A few weeks ago I posted about the “Timor Ferry“; a high speed Darwin-Bali ferry service which, it was claimed, would be operational by the end of the year. A comment from ednaxe (who I suspect might know a thing or two more about ferries than I do) about the original post seems to put paid to this suggestion in a most comprehensive manner:
The site claims that the ships were built in Hobart, Tasmania, indicating that they were built by Incat. First of all, Incat has a list http://www.incat.com.au/domino/incat/incatweb.nsf/v-title/Ships%20in%20Service?OpenDocument of all the ships they have built, indicating that they have only sold three ships to Condor, only two of which are as large as the Timor Ferry site describes, and all of which are still in service. Secondly, even if Timor Ferry did buy these ships from Condor, their maximum service speed is 40 knots, meaning the Bali-Darwin trip would take at least 24 hours. The site makes reference to “reclining seats”, but realistically such a service would need to retrofit the ferries with sleeping berths, greatly decreasing capacity. Thirdly, the fuel costs on such a long route would almost certainly make high-speed service unprofitable (Stena Line found even the 100nm Harwich-Hook of Holland route was too long for high-speed ferries to meet fuel costs).
Unfortunately, Timor Ferry sounds more like an attempt to scam some “investors” than a realistic proposal.
I think, in the absence of some startling evidence to the contrary this is dead in the water, as it were. Cheers ednaxe for clearing this up.