Australian shipping operator SeaLink Travel Group was looking to improve its existing passenger and baggage service between Townsville and Magnetic Island in the state of Queensland, as well as run seasonal whale watching tours. The company was looking for a vessel with an upper deck offering 360 degree viewing capability and selected a local catamaran to be built by Brisbane-based Commercial Marine Australia (CMA).
SeaLink requested a light, robust, fuel-efficient vessel equipped with new technology. The result is Maggie Catwhich will be Sealink’s flagship to Magnetic Island, with capacity for 340 passengers and four crew on three decks.
The all-aluminum vessel has an overall length of 30.8 meters, a beam of nine meters, a draft of 2.1 meters and a displacement of 115 tonnes. It features a narrower overall beam than coolgaree cat, a former SeaLink vessel. While ships are interchangeable, newer ones Maggie Cat is configured for the shorter and more frequent Magnetic Island service while coolgaree cat will serve the Townsville–Palm Island route.
Boarding is via a center port boarding gate and upper aft boarding gates. The main deck features 186 seats in a combination of cabin and forward-facing types, with deep windows giving the cabin a light and airy feel with excellent exterior visuals but the comfort of air conditioning.
Also located on the main deck is a large gazebo offering light refreshments as well as multiple onboard storage spaces.
The upper deck can accommodate 64 people inside an air-conditioned cabin in addition to 26 outdoor seats on the aft deck. Much of the space is dedicated to securing containerized cargo, with room for nine pieces of luggage. The coamings of this bridge have been reinforced to cope with the impact of trolleys while the loading doors are specifically located to work with the existing infrastructure.
The solarium has 48 seats and offers 360 degree visibility for tourists visiting the island. This area of the ship also provides an ideal platform for whale watching.
All passenger seats were provided by Beurteaux Australia.
Maggie Cat is powered by two Caterpillar C32 main diesel engines, each delivering 895 kW at 2,000 rpm. Two VEEM interceptor fixed-pitch propellers are driven by the main engines via Twin Disc gearboxes. In recent sea trials, the vessel exceeded 31 knots, although she can achieve a fuel-efficient operational speed of 25 knots at full load and low main engine MCR. CMA said this would provide increased time between major engine overhauls.
Caterpillar also provided the vessel’s auxiliary engine and two C4.4 generators. These power an extensive navigation and communications suite that includes Icom radios, Plastimo compass and Simrad radar, sonar, depth sounder, autopilot, GPS and AIS. Ultimate Marine Power supplied the external lights, cameras and audio systems as well as the ship’s steering system while MET Services installed a monitoring system.
Jotun paint has been used for exterior surfaces while Flotex floors and G James windows are also installed. Ayres Composite Panels provided work on the ceilings.
The ship’s emergency equipment includes Survitec equipment, Systems Advantage firefighting system, RFD life raft and lifeboat from Barefoot Inflatable Boats.
Maggie Cat has already started operational crossings with SeaLink, providing rapid transport services for residents and tourists visiting North Queensland alongside coolgaree cat.
Click here to read more stories, reports, opinion pieces and ship reviews from this month’s Passenger Ship Week.
|Vessel type:||Commuter and Tourist Ferry|
|The port of record:||Townsville, Australia|
|Owner:||SeaLink Travel Group, Australia|
|Designate:||Incat Crowther, Australia|
|Manufacturer:||Australia Merchant Navy|
|Hull construction material:||Aluminum|
|Superstructure construction material:||Aluminum|
|Bridge construction material:||Aluminum|
|Total length:||30.8 meters|
|Waterline length:||30.3 meters|
|Main engines:||2 x Caterpillar C32, each 895 kW @ 2000 rpm|
|Gearboxes:||2 x dual disc|
|Propulsion:||2 VEEM Interceptor propellers|
|Generators:||2 C4.4 tracks|
|Steering system:||Ultimate Marine Power|
|Rudder:||Foiled stainless steel|
|Maximum speed:||31 knots|
|Cruising speed:||25 knots|
|Hydraulic equipment:||Ultimate Marine Power|
|Electronics provided by:||Ultimate Marine Power|
|Audio/video system:||Ultimate Marine Power|
|Surveillance system:||Meteorological services|
|Cameras/night vision:||Ultimate Marine Power|
|Other electronic devices:||Ultimate Marine Power|
|The Windows:||G James|
|Exterior lighting:||Ultimate Marine Power|
|Floor/deck surface finishes:||Flotex|
|Interior fittings/furnishings:||Ayres composite panels|
|Firefighter equipment:||Advantage of systems|
|Lifeboats:||Barefoot inflatable boats|
|Fuel capacity:||4,800 liters|
|Fresh water capacity:||1,700 liters|
|Sewer/black water capacity:||500 liters|
|Operational area:||North Queensland, Australia|