Austal’s next generation 102 metre high speed trimaran ferry has won the prestigious Manufacturer’s Monthly Industrial Product of the Year Award at the 2010 Endeavour Awards held in Sydney.
Launched in late 2009, the high speed vehicle ferry utilises Austal’s trimaran technology, combining the softer roll of monohulls with the low resistance, stability and carrying capacity of catamarans, to open up new markets beyond existing fast ferry designs.
Judges of the Award praised the vessel’s ability to use less power than other high speed craft operating at similar speeds, noting the lower fuel consumption and improved operating economy.
“Austal has showcased an impressive application which uses less fuel to gain higher speeds, which is an imperative feature for transport in both commercial and defence applications in today’s day and age,” the judges said.
Most importantly, the trimaran’s lower roll speed means lower accelerations experienced by passengers, significantly reducing passenger sea sickness.
Studies show that motion sickness on the trimaran will be approximately 56 per cent lower than on a 100 metre catamaran operating in head seas. Even larger benefits are realised in other headings.
For operators, this means higher passenger satisfaction, greater customer loyalty and positive word of mouth marketing. It also means higher revenue from onboard sales resulting from the ease of movement onboard and reduced sickness. Improved revenue potential from the trimaran’s ability to sail in a larger range of sea conditions (fewer cancellations) is another significant advantage.
Increased comfort also provides operators with a competitive marketing advantage compared with other high speed craft. Greater customer satisfaction due to fewer cancellations equals more repeat business and improved revenue potential from a more viable roster. Effectively, the trimaran becomes the “preferred alternative” in a competitive market situation.
The vessel, which is nearing completion at Austal’s Western Australian shipyard, is currently available for sale.
The Manufacturers' Monthly Endeavour Awards are the premier national awards for manufacturing excellence.