Fast ferry package
Sea Shuttle I is not just an interesting foil assisted catamaran fast passenger vessel, is bu part of a complete fast ferry package offered b; Competitive Concepts (Europe) Ltd. which in eludes route assessment, design and build, fi nance, and operation management.
The vessel is a 74-ft. x 23.6-ft. (22.5-m x 7.2-m asymmetrical catamaran with the hulls linked by two fixed hydrofoils, one located just forward of amidships and the other right aft. Powered by a pair of 1,100-hp MWM V16 diesels driving Hamilton 422 waterjets via Reintjes gearboxes 103 passengers can be carried at speeds ap proaching 30 knots with a reportedly superior ride Businessman and entrepreneur Raymond Kalley of Competitive Concepts was the creative and financial force behind the entire project in South Africa before relocating to London. "Sea Shuttle I is a full working prototype which I have brought to Europe for use on real routes over extended periods to prove the potential," said Mr.
Kalley. The craft was operated over a three month period on a 48- mile route across the Gulf of Fin- land to Tallinn in Estonia, and has just returned from a shorter exercise on the River Elbe near Hamburg.
Kalley asserts thatSea Shuttle was a commercial success in both locations. It managed to draw the regular Finnish and Estonian commuters away from the existing fast ferry services, which included several Russian built hydrofoils and the Condor 9 Wavepiercer. The Elbe venture persuaded the German authorities that a high speed service would be profitable and that erosion was not an inevitable problem as had been feared.
Mr. Kalley believes that fast ferries are often overly sophisticated, too expensive and frequently unsuitable for the sea conditions they may encounter. "Boat builders exert undue influence by merely offering their existing technology," he said. "Sea Shuttle can help evaluate the actual requirements during extended operations, particularly on new, as yet untried, routes. If an experiment proves successful we can help finance the whole project including the construction of a vessel of the appropriate capacity and speed, probably in a local yard, under our supervision," he added.