A new generation fast ferry left Tasmania on her delivery voyage to Denmark via the Panama Canal in April 2017.

Express 3 is a 109m high-speed vehicle-passenger ferry from Australian shipbuilder Incat Tasmania for Danish operator Molslinjen, becoming the fourth Hobart-built catamaran in the company’s current fleet. 

An entirely new generation fast ferry, the 109m wave-piercing catamaran Express 3 has evolved from Incat’s well proven 112m catamaran range, which first entered commercial service in mid-2007.

Incat’s Tim Burnell comments, “The design brief was simpleEnsure a consistent passenger experience and fleet commonality for Molslinjen, who already successfully operate two Incat 112 metre catamarans, whilst delivering a minimum 10 per cent fuel and emissions saving plus faster vehicle deck turnaround times.”

Building on the extensive in-service experience of the Incat 112 metre, the concept was redesigned from the keel up by Incat’s in-house naval architects, Revolution Design. The result is the 109 metre catamaran with a lightship weight saving of just over 100 tonnes.

The design refinement has also produced a marked improvement to vessel trim. Fuel, domestic fresh water and sullage tanks have all been moved forward but significantly, by repositioning the engine rooms six frames further forward, the vessel benefits from vastly improved speed and fuel consumption performance.   Adding a skeg to the keel has enhanced directional stability.

On sea trials, Express 3 achieved a speed of 43 knots with 600 tonnes deadweight on board, easily exceeding contractual speed and fuel consumption expectations.

“Incat’s suppliers played their part in the quest to redefine vessel design. LifeRaft Systems Australia for example, designed and gained regulatory approval for longer Marine Evacuation Systems (MES). This allows the MES bays to be moved one deck up into the passenger space, rather than on the tween (upper car) deck on earlier vessels, resulting in a reduction in weight as well as more overall space on the tween deck,” Tim Burnell says.