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Repeat ferry order for Austal
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 15:17

Austal has secured an order for a highly efficient medium-speed vehicle-passenger ferry with French Polynesian operator SNC Aremiti Ferry. The catamaran is scheduled for delivery in October 2013.

This is the fourth vessel Austal has sold to Aremiti and its associated companies. With capacity for up to 967 passengers and up to 146 cars, or a mix of cars and trucks, the ferry is expected to operate alongside an existing Austal catamaran between the islands of Tahiti and Moorea, expanding access to the area for locals, tourists and business operators. In addition to enabling local tourism and personal transport, the ferry will support inter-island trade.

The vessel will have a length overall of 79.6 metres and a beam of 17.0 metres, with a depth of 5.9 metres and a draught of 3.5 metres. The new ferry will be French-flagged and designed to meet EU domestic voyage rule requirements. The vessel will have substantial truck capacity and will be certified to carry dangerous goods including flammable gasses and flammable liquids. With bow and stern ramps enabling drive through operation, the vehicle deck features hoistable mezzanine decks and nearly 230 freight lane-metres suitable for trucks weighing up to 50 tonnes.

Passenger seating will be split over two levels, with the bridge deck accommodating up to 435 passengers in one spacious lounge. The 532 passengers on the upper deck will be divided between two lounges, increasing comfort and reducing passenger disruption. The aft section features table and chair arrangements as well as tub and lounge style seating, with the forward section predominantly aircraft style seating.

The design meets the latest EU regulations governing access for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility. This includes providing facilities for up to 24 passengers in wheelchairs, with a lift aft providing access between the main, upper and bridge decks.

With a fully loaded speed of 20 knots, the ferry will be powered by four MTU 16V 4000 M53R engines coupled to fixed pitch propellers. Four rudders and twin bow thrusters combine to provide excellent manoeuvrability. The Austal ride control system, comprising of forward T-foils and aft interceptors, will enhance passenger comfort by reducing vessel motions, and enables trim to be adjusted to enhance operating efficiency.

Aremiti has been operating shipping services between Tahiti and Moorea since 1991. Its current fleet includes the 56-metre high speed ferry ‘Aremiti 5’, which Austal delivered in 2004.