The new Emerald Class ferries have successfully passed a key seaworthiness test for port passage.
Although the new Emerald class ferries were commissioned last October (2021), questions remained about their ability to withstand the same 4.5m swell conditions as the previous Freshwater class ferries.
Recent weather and harsh conditions have resulted in the final certification of the three new Emerald class ferries (MV Fairlight, MV Clontarf and MV Balmoral) to ensure they are able to meet the swell specification of 4 .5 m for which they were designed.
NSW Transport Minister David Elliott announced in Manly yesterday (Saturday March 12) that Emerald Class ferries can now operate to full classification and testing has ensured the safety of customers and crew.
“Although this clearance took a little longer than we would have liked, we wanted to make sure everything was done to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
“These new ferries are a huge upgrade, they are fully accessible and able to provide faster and more frequent service which is a huge win for regular commuters and tourists alike,” said Minister Elliott.
NSW Environment Minister and MP for Manly James Griffin said he was delighted that the Emerald-class ferries had passed their final seaworthiness test.
‘As a Manly resident and commuter I have taken the ferry to and from Manly for the past 25 years. It deserves and needs reliability and frequency to ensure we get the best commuter service.
“We’ve had a tough week with the floods and we’ve had a tough few years with COVID, lacking tourists to support our local economy. So please hop on the ferry, there are plenty of options available. Come and visit Manly, enjoy your time here,” said Minister Griffin.
Loretta Lynch, chief executive of Sydney Ferries operator Transdev, said the result was the result of many hours of structured testing.
“It is great news that these state-of-the-art ferries have been successfully tested by our highly experienced crews and are now operating day and night to the limit of vessel inspection. We are proud to enhance Manly services with the new Generation 2 Emerald Class ferries,” said Mrs. Lynch.
Emerald-class ships were designed by Australian naval architects, Incat Crowtherand have been specially designed with reinforced hulls to allow use in the larger swells encountered when traversing the Sydney Heads.