March 24, 2005
Austal launches Highspeed 5
The Auto Express 85 fast car ferry Highspeed 5, just launched at Austal's Henderson, West Australia, shipyard is the fifth fast ferry the shipbuilder has built for Greek ferry operator Hellas Flying Dolphins, which has recently rebranded its operations under the new name Hellenic Seaways.
Scheduled for delivery in May, the 85 meter catamaran will enter service following its delivery voyage from Australia to Greece. Its operations will include a fast ferry service linking Piraeus with Chania, Crete. This service was recently inaugurated by the Austal Auto Express 92 Highspeed 4 (delivered in July 2000).
The new Highspeed 5 will be able to carry 810 passengers and 154 cars and will be capable of 39 knots when loaded.
The catamaran's propulsion consists of four Caterpillar 3618 diesels each driving a Rolls-Royce Kamewa waterjet via a Reintjes gearbox.
Austal's currentl workload oncludes high speed catamaran ferries for Virtu Ferries (Malta), Hawaii Superferry (USA) and two for L'Express des Iles (Guadeloupe). A 127 metre trimaran fast ferry for Fred. Olsen, SA (Spain) is expected to depart for the Canary Islands shortly. Also on order are 12 naval patrol boats for the Royal Australian Navy and a 38 m research/pleasure vessel for a private owner