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Irish Ferries new Acquisition (Westpac Express) & Sale of Jonathan Swift

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Shipowner Irish Continental Group (ICG) has agreed a deal to buy a high-speed vessel known as the Westpac Express for $13.25 million.

Irish Continental Group PLC acquires "Westpac Express". Irish Continental Group PLC ("ICG") is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement for the purchase of the High Speed Craft "Westpac Express" from BALI Westpac 2006, LLC for $13.25m. Under the terms of the purchase agreement, title to the vessel will transfer to ICG on delivery which is expected by late May. Upon delivery, the vessel will be bareboat chartered to a third party (Sealift Inc) for a firm period of four months with four further one year option periods and a final seven month option at the Charterer's option. The vessel was built in 2001 by Austal Ships, Australia. It has a gross tonnage of 8,403 tonne, passenger capacity of 900 and a car carrying capacity of 182 units.

Edited by kgst

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Westpac_Express_(HSV-4676) its a troop carrier? Is it some sort of hoax?
IMO: 9243227

MMSI: 369323000

Call Sign: WDB5285

Flag: USA [uS]

AIS Type: Military Ops

Gross Tonnage: 8403

Deadweight: 750 t

Length Overall x Breadth Extreme: 101.4m × 26.65m

Year Built: 2001

Status: Active

 

Read more at http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:455921/mmsi:369323000/imo:9243227/vessel:WESTPAC_EXPRESS#tZYciZHEFSXAtMfD.99

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Yes it seems to be Military Sealift Command, unless they have changed names which is possible. It looks like an Austal subsidiary has decided to offload the vessel to new owners but they will then keep the existing charter agreements in place. When that ends, in either 4 months or 5 years or somewhere in between then the new owners can put her out to charter somewhere else. Ed.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Wes...ress_(HSV-4676) its a troop carrier? Is it some sort of hoax?

 

She wouldn't be the first to be converted from military to civilian use (an example of which escapes me right now, but it has happened). It also appears according to http://www.militaryfactory.com/ships/detail.asp?ship_id=HSV2-Swift that this one was built as a ferry and converted for military use.

 

For comparison, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSV-2_Swift may look rather like the Normandie Express.,,

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She wouldn't be the first to be converted from military to civilian use (an example of which escapes me right now, but it has happened). It also appears according to http://www.militaryfactory.com/ships/detail.asp?ship_id=HSV2-Swift that this one was built as a ferry and converted for military use.

 

For comparison, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSV-2_Swift may look rather like the Normandie Express.,,

 

Liking the fact that its nickname is the "vomit comet"!

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Austal have been involved in designing and building HSC type warships for the US Navy. They may have design features in common with Condor Lib but I don't believe the latter was ever intended as a naval vessel.

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The charter for the Westpac Express has ended, and she is being returned to her owners (ICG). Will be interesting to see where she ends up next.

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Quote from ICG press announcement today.

Redelivery of the High Speed Craft Westpac Express ("the Vessel")

As expected the Vessel has been redelivered to the Group at the end of November as per the terms of the charter agreement with Sealift LLC. The Vessel had been on charter since its acquisition on 1 June 2016. The Vessel will undergo a refurbishment programme to bring it up to Irish Ferries passenger service standards.

The Group is currently finalising its fleet operational requirements for 2018 and a decision on whether to charter externally or deploy this Vessel within the Group's Irish Ferries services, in lieu of the existing vessel Jonathan Swift, will be announced in due course.

I’ll follow this one with interest....

Chris

Edited by Fine Whine
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Last I heard she was at Algeciras waiting for the weather to improve before making her way to Liverpool.  As for fast ferries being here to stay, todays ICG announcement goes into quite a bit of detail about their future fleet plans  (New build and Ulysses on Holyhead, WB Yeats on Dublin - France, Oscar retained, etc) but makes no mention of either fast craft.  Possibly because with Ulysses and an even larger vessel they will no longer need the capacity that the swift provides!

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She is bigger, a couple of years younger and I believe has been relatively under-used for the last 16 years. Some of her military and humanitarian deployments are listed online but I think she has spent a lot of time on standby waiting for a call up to use her rapid response capabilities. Ed. 

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Do they really need a fastcraft at all if they have ordered another ship which is set to be huge? Newbuild, Ulysses and Westpac might be a bit overkill? 

Edited by georgem7

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3 minutes ago, georgem7 said:

Do they really need a fastcraft at all if they have ordered another ship which is set to be huge? Newbuild, Ulysses and Westpac might be a bit overkill? 

They will need the fast craft capacity in shoulder and summer season until the next newbuild is delivered in 2020 and there are two large passenger / freight ferries on the route.  I imagine then that this craft will too be sold.

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