SeaLink Travel Group (“SeaLink”), Australia’s largest ferry operator, will undertake the final engineering inspection of the new “Coolgaree Cat”, a 32 metre long vessel, purpose-designed and built for its Palm Island operations.
SeaLink Travel Group North Queensland General Manager Chris Briggs will inspect the nearly complete vessel, which is named after the main bay of Palm Island and can carry approx. 320 people. It is valued at just over $7 million.
The vessel represents a culmination of efforts from the designer, Incat Crowther, to the ship builder at Thornlands, Aluminium Marine, and SeaLink Travel Group.
SeaLink Travel Group CEO Clint Feuerherdt said the vessels was not only purpose designed for specific Palm Island seakeeping conditions, but also proudly manufactured in Queensland.
“We have taken our extensive knowledge of local operating conditions, and worked with the world-renowned naval architects and engineers at Incat Crowther, to produce a locally manufactured vessel that is purpose-built for Palm Island.
“We’re incredibly proud to have been able to continue building the vessel through COVID-19 restrictions, keeping the team at the shipping yard employed, and we look forward to bringing the “Coolgaree Cat” up to Palm Island to further support the local community and a return to tourism,” he said.
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. The team used the project to support Aluminium Marine, and the Queensland shipbuilding industry, as it transforms from a traditional shipbuilding industry into a smart-ship manufacturing sector. 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.”
Aluminium Marine owner and ship builder Steve Cordingley said he was proud to produce a world-class vessel from his Queensland workshop.
“Working on the Coolgaree Cat has been an incredibly rewarding experience, especially as it has meant our team could safely continue working throughout the COVID-19 restrictions.