Scandlines Cat-Link A/S's new fast ferry the CAT-LINK V is proudly flying the Blue Riband banner. The Blue Riband and the coveted "Hales Trophy" are awarded to the vessel with the fastest average speed over the Atlantic. The award is based on  average speed rather than shortest elapsed time because the transatlantic routes vary in length.



Cat-Link V - New York to Bishop Rock 2 days, 20 hrs 9 mins = Average 41.284 knots


Barely six weeks after the Buquebus fast ferry, the CATALONIA, set a world speed record for crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the record was shattered by the Danish fast ferry CAT-LINK V. The CAT-LINK V completed the crossing at world record speed despite a delay of more than two hours to take part in a search and rescue operation.


CAT-LINK V, a 91.3 meter (300 feet) car and passenger double-hulled catamaran ferry with four diesel engines generating 34,000 horsepower, crossed the Atlantic from New York to Bishop Rock outside Southampton, Britain, in two days, 20 hours and nine minutes -- the first such voyage in under three days.


The 500 deadweight ton vessel's average speed was 41.284 nautical miles per hour (knots). The previous record of 38.877 knots was held by Spanish-registered CATALONIA. Both fast ferries were built by Incat of Australia.


On Saturday night, CAT-LINK V and other vessels in the area received a call from the rescue coordination center in Halifax, Canada to search for a ditched single-engine aircraft, which had sent out a May-Day signal during a westward cross-Atlantic flight. A rescue plane spotted debris some 30 nautical miles behind the CAT-LINK V. The CAT-LINK V was asked to  turned around - towards New York - and proceed immediately to the area. CAT-LINK V found wreckage and took it on board, but no survivors. 


During its crossing, CAT-LINK V set a second world record, covering 1,018.2 nautical miles in 24 hours, beating the Catalonia's record of 1015 nautical miles set 8-9 June 1998. The Catalonia had broken the record of  868 nautical miles set by the SS UNITED STATES over the period 6-7 July 1952.


CAT-LINK V, with capacity for 800 passengers and 200 cars, will be put on a regular route between the Danish ports of Kalundborg and Aarhus -- a ferry route vying for traffic between eastern and western Denmark with the new Great Beltfixed link.



June 9, 1998- The Buquebus "fast ferry " CATALONIA completed its Transatlantic crossing in record time, eclipsing the mark set in 1990 by the HOVERSPEED GREAT BRITAIN, to win the coveted Hales Trophy. The CATALONIA beat the average speed record set by the HOVERSPEED GREAT BRITAIN by crossing the Atlantic at an average of 38.877 knots, shattering the old record of 36.65 knots (42.15 mph). CATALONIA also became the first passenger ship ever to travel more than 1,000 miles in a 24 hour period, covering a distance of 1,015 miles between 3 :00 PM EST on June 8th and 3 :00EST on June 9th.


Australian ferry builder Incat had achieved a remarkable double. The CATALONIA, in addition to setting a record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic in a passenger vessel, became the first vessel to sail more than 1000 nautical miles (1852 km) in a 24 hour period, covering 1015 nautical miles (1879.8 km) at an average of 42.3 knots (78.3 km/h). The previous record is understood to be 868 nautical miles set by the SS UNITED STATES over the period 6-7 July 1952.


During the non stop journey from New York to Tarifa, Spain, CATALONIA traveled an unofficial 2,972 nautical miles at an average speed of 38.85 knots (71.95 km/h). The previous transatlantic record of 36.65 knots (67.88 km/h) was established in 1990 by another Incat built vessel, HOVERSPEED GREAT BRITAIN.


Powering the CATALONIA are four Cat 3618 diesel engines, the newest and most powerful marine engines built by Caterpillar Inc. Peoria, Illinois, in cooperation with Bazan Motores, Cartagena, Spain. The vessel was built by Incat Australia.


CATALONIA will enter commercial service between Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca in mid June 1998. Beneath the success of these records lies a remarkable story of technical innovation and engineering prowess. Thanks to an unrivalled global reputation for innovation, speed, reliability, safety, economy and passenger comfort, Incat has now built around 40% of the world's high speed passenger vehicle ferries.



catlinkv.jpg (19707 octets)







The first few hours with a full load of fuel passed and after 5 hours, the ship reported a speed of 42.2 knots. Twelve hours out the speed was still 42 knots with the average speed since the start being 38.6 knots. It was noted at this time that the southerly winds and seas were building.

