Whilst “Harbourmaster” is not the first of RDM’s vessels to have four marine diesel engines, she is the first to use surface piercing propellers for propulsion.
The experienced and progressive owners of World Heritage Cruises, based in Strahan on Tasmania’s west coast initiated this bold design move to build a vessel that offered a shallow draft and more in the way of reliability and redundancy. With many years experience operating twin engine catamarans on one of the more remote cruise routes this decision offers a safer, more eco friendly and more economical vessel. Four engines also offer service flexibility.
Harbourmaster’s day cruise starts from Strahan with a high speed run across Macquarie Harbour and out to sea via the notorious Hell’s Gates. After a stopover at Sarah Island to reflect on Tasmania’s convict history, two engines can be shut down for the slow speed meander into the World Heritage area up the Gordon River. This creates less impact and saves fuel.
The vessel is fitted with a luxurious and spacious seating arrangement to allow passengers plenty of room to wander the vessel and enjoy the scenery. Drinks and fine wine are served from the bar. During the day cruise a generous lunch is served from the well appointed galley which has extensive food preparation areas, a spacious cool room and a dumb waiter to service the upper deck.
The four Scania 850hp engines with Sea Fury Surface Drives and Veem Interceptor propellers propel the 35m catamaran to a comfortable 30 knot cruising speed. With one engine shut down she is still capable of achieving 26 knots! This is the redundancy that the owners were seeking from the initial design. It means the cruise can safely continue without interruption or distress to the passengers.
The lower reaches of the Gordon River has very strict requirements in terms of wake height and wave frequency and the MV Harbourmaster has been specifically designed to meet or exceed these parameters. The design combines excellent cruise comfort, low fuel consumption, low emissions, shallowest possible draught and minimum wake generation.
M/V Harbourmaster, with 230 passengers, operates under NSCV F2 Fast Craft survey notation.