Type :
Launched  :
Builder :
Cantiere Navale Leopoldo Rodriguez
Messina, Italy
Gross weight :
64 tons
Dimensions :
28.96 x 5.850 (metres)
Passenger capacity :
Speed :
32 knots

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 1990's.