Oman Ferry Achieves 55.9 knots on Sea Trials

Thursday, January 10, 2008
Austal’s Auto Express catamaran ferry Shinas, built for the Sultanate of Oman, has achieved a record service speed of 52 knots during sea trials. The vessel’s confirmed service speed of 52 knots exceeds contract requirements by one knot, with the vessel also reaching a peak speed of 55.9 knots (103.5 km/h) during its recently completed sea trials.

Shinas is the first of two identical vessels being built for the Sultanate of Oman at Austal’s facilities in Henderson, Western Australia - showcasing the world-class ability of the Austal design and construction team. The Sultanate’s requirements challenged Austal’s experienced team of Naval Architects to develop a new, customised, high efficiency hull design capable of delivering record-breaking performance, while the construction team were required to meet demanding weight targets.

The 65 metre catamaran adds to Austal’s list of record breaking vessels, which includes the 88 metre “Villum Clausen” – current holder of the 24 hour distance record for a commercial passenger vessel (1063nm at an average speed of 44.29 knots, set in 2000). Ordered in May 2006, the two vessels are earmarked to become the flagship vessels in the Sultanate’s expanded coastal marine transport network, and will set new standards in performance, comfort, safety and quality of finish.

Austal’s innovative design - which complied with the highest standards for passenger ferries and is tailored to local Omani conditions - was selected to meet the Sultanate’s requirements. Each vessel will carry 208 passengers and 56 cars along a 180 nautical mile route between Shinas and Oman’s rugged Musandam Peninsular. The vessel has the capability to assist in search and rescue and medivac operations due to its helicopter landing facility, which is suitable for a medium class helicopter.

Both vessels are powered by four MTU 20 cylinder 1163 series diesel engines each producing 6,500 kW and driving Rolls-Royce / Kamewa waterjets. The vessels meet Det Norske Veritas survey requirements and conform to the HSC code. Shinas is scheduled to arrive in Oman in February 2008, with her sister vessel to follow in July.

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