HSC Condor Rapide

Condor Rapide performing a U-Turn behind Saint-Malo's pier.
HSC Condor Rapide. Picture Antoine H.
Technical Specifications of HSC Condor Rapide
HSC Condor Rapide (2010 onwards)
The Ship
Launch 3rd July 1997
Shipyard Incat, Hobart, Tasmania
Owner Condor Ltd
Operator Condor Ferries
Routes Saint-Malo (FRA)- Channel Islands
IMO 9161560
MMSI 311036800
Call Sign CYK8
Port of Registry Nassau (BHS)
Technical Specifications
Length 86.62 m
Breadth 26.00 m
Draught 3.50 m
Gross Tonnage  5,005 GT
Deadweight 415 t
Engines specifications
Engines 4 engines Ruston 20RK270
Propulsion 4 waterjets Lips LJ145D
Transmission 4 gearboxes CVT Renk ASL60
Power 4 x 7,080 kW (@1,030 rpm)
Maximum Speed 48 knots max - 40 knots (service)
Fuel & Consumption approx. 60l/min @ 1,030 rpm
Passengers & Cargo
Passengers 741 passengers and 30 crew
Seats 741 seats
Garage Up to 200 cars or a combination of 4 coaches and cars

Service History

The launch of Incat 045

Incat 045 was launched on 03rd July 1994. She is one of four 86m-long high speed catamarans built by Incat in the late-90s. Her keel was laid on 25th November 1996 and therefore she was completed in less than seven months.

In 1998, Incat 045 was chartered by Transport Tasmania (TT) for service between Melbourne and Devon Port, replacing two ships that were to be delivered to the company.

HMAS Jervis Bay (AHR 45)

HMAS Jervis Bay at sea.
HMAS Jervis Bay. Public Domain.

In 1999, the Australian Navy looked for the charter of a High Speed Craft until the delivery of two Kanimbla ships purchased to the American Army. Both Incat and Austal had ships available, but only Incat was able to deliver one for June 1999. Thus, in April 1999, the Australian Navy announced that it will charter Incat 045, that was to become the worldwide largest High Speed Craft operated by an army, to carry troops and equipment. She was christened as HMAS Jervis Bay, and registered AKR 45.

Once the charter agreement was signed, HMAS Jervis Bay went back to Incat’s shipyard to be fitted with long-range fuel tanks, giving her an autonomy of 1000 nautical miles. Air conditioned was also installed, and her car decks were strengthened to enable the load of heavy vehicles. A new stern ramp was eventually fitted, to enable operations in port deprived of proper RoRo facilities.

However, HMAS Jervis Bay was not designed for long trips, and her accommodations were Spartan. Indeed, HMAS Jervis Bay did not have a proper galley and sleep facilities. 20 berths were therefore installed, as long as bigger water-tanks.

HMAS Jervis Bay was used through the Timor crisis of 1999, providing logistic assistance to the army. She was able reaching Dili from Darwin where she was based in just 9 hours at 45 knots. During her two years of service, she performed 107 return trips on this route, carrying 20,000 troops, 430 vehicles and 5,600t of freight, being more efficient than an air bridge. In March 2010, HMAS Jervis Bay was given the Battle Honours as a recognition of her utility in the conflict. Following this success, other armies purchased High Speed Crafts for their fleet.

HMAS Jervis Bay was laid up on 11th May 2001 and sent back to Incat in 2002. Her charter cost an overall AUS$16 millions to the army.

Her beginning as a passenger vessel in Europe

In April 2002, Italian company TRIS chartered Incat 045 for service during Summer 2002 and renamed her Winner. Winner been operated on services from Genoa. At the end of her charter, she was laid up in Genoa, before being sent to Portland (GBR) were she remained useless two years.

Winner was chartered in January 2004 by Speed Ferries for service between Boulogne sur Mer (FRA) and Dover (GBR). Renamed SpeedOne, she performed berthing trials on 30th April 2004 before being prepared in Dover. SpeedOne was introduced on this route on 19th May. However, on of her Head Gasket broke on 28th May, resulting in smokes entering the passenger lounge. Then, one of SpeedOne's engine failed on 7th September, forcing the company to operate her at slower speeds. She later benefited engine overhaul and refurbishment of her accommodation decks.

