VESSEL REVIEW | Marara – Compact utility ferry to serve New Zealand’s Bay of Islands

VESSEL REVIEW | Marara – Compact utility ferry to serve New Zealand’s Bay of Islands

Photo: Project Island Song

Project Island Song, a wildlife sanctuary management organisation operating in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, has begun operating a new compact workboat.

Built by compatriot company Kingfisher Boats, Marara will be used primarily for ferrying passengers to and from the islands in the Bay of Islands. Its secondary duties include pest surveillance and pest management on the islands, ensuring regular checks are completed and providing project members the ability to respond urgently to any incursions that may be detected.

Photo: Kingfisher Boats

The bespoke catamaran vessel has an LOA of 6.25 metres, a beam of 2.49 metres, and two Yamaha 85kW outboard engines, as well as a number of key features incorporated by the owner. These include extra wide gunnels to make it easier and safer for passengers to move around the vessel and a bow ladder to facilitate boarding and disembarking from beaches and unprepared shores. The anchor was offset to allow the installation of a larger waterproof access hatch on the foredeck so that supplies could be passed forward with ease.

The bench seating on board ensures that passengers can sit comfortably while enjoying the scenery. Boarding and disembarking can also be done through a stern access platform located between the Yamaha outboards.

Photo: Kingfisher Boats

An oversized cockpit provides ample storage space for various equipment. The boat itself can be transported by trailer, providing the operator with greater flexibility in deploying the vessel whenever and wherever required.

The electronics suite includes a Garmin radar.

Marara is built to New Zealand maritime survey standards and is approved for eight people including the coxswain, ensuring that the boat is safe for operation under a broad range of sailing conditions. Kingfisher said the vessel has been rigorously tested to meet high standards of safety and performance and is capable of handling rough seas and strong winds with ease.

Photo: Project Island Song

Click here to read other news stories, features, opinion articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s Passenger Vessel Week.

Type of vessel: Ferry
Flag: New Zealand
Owner: Project Island Song, New Zealand
Builder: Kingfisher Boats, New Zealand
Length overall: 6.25 metres
Beam: 2.49 metres
Main engines: 2 x Yamaha outboards, each 85 kW
Radar: Garmin
Crew: 1
Passengers: 7
Operational area: Bay of Islands, New Zealand

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