September 27, 2007
Austal launches 50-knot ferry
The first of two Multi-Purpose Auto Express 65 meter high speed ferries built for the Sultanate of Oman has been launched at the Austal Image shipbuilding facility in Henderson, Western Australia.
Austal says that, with a top speed in excess of 50 knots (93 km/hr), the vessels will be the fastest diesel powered vehicle ferries ever built.
Scheduled for delivery in 2008, the two catamarans will provide a new tourism service to Oman's Musandam Peninsular and will be the flagships of Oman's expanded marine transport network.
The ferries carry 208 passengers and 56 cars on an intended 180 nautical mile route.
The ferries will offer three passenger classes--Tourist Class, First Class and VIP.
Seating and catering facilities are all located on a single deck, with seakeeping comfort enhanced by the Austal SeaState Motion Control System.
Onboard features also include a helicopter landing facility suitable for a medium class helicopter, which will be capable of assisting in search and rescue and medivac operations.
Each of the two vessels is powered by four MTU 20 cylinder 1163 series diesel engines each producing 6,500 kW and driving Rolls Royce / KaMeWa waterjets.
The vessels are being built in accordance with the requirements and under the survey of Det Norske Veritas, conforming to the International Maritime Organisation High Speed Craft code (HSC 2000).
The first vessel will arrive in Oman early next year.