RDM proudly present Hull 071 Cat Cocos – Isle of La Digue
The name features a gold star to differentiate this new 33m passenger ferry from the 26m ferry of the same name delivered to Inter Island Boats at the Seychelles six years ago.
As was her 26m predecessor, and other vessels in the fleet, Cat Cocos – Isle of La Digue is an Incat Crowther design. This time though, upon the insistence of the owner, she is very curvy. From the compound curves in the propeller tunnels to the complete superstructure Incat Crowther have dispensed with the straight edge.
Sporting “Proudly Seychellois” on her flanks and a vibrant paint job reflecting the colours of the national Seychelles flag this vessel will join her sister and half sisters providing ferry services connecting Mahe, Praslin and La Digue in the Seychelles.
Having built a number of bespoke vessels specific to their operation and local conditions the owners and management of Inter Island Boats were very particular and explicit about what they wanted. They worked closely with Incat Crowther and RDM developing a detailed brief. With an understanding of what the local and tourist market expect, the vessel is outfitted to a quality standard offering an intimate and luxurious first class cabin on the upper deck. The balance of the passengers can choose between the open upper aft deck and main deck interior air conditioned area. A practical and spacious luggage room will keep the passenger cabin uncluttered.
The main deck cabin is divided by a kiosk which serves as a hub for the purser and where crew will serve drinks and snacks. The first class cabin is also served by a manned kiosk, whilst outdoor passengers will have access to two vending machines dispensing snacks, beer and soft drinks. There are bench seats on the foredeck, uncounted, but available for passengers to enjoy on a calm day.
Cat Cocos – Isle of La Digue is powered with two Cummins KTA50 engines offering 1800hp each. Operating in an isolated area and for simplicity and reliability, the owners opted for the grunty, mechanical Cummins package. With plenty of horsepower, robust design and construction and an active Naiad Interceptor Ride Control system, the boat will handle for sometimes boisterous seas between the islands with ease.
To keep the outdoor passengers from being subject to ocean spray, heavy duty ‘clears’ are fitted port and starboard. To avoid the untidy look of rolled up clears when the seas are calm and the weather beautiful, RDM devised a track and shunt system which allows the four large clear panels to be stowed hanging vertically, neatly garaged at the forward end of the aft outdoor deck. Incorporated into the rooftop targa wing are two high volume dorade vents to provide fresh air to the outdoor passengers, that might otherwise stifle in the tropical warmth of the Seychelles with all ‘clears’ deployed.
It is clear upon inspection that the result is a vessel that RDM, Incat Crowther and the owners can all be proud of. This is no basic passenger shuttle, but a premium class commercial 290 passenger vessel carrying with equipment, finish and fitout tending more toward the owner’s private yacht – perfect!