The OceanJet 3, 5 and 6

The Oceanjet 3, 5 and 6, three identical fastcrafts of Cebu-based Ocean Fast Ferries are the representative examples in the Philippines of a Hongkong fast ferry design. With a bulbous look, they are not as sleek-looking as the Japanese fastcrafts but what they offer is plenty of passenger space that rivals the wide catamarans.

OceanJet 3 ©Mike Baylon

The three fastcrafts were built by Cheoy Lee Shipyard in Kowloon, Hong Kong. First to be completed was Oceanjet 3 (IMO 8979398) in 2001 and followed by Oceanjet 5 (IMO 8979403) and Oceanjet 6 (IMO 8979415), both in 2003. The three, which are also all sister ships have identical dimensions of 32.2 meters LOA (Length Over-all), and LBP (Length Between Perpendiculars) of 30.4 meters with a Breadth of 7.1 meters and a Depth of 2.6 meters. They also have identical Gross Tonnages (GT) of 200 nominal tons and Net Tonnages (NT) of 83 nominal tons and a passenger capacity of 287 persons. All are equipped with twin Cummins high-speed marine engines totaling 3,600 horsepower channeled to two fixed pitch propellers that gave each a service speed of 28 knots.

OceanJet 5 ©Mike Baylon

The single hulls of the three fastcrafts are made of aluminum alloy with a raked stem and a transom stern with a single mast. This mast holds a light that throbs when running at night. When fuel prices rose and the fares correspondingly went up they were fitted with additional non-airconditioned deck at the bridge level which raised their GT to 223 and the NT to 92, both in nominal tons. Using economical speed the trio seldom travels more than 24 knots now. Basically, the three are based in Cebu City and doing an eastern route to Ormoc and a southern route to Tagbilaran with one further extension to Dumaguete and Siquijor. In the early part of Ocean Fast Ferries life, the trio was the backbone of the fleet and even now as they are still very reliable with a good service record.

OceanJet 6 ©Mike Baylon

Accommodations in the trio are divided in just to classes, the open-air and the airconditioned Business Class. Passenger accommodations are spread in two passenger decks with the lowermost deck and the engine deck. NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) is not too pronounced in the trio and even at the back it is still comfortable and quiet enough. The floor is carpeted and the airconditioning is good. During trips, the service crew brings out a roller tray and offers snacks and drinks to the passengers and there is also movie entertainment on board. Except in open-air there is not much to view outside because the windows are always coated with salt spray.

OceanJet 5 at cruising at Mactan Channel ©Jonathan Bordon

Just being a decade old, the trio still has a long way to go in service especially since Ocean Fast Ferries has shown they are good in maintaining even their older ferries. I see the trio will still be a fixture in the seas of Cebu in the foreseeable future. Evidently, this Hong Kong-type of fast ferry design is sound and good.

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