New Incat Catamaran Begins Delivery Voyage

The new Incat 112 metre Wave Piercing Catamaran for LD Lines, the Norman Arrow, has begun her delivery voyage to the United Kingdom and France.

The state-of-the-art ferry left Hobart at 18.50hrs on Saturday 2nd May at the start of an 11,726 nautical mile voyage to the English Channel ports of Dover and Boulogne. Sailing a course via South West Australia (Fremantle), Seychelles, Suez Canal and Malta (Valetta), the Norman Arrow is expected to arrive on the Dover Strait in just three weeks time.

When it begins service on LD Lines’ Dover-Boulogne route from 29th May the Norman Arrow will become the largest ever fast ferry to operate on the cross channel routes between England and France and the first-ever freight carrying high speed vessel across the Dover Straits.

She is also the world’s largest diesel-powered catamaran and the first Incat 112 metre craft to operate in Europe.

At nearly 11,000 gross tonnes the new craft is one of the largest vessels yet built by Incat, providing significantly greater sea keeping qualities and passenger comfort than earlier generation fast ferries familiar to Dover Strait passengers, a fact echoed by one of the Masters on board for the voyage, Capt Nick Dunn.

“It can match options given by standard ferries while retaining high speeds,” he said.

The new craft will operate at speeds of 40 knots, provide a crossing time of just one hour and has capacity for 1200 passengers, 417 cars, or combination of 195 cars and up to 30 freight vehicles.

Speaking before the vessel’s departure from Hobart, Incat Australia managing director Craig Clifford said the delivery of the Norman Arrow to LD Lines was a fantastic achievement for Incat and its workforce.

“It’s our latest and greatest vessel. We are proud of the fact that it will be operated by one of the world’s premier ferry companies,” he said.

The Norman Arrow has been specifically built for the European market by Incat for MGC Chartering an Irish based leasing company providing a wide range of financial solutions to ferry operators including longer term bareboat charters of both new and second hand vessels. MGC has over 25 years of experience in aviation leasing and in founding MGC Chartering has adapted that very successful aviation model to the needs of the ferry market.

Technical details:

Builder: Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd
Length overall: 112.60 metres;
Beam (moulded): 30.50 metres
Draft: approx: 3.93 metres;
Speed: approx 40 knots
Deadweight: 1000 tonnes – high speed operation
1000 -1450 tonnes – reduced speed ‘cargo-only’ operation
Passengers: 1200 including crew
Vehicles: 567 metres of freight plus 195 cars or total of 417 cars