Wight Shipyard Co. (WSC) has scooped what it describes as its largest export order so far, with a contract to supply four fast ferries to Maltese tourboat operator Captain Morgan. The forthcoming vessels will comprise four catamarans: two 33m and two 20m units. The design for all four cats was supplied by One2Three Naval Architects of New South Wales, Australia, a long-standing partner of WSC, and the vessels are scheduled to be launched in May 2020.
The 20m newbuilds will replace ageing vessels in Captain Morgan’s fleet. According to WSC: “They will be designed to service the low wharves at each harbour, providing easy embarkation and debarkation for passengers while cruising around the harbour.” WSC adds that there are similarities between this forthcoming duo and the 2018-delivered Jacobite Maverick, a 200-pax ferry produced for tour operator Loch Ness by Jacobite.
The 33m newcomers, meanwhile, comprise a new design for the yard, WSC says, and have been modelled on an existing commuter boat servicing Sydney Harbour in Australia.
Peter Morgan, WSC chief executive, comments: “We have been working with One2Three to develop lighter, more fuel-efficient ferries with [a] subsequent reduction of fuel costs. The operators see the long-term benefits in using less fuel and thereby reducing carbon emissions.” Captain Morgan currently oversees a fleet of 10 tourboats.
Concurrently, WSC is working on a hybrid surface effect crew transfer vessel for CWind, a vessel intended to service the Borssele 1 and 2 offshore wind farms off the Dutch coast. Designed by ESNA of Norway, and developed for safe crew transfers in 2m significant wave heights, the 22m x 8.9m vessel will feature 30m² of forward deck space and a top speed of 38knots, courtesy of twin Scania engines.