The order comes hard on the heels of the Isle of Wight-based shipbuilder's announcement of an order for a second 41 m high speed craft for Red Funnel (see earlier story).
The new vessel will join the Jacobite Cruises fleet on Loch Ness cruising between Dochgarroch, just outside Inverness, Clansman Hotel and the historic ruins of Urquhart Castle — giving tourists a chance to spot the legendary "Nessie."
“We are delighted to secure this order, our first for Scotland,” says Wight Shipyard Co CEO Peter Morton, adding that the order underpinned the shipyard's track record in building sustainable and low environmental impact vessels.
Designed by Australia's One2three Naval Architects the hullform of the new catamaran is designed to provide through-life efficiency with low structural weight assisting lower fuel consumption.
The new catamaran will accommodate 200 passengers who will board over the forward and aft decks. The aft deck will seat 13 passengers while the foredeck will have 15 seats and will be fitted with hinged boarding ramps. Passengers will enter a large central space with seating arrangements for 102 passengers tailored to Jacobite Cruises requirements and finished in the company’s own tartan. A spacious café/kiosk will provide refreshments and snacks. Four toilets will include one for disabled customers.
Above, on the upper deck, outdoor seating will be provided for 84 passengers aft of the elevated wheelhouse.
In the hulls, the engine rooms are laid out in a clean, accessible manner and feature removal hatches over each engine, completely clear of overhead obstructions.
The vessel will be powered by two Scania DI9 main engines, each producing 257kW @ 2,100 rpm. Capable of reaching a maximum speed of 15 knots, the vessel will cruise at 12 knots on Loch Ness,
slowing to 5 knots in the Caledonian Canal.
“Jacobite Cruises is seeing incredible growth and last year we welcomed over 220,000 passengers onto the waters of Loch Ness,” says Freda Newton, Managing Director of Jacobite Cruises.
“The new catamaran to be built by Wight Shipyard Co continues our investment in our business, our people and our fleet so we can offer the very best visitor experience. We have been most impressed by Wight Shipyard’s skills and in particular the quality of finish in their vessels built to date.”
The new vessel will be delivered in time for the 2018 summer season.
Length Overall: 21.34 m
Length Waterline: 20.24 m
Beam Moulded: 7.60 m
Load Draft: 1.90 m
Main engines: Two Scania DI9 marine diesel engines
Gearboxes: Two Twin Disc MGX 5086 SC, 2.53:1
Propulsion: Two fixed pitch, 5-bladed propellers