|Aus Thai Marine’s new Catamaran Ferry|
Pattaya-based boat builder Austhai Marine took advantage of the recent Ocean Marina Boat Show in Pattaya to launch its new range of 15-metre catamarans. This model complements its already extensive inventory of commercial catamarans. The range now includes 10, 1.5, 12.5, 15 and 16- metre models. The optional deck layouts available for each hull means that Austhai has a model to suit almost any commercial application; be it a work-boat, dive-boat, ferry, day-tour boat, or special-purpose application.
Austhai displayed the Resort model at the boat show and provided twice daily trips for visitors to the show. These proved popular with show visitors with most trips being filled to capacity.
The latest model, like all earlier Austhai Models was designed by Albert Nazarov and his team of professionals at Albatross Marine Design. The Yanmar engines and steering system were supplied and installed by Hull Co., Ltd.
The first vessel off the production line is destined for Sihanoukville in Cambodia, where it will become the flagship of Koh Rong Island Travel, operating a regular route between Sihanoukville and Koh Rong Island to service the operator's several resorts on the island. The second boat which is already in production is bound for Koh Samui.
Following launching at Ocean Marina, Pattaya, the first vessel has undergone extensive water testing. The Managing Director of Austhai Marine, Ray Ringuet has declared that he is totally satisfied with the boat and its performance. "As is the norm, both the design team from Albatross and the engineering team from Hull Co. have fully met our expectations, while our own team of in- house artisans has performed to the expected high standards," he said.
The water tests included extensive testing by both Hull Company and Albatross Marine Design to validate the performance of the boat, the engines and the systems. Ray said he was impressed by the testing regime of both, and especially that carried out by Albatross who use the latest in sophisticated measuring instruments to record the performance of vessels. The data recorded is then analyzed to see if the performance of the boat can be improved. This testing focuses not only on performance, but on passenger safety and comfort as well, including a crash test to measure the effect on passengers in the event of an emergency stop at full speed.
While both the first and second boats built are designed as single route ferries designed to carry the maximum number of passengers and their luggage, Ray believes the vessel, with the different deck layouts available, will prove popular with day-tour operators. He said the cat has inherent advantages over a mono-hull;
particularly increased stability as a wider beam is carried forward creating more room. That plus the superior sea-keeping ability should give operators good reasons to consider catamarans when thinking about purchasing their next boat. Combining these advantages with the economy a catamaran with an inboard diesel engines offers, both in operation and maintenance, makes the catamaran an obvious choice.
Ray further stressed the inherent safety features of catamarans. He said that the recent spate of boating accidents in Thailand gave cause for concern and inbound tour operators, boat operators and passengers as well as the government agencies need to pay more attention to this issue. He said that Austhai catamarans are inherently safe, with numerous features that ensure safety. In particular, he stressed that a well-constructed catamaran will not capsize if all passengers move to one side of the boat.