Tasmanian shipbuilder wins Manly ferry contract

Tasmanian shipbuilder Incat has won contracts to make four fast ferries for the iconic Manly ferry route in Sydney.

The ABC reports that the Hobart-based company will make two 24-metre fast catamarans and two 33-metre ferries.

Two of the boats will be used within Sydney Harbour, while the other two will be capable of taking passengers into open waters beyond the harbour for whale watching.

Incat chairman Robert Clifford said work on the vessels will begin immediately.

Apart from these new contracts, Incat will also build two passenger ferries for the Thames in London. The company currently employs 300 people in Hobart and Clifford suggested the new work could allow it to create more jobs.

"This is the beginning of what I think will be quite a lot of work," Clifford told the ABC.

"There is no doubt that the manufacturing industry in Tasmania, shipbuilding in particular, is alive and well and there is no reason why we cannot compete with the rest of the world."

Last month Incat delivered a high speed 85m catamaran ferry to Japan’s Sado Kisen. It will operate from the Niigata and Naoetsu ports on the west coast of Japan servicing the Sado Island ports of Ogi and Ryotsu.