In the words of the owner (Tony Physick) “We must continue the progression with our dive boats”.
“Aqua Quest” is a great example of this progression and is the latest to join the fleet of Deep Sea Divers Den. This new model was the very first built by SeaCat Ships Co Ltd in Thailand and will commence operation in Australia June 2017, after driving from Pattaya in the Gulf of Thailand to Cairns in Australia.. Tony says “She is the best yet”
The Hi-Tech aluminium fabrication was completed at Ocean Marina Yacht Club (OMYC) in Thailand “In the heart of Asia” from an aluminum computer router cut Kit and award winning design supplied by Sea Speed Design Co Ltd, headed by Paul Birgan (who are also located in OMYC). Paul has designed Tony’s past four Dive Cat’s over a 17 year period, each one getting better and better. More stylish, more comfortable, more seaworthy and more economical to operate.
Aqua Quest’s home port will be Port Douglas in North East Australia and she will operate out to the Great Barrier Reef for day trips. She will cruise out to the reef at around 22-23 knots with up to 130 Scuba Divers and snorkelers and stop at two to three locations in the one day to experience the wonders of the reef. Catering with so many divers, snorkeler’s and reef enthusiasts is made easy with comfortable segmented seating and lounge areas with separate audio visual systems to allow for dive briefings and reef ecotourism talks. Once out to the reef the two stage hydraulic platforms lowers and automatically deploys the 10man dive tender boat. First into the water are the most experienced scuba divers, then the intro scuba diver groups and scuba tour groups, then the experienced snorkeler’s and free divers then the guided reef groups for non- strong swimmers. Access is made easy by the full width transom stairwell (9 metres wide) and the middle sections lowers hydraulically further into the water to waist deep allowing passengers to swim on and off. The vessel has air compressor and dive banks storage below deck, with scuba tank refill via aft’ central station. This design also has a nitrox system to enhance the overall dive experience.
A beautiful lunch is served and accommodated by a large stainless steel servery / bar featured with polished Australian Hardwood benchtops and table tops. This galley has three door upright fridges with class doors, freezer, microwave, confection oven, and glasswasher. The main cabin is fitted with aircraft style seating with back to back layout and tables. The foredeck features a sunken lounge for use during calm conditions or when the vessel is stationary at dive sites.
The upper deck features a VIP cabin with lounge seating and a futuristic helm position with four large touch screen displays for the Simrad electronics and communications systems plus CCTV system. Outside is the upper aft’ deck with perimeter teak slat seats and central clear area for sunbaking. There is also access to the large sunroof on the third level. She has four toilets, two on the main deck which are larger in size & disable accessible with hot/cold water showers and two toilets on the upper deck.
The vessel is powered by twin Yanmar mechanical marine engines and gear boxes producing 2 x 911 h.p. each. This is hooked up to twin disc electronic three station throttle and gear shift control unit at one end and prop/shaft arrangement with mini-keels (with wing foils) at the other. The mini-keels allow for docking on its own hull and gives protection to the running gear plus the added advantage of great tracking and seakeeping at sea. Electrical power is supplied by two x Zenith Gensets (50KW) which are totally independent and each able to operate the vessel completely, allowing total redundancy. Also an inverter system which allows for all essential services whilst the genset’s are not running.
The electrical system was designed, supplied and commissioned in Australia and installed to the highest standard by our highly trained Thai staff. The enclosed cabins are fully air conditioned by custom designed salt water cooled ducted system, keeping the customers cool in the tropical conditions.
The exterior finish is painted on the external decks and the hull up to the gunnels, the rest is vinyl wrap coating (sticker coat) with the Octopus decor, giving a unique and unmistakable look.
All in all, she is “built for purpose” with long time operation in mind. The aluminium structure is comparatively heavy at the request of the owner. SeaCat Ships offers five year structural warranty and expect fifty years plus service.