Austal delivers its largest catamaran yet


Austal has handed over the largest catamaran it has thus far built, the 113 m "Leonora Christina," to Danish company Faergen (formerly Nordic Ferry Services) and is due to depart Austal's Henderson, Australia, shipyard for Denmark, where it will be operated by Bornholmer Faergen, a subsidiary of Faergen. The high speed vehicle-passenger ferry will join the 86 m Austal-built catamaran, "Villum Clausen", which has been transporting vehicles and passengers between Ronne on the Danish island of Bornholm and Ystad in south east Sweden since 2000.

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Senior Captain Soren Schow, of Bornholmer Faergen, will command the vessel on its 22 day voyage from Western Australia to Denmark  with a crew of 12,.

"Having spent a significant amount of time at Austal during the construction of 'Leonora Christina,' I am confident that this vessel will perform well and exceed the expectations of the Bornholm public," said Senior Captain Schow.

"After participating in recent sea trials, I am satisfied that 'Leonora Christina' has fulfilled its speed requirements, while its proven seakeeping capabilities will ensure maximum passenger comfort throughout the 90 minute journey from Bornholm to Ystad," he added .

Austal Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Bellamy, congratulated employees at Austal's Henderson shipyard on the completion of "Leonora Christina", commenting that the vessel will soon be the pride of Bornholmer Faergen's fleet.

Vessel Review

Austal was awarded the contract to build "Leonora Christina" in April 2009, following a competitive international tender process that saw Austal utilize its in-house design team and experience to develop a highly customised vessel design that met all of Faergen's requirements for the route. "Leonora Christina" has also been built to comply with stringent Danish regulations, covering environmental noise, wave-wash and exhaust emissions, as well as ergonomic working arrangements for the crew and strict fire and safety standards.

The 113m "Leonora Christina" has been customized to fit Bornholmer Faergen's existing high speed ferry berths, which it will share with the smaller "Villum Clausen". This resulted in significant savings for the operator, as only minimal modifications were needed to be made to the ports of Ronne and Ystad.

"Leonora Christina" maintains the tradition for high standard ferry services offered by Scandinavian operators in general and Bornholmer Faergen in particular, not only in terms of performance, but also with regard to safety, comfort and quality of finish.

Seating for the vessel's 1,400 passengers is spread over the upper and bridge decks. Ample room and luxury fittings are evident throughout the vessel's refined, high quality interior, which reflects contemporary Scandinavian design aesthetics. Natural lighting and timber finishing deliver a feeling of light and space throughout the vessel, with large skylights located in the vessel's atrium completing the look.

"Leonora Christina" has also been designed to allow maximum wheelchair accessibility, with two lifts allowing disabled access from the vehicle to the passenger decks, together with designated wheelchair seating locations in the forward lounge in close proximity to the cafe.

The vessel's wheelhouse contains ergonomically designed navigation and control stations for the captain and navigator as well as a fully integrated monitoring and control system featuring an Austal system that provides the ship's engineers with the ability to monitor and control the vessels safety, propulsion, generating and other operationally critical systems. The wheelhouse extends across the full width of the vessel and provides the crew with maximum visibility, while fully equipped bridge wings on both the port and starboard sides enable safe docking of the vessel in the confined ports of Ronne and Ystad, especially in winter fog, snow and other adverse conditions. A fully equipped crew mess, and multiple crew storage areas add to the comfort and functionality of the vessel.

The vessel's three vehicle decks offer a total capacity of 300 truck lane meters, or a maximum of 357 cars, which are accessible via both bow and stern ramps, ensuring efficient 'drive through' loading and unloading of the vessel, thereby keeping turnaround times to a minimum. The fitting of hoistable vehicle decks provides Bornholmer Faergen with the flexibility to carry a mix of cars and freight. Lightweight structural fire protection, zoned sprinkler systems and hydrants ensures optimal fire safety during vehicle transport.

With the ability to operate at speeds of up to 40 knots, "Leonora Christina" is powered by four MAN 20V28/33D engines, each capable of producing a maximum continuous output of 9100 kW and driving Rolls Royce KaMeWa 125 SIII waterjets.

May 18, 2011