|Gross weight :
|70.40 x 13.06 (metres)
|Passenger capacity :
The first of her class,
first of what was planned to
be three big, new identical ferries, ultimately four were
the last, joining her three sisters in 1988.
By the late 1970's, the Manly ferry fleet was in serious
the then state government commenced building a new fleet to
run. The proposed ferries were to be the biggest & fastest
for the Manly trip. The biggest they were, however although
rated at 18
knots, they rarely do more than 14 knots. Interestingly, one
reasons given for the withdrawal of the South Steyne
was that she
too big. These ferries are even bigger, although they carry
due to more space being given over to passenger amenities
sisters are built with far more bluff bows than
the earlier craft, this makes them ship a lot of water in
weather, often throwing water over the wheelhouse.
offer more comforts than the old ships and are very popular
public. The four sisters have driven new records in the amount
passengers being carried to and from Manly.
Although the Freshwater
provided many new comforts to her
passengers, she was initially a nightmare for her owners. The
mechanisms, though state of the art, were somewhat
often led the ship astray. Just over a month in service, she
in the middle of the harbour and drifted about while engineers
repaired her generator circuit breakers. The following month
Bradleys Head, she developed fuel line problems and again
shortly thereafter the circuit breakers failed again and she
be towed to Circular Quay. A couple of weeks later, they
for a third time.
Computer steering problems caused her to fail to stop while
into the wharf at Manly on the 10th of March, 1983. She ran up
beach and refused to come down until the afternoon's high tide
floated her off. A few days later, Freshwater
broke down again, this
time one of the microprocessors in a fault warning system
halted the ship. A replacement was taken from the Queenscliff
under construction at Newcastle. Two days later a governor on
one of the
engines failed and brought the ship to a halt.
stay out of the news until the 30th of March in
1985 when a man attempted to hijack her. He had broken up with
girlfriend and wanted to jump off the ship outside the Heads.
Fortunately, the captain was able to radio for help and the
Police arrived to arrest the man.
In October of 2005, Freshwater
once again hit the wharf at Manly. As a
result of this and a spate of accidents involving her sisters
recorders were installed across the fleet to monitor their