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HomeLatest News2 new FastCat catamarans to ply Luzon, Mindanao routes

2 new FastCat catamarans to ply Luzon, Mindanao routes

  • Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corp. (APFC), the brand owner of FastCat, formally launched two brand-new catamarans as part of its goal to increase its fleet to 30 vessels by 2031
  • M19 and M20, which arrived last May 18, will ply two routes of Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro-Coron, Palawan; and Zamboanga-Basilan
  • MC19 and MC20 have a passenger seating capacity of 384, higher than the 354 in the company’s other vessels
  • The vessels can carry more heavy trucks and have additional lanes to accommodate 10 trucks/minibuses

Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corp. (APFC), brand owner of FastCat, has formally launched two brand-new catamarans as part of its goal to increase its fleet to 30 vessels by 2031.

M19 and M20, which arrived last May 18, are slated to traverse two routes: Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro-Coron, Palawan; and Zamboanga-Basilan. The routes are part of the company’s expansion program to serve the needs of the traveling public and business entities nationwide through its passenger and rolling cargo services, APFC said in a statement.

The vessels were ordered two years ago as part of the shipping line’s plan to modernize its fleet.

APFC chief executive officer Christopher Pastrana said during the vessels’ blessing ceremony on June 25 they are looking forward to the expected resumption of coastwise travel next year following government’s vaccination program, which will hopefully result in herd immunity by end-2021.

MC19 and MC20, which are catamaran-type roll-on/roll-off vessels, have a bigger passenger seating capacity of 384 compared to 354 in the company’s other vessels.

The under deck structural design was reinforced to carry more heavy trucks, and additional lanes were added to accommodate at least 10 trucks/minibuses instead of just seven.

The vessels are also equipped with two bow thrusters for easier and faster maneuvering and to ensure safe docking and undocking.

Two units of anchor windlass were also installed to give the master of the vessel an option which side to use in any given situation. Class-approved PVC pipes were used for the chill water cooling and drain system, which allows it to be corrosion-free and durable, while requiring less maintenance.

The wave-piercing design of the vessels’ hull was also improved to reduce vessel mechanical stress and ensure a smoother ride.

A wider passage walkway was installed at the port side so passengers can safely embark and disembark.

FastCat’s routes currently connect Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao through its major island pairs such as Batangas-Calapan, Bulalacao-Caticlan (with weekly special trips via Caluya, Municipality of Antique), Iloilo-Bacolod, Dumaguete-Dapitan, San Carlos-Toledo, Cebu-Tubigon, Matnog-Dapdap, Matnog-San Isidro and Liloan-Lipata.

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