VESSEL REVIEW | Pyrmont Bay and White Bay – “Tubby” catamaran ferries for Sydney Harbour

VESSEL REVIEW | Pyrmont Bay and White Bay – “Tubby” catamaran ferries for Sydney Harbour

For the last 100 years, Sydney ferries have been designed and built to meet peak load demand.

This has driven a largely inefficient, low frequency service, as these large vessels cannot be operated to grow frequency. Smaller vessels permit greater frequency of service and lower cost of operation.

Thus, local operator Captain Cook Cruises Sydney, part of the Sealink Group, sought a builder to deliver it an enhanced version of its recently created design for a single operator, high-speed water bus.

The Tubby-class is a vessel designed to meet a perceived future need for more efficient, regular water transport. They operate in Sydney on daily scheduled tourism and ferry services.

They were designed to be operated single handed by a coxswain. The Tubby-class can carry 60 passengers, operate at 22 knots, is low wash and designed to operate in shallow waters. They have been designed to be the perfect vessel to meet the burgeoning growth in on-demand transport services.

Pyrmont Bay and White Bay are the first two newbuilds built to the upgraded design, and came from the boatyard of Harwood Marine. Each is fitted with internal seating for 30 passengers, and room for 15 standing passengers. Externally, there is seating for a further 15 passengers, as well as two spaces for disabled passengers (wheelchair access).

Accommodation spaces and the helm position on the vessel are finished to a basic commercial standard, and finishing materials kept simple and robust for ease of cleaning. Exterior decks are coated with non-skid paint.

The owner wanted the builder to provide input into the vessel design, to use Harwood’s knowledge to improve upon what had been a very successful prototype of a vessel for the future.

The owner told that Harwood Marine provided that with the addition of enhancements to the engine room layout, piping arrangements, positioning of equipment and the fitting of adjustable interceptors, which have provided an improvement to the vessels’ operating wash characteristics, speed and fuel efficiency.

Pyrmont Bay and White Bay measure in at 11.95 metres in length overall and 5.0 metres in beam, with draughts of 0.8 metres and depths of 1.5 metres. They are Australian-flagged and built to local AMSA NSCV 1E survey.

The propulsion package comprises a pair of Cummins QSB 6.7s driving five-blade propellers. The owner chose a V-drive setup using Twin Disc gearboxes to ensure shaft alignment issues were minimised.

With their unique look and versatility, Pyrmont Bay and White Bay are bound to be a popular option for Sydney tourists and locals alike.

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Pyrmont Bay and White Bay
Type of vessel:Ferry/tourist boat
In survey to:NSCV 1E
Home port:Sydney, Australia
Owner:Captain Cook Cruises Sydney (Sea Link), Australia
Designer:Incat Crowther, Australia
Builder:Harwood Marine, Australia
Construction material:Marine grade aluminium
Length overall:12.5 metres
Length waterline:12.5 metres
Length:12.5 metres
Beam:5.0 metres
Draught:0.8 metres
Depth:1.5 metres
Displacement:17.8 tonnes (full load)
Main engines:2 x Cummins QSB 6.7
Gearboxes:2 x Twin Disc MGX5075V
Propulsion:2-foil propeller
Exhaust system:Wet
Maximum speed:23.5 knots
Cruising speed:18.5 knots
Electronics supplied by:EMS
Depth sounder:Furuno
Seating:30 x Beurteaux
Fuel capacity:2 x 470 litres

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