frequency from the current two to six return sailings daily. All types of tourist traffic will be carried including cars, caravans, motorhomes, coaches and foot passengers, in addition to freight.
The fast ferry will operate up to four return sailings daily between Dover (Eastern Docks) and Boulogne with a crossing time of one hour. Two return sailings daily to Boulogne and one to Dieppe (Monday Ð Friday) will continue to be operated by the conventional ferry, which introduced the earlier than planned start of the new Dover Ð Boulogne service in February 2009. Crossing time by conventional ferry is 1 hour 45 minutes. Both vessels will initially operate into the Port of Boulogne's existing ferry berths, but following completion of Boulogne's new Hub Port Ro Ro terminal from 1 July 2009, the Incat fast ferry will then transfer to inaugurate and operate into the first linkspan of the new Hub Port Terminal. The conventional ferry will continue to operate into the current Port of Boulogne berth.
The LD Lines Incat 112 m cat (Hull 066) has been specifically built for the European market by Incat for MGC Chartering an Irish based leasing company providing a range of services to ferry operators including longer term bareboat charters of both new and second hand vessels. MGC has over 25 years of experience in aviation leasing and in founding MGC Chartering has adapted its aviation model to the ferry market.
The new craft will operate at speeds of approximately 40 knots providing capacity for up to 417 cars or 567 lane m of truck space and 195 cars. The accommodation is designed to cater for up to 1,200 passengers.
Builder: Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd
Length overall: 112.60 m
Beam (molded): 30.50 m
Draft: approx: 3.93 m
Speed: approx 40 knots
Deadweight: 1,000 tonnes -- high speed operation, 1,000 --1.450 tonnes-- reduced speed 'cargo-only' operation Passengers: 1,200 including crew
Vehicles: 567 m of freight plus 195 cars or total of 417 cars