VESSEL REVIEW | Tricia – New low-wash catamaran ferry joins Perth’s busy river fleet

VESSEL REVIEW | Tricia – New low-wash catamaran ferry joins Perth’s busy river fleet

Best Small Ferry – Tricia

A new passenger ferry has been introduced to the public transport system in Perth, Western Australia. Tricia, built by Dongara Marine, is the third ferry in the Transperth fleet, joining two other low-wash catamarans introduced in 1997 and 2009.

Operating across the Swan River between Elizabeth Quay and South Perth, the 23.7-metre aluminium catamaran can carry up to 148 passengers and has a loaded top speed in excess of 16 knots.

With two catamaran ferries each providing departures every 15 minutes in peak periods, the route carried more than 648,000 passengers in 2018. The clientele mixes commuters and leisure travellers, including the many locals and tourists of all ages who use the ferries to reach Perth Zoo from the city’s CBD.

While currently operating solely on that route, the ferry has been designed and equipped to be suitable for longer journeys should Transperth’s operation expand in the future. This includes being faster and longer than the previous vessels, and the addition of a toilet.

In addition to meeting disabled access and National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) Class 2E survey requirements, Southerly Designs developed the catamaran within strict constraints. Operational needs dictated low air draught, compatibility with existing shore infrastructure, and being able to operate with only a master. The Public Transport Authority further required that the vessel’s appearance and layout was in keeping with the existing ferries.

The build required the integration of Transperth’s electronic ticketing, public address, and networked CCTV systems, and providing seating commonality with its existing ferries, buses, and trains.

One of the two Cummins QSB6.7 main engines

After completing a trade study considering technical, commercial, fuel consumption, and through-life support considerations, Dongara Marine opted to power the ferry with a pair of Cummins QSB6.7 diesel engines at the heavy duty rating of 184kW. These power Veem propellers via Twin Disc MGX5065 gearboxes.

Side-Power bow thrusters enhance manoeuvrability. Tricia achieved a speed of 16.5 knots knots on trials at 71 per cent MCR and 85 per cent load.

The ferry is set up for operation by a single crew member

All controls are centralised in a compact wheelhouse on the starboard side, an arrangement that enables the master to dock the ferry singlehandedly and monitor passenger flows without leaving the control station.

Principal navigation tools include a Simrad NSS touch screen multifunction display that incorporates GPS, electronics charts, and CHIRP-enabled broadband sounder and interfaces with the Simrad Halo pulse compression radar.

A Poseidon system from Oceanic Systems enables alarm, monitoring and control of the ferry’s various systems. Roof-mounted panels provide solar power for charging the ferry’s batteries and CCTV system.

More stories from the current Passenger Vessel Week here

Type of vessel: Passenger ferry
Classification: AMSA 1E
Flag: Australia
Owner: Public Transport Authority Western Australia
Operator Captain Cook Cruises, Australia
Designer: Southerly Designs, Australia
CAD software: Ship Constructor
Builder: Dongara Marine, Australia
Construction material: Aluminium
Length overall: 23.9 metres
Length waterline: 23.7 metres
Beam: 5.5 metres
Draught: 1.2 metres
Displacement: 26 tonnes
Main engines: 2 x Cummins QSB 6.7, each184 kW
Gearboxes: 2 x Twin Disc MGX5065SC
Propulsion: Twin screw
Side thrusters: Side Power SE 210
Steering system: Hydraulic
Maximum speed: 19.5 knots
Cruising speed: 12 knots
Hydraulic equipment: Supplied by Offshore Hydraulics
Electronics supplied by: Geraldton Marine Electronics
Radar: Simrad
Depth sounder: Simrad
Radio: Icom
Plotters: Simrad
Other electronics: Oceanic Control System
Capstan/windlass: Muir VC850
Paints/coatings: Jotun Xtreme Gloss
Windows: Windows West
Seating: McConnel Seats
Lighting: Hella
Floor/deck surface finishes: Flotex Carpet
Type of fuel: Diesel
Fuel capacity: 2,000 litres
Freshwater capacity: 800 litres
Sewage/blackwater capacity: 400 litres
Crew: 2
Passengers: 148

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