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Master Cat

January 11, 2006

New owner for Incat wave piercer

A 91 m Incat wave piercing catamaran that is the current holder of the Hales Trophy is getting a new owner, a new paint job--and a massive duty-free shop.

Built in 1988 as Cat-Link V, the vessel took the Hales Trophy for the fastest Atlantic crossing on its delivery voyage and also set a new 24 hour steaming record--1,018. 5 nautical miles.

On delivery, Cat-Link V entered service between Arhus and Kalundborg, Denmark. The following year, the vessel's charter was taken over by Mols-Linien, it was switched to the Arhus--Odden route and renamed Mads Mols.

Now the ship is to enter service for another Scandinavian operator,

Master Ferries will take delivery of the vessel on March 1, 2006 for entry into service on a new route between Kristiansand in Norway and Hanstholm in Denmark in spring.

The new name of the first high speed vessel to bear the Master Ferries livery is Master Cat.

Svein Olaf Olsen, the CEO of Master Ferries commented, “Over recent months we inspected a variety of fast ferries from around the world, however we were attracted to the Incat 91 metre Wave Piercing Catamaran due to its speed, capacity, economy, reliability and perhaps most importantly, its seakeeping. The Skagerrak is one of the roughest stretches of water in the world and Incat Wave Piercing Catamarans are well known for their in service reliability on most of the western world’s roughest short sea routes. No other hull form comes close to matching the capabilities of the wave piercing catamaran-- one only has to look at the cross English Channel fast ferry market which is 100% Incat wave piercing catamarans.”

"Master Ferries is modeled on the highl"y successful low cost airline concept, especially adapted to the ferry world," said Olsen. There have been a number of successful low cost ferry operations started with Incat catamarans in the last two years. Master Ferries will be the first to bring this concept to Norway and we will do so with two fundamental differences. The first is that 50 percent of the passenger space will be allocated to Master Class, a first class ferry experience which includes a high quality buffet dining experience. The second is that there will be two huge duty free shops on board and these will sell hundreds of line items including perfumes, alcohol, foodstuffs, household goods and clothing".

Olsen said Master Ferries had chosen to purchase rather than charter Master Cat. We chose to purchase the vessel because "the Incat wave piercing catamarans have the highest residual values in the fast ferry industry" and ( it will give us a much stronger EBITDA ratio.”

Incat Chairman Robert Clifford says that with the sale of the vessel "Incat is once again in the situation where all our many wave piercing catamarans are fully employed."

“We now expect this demand for quality wave piercing catamarans to manifest into orders for new tonnage, not just from existing customers in Europe and North America, but from established operators in new markets, such as Asia and the Caribbean," he said.

“As interest in fast transportation continues to swell Incat is well placed to meet this demand,” Robert Clifford said.

Before delivery to Master Ferries the vessel is undergoing a major refurbishment. To take full advantage of Duty Free opportunities between the two countries a new shop will be provided in the aft cabin.

The vessel is powered by four MAN B&W Ruston 20RK270 diesel engines, each rated at 7,080 kW at 1030 rpm, driving four Wartsila Lips LJ145D waterjets through Renk ASL060 gearboxes. On sea trials an average speed of 48.1 knots (lightship) and 43 knots (465 tonnes deadweight) was achieved.