On 7th October, she collided with Seafrance Cezanne in Dover following a technical failure, but damages were limited to abrasions in their liveries. For summer 2005, SpeedOne was repainted in Portsmouth with a promotional livery on her starboard side. During that summer, SpeedOne collided with a mooring dolphin, severely damaging her bow.

On 28th December 2007, SpeedOne collided with Dover’s pier in inclement sea conditions, resulting in an hole in her full. Coastguards were called to pump out the water that flooded her water-tight compartments. Following temporary repairs, she was sent to Portsmouth for repairs.

Incat announced on 20th May 2008 that the ship has been purchased by SpeedFerries. However, SpeedOne was seized as soon as on the 6th November by the administration due to unpaid port fees and loans to the Royal Bank of Scotland and Incat. The company was put under administration after it bankrupted.

SpeedOne, laid up in Tilpury, was offered for sale on 21st April 2009 after having been unpainted. Sold to Epic Shipping, she was renamed Sea Leopard, waiting for a charter. Sea Leopard was refurbished in Weymouth during summer 2009.

The arrival in Condor Ferries' fleet

Condor Rapide arriving in Saint-Malo from Guernsey.
Condor Rapide arriving in Saint-Malo. Picture Antoine H.

On 26th March 2010, Condor Ferries announced that it has purchased Sea Leopard for an undisclosed 8 digits amount. She was to be operated on the Saint-Malo service, replacing Condor 10 within a company that already owned two of her sisterships. She was then refurbished in Weymouth.

She was renamed Condor Rapide on 1st April, and introduced on 13th May on the Saint-Malo service. She replaced Condor 10 which although she “was enough et would still be enough” was prevented from carrying more than 70 cars, since loading one extra car was implying refusing ten foot passengers. Condor Rapide's funnel was later painted in red instead of white, in 2011.

On 6th February 2014, Condor Rapide's crew went on strike, claiming for the ship to be registered in France. This would have enabled the crew to be paid at French wages, but also to benefit the French Welfare System. Condor Rapide remained berthed until 21st February, when Condor Ferries eventually accepted considering the registration of Condor Rapide under French International Registery. However, trade unions announced that they would supervise the process.

Condor Rapide was then sent the following day to Falmouth for refurbishment and overhauling. She was then adeed three stripes on her sides, respectively Red, Blue and Green, to the layout of what was made two years before on Condor Vitesse.

On 4th May 2014, open days were made on board Condor Rapide, enabling 3000 persons to visit her bridge and her engine room.

In March 2016, Condor Rapide went in Falmouth for drydoking, and was repainted to the latest Condor Ferries’ brand colours, introduced the year before on Condor Liberation. Her accommodation decks were also refurbished.

Aboard Accommodations

Aboard Dining and Bar

  • The Casquets Bistro - Bistro ; Main Deck;
  • Lat49 - Light Refreshments and Costa Coffee' drinks; Main Deck.
Condor Rapide's main seating lounge in 2014.
Condor Rapide's main seating lounge. Picture Antoine H.

Aboard Shopping

  • Adore - Duty Free shopping; Main Deck.

Ship plans

Passengers Accommodations

  • Ocean Travellers Class seats; Main and Upper decks.
  • Ocean Club Class seats - seats available in a separate lounge; Main deck.

Entertainment and Services

  • Bureau de Change; Main Deck;
  • Information Desk; Main Deck;
  • Children Playroom; Main Deck.

Photo Library

See Also


  • "Onboard". In Condor Ferries, Condor Ltd, 2016. [retrieved 24th August 2016]. Available at www.condorferries.co.uk ;
  • "HSC Condor Rapide (Incat 045), Past and Present". In Dover Ferry Photos Forum, Goodfellow, R. ; Thornton N. ; Cloke P., 2015. [retrieved 06th November 2015]. Available at www.doverferryphotosforums.co.uk ;
  • "HMAS Jervis Bay". In Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation and its writers, 2015. [retrieved 06th November 2015]. Available at en.wikipedia.org ;
  • "HSC Condor Rapide". In Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation and its writers, 2015. [retrieved 06th November 2015]. Available at en.wikipedia.org.