Fast cat perks up island ferry services

Adler Cat is fastest in Adler fleet after refit  (Photo:Michael Magulski) Adler Cat is fastest in Adler fleet after refit (Photo:Michael Magulski)
Industry Database

The Norwegian-built high-speed ferry 'Adler Cat' has gone into North Sea island service as the fastest ship in the fleet of new owner, Adler- Schiffe, reports Tom Todd.

With a top speed of 34 knots, the 30m long, 10.6m wide Adler Cat is faster than any of the other ships in the 26-strong fleet of the leading German North Sea and Baltic ferry operator, Adler spokeswoman Juliane Nissen-Hünding told Maritime Journal. It is also the only catamaran, she added.

Adler Cat has just opened a new weekend service between Cuxhaven and the German island resort of Sylt. Described by Adler-Schiffe as a good alternative to long road and rail journeys, the service is in addition to those already operated by Adler between the North and East Frisian islands and Heligoland.

Built in 1999 by Norwegian shipyard Oma Batbyggeri, the all-aluminium catamaran was in island service in Norway as Renoy before being sold to Adler subsidiary German Fast Ferries and chartered to Sylt-based Adler-Schiffe late last year.

Reports said Adler had been on the look-out for a low-draft ferry suitable for shallow water Frisian islands operation. Nissen-Hünding said Renoy underwent a “comprehensive refit “ at Oma Batbyggeri before joining Adler-Schiffe. It included an increase in passenger capacity from 182 to 224 achieved by conversion of the lower of its two decks. The ship was also fitted with a bow fender to facilitate fast berthing and departure. One report noted this meant the ship could also be used for offshore service.

The 308gt twin-propeller Adler Cat now draws1.5m instead of Renoy’s 2m, the Adler-Schiffe spokeswoman told Maritime Journal. It is driven by four MTU diesel engines Type 12V2000M70 with a combined output of 3152kW. Although capable of 34 knots, its regular service speed is 27-30 knots, she added.

Adler Schiffe is the biggest operator and charterer of excursion ships on the German North Sea and Baltic coasts. It’s only other fast passenger ferry is the 42m Adler Express. That 41.96m fast monohull ferry carries 420 passengers, draws just 1.2m and has a service speed of 24 knots. It was also built in Scandinavia – at Marinteknik Verkstads Oregrund in Sweden – in 1993.

Adler’s biggest ship is the striking, and now 113 year old, 51.6m side paddle excursion steamer Freya.

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