Wave-piercer goes into action

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 May, 1997, 12:00am

Shipbuilder Hitachi Zosen Corp has completed work on the Sea Bird - an 850 gross tonnes passenger and car-carrying vessel - and delivered it to the Nagasaki-based Yasuda Ocean Vessel Co.

The 60-metre wave-piercer was developed jointly by Hitachi Zosen and Incat Design, of Sydney, Australia.

Twenty of the ships have now been built.

The vessel, which can carry 48 cars and 296 passengers, has been put into service on the domestic route between the ports of Nagasaki and Kushikino.

The Sea Bird is a compact vessel that can be berthed alongside any conventional wharf in Japan.

Using aluminum alloy, the shipbuilders have managed to get a top speed of 35.2 knots out of the vessel because of its lightweight design.

The manufacturer said the ship provided greater seaworthiness, speed and comfort than conventional catamarans.

The shipbuilder said the vessel had minimised buoyancy on the waterline at the side hulls' bows, reducing impact of waves and allowing the catamaran to pierce through the water.

The new ship was built at Hitachi Zosen Corp's Kanagawa works.