Dee Why II












Dee Why


Type :
Hydrofoil
Launched  :
1970
Builder :
Cantiere Navale Leopoldo Rodriguez
Messina, Italy
Gross weight :
64 tons
Dimensions :
28.96 x 5.85 (metres)
Passenger capacity :
140
Speed :
32 knots

Dee Why was one of five broadly similar hydrofoils, being of type PT50.

Dee Why was the third hydrofoil to enter the Manly fleet and after the retirement of the Manly, was one of three hydrofoils to be operated by the Port Jackson company.

Dee Why figured in a an incident in 1972 whilst she was being serviced at Berry's Bay. At one stage it had been suggested that the only thing that the hydrofoils were good for was towing water skiers. The workmen decided to try this out much to the amazement of the waterside residents. Several rang the Port Jackson company to discover what was going on. Not surprisingly, the experiment was not repeated.

Dee Why was a relatively young vessel when she was retired. She was a victim of the prohibitive cost of running and servicing the hydrofoils. Each hydrofoil cost more to maintain than the aging Baragoola and North Head (consider that both these ferries carried 1,200 passengers each and you can understand the economics involved). Wharf crew who took in the ferries could not berth a hydrofoil and hydrofoils needed more wharf crew than the big ferries did. More than once a hydrofoil's crank shaft broke (this happened with all the PT50's) requiring the deckhouse, flooring and engines to be removed to replace it - then having to put it all back together. Fuel costs were also higher than the larger ferries.

After being retired from service in 1985 Dee Why was scrapped at Homebush Bay in 1988. The aluminium retrieved from the wreck was sold overseas.


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