Manly III


Type :
Launched  :
Builder :
Cantiere Navale Leopoldo Rodriguez
Messina, Italy
Gross weight :
32 tons
Dimensions :
18.59 x 4.70 (metres)
Passenger capacity :
Speed :
30 knots

Manly was the first hydrofoil in the fleet and was a PT20.

January 1965 saw a new venture start on Sydney harbour with the introduction of the first hydrofoil, Manly. She was a great novelty and to begin with many people caught her just to experience the fast transit to Manly. The normal ferries could complete the journey in 35 minutes but the little hydrofoil managed it in 15.

She was certified to operate as far north as Port Stephens and south to Jervis Bay, however, she never operated on these routes. In 1967 she did travel to Melbourne with North Head and the Manly company ran tours of her on Port Phillip Bay - this was not a success though and she soon returned back to Sydney. North Head on the other hand did return to Melbourne again.

Manly was used in an experiment to test hydrofoils on the run to Drummoyne and Gladesville. Unfortunately residents complained of the noise and wash. With only one boat operating the service (and often laid up due to mechanical issues) the experiment was ultimately deemed a failure. It would be nearly 25 years before the Parramatta River finally got a fast ferry service operated by the new River Cats.

Manly was a little too small to operate with any success on the harbour. This, coupled with various mechanical problems, led to a relatively short life and she was withdrawn from service in 1979 prior to being sold a year later.

After being sold off she was renamed 'Enterprise' and worked for a time in North Queensland. Sold again, she spent some time at Mildura on the Murray River operating as a floating restaurant. By 2000 she had been sold again and returned to New South Wales. Her new owners commenced converting her to a private cruiser and for some time she was laid up in a paddock north of Sydney.

Her current whereabouts and condition is unknown.