AUSTRALIAN shipbuilder Incat Tasmania has launched a new vessel for service in South Korea.

Santa Monica is currently alongside Incat’s fit-out berth at Prince of Wales Bay, where alignment work will continue on the vessel’s main machinery.

South Korean state-run ferry service Seaworld Express Ferry will operate the 76-metre vessel between islands Jindo and Jeju.

The catamaran ferry has the capacity to carry up to 700 passengers and 79 cars.

Incat chairman Robert Clifford said supply-chain disruptions have made shipbuilding a challenge but he anticipates a prompt completion.  

“We are confident that we will still be able to meet the March delivery date and the ship … will be ready to serve the tourists of South Korea in time for the northern summer,” he said.

Following the announcement of the contract in 2020, Incat Tasmania CEO Tim Burnell said the ferry’s design would improve on that of the company’s 74- and 78-metre vessels.

“With a significant improvement to both the waterline length and vessel trim compared with those earlier craft, the 76-metre ferry will also benefit from vastly improved speed and fuel consumption,” he said.

“The new design very much reflects thirty years of experience building market leading high speed vehicle-passenger ferries.”

Work will continue on the fit-out of Santa Monica’s passenger spaces in the coming weeks. Sea trials are to take place in March.