Aluminium Boats Australia (ABA) has delivered its latest ferry; a 24 metre Eco-Jet commuter catamaran designed by Sydney-based One2three Naval Architects. The Kurrowera I is the third of four vessels built for Bay Islands Transit Systems (BITS) services in Queensland’s Moreton Bay Marine Park.
The first of the four new ABA fast waterbuses for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, the Jumpinpin, entered service in May 2009, being joined by the second, the Perulpa, last September.
Custom designed and built for Moreton Bay’s environmentally sensitive waters, with particular attention to protecting dugongs and turtles in the shallows of the southern part of the bay, the ABA sisters deliver an optimum solution for any area where there are shallow waters and an environment at risk.
Director of Transit Systems Pty Ltd, owner of the BITS ferry service, Graham Leishman said, "The ferries have been designed to move at speed but in a way that simply pushes a turtle or dugong to one side rather than harming it."
The waterbuses offer large carrying capacity; up to 200 passengers on short trips, while delivering low fuel consumption. Aluminium Boats Australia Director Roy Whitewood comments, “They are remarkably easy on the fuel because weight has been kept to an absolute minimum.”
Like her sisters, the Kurrowera I is powered by two Scania DI12 59M diesel engines, each rated 331kW at 100% MCR. Delivering swift acceleration they quickly work up to a service speed of 22 knots and in a notable first they are the first vessels to meet stringent requirements permitting them to run within their operational corridor inside the Moreton Bay Marine Park at maximum speed.
Via Twin Disc MG 5114 SC gearboxes, engine power is converted to propulsion thrust through two HamiltonJet HJ 364 waterjets. Jet control is enhanced by the HamiltonJet blueARROW electronic control system. With the intuitive control provided by the MouseBoat manoeuvring controller, blue ARROW reduces the learning curve for masters and makes docking simple, fast and accurate.
As always at ABA, operational experience delivers improvements to new vessels and several enhancements have been adopted on the Kurrowera I. A new, second generation, hull shape from the drawing boards of One2three Design has provided enhanced fuel efficiency and indeed with the same power the Kurrowera 1 is faster than her earlier sisters by approximately 1.5 knots.
From a passenger point of view the craft is instantly distinguishable from her sisters thanks to her enhanced external styling, larger boarding access ways, increased headroom in the fully composite cabin and larger windows creating an impressive sense of light and space.
Operating on an intensive daily schedule servicing all islands in the Southern Moreton Bay group, the waterbuses have been well received by their passengers and crews alike. The fourth vessel, currently under construction, is schedule for delivery in June.
Principal Particulars: Kurrowera I.
Aluminium Boats Australia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
One2three Naval Architects, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia