|Cantiere Navale Leopoldo
|Gross weight :
|28.96 x 5.850 (metres)
|Passenger capacity :
Sydney was the second of two RHS160F hydrofoils, the first being her
sister ship Manly. When built, she cost $8.75 million dollars.
Sydney was capable of covering the seven miles between Circular Quay
and Manly in 10 minutes (her sister Manly could as well). At one stage
when Sydney was being brought back from a periodic refit she covered
the distance from Newcastle to Sydney in 1 hour 25 minutes - far faster
than the XPT and much faster than the commuter trains. Both vessels
were regarded by their Masters as excellent sea-going boats.
However, like the others in the fleet, she was uneconomic to run - the
two V16 engines required sixty litres of oil per day. As well, the
twins were often out of service being laid up for months at a time due
to mechanical and industrial issues.
Along with Manly & Curl Curl, after the dissolution of the
hydrofoil fleet she was sold back to her builders in 1991. They sold to
her Ustica Lines in 1992 and renamed Fast Blu. She operated in 1994
between Trapani and Napoli in Italy and also between Trapani and Keliba
in Tunisia (this demonstrates that the hydrofoils are far more suited
to long distance runs than the short Sydney Harbour routes). By 2003
she was operating between Zadar and Sibenik in Croatia connecting both
areas to Italy. In 2004 she was still in the Naples area.
Fast Blu was one of the first hydrofoils acquired by Ustica and proved
important to them in establishing their fledgling business in the early