A FERRY designed by Sydney-based marine engineering company Incat Crowther is now operating in the Caribbean.

Incat Crowther designed the new 41-metre catamaran for Island Ferries in Honduras. It services a tourist route between the mainland town of La Ceiba and the islands of Utila and Roatan

The ferry, Roatan Dream, has a low draft and propeller tunnel technology which helps it operate and berth in a range of tidal conditions.

According to Incat Crowther, this technology means Island Ferries can increase its operational capacity on the 45-minute trip to Utila and the longer one-hour trip to Roatan.

The delivery of the new ferry took place earlier this year and is the latest collaboration between Island Ferries and shipbuilder Midship Marine.

Incat Crowther’s US-office managing director Grant Pecoraro said the design and build of the vessel continues the company’s long track record with Midship Marine.

Roatan Dream provides an advancement in the operational capabilities of the Island Ferry fleet which commenced its service to Utila and Roatan with the Incat Crowther 30-meter catamaran Utila Dream back in 2015,” he said.

“Not only can the new ferry provide higher passenger capacity, but Incat Crowther’s propeller tunnel design means the draft on this vessel is just under six feet, which is critical on both the mainland and island sides.

“These features are also combined with a robust and fuel-efficient engine package to ensure reliable service and commonality within the Island Ferry fleet, which of course will help minimise operational and maintenance costs.”

Roatan Dream was designed with a large cargo area that allows it to transport vehicles, goods and equipment to and from the mainland.

The ferry has capacity for 520 passengers; its main deck accommodates 266 passengers, including 44 in an outdoor seating section.

Incat Crowther believes the catamaran has now been proven in service as “the most technologically advanced catamaran to service the Caribbean islands off Honduras”.