A contract has been exchanged for the sale of Incat Australia’s 98m catamaran, hull 058, to a European customer. The purchaser is a long term Incat customer, and intends for 058 to join its two existing Incat vessels in operation for the northern European summer. Announcing the sale to staff at the Hobart shipyard, Incat Australia Managing Director, Craig Clifford said “The sale of vessel 058 has been foreshadowed for some time, and is great news for all Incat staff and supporters. A sale to a repeat customer is added confirmation of the confidence the market has in the quality of the Incat product.” The ship will be painted in the company’s colours over the next few weeks and is expected to depart Hobart for Europe in late April. The Evolution 10b design of hull 058 delivers proven technology in a vessel capable of carrying a mix of passengers and freight at speeds over 40 knots. The operator will have the flexibility to configure the Wave Piercing Catamaran to suit traffic fluctuations whilst maximizing revenue. Deployed in a high volume tourist mode, the operator can opt for the maximum 267 car capacity by utilising the optional mezzanine vehicle decks. To maximise flexibility during shoulder seasons or to provide a dedicated freight service, the mezzanine decks can be easily lifted to allow a high concentration of heavy highway vehicles, 24 road freight trailers with 85 cars. The sale will provide funds to repay the existing Tasmanian State Government loan. On completion of the sale the loan will be repaid in full with interest. The Incat group acknowledges with appreciation the support shown by the Tasmanian Government, and their confidence shown in Incat’s shipbuilding enterprises. Chairman of the Incat Group, Robert Clifford said “The loan assisted the company to retain our core workforce through a difficult period. We now look forward to a strong and long future”. The remaining funds received from the sale will go towards the completion of the 98 metre, high speed craft, hull number 61 for the United States Navy, delivery of which is expected in July 2003.