BIGGER FASTER BOATS HIT THE WATER
THE first of two new Manly Fast Ferries was at Manly today as part of its trials and staff training, and both new vessels could be in service by the end of the week.
The 33m Ocean Surfer and Ocean Flyer were designed by One2three Naval Architects in Sydney and built by the world-famous Incat in Hobart.
Each of the new vessels can carry 375 passengers — slightly more than one-third of the number the Freshwater-class ferries can carry — and can get them from Manly to the city in 17 minutes — half the time of the traditional ferries.
Manly Fast Ferry co-director Richard Ford said it was exciting to have the new boats in Sydney.
“They’re very nice looking boats, with good performance, a smooth ride, fast, fuel efficient and very comfortable for passengers,” he said.
“We still have some paperwork to do, as well as training and trials, but we could have them in service on Thursday or Friday.”
Manly Fast Ferry began operating the Manly-Circular Quay run in early 2009 after the State Government withdrew the jetcats from service at the end of 2008.
The company was awarded a 14-month contract, at the end of which the contract was handed to Sydney Fast Ferries in April 2010.
But Manly Fast Ferry continued operating, using the wharf in front of the Manly Wharf Hotel.
Then, after four years of two competing services, the State Government awarded a seven-year contract to a sole operator — Manly Fast ferry.
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