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Thursday, October 22, 2020 

Australian designer Incat Crowther has announced the launch of 'Coolgaree Cat', a 32m catamaran developed specifically for the Palm Island and Magnetic Island routes, in Queensland, Northern Australia.

Developed in close conjunction with the operator, Sealink Travel Group, the vessel offers critical improvements over those currently in service on the run. Optimised for through-life efficiency on the offshore Palm Island route, the vessel offers a more robust and sustainable addition to the fleet. Long-term value is enhanced by improved durability, with a clear focus on operational features including cargo handling, passenger vision, green water shedding, cleaning and maintenance. Operational costs are reduced with the lower fuel burn seen during sea trails, despite being a larger and stronger vessel than those it is replacing.

The vessel is fitted with twin Caterpillar C32 engines, delivering 970kW each. Propulsion is via fixed-pitch propellers. Capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots, she has a fuel-efficient fully loaded operational speed of 26 knots at only 60% MCR offering increased time between main engine overhauls.

Incat Crowther Technical Director, Dr Andrew Tuite said: “In partnership with the operations team at SeaLink in Townsville, Incat Crowther developed a functional robust ferry for unique operating conditions experienced to Palm Island. Incat Crowther is proud of the technically advanced Coolgaree Cat, designed specifically for the Queensland environment and built in Queensland using world’s best shipbuilding processes.”

Chris Briggs, GM Sealink North Queensland, said: “Coolgaree Cat has achieved the performance envelope we were aiming for and has actually exceeded our performance expectations in some areas. This result has been achieved through Incat Crowther’s willingness to combine SeaLink’s operational knowledge and experience with their expertise and industry-leading approach to designing aluminium passenger ferries.”

Incat Crowther has a long-standing relationship with the Sealink Travel Group, with several innovative vessel designs operating within the Sealink fleet.

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