The demand for higher vessel speeds and passenger comfort have led to the development of improved hull designs in conjunction with power plants of high specific power and low emissions capabilities inherent in gas turbines. In early 1993, FBM Marine began design and construction of a 45 meter Solent class hulled catamaran with a partial third hull, named TriCat, for 332-passenger service at greater than 45 knots. The power plant selected consists of two Solar Turbines Taurus 60M industrial derivative marine gas turbines driving KaMeWa AB Series 90S11 waterjets through Philadelphia Gear Corporation 1000 VMGH-HP2S speed reduction drives for a total shaft output power of 10.2 MW (equivalent ISO with inlet and exhaust losses).

The Taurus 60M gas turbines, each ISO rated at 5250 kW MCR (without losses), the gearbox and control system were type approved and certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) in 1994 prior to issuance of the Certificate of Conformity of the total propulsion package. The sea trials of the TriCat were initiated late 1994 off the Isle of Wight in the UK. After Honk Kong Marine Department approval in early 1995, the owner/operator of the five vessels, CTS-Parkview, began passenger service in June 1995 between Hong Kong and Macau.

This paper discusses the sea trials and commissioning process including improvements incorporated prior to initiation of passenger service on the TriCat.

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