Incat Tasmania has been contracted by Japanese ferry operator Sado Kisen for the construction of an 85-metre wave piercing catamaran for operation on the 39 nautical mile route from Naoetsu Port in the Niigata prefecture to Ogi, the southernmost port of Sado Island.
The 85-metre wave piercing catamaran will comfortably transport 700 passengers to Sado Island and also has capacity for 7 large trucks and 98 cars; the ship can carry 173 cars in car-only configuration including mezzanine decks.
A longstanding and respected operator in Japan, with origins from the Sado Steam Ship Company, Sado Kisen has a fleet of conventional car ferries and jet foils. With an operating speed of 30 to 34 knots the new Incat Hull 068 will be Sado Kisen’s first high-speed vehicle and passenger ferry.
The 85-metre vessel was selected following a competitive international tender process, which prioritised a proven hull form and sea-keeping, reliability, efficiency, heavy freight capacity, barrier-free access, minimal crewing, timely delivery and the ability to integrate with existing port infrastructure.
The Incat ferry will operate a year-round service replacing the 1995-built conventional 120-metre car ferry Kogane Maru. Although the Naoetsu to Ogi service will be the vessel’s main route, she will also support the Niigata to Ryotsu route on a seasonal basis.
Incat Chairman Robert Clifford and Managing Director Craig Clifford were both present at the signing ceremony in Niigata. The ship will be ready for delivery in 2015.
Incat will be expanding the production team, including taking on new apprentices in 2014 as the shipyard is also currently building a 70-metre fast crewboat for delivery to the oil and gas industry in Azerbaijan in late 2014.