By Saturday morning (day 2) the speed was up to 43 knots and the average up to 40.28 knots. "Cat-Link V" then received a relayed MAYDAY message from Rescue Control Centre, Halifax advising all shipping to keep a sharp lookout for a ditched single engine aircraft with two people aboard whose last reported position, some 40 hours ago, was nearby. Captain Claus Kristensen reported current position and notified RCC Halifax that "Cat-Link V" was proceeding to the last reported position. On board tension suddenly grew about 10 nautical miles short of the position when something was sighted in the water - closer investigation revealed a long line buoy. "Cat-Link V" proceeded through the area on a NE course.

Two hours later a rescue plane circling overhead advised of debris some 30 nautical miles behind. "Cat-Link V" was asked to turnaround - towards New York - and proceed immediately to the area. After one hour the "Cat-Link V" crew located the smoke flare dropped by the aircraft and the debris. Crew member, Soren Kristensen donned an immersion suit and went over the side to recover a 500mm3 block of foam and a 370mm long plastic cylinder. Later, about 1 nautical mile from this position "Cat-Link V" also recovered a fishing buoy, tragically there are still no clues as to the fate of the occupants of the plane. All debris was unrelated to the missing aircraft and having searched the area for some time "Cat-Link V" proceeded to the turn around point where she was relieved of search and rescue duties by RCC Halifax.

Day 3 weather conditions were not favourable - 30 knot winds and sea on the beam. Engine rpm was reduced to preserve fuel and the speed, with 770 nm still to travel, was 40.5 knots.

The weather finally turned for the better and with 130 miles to go the average speed was up to 39.678 knots. With the record in sight, the crew calculated that if they had not diverted to search for the lost aircraft "Cat-Link V" would have averaged 41.05 knots.

"Cat-Link V" crossed the line at Bishops Rock the official UK arrival point, travelling at a fast 47.6 knots, at 02.17.42 UTC on Monday 20th July. The average speed achieved was 39.897 knots, just short of the goal of a 40 knot average for the almost 3000 mile trip but still smashing the Transatlantic Record. The ship may fulfil their 40 knot ambition if the Hales Trust (administrators of the Hales Trophy) approve an adjustment for the time taken for the search and rescue operation.





The Blue Riband of the North Atlantic is the most prestigious steaming record in the world and 1998 marks the 160th anniversary of the 8.03 knot, 18 days, 14 hours, 22 minute record set by SIRIUS in April 1838. This crossing, together with the successful record breaking arrival in New York one day later by GREAT WESTERN (8.66 knots), created great public interest in shipping and a quest, by operators, for transatlantic supremacy. By gentleman's agreement, a number of shipping magnates decided that the passenger vessel logging the fastest transatlantic crossing would be honored with the privilege of flying a blue ribbon from her mast.



Hales Cup


Over the next 100 years numerous attempts were made to gain the honor of being the holder of the Blue Riband. To encourage innovation in passenger transport and formalize Blue Riband arrangements, English Parliamentarian, Harold Hales, commissioned and donated a four foot high priceless trophy, known as the Hales Trophy, in 1934. The Trophy is presented to the "Ship which shall for the time being have crossed the Atlantic Ocean at the highest average speed".


Great liners such as REX, NORMANDIE, QUEEN MARY and SS UNITED STATES have all held the Hales Trophy since its inception. The SS UNITED STATES won the Blue Riband on its maiden voyage in 1952, averaging 35.59 knots. That record was broken in 1990 by the Incat Australia built HOVERSPEED GREAT BRITAIN, establishing the record at 36.65 knots. In June 1998, the CATALONIA raised the speed to 38.85 knots and in July, the CAT-LINK V set a new record speed of 39.897 knots. 


CAT-LINK V Specifications:


CAT-LINK V, a 91.3 meter (300 feet) car and passenger double-hulled catamaran ferry with four diesel engines generating 34,000 horsepower; capacity for 800 passengers and 200 cars. The CAT-LINK V is powered by four Ruston 20 RK270 conventional medium speed diesel engines.  VULKAN's RATO-R 3431 Couplings join the engines to drive transom mounted Lips waterjets.


