VESSEL REVIEW | Reef Inspector – Expedition cruising catamaran for Great Barrier Reef tour operator

Photo: SeaCat Ships

Joint Thai- and Australian-owned shipbuilder SeaCat Ships has delivered an expedition catamaran designed for luxury offshore cruises in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

Designed by SeaSpeed Designs, the vessel has been appropriately named Reef Inspector due to its also being fitted with a dive compressor and scuba gear for use by guests visiting the popular coral reef lying off the coast of Queensland. Besides being used for offshore cruising, the catamaran can also sail on overnight charter voyages.

Photo: SeaCat Ships

The all-aluminium newbuild has an LOA of 22.24 metres, a beam of eight metres, a draught of 1.5 metres, and capacity for 80 passengers plus five crewmembers. When used for overnight charters, the passenger capacity is limited to 12 and a sixth crewmember will be embarked.

The designer incorporated a slightly raked bow to maximise the waterline length. The catamaran is thus capable of cutting through the water with enhanced seakeeping and low wake.

Photo: SeaCat Ships

The main deck has three VIP cabins all with king double beds and en suite toilets. Also located on this deck are a lounge area that converts into a four-berth cabin and a large custom-built aluminium galley and a dining area. The aft main dive deck has a large outdoor entertainment/dining area with dive bottle storage, a davit, and a dive tender.

The upper deck features walk-around sides with a large forward area, a whirlpool that converts into a large day bed, and aft decks with a seating area for al fresco dining.

The helm position is situated forward along with a lounge area and two double berths aft of this part of the vessel. The sunroof has an outdoor control station and an area for both deck chairs and solar panels. All internal spaces are meanwhile fully air-conditioned.

The vessel is powered by two Volvo D13 596kW diesel engines driving propellers via Twin Disc gearboxes to deliver a maximum speed of 30 knots and cruising speeds of between 10 and 25 knots. At a more economical 10 knots, a range of just over 3,000 nautical miles is possible.

Photo: SeaCat Ships

A Kohler 35EFK02D 35kVA generator supplies power for the onboard electronics, which include a Fusion sound system, ICOM radios, CCTV cameras, a Systems Advantage fire alarm, and a radar, a depth sounder, an autopilot, an AIS, and a GPS from Garmin. The catamaran also has two 50-person liferafts from Survitec and a 10-person rescue boat from Barefoot Inflatables.

Reef Inspector was designed and built in compliance to NSCV Class 2B/1C rules. The vessel has already begun operating with an undisclosed owner based in Cairns, Queensland.

Photo: SeaCat Ships
Reef Inspector
Type of vessel:Expedition cruise vessel
Classification:NSCV 2B/1C
Designer:SeaSpeed Designs, Australia/Thailand
Builder:SeaCat Ships, Australia/Thailand
Hull construction material:Aluminium
Superstructure construction material:Aluminium
Deck construction material:Aluminium
Length overall:22.24 metres
Beam:8.0 metres
Draught:1.5 metres
Main engines:2 x Volvo D13, each 596 kW
Gearboxes:2 x Twin Disc
Propulsion:2 x propellers
Generator:Kohler 35EFK02D, 35 kVA
Maximum speed:30 knots
Cruising speed:10 knots
Range:3,000 nautical miles
Depth sounder:Garmin
Alarm system:Systems Advantage
Liferafts:2 x Survitec
Rescue boat:Barefoot Inflatables
Type of fuel:Diesel
Accommodation:3 x VIP cabins; lounge; galley; dining areas
Operational area:Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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