Incat Sells 91 Metre Wave Piercing Catamaran – New Norwegian Operator acquires former ‘Mads Mols’ for low cost operation

Leading high speed ship specialist Incat is pleased to announce the sale of a 91 metre Wave Piercing Catamaran to a new European customer. Master Ferries will take delivery of the vessel on 1 March 2006 for entry into service on their new route between Kristiansand in Norway and Hanstholm in Denmark in spring.

The new name of the first high speed vessel to bear the Master Ferries livery is Master Cat but the ship itself is already familiar in the Scandinavian community.

The current holder of the Hales Trophy for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by a passenger vessel, the ferry was built in 1998 as Cat-Link V and she not only established a new record for the ocean crossing but also set a new 24 hour steaming record taking the distance over the 1000 nautical miles barrier to 1018.5 nautical miles. The record breaker immediately entered service between Århus and Kalundborg. The following year saw the charter transferred to Mols-Linien and renamed Mads Mols the vessel switched to the Århus to Odden route.

Svein Olaf Olsen, the CEO of Master Ferries commented, “Over recent months we inspected a variety of fast ferries from around the world, however we were attracted to the Incat 91 metre Wave Piercing Catamaran due to its speed, capacity, economy, reliability and perhaps most importantly, its seakeeping. The Skagerrak is one of the roughest stretches of water in the world and Incat Wave Piercing Catamarans are well known for their in service reliability on most of the western world’s roughest short sea routes. No other hull form comes close to matching the capabilities of the Wave Piercing Catamaran — one only has to look at the cross English Channel fast ferry market which is 100% Incat Wave Piercing Catamarans.”

Mr Olsen continued, “Master Ferries is modelled on the highly successful low cost airline concept, especially adapted to the ferry world. There have been a number of successful low cost ferry operations started with Incat catamarans in the last two years. Master Ferries will be the first to bring this concept to Norway and we will do so with two fundamental differences. The first is that 50% of the passenger space will be allocated to Master Class, a first class ferry experience which includes a high quality buffet dining experience. The second is that there will be two huge duty free shops on board and these will sell hundreds of line items including perfumes, alcohol, foodstuffs, household goods and clothing.

“Master Ferries had the option to either purchase or charter Master Cat. We chose to purchase the vessel for two primary reasons, (1) the Incat Wave Piercing Catamarans have the highest residual values in the fast ferry industry and (2) it will give us a much stronger EBITDA ratio,” Mr Olsen said.

Mr Olsen concluded by saying “We will revolutionise transport to and from Norway, our fares pegged at a highly competitive price.”

Coming off charter to Mols-Linien in July 2005 put the former Mads Mols in a very fortunate position, says Incat Europe Managing Director Leith Thompson. “With there being no other equally capable ship available in the market for immediate delivery the vessel was in demand with no less that half a dozen operators inspecting her for service in 2006,” he said.

Incat Chairman Robert Clifford echoed this view. “Within weeks of becoming available the vessel was the subject of much attention and with her sale Incat is once again in the situation where all our many Wave Piercing Catamarans are fully employed.

“We now expect this demand for quality Wave Piercing Catamarans to manifest into orders for new tonnage, not just from existing customers in Europe and North America, but from established operators in new markets, such as Asia and the Caribbean.

“As interest in fast transportation continues to swell Incat is well placed to meet this demand,” Robert Clifford said.

Before delivery to Master Ferries the vessel is undergoing a major refurbishment. To take full advantage of Duty Free opportunities between the two countries a new shop will be provided in the aft cabin.

The vessel is powered by four MAN B&W Ruston 20RK270 diesel engines, each rated at 7,080 kW at 1030 rpm, driving four Wartsila Lips LJ145D waterjets through Renk ASL060 gearboxes. On sea trials an average speed of 48.1 knots (lightship) and 43 knots (465 tonnes deadweight) was achieved.

Built : Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd, in Hobart 1998
LOA: 91.27 metres
Beam: 26.36 metres
Draft: 3.73 m loaded
Deadweight: 486 tonnes approx
Gross Tonnage: 5617 tonnes
Net Tonnage: 2311 tonnes
Persons: Up to 900
Vehicle deck: 220 cars or combination of cars and up to four buses
Speed – max: 48 knots @ 100% mcr @ lightship
Speed – service: 39.2 knots @ 85% mcr @ full deadweight
Certification: DNV +1A1 HSLC R1 Car Ferry A EO
IMO number: 9176060

DNV Speed / Wave Height Parameters
38 knots: 0.0 — 2.5 SWH
34 knots: 2.5 — 3.0 SWH
29 knots: 3.0 — 4.0 SWH
25 knots: 4.0 — 5.0 SWH
Seek Shelter 5.0 + SWH