Austal has unveiled a new 83-metre trimaran ferry, its latest development in high-speed trimaran technology.
Austal Hull 396, to be known as Queen Beetle, is currently under construction for JR Kyushu Jet Ferry of Japan, at the company’s Henderson South shipyard in Western Australia.
Designed and constructed by Austal Australia, the vessel is due for launch in mid-March 2020 and will be handed over to JR Kyushu Jet Ferry in June 2020.
Speaking at the reveal ceremony, which was attended by WA Premier Mark McGowan, Austal CEO David Singleton said More than 200 West Australians were employed in the design and construction of the vessel, spending a combined 450,000 hours to get it to the current point in its construction program.
“We’re very proud to be introducing this new Austal trimaran to one of the most technologically advanced and mature markets in the world. In fact, Queen Beetle will be the first high-speed trimaran ferry to be delivered to and operate in Japan,” he said.
“This stunning new ship will truly transform the fast-ferry journey between Japan and South Korea, offering significantly improved seakeeping and an exceptional on-board experience for passengers and crew.
“With a capacity to carry 502 passengers in greater comfort, with previously unavailable amenities such as a shop and café, this new trimaran represents outstanding value to our customer, JR Kyushu Jet Ferry.”
The Queen Beetle will be able to transport 502 passengers across two passenger decks, at speeds up to 37 knots on the 115 nautical mile route.
The vessel includes two classes of seating plus compartments for groups and families, a children’s play area and nursing room, a café and bar, duty-free shop, lockers for luggage and all-access spaces for wheelchairs and prams.
It also features an outdoor viewing deck designed to further enhance the on-board experience for passengers.