Yanmar-powered ferry headed for busy life in the Seychelles

Yanmar-powered ferry headed for busy life in the Seychelles

Queensland Company, Wildcat Marine, has specified Yanmar 6AYM-WGT engines for the latest fast commercial catamaran it has built, and it says the results are superb.

The new 27m Wildcat 2750 passenger ferry is destined for the Seychelles. Powered by two Yanmar 6AYM-WGT 911mhp engines, it will work seven days a week and put in an estimated 2,500 running hours each year.

Wildcat Marine Managing Director Guy Obren encouraged the owner of the new ferry to install the commercial-grade 6AYM-WGT Yanmars, although his fleet has used another brand of engine for many years,

Guy says the owner visited Australia for a week of sea trials for his latest acquisition.

“He was very impressed with how quiet the engines were and the power of the boat. In fact, he admitted that if we had gone for the other brand of engine, the boat would have performed nowhere near as well,” he says.

The Yanmar 6AYM-WGT in the engine room of the Wildcat 2750 passenger ferry

It’s no fluke that the latest collaboration between Wildcat Marine and Power Equipment performed so well. Guy brings a wealth of experience to the table when it comes to projects such as the Wildcat 2750 and he knows what Yanmar engines can deliver.

“Every manufacturer claims their engine is the most efficient,” Guy says, ”but you need to look at the specific application. Often the Yanmar will be the better option. Yanmar engines are very smooth and their efficiency is good.”

Though still a mechanically-controlled unit, the low-revving, 20-litre 6AYM-WGT is a tough engine that requires minimum downtime. It features stable lubricating oil consumption and long-life fuel valves at the tip of each injector.

They are kind on the environment because they create low particulates and NOx, SOx and carbon monoxide emissions. This means they meet strict International Maritime Organisation air pollution requirements.

“The ferry’s new owner has built boats himself and was quite fussy about what he wanted,” Guy says.

“He gets around 10,000 hours out of the other engines in his fleet. We would expect around double that from the Yanmars, which will pay off in the long term.”

The impressive helm of the Wildcat 2750

The Seychelles sit about 1600 km off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. It is an archipelago made up of many islands that range from coral atolls to large, mountainous land masses.

The Inter Island Ferry Operation operates between three of the largest inner islands of the Seychelles – Praslin, La Digue and Mahe’.

With visitors flocking from around the world to experience the pristine tropical waters of this island paradise, the new, cleaner-running Yanmars will be appreciated by locals and visitors alike.

“This client’s ferries operate in a relatively remote area. Being a mechanical engine, the engineers there will have a much better chance to repair any issues if required,” Guy says.

A typical run for the new vessel will be 10 km and take 14 minutes. It will do 10-14 return trips a day.

Operating speeds will be 22 knots, although initial sea trials of the Wildcat 2750 saw a simulated fully loaded wide open throttle return of 28 knots.

Left to right – Justin Taylor, Ainslie Pankhurst from Commercial Marine Australia and Guy Obren, Director of Wildcat Marine

Guy says Yanmar is fastidious with installation checking, which gives owners an extra level of confidence.

“After initial trials, Yanmar puts a dial gauge on the engine’s crank shaft to ensure nothing has twisted in the installation. They know their warranty is good and we know everything is 100 per cent accurate and the build is good.

“We also get personal service from Power Equipment. Power Equipment is very easy to deal with and you can ring up the people you need.”

Wildcat Marine was the main contractor for the new ferry build, with construction subcontracted to Brisbane-based Commercial Marine Australia.

Designed by JQ Stephens, the ferry has a length overall of 27.2m with a waterline length of just over 24m and beam of 7.8m.

The new Wildcat ferry has ZF 2050 transmissions, Furuno electronics and Freezetec water-cooled air conditioning. Beurteaux seating is also among a number of its higher-spec finishes.