Caterpillar Engine

Caterpillar 3618 Diesel Engine


CATALONIA Specifications:


Speed Maximum lightship condition: 48 knots/89 km/h Deadweight (450 tonne): 43 knots/80 km/h Length overall: 91.30 m Length waterline: 81.34 m Beam overall (excluding fenders): 26.00 m Draft fully loaded (approx.): 3.70 m (in salt water) Passengers: 876 people  Crew: 24 crew Vehicles 225 cars). Powered by four Cat 3618 diesel engines with VULKAN RATO-R 3431 Highly Flexible Couplings. Each engine drives a transom mounted waterjet (Lips LJ145D) through a Renk ASL60 reduction gearbox.




hoverspeed.GIF (26531 bytes)

Hoverspeed Great Britain

LOA = 74.3. length overall: B = 26.0 m breadth Bi = 4.3 m breadth of hulls; T = 2.5 m draught; Deadweight: 200 DWT
Passengers: 450; Cars: max. 84
Speed:- at 90% MCR - designed 35 knots and 200 DWT - actual 37 knots-maximum - designed 40 knots- actual 45 knots. Construction: marine grade aluminum
Classification: DNV. + 1 Al Light Craft (CAT) EO
PROPULSION SYSTEM: 4 Ruston Diesel type 16RK 270, each 3650kW at 750 1/min and 4 Riva Calzoni water-jets type IRC 115 DX.

VULKAN DELIVERY: 2 RATO-S 3311 Highly Flexible Couplings on the outer port and starboard engines and 2 RATO-S 3324 Highly Flexible Couplings on the inner port and starboard engines

HOVERSPEED GREAT BRITAIN set the transatlantic crossing record for the fastest average speed in 1990 and flew the coveted "Blue Riband" for eight years.  Average Speed - 36.65 knots.


Congratulations to Captain Claus Kristensen and his crew!



Scandlines hurtigst over Atlanten

Hurtigfærgen Cat-Link V vandt i sommeren 1998 som det første danske skib Atlanter-havets "Blå Bånd", og vandt dermed også det meget prestigefyldte trofæ "Hales Trophy".


Atlanterhavets "Blå Bånd" og Hales Trophy gives af en særlig komite til det rederi, der er indehaver af hastigheds-rekorden for sejlads over Atlanten. Og den rekord blev færgen Cat-Link V indehaver af, da hun den 20. juli 1998 passerede Bishop´s Rock ud for Lands End i England, efter en rekordoverfart på to døgn, 20 timer og 9 minutter – og med en gennemsnitsfart på over 41 knob.


Den rekord, som Cat-Link V slog var kun en måned gammel, men trofæet har eksisteret siden 1838, da hjuldamperen Sirius gennemførte rejsen mellem New York og South-hampton på 18 døgn, 14 timer og 22 minutter og vandt som det første skib Atlanter-havets Blå Bånd. Siden har tyske, britiske, italienske, amerikanske og franske rederier haft rekorden.


Den amerikanske luksusdamper United States rekord stod urørt i mange år, fordi trafik-mønstret over Atlanten ændrede sig fra skibe til fly. Men hurtigfærger kom ind i billedet. Først med Hoovercraft Great Britain, og i juni 1998 blev alle hidtidige rekorder slået af den argentinsk ejede hurtigfærge Catalonia, som krydsede Atlanterhavet med 38,85 knob.


Denne rekord stod ikke en måned. Den 20. juli 1998 kunne den dansk-australske besætning under ledelse af kaptajn Claus L. Kristensen indrapportere fire rekorder:

  • Cat-Link V er det første skib, der krydser Atlanterhavet på under tre døgn

  • Cat-Link V har præsteret den længst udsejlede distance på 24 timer nogensinde: 1018,2 sømil

  • Cat-Link V er det hurtigste skib nogensinde på Atlanterhavet med en rekordfart på 41,282 knob

  • Cat-Link V er dermed det første skib, der har gennembrudt den magiske 40 knobs barriere 

Cat-Link V er pr. 1. januar 1999 overgået til Mols-Linien og hedder nu "Mads Mols".



WEB LINKS: For information about Caterpillar engines. For further information on Incat For Incat Information: Judy Benson, Incat Australia 18 Bender Drive, Hobart, Tasmania 7009, Australia Direct Line: +61 3 62711280 Fax: +61 3 62730932 Email: mobile 0418443299 Please select Ingles (English) version then select Hales Trophy - Hales Trophy Co-ordination: Sylvia Edwards, Buquebus, Miami, Florida Email:


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Scandlines Denmark
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2100 Copenhagen Ø
Phone: +45 33 15 15 15

Scandlines Germany
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D-18119 Rostock-Warnemünde
Phone: +49 381 54 350

Scandlines Sweden
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S-252 78 Helsingborg
Phone: +46 42 18 60 00







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