After first leaving terra firma in December 2009, Austal's next-gen 102-meter trimaran is now nearing completion. The company says the vessel has impressed during sea trials this year, achieving a speed of 39 knots at 90% MCR (maximum continuous rating) with 340 tonnes deadweight.

The Australian company's patented trimaran hullform enables the high-speed ferry to negotiate big waves while using less power - and therefore less fuel - and maintaining passenger comfort. It also reduces waves created behind the vessel which reduces environmental impacts.

The Austal 102 can carry 1165 passengers, 254 cars and has a 630 nautical mile range.

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