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Fast Cats to lead ‘Ro-Ro’ race

CALAPAN CITY—A fleet of twin hulled ships called Fast Cats will launch August to link Calapan City, and Roxas town, in  Oriental Mindoro, Batangas City and Caticlan (Boracay) in Aklan. Christopher Pastrana, chief executive of the Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corp., said the twin hulls which average of 16.5 knots are “first internationally-classed, brand new Ro-Ro vessels” to operate in the country. “The maiden voyage between Batangas and Calapan cities will made once the ramps at the two ports are finished,” he told Manila Standard. According to Pastrana, Fast Cats cover the 27-nautical mile distance in one-in-a-half hours while ordinary vessels take two to three hours. Christine Guevarra, APFC vice-president for marketing said the route will be expanded to cover the Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan circuit, southern portions of Bicol together with the Visayas. “It’s Batangas City-Calapan City ports for now,” she said, noting amenities cover on-board food and retail outlets, entertainment, and cabin accommodation. While most Ro-Ros in local operations run on a single engine, Fast Cats have four Yanmar engines to transport 275 to 320 passengers. The cargo bay has a 300-meter lane for eight trucks and 20 cars, and other light vehicles. The Sea Transport Solution of Australia, the world’s leading designer of mid-speed catamaran vessels, designed the Fast Cats to “suit the weather and sea conditions in the Philippines,” the company said in a statement. For clean environment compliance, Fast Cats have passed tier 2 emission standards test for sulphur and carbon dioxide, company officials said.
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