VIC­TO­RIAN DE­SIGNED AND BUILT CAT FOR DAYDREAM IS­LAND

trade a boat - - THE BUSINESS END -

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.

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