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First of new ferry fleet due in Sydney

AAP logoAAP 17/11/2016 Andrew Drummond

The first in a fleet of six new Sydney ferries will get a good workout as it motors from Hobart via the sometimes-treacherous Bass Strait.

Named after world-renowned Australian doctor and humanitarian Catherine Hamlin, the vessel is due to depart Hobart "on its own bottom" late on Friday, a spokeswoman for shipbuilder INCAT Tasmania said.

"That simply means she won't be carried by another craft, but rather make her own way," she added.

The twin-hull vessel is based on the traditional Sydney Ferry green-and-gold design but will be faster, with a greater seating capacity than current models.

Having already undergone sea trials in Hobart, the boat will be put through its paces again in Sydney, with manufacturers also due to conduct crew training.

But before then the Catherine Hamlin must cross Bass Strait, where conditions can range from mirror-like to the highest recorded wave height of 42.5 metres.

"We all know the weather is variable so the plan is to take things slowly," the spokeswoman said.

"We will stop and refuel, if necessary, at Eden and expect to reach Sydney on Monday."

More than 60,000 Sydneysiders voted in the competition to name the vessel, with the preferred title going to the 92-year-old obstetrician-gynaecologist.

Work has begun on the remainder of the fleet which are due to be delivered throughout 2017.

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