Three PacifiCat-class fast ferries capable of carrying 1,000 passengers and 250 vehicles at speeds of up to 34 knots will be sold at an international, unreserved public auction at 11:00 a.m. PST on March 24, 2003 at Canada Place
, Vancouver, by Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.
The 400-ft. (122-m) aluminum vessels, PacifiCat Explorer, PacifiCat Discovery and PacifiCat Voyager, are among the largest catamaran fast ferries in the world. Engineered to the highest technical and performance standards, they were designed by Phil Hercus of Incat Designs, Sydney, Australia
, and built in British Columbia
, Canada, in March 1999, September 1999 and July 2000 respectively. Current owner BC Ferries has determined that the vessels, which have seen very little service, are not suited to the high level of commercial trucks and buses on its ferry routes. To assist in the global effort, Ritchie Bros. has retained marine consultant Stephen Phillips, managing director of Seaspeed Technology Limited in West Sussex, U.K., who is also a specialist in fast ferries. "With no minimum bids, reserve prices or buy backs, our customers bid with confidence, knowing that every bid is legitimate," said Randy Wall, President and COO of Ritchie Bros. "It is absolutely certain that all three of these state-of-the-art PacifiCats will have a new owner upon completion of the auction."
The PacifiCat fast ferries have many unique features. Bow and stern doors allow quick drive-through loading and unloading; upper and lower vehicle decks can be loaded simultaneously; the vessels can be remotely monitored in real time for position, speed, trim, jet angles and rpm; a 287 kW bow thruster improves maneuverability at low speeds; and an integrated bridge system allows enhanced safety monitoring, control and crew deployment. Each vessel is fitted with a 75 sq. m. galley located on the main passenger deck with a complete range of appliances, a snack bar, a gift shop, and an arcade room. Most passenger seating is lounge-style.
The three PacifiCats will be sold by live auction at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time at the Canada Place cruise ship terminal, Vancouver, B.C. Bidders will also be able to participate in the auction over the Internet using the rbauctionBid-Live service from their own office or from one of Ritchie Bros.' auction facilities in Toronto, Canada; Orlando, U.S.; Baltimore, U.S.; Moerdijk (Rotterdam), the Netherlands; Dubai, the United Arab Emirates; Singapore; Brisbane, Australia; and Toluca (Mexico City), Mexico. Interested bidders must first register with Ritchie Bros. and will be required to file a $2 million deposit to bid on the vessels. Full details about the auction are available on the Ritchie Bros. web site www.rbauction.com.