Sunferries' custom made $3.6M catamaran Palm Cat made its maiden voyage to Palm Island today on the 10.00am service. Palm Island Aboriginal Council Mayor Alfred Lacey was on board to celebrate the arrival of the new vessel.
Built by Brisbane based company Aluminum Boats Australia, Palm Cat is surveyed to carry 240 passengers and offers increased comfort for the journey including dynamic stabilizers to reduce motion sickness and an upstairs air-conditioned lounge.
Sunferries General Manager Darin McDonald says that the new vessel is testament to the company's growth and commitment to servicing Palm Island residents.
"We have previously conducted the Palm Island service with older vessels that weren't as comfortable and took up to two hours each way. The new vessel is expected to decrease traveling time by half an hour and offer a more reliable service to residents." Mr McDonald said.
The Sunbird at Nelly Bay Harbour
Meanwhile, rumours that the Sunbird, well known to Magnetic Island commuters and moored at the Nelly Bay Harbour Marina for the past few weeks, is to become a floating restuarant, have been scotched by Sunferries' sources. The Sunbird is, we hear, awaiting repairs and could remain at Nelly bay for weeks and possibly months until it returns to service as a back-up vessel.
Sunferries operates the Palm Island return service three times per week and averages 150 passengers per service.
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Maiden voyage for Palm Cat
Excellent. Congratulation to Sunferries for upgrading the Palm Island ferry service
What a great investment for the Palm Island community. Well done to all involved!