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Austal readies fast car ferry for Turkey

Austal readies fast car ferry for Turkey

Sydney: The first of two Auto Express 88 fast car ferries "Osman Gazi" was launched at the Austal Perth shipyard this week. The 88 metre aluminium catamaran is the ninth fast ferry Austal has built for Istanbul Deniz Otobusleri (IDO).

The new vessels are designated to operate on a 39 nautical mile reciprocal service across the Marmara Sea between Yenikapi (Istanbul) and a new port development in Mudanya servicing the city of Bursa. "Osman Gazi" is scheduled to enter service in April 2007, the same month in which the second ferry will be launched.

The ferries have the capacity to carry 1200 passengers and 225 cars and will be capable of an operational speed of 36 knots when loaded. Their propulsion consists of four MTU 20 cylinder 8000 series diesel engines driving a Lips propulsion system through four Reintjes gearboxes.

In addition to the Turkish catamarans, Austal is currently building two Multi-Purpose Auto Express 65 metre high speed catamaran ferries for the Sultanate of Oman, two Auto Express 107 metre high speed vehicle-passenger catamarans for Hawaii Superferry (USA) and two 127 metre trimaran Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) trimarans for the US Navy.