|Gross weight :
|34.80 x 10.00 (metres)
|Passenger capacity :
The introduction of the three high speed wave piercing catamarans to
the Manly fleet marked what was perhaps the biggest change in the long
history of the service. The three new vessels were designed to be fast
& comfortable and to be more reliable than the trouble-ridden
hydrofoils that they were replacing.
By 1989, there were four hydrofoils left in the fleet & for most of
the time, they were out of service due to the long history of problems
that plagued them. The NSW government let a tender, worth fifteen
million dollars, to replace the hydrofoils & a little over a year
later the first, Blue Fin, was launched. Sea Eagle was the third of the
new vessels launched.
The three vessels travelled from Cairns under their own power &
promised a comfortable, fast (15 minute) trip to manly from the Quay.
The government had an option for two more vessels, however, this was
not taken up.
By March 1991 all three new cats were in operation on the harbour &
the last hydrofoil had been withdrawn. The three were faster, cleaner
& more efficient than the hydrofoils & being of a standard
design, replacement parts could be ordered far more cheaply.
In 1987 Reef Link II which was built by the same company as had built
the Cats was burnt out - this was to eventually cause problems for the
three Sydney vessels. In April of 1991 there was a fire on board Sir
David Martin. As a result all three Cats were taken off & given an
During the disastrous bushfires of January 1994, all three Jet
Cats were used to evacuate people from Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River
to the Central Coast.
As had been promised at their introduction, all three vessels now
provide a fast journey for tourists & commuters alike between
Sydney & Manly.