New Ferry to Devonport Servic
PO Box 47710, St Lukes, Auckland 1346
Fullers Dedicates New Ferry to Devonport Service; Capricornian Surfer to Alleviate Pressure on Kea During Peak Times
Auckland, 13 March 2017
As tourism figures continue to rise in Auckland, so do passenger numbers on popular ferry routes. Fullers is introducing a new vessel, Capricornian Surfer (Cap Surfer), dedicated to Devonport. A unique destination, the charming seaside village of Devonport is a bustling visitor hub, but also services more than 1,000 commuters who rely on Fullers ferries daily.
Cap Surfer will begin service in the next couple weeks, complementing Kea. Since 1988, Kea has been the favourite vessel of the route with efficient boarding through side doors. Similar to Kea, Cap Surfer has side-door loading and four engines, allowing it to manoeuvre in the same way when docking. This will help keep the Devonport service running to schedule.
“We acknowledge some service interruptions on the Devonport run this summer, and want to let our passengers to know that we’re listening. We’ve leased Cap Surfer from Australia specifically for Devonport, freeing up other vessels not always suited to the Devonport route,” said Fullers Chief Executive Douglas Hudson.
Cap Surfer’s modern amenities:
The $6 million vessel is capable of carrying up to 380 passengers. It’s currently being fitted with a new café and bike racks, after 40 additional seats were installed on the back deck. Cap Surfer is spacious and comfortable, with big windows and air conditioning. The 35-metre EnviroCat uses less fuel per passenger than a small four-cylinder car. Its systems are computerised and fully integrated.
Crew training is currently underway, being led by Cap Surfer’s Australian crew while she was servicing the Gladstone to Curtis Island run in Queensland.
Designed to navigate shallow waters, Cap Surfer will also be able to service Half Moon Bay on low tides.
What’s next for Kea?:
As Kea closes in on 30 years of service, Fullers is investigating options for her future – while keeping a pulse on rapidly evolving technology, including electric ferries.
“By leasing a modern ferry for two years, we’re able to evaluate alternative propulsion technology and its suitability for Kea’s eventual replacement. Though Kea is a highly reliable vessel, we need to be looking ahead. Retirement isn’t imminent, but when the time comes, we’ll have a well informed decision on what technology to include in a vessel purpose-built for Devonport,” said Hudson.