Low impact Sydney ferries offer hop-on, hop-off service

Written by Nick Blenkey
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12 m ferries have a low draft and generate very low wake

JANUARY 25, 2017 — Australia’s Richardson Devine Marine shipyard has delivered a pair of 12 m ferries, the Cockle Bay and Blackwattle Bay, to Captain Cook Cruises. Designed by Incat Crowther, they are the first in a new class of small low impact ferries built to serve Sydney’s rapidly developing Bays Precinct.

Designed for low capital and operating cost, the vessels are sized to perform the role of a water taxi, offering services on a more on-demand basis than can be performed by larger ferries.

Generating very low wash, the vessels also have a very low draft, and is capable of serving Bay Precinct areas previously overlooked by traditional ferry services.

They will provide an on-demand, hop-on, hop-off service, like a traditional bus service.

With the captain situated adjacent to the boarding areas, operational visibility is excellent and berthing is close at hand. Boarding and disembarkation of the vessels is fast and safe, with large doors and interior seats arranged in longitudinal rows through the cabin so as to not obstruct passenger flow.

The main cabin provides 30 seats, with large sliding doors aft leading to an exterior space with15 seats. In additional to the fixed seats, the vessels can accommodate 15 standing passengers.

Cabin ventilation is by specially designed and positioned dorade boxes that capitalize on cool sea air at water level. The reduced HVAC burden eliminates the need for a generator and keeps the vessel’s weight, fuel burn and cost to a minimum.

The vessels are fitted with a pair of Cummins QSB 6.7L main engines, driving Twin Disc gearboxes.

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