VICTORIAN DESIGNED AND BUILT CAT FOR DAYDREAM ISLAND
Queensland is well known for its aluminium passenger catamaran builders but a recent delivery into the state’s tourism industry is an all-victorian effort.
Delivered to marine tour operator GSL
Marine in the Whitsundays, Pina Colada serves the newly refurbished Daydream Island as its passenger day vessel, providing guests with daily tours to Whitehaven Beach.
In NSCV 1C survey for 50 passengers and four crew, Pina Colada mixes the design capabilities of Chris Tucker Marine Design with the boatbuilding skills of Alumarine. Maritime Survey Australia completed the vessel’s initial survey including construction and commissioning phase approvals.
Chris Tucker is a Melbourne-based naval architect, who worked at shipbuilder Austal, Roger Hill Yacht Design, and Warwick Yacht Design before establishing his own business in 2005. For this project he produced a 12m long, 5.5m wide catamaran that features a z-bow hullform as well as features specific to the operating requirement. These include a bow door for passenger transfers on/off the beach and an aft swimplatform with steps that fold down to the water level for passenger access. When not in use the steps fold up to form part of the aft bulwarks.
With a top speed of 40kts, the catamaran can provide extremely rapid transit but will more typically cruise at between 20 and 25kts, at which fuel consumption is of the order of 120 to 160 litres per hour.
Power and propulsion is combined in the form of four 325hp Suzuki outboards fitted with duo props.
Builder Alumarine reports that the new Suzukis give the vessel excellent thrust and manoeuvrability. It also noted sea trials demonstrated that Pina Colada turns flat under power, a trait they say is not present in many catamaran designs.
Alumarine fitted the aluminium catamaran with its own custom fendering system. Featuring a polypipe contact surface, this runs at deck level running around the motors and also at bulwarks level.
While the main structure is aluminium, Alumarine elected to use composite GRP panels for the fitout of the toilet and kiosk. The latter includes a 240V drinks refrigerator and
Zip instant hot water service. A pair of 5KVA inverters provide the necessary electrical power.
While the majority of the passenger seating is on the main deck in a 2-3-2 configuration, the catamaran’s upper deck also provides limited seating aft of the wheelhouse.
In addition to providing the crew with excellent visibility, the raised wheelhouse design permits the main passenger deck to be a walk-through arrangement with easy access and forward vision to the bow loading/unloading area.
This foredeck is accessed via a glass sliding door in the forward bulkhead, which also has sliding windows to maximise airflow through the vessel.
Family-owned and operated Alumarine specialises in the construction of commercial plate alloy vessels with a diverse track record that includes catamarans, tri hulls, mono hulls, punts, landing craft and barges with sizes ranging from five to 15m.
The company operates from premises on the banks of Anderson Inlet at Inverloch on the Victorian coast approximately 145km south east of Melbourne. The Buckley family have been in Inverloch since 1992, and have been running Inverloch Charters since 1995. Alumarine was established in 2000 to fill a void they saw in the commercial aluminium boat building sector.
GSL Marine provides a range of day tours which includes visits to the National Park, Whitehaven Beach, and secluded beaches in the Whitsundays as well as beach activities including snorkelling and stand up paddle boarding. It is part of the GSL Group of tourism and transport service providers which includes operations and services in aviation, marine, aircraft engineering, and ground transport in Cairns, Airlie Beach and the Gold Coast.