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Island Commuter Catamaran (TL8)

This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of the downloadable PDF magazine.

Over certain stretches of well travelled water, a fast catamaran may be the solution to commuter transport. Perhaps because of distance, or because certain travellers are willing to pay a premium for faster access to their destination than a traditional passenger ferry might allow. The Island Commuter Catamaran is a no frills passenger vehicle that can carry nearly 200 passengers. Cruising at 35 knots, it has a range of 525 nautical miles and is as at home operating between mainland and island, inter-island or across wide river estuaries. The main deck is the passenger lounge with coach seating and some luggage area. Above is the bridge and below the engine room. There is no external deck space except for minimal access required by the crew at mooring stations and on the bridge wings. Speed across the water does come at a certain cost, the catamaran is not quiet and can be heard at some distance – even three miles away its engines make a distinctive sound. At a distance of 93m the wash created amounts to some 38cm. From its cruising speed the catamaran can stop in 20 seconds and around 111m.

There are three crew, a helmsman who also commands the vessel, a deckhand to assist with mooring stations or act as a relief helmsman, and a cabin attendant who may also double as a second deckhand. Facilities are limited to non-existent. Some examples of this vessel on routes of only half an hour or so, don’t even provide passenger toilets.

Typical navigational equipment includes radar, compass, echo sounder, GPS etc and the ship-to-ship/ship-to-shore radio with a range of up to 50km depending on world size, atmosphere and other conditions. Law level will usually dictate what safety equipment is carried, but typically there will be liferafts, lifejackets and other safety equipment as required.

Island Commuter Catamaran (TL8) Volume (m3) Mass (kg) Cost (Cr.)
Hull 700m3 (base 700 m3) Streamlined configuration, Light alloys, Waterproof - 56,000 273,000
  Hull: 193 Structure: 193 - - -
Drive system Water-Driven 70.000 10,500 350,000
Power Plant Internal Combustion-8      
  Power output:5373      
  Fuel Consumption: 199/hour      
    199.000 13,930 298,500
Fuel 2985 litres (15 hours operation) 2.985 2985 -
Armour Light alloys 2 - - -
Sensors Comprehensive (3km, +2 DM) 1.000 2 1000
Communications Radio-50 (range 50km) 0.250 1 750
Equipment Controls, improved (Agility +1=-1) 0 0 175,000
Crew 3 (1 helmsman, 1 mate, 1 steward) - - -
Operating stations 1 1.250 125 -
Passengers 187 187.000 18,700 -
Cargo 17.67 dTons 238.515 23,852 -
Agility -1 DM - - -
Speed Cruise: 65 kph Top: 86 kph - - -
TOTAL   700.000 126,095 1,098,250