Incat Crowther is pleased to announce the launch of Coolgaree Cat, a robust 32m catamaran developed specifically for the Palm Island and Magnetic Island runs, operated from Townsville 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 is a more robust and sustainable addition to the Sealink 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.

Boarding is via stern side gates or a port side midship boarding door. The main deck features 206 seats in a mix of booth and forward-facing, with deep windows giving the cabin a light and airy feel. There is a large kiosk aft, in addition to multiple storage areas.

The upper deck seats 86 passengers in a mix of lounges and regular seats. 26 exterior seats are available on the upper aft deck. The bulk of the aft deck is dedicated to containerized freight stowage, with space for 12 luggage trolleys and a cool room for a further 3. The aft end coamings of this deck have been reinforced to cope with the impact of the trolleys whilst loading gates are specifically located o work with existing infrastructure.

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, General Manager of 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, earning the company’s trust through proven well-considered and innovative vessel designs operating within the Sealink fleet.