July 14, 2003

47 m RoPax

Philippines yard wins 47 m RoPax order
FBMA Babcock Marine, Cebu, Philippines, has commenced construction of a 47 m RoPax catamaran ferry for Sea Lease Limited of Hong Kong. This order is FBMA Babcock Marine's first vessel for Sea Lease and its first vehicle-passenger ferry,marking an important milestone in the yards continuing development.

FBMA Babcock Marine is a joint venture between FBM Babcock Marine of the UK and the Aboitiz Group of the Philippines. The shipyard opened in Arpili, Cebu in 1997 and has delivered high speed ferries and patrol boats to a variety of international customers

The 47 m RoPax, to be named "Seaway", will operate on a new service connecting Saipan and Tinian in the Northern Mariana Islands, by Islands Transport Inc.

"Seaway" will offer access to shallow port facilities, good speed and high maneuverability. The vessel will bring a new level of service to both the local population and the island's important tourist sector which is a major component of the economy of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The Northern Mariana Islands are in the Pacific Ocean. The Island of Tinian is located 6 miles south of Saipan and is 10.5 miles long by 5 miles at its widest point. Saipan is about 12.5 miles long and 5.5 miles wide, with a 54 mile coast line which is bound by a fringing reef on the western side. Saipan has 14 miles of magnificent beach.

The new vessel will have a capacity for up to 400 passengers and 32 cars, or 28 cars and 1 truck. Principal dimensions are:

  • Length overall: 52.0 m (including ramp)
  • Hull length: 47.0 m
  • Waterline length: 43.0 m
  • Beam (molded): 15.0 m
  • Draft (loaded): 1.8 m
  • Classification: Lloyds Register of Shipping

The vessel features a practical air-conditioned interior which includes seating areas, a kids' corral and a café/bar.

Built with a steel hull and an aluminum superstructure, the catamaran will have a service speed of 15knots and be powered by four Deutz 1015 v8 to four propellers.

The vessel's design is by Sea Transport Solutions of Queensland, Australia, and delivery will be in December 2003.

Craig Symonette of Sea Lease Limited said "FBMA Babcock Marine was selected for the build of the vessel due to the yards combination of proven excellent quality and highly competitive pricing." He continued, "A number of international shipyards were considered, with the FBMA Babcock Marine yard in Cebu, Philippines being the clear winner."

Doug Border, FBMA Babcock Marine general manager, said "This contract is good news for FBMA Babcock Marine and demonstrates the shipyards growing capability and competitiveness. Following on from the completion of three aluminum patrol vessels for Smit International and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, it shows the variety of vessels that the shipyard can competitively construct."

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