- Gillett, Ross
- Ship design and development
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Jervis Bay II
- March 2000 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
On 25 April 1999, the Minister for Defence, John Moore, announced that the Australian Defence Force would be boosted by the lease of a locally built, high speed catamaran to provide additional sea transport for ADF activities in northern Australia.
“This kind of vessel has significant advantages in terms of its capabilities and flexibility,” Mr Moore said. “With a top speed of around 40 knots, the catamaran can carry up to 500 fully equipped troops plus stores and vehicles.”
The Department of Defence has commenced negotiations with International Catamarans (INCAT), the builder and supplier of the vessel, to charter the catamaran for a two-year period.
It will be based in Darwin from the end of June 1999 and commissioned into naval service, with two crews of 20 Navy and Army personnel. Training of the crews will be conducted at the Australian Maritime College, Launceston. Additional onboard training will take place under supervision of an experienced captain.
The vessel provides the ADF with an opportunity to trial and evaluate high speed, multi-hull technology for a range of military applications, in a realistic operating environment.
The United States Navy and Royal Navy are also considering the multi-hull concept for sea transport operations and have expressed interest in Australian catamaran designs.
The name JERVIS BAY was allotted to the new catamaran in May 1999. The former JERVIS BAY was the training ship cum troop transport, built as the AUSTRALIAN TRADER for the Australian National Line in the late 1960s and commissioned into the RAN between 1977 and April 1994.
JERVIS BAY is an 86 metre wave piercing catamaran built on the Derwent River, Hobart by Incat Australia. The company has built over 50 vessels since 1977, with their latest catamarans world-renowned for their speed, reliability, safety, economics and high levels of passenger comfort.
As completed as Incat 045, JERVIS BAY was equipped with conventional medium speed diesel engines. She could transport 900 people and 200 cars at 43 knots. For RAN service the ship has been fitted with additional fuel tanks for longer range, with the number of troops carried to be reduced to 500.
JERVIS BAY was the fourth of the 86 metre series of vessels, her sisters including Incat 042 named Condor Express and launched in late 1996, Sicilia Jet (043), built in 1996 and delivered to her Italian owners in May 1997 and 044 named Condor Vitesse. 042 and 044 operate in the English Channel between Poole, Weymouth and the Channel Islands, Guernsey and Jersey.
The Incat design is based around long slender waterborne hulls, each subdivided into eight watertight compartments. As each of the hulls encounters a wave it tends to “pierce” through, rather than ride over the swell.
As built, Incat 045 was equipped with four Marine Evacuation Systems (MES) and six 100 man life rafts to allow 900 passengers to be evacuated in under 12 minutes.
The four MES’ are operated individually by the crew at a local evacuation station. Alternatively, the entire MES system can be controlled from the bridge. The life rafts (connected by slides) are securely positioned 12 metres out from the hull of the ship, with the 100 person rafts fitted at the aft port and starboard escapes for use from the lower decks.
The builder was Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd, the original load 876 persons and 200 cars (or 125 cars and 10 coaches). Access via shore based stern ramps for vehicles and the propulsion, four Caterpillar 3618 engines, 7,200 kw @ 1050 rpm driving four KaMeWa 112 S11 waterjets.
JERVIS BAY was the logical development of the successful 74, 78 and 81m Incat car ferries built by Incat in Hobart, a product of a construction line divided into two production areas, prefabrication and assembly. Prefabricated items, including various modules and frames, are built then transported to the 280 metre long assembly line, known as the Coverdales shipyard.
Assembly occurs in three stages, with the ship moved on a fixed railway system designed specifically for transporting large catamarans.
During stage one the keel is laid and the prefabricated frames and beams are assembled. For stage two, the superstructure frame is constructed, the hull plating completed, wave piercing bows added and jet rooms installed. For stage three the vessel is shifted to the dry dock facility. During this final stage the engine, gearbox, jet units, liferafts, electronic and electrical equipment are added. The fitout is completed and painting completed prior to the dry dock being flooded and the formal launching. After launch the ship undergoes four days of trials prior to delivery.