New catamaran to service inter-island route

The new catamaran arriving in Nuku'alofa this morning. Photo: TANYA EDWARD

NUKU’ALOFA-January 9, 2018: 3.55pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Locals will get the chance to travel fast on inter-island ferry the MV Tongiaki, a fast aluminium catamaran built in Indonesia, when the new ship makes its maiden voyage to Vava’u on Friday.

The catamaran arrived in Nuku’alofa this morning and was welcomed by Friendly Island Shipping Agency (FISA) Bosrd Chairman Steve Edwards.

The new catamaran at the wharf with Mr Steve Edward. Photo: TANYA EDWARD

The new catamaran at the wharf with Mr Steve Edward. Photo: TANYA EDWARD

FISA announced yesterday that its newest vessel named by King Tupou VI will be commissioned this week at Queen Salote Wharf.

FISA intends to operate it later in regional trade to Fiji, Samoa and other Pacific Islands.

The fully air conditioned catamaran is 33m long, with a 8.5m beam and draft of 1.9m laden and can accomodate 200 passengers and eight crew.

It is powered by 2 MAN engines with a combined power of 2,048 Kw, driving the propulsion units of two fixed pitch propellers, at a service speed of 28 knots (max. speed is 31 knots).

The year-old catamaran is  classed with the Bureau Veritas (BV) Classification Society, insured by Lloyds underwriters through Willis of New Zealand, designed by Incat Crowther in Australia and built by PT Cahaya Samudra of Batam, Indonesia.

It was bought from Majestic Fast Ferries Ltd of Singapore, where it operated between Singapore and Batam.

FISA currently operates theinter-island ferry, MV ‘Otuanga’ofa which was a gift from Japan.

The MV Tongiaki, takes its name from the ancient Tongan long distance sea-voyaging canoes.

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