May 20, 2008
SpeedFerries buys SpeedOne from Incat
SpeedFerries, the low-cost English Channel ferry operator, has purchased the 86 meter wave piercing catamaran SpeedOne from Incat.
SpeedOne is Incat hull 045. In May 1999 she was chartered at short notice by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and over the next two years, as HMAS Jervis Bay, became pivotal in the initial deployment of Australian and other forces to East Timor. She was the first naval vessel to berth alongside the Dili wharf, when on September 21,1999,
These operations opened the eyes of the worldwide military to the potential of High Speed Craft to perform a range of military roles--leading to programs such as the U.S. military's current JHSV (Joint High Speed Vessel).
Returning to commercial operation, 2002 saw Incat 045 leaving Australia for Italy where she operated for a season on charter. At the end of the season she was moved to the British port of Portland for lay-up pending sale or charter.
In May 2004, SpeedFerries began sailings between Dover and Boulogne with Incat 045 on charter from Incat as SpeedOne. Her arrival saw prices falling by up to 50 percent and SpeedFerries quickly claiming a 12 percent of the highly competitive cross-Channel passenger vehicle market.
The vessel's purchase from Incat marks a UKP 13.5 million investment for SpeedFerries and follows a recent move to a dedicated and exclusive terminal at Dover's Western Docks. The next stage in the company's development will be to obtain a second Incat vessel to partner SpeedOne, bringing a higher frequency of sailings and possible new route opportunities.