Central Coast Ferries
Daily trips, private cruises, high
speed transfers and ferry hire
Saratoga, Codock II & Sorrento
Purpose built for the original owner s of Central Coast Ferries, SARATOGA is a modern aluminum catamaran. The SARATOGA was built in QLD in 2003 by custom boat builders New Wave Catamarans. Although the SARATOGA is a “high speed” ferry, it is operated as a “slow” ferry on the regular passenger run from Woy Woy – Empire Bay, via Davistown & Saratoga ( hence the name!).
SARATOGA is powered by 2 Cummins 6BT Diesel engines, 220 HP each, which are efficient and clean diesel fuel engines due to their rigid maintenance program by the crew. The vessel is in survey to carry 78 passengers plus 2 crew comfortably. There is a partially covered rear deck plus fully covered boat deck. SARATOGA is a sturdy and stable vessel, which allows easy access for passengers with disabilities (dependent upon wharves).
SARATOGA has modern electronics with radar & chart plotters on board should the skippers need them, plus a depth sounder & 27MG radio. There is also a CD player/radio on board.
Passenger Launch Codock II
- Built Circa 1945
- Construction Keel, Stem, Ribs are Australian Hardwoods.
- Planking is Oregon, Decking is Beech (under renovation)
- Displacement tonnage 16 tonnes
- Dimensions Length 40’ Beam 12’ Draft 5’
- Passenger capacity 35 + 2 crew
- Power Gardner Marine Diesel Engine Model 5LW 5 cylinders of
- 4.25” Bore & 6” Stroke developing 70BHP
The hull of the CODOCK II was built during or immediately after World War II, as a standard 40’ workboat destined for the defence forces. These vessels were almost exclusively powered by the model 671 Grey Marine Diesel engines (the Detroit Diesels of today). Originally CODOCK II would have been fitted with very limited accommodation for two in a short trunk cabin forward, with a shelter for the crew t the steering station, with an open well aft of that for carrying cargo and or personnel.
This particular vessel was acquired by Cockatoo Dockyard in 1947 and converted to the layout seen to-day as a passenger vessel to ferry employees to and from Cockatoo Island and to and from ships around the harbour.
CODOCK II shared these duties with a number of similar vessels, some of whom are still working on the harbour, however CODOCK II was given special attention such as her interior finish in teak to also serve as the VIP launch assigned to other duties such as transporting special guests of the company and carrying management when attending special functions etc.
Much of the construction, modification and repair work on these vessels were done by the apprentices on Cockatoo Dockyards. It is not unusual when removing fittings etc for repair or replacement, to find a name or a date written underneath. The interior varnished teak trim was the waste or off cuts salvaged from the refitting of merchant and passenger vessels that had seen war service and were restored at Cockatoo (and other shipyards) for handing back to their owners for normal civilian service.
Despite her years, CODOCK II is a very sound vessel, her under planking is protected by copper sheathing, but most importantly whilst she has had a busy sixty or so years of continuos hard service, CODOCK II has undergone annual slipping and survey as a passenger carrying vessel.
CODOCK II was in daily service up until Cockatoo Dockyard was shut down. She was purchased at that time at auction by Doyle’s of Watson’s Bay, and after some modifications it was intended to use her to transport patrons from Circular Quay to Watson’s Bay and return; however she did not see extensive service and was purchased by a Rossmans Ferries for a period and then by Moonlight Charters in 1995. She was used to transport picnickers to various Harbour Islands and similar short trips.
CODOCK II was purchased by her present owners Central Coast Ferries in 2006 for use on a new expanded ferry run linking Woy Woy , Hardys Bay & Ettalong areas. She is undergoing a restoration by Conway Marine over the next few years, which will include having her beech deck re laid. These family owned enterprises are passionate about the waterways and its history.
The “SORRENTO” is a hard chine, twin engine single deck aluminium catamaran passenger ferry. The vessel was designed by Paul Birgan and built by New Wave Catamarans in Brisbane and launched in December 2003.
From 2003 – 2009, the vessel was used as a passenger ferry from Runaway Bay to Stradbroke Island. In 2009 the vessel was then purchased by Belmont Christian College to service the “school run” on Lake Macquarie . The students were picked up at various wharves around Lake Macquarie & then taken to school at Belmont & returned home in the afternoon.
As the student numbers declined, the school decided to sell the vessel in 2015. The vessel was purchased by CCF to assist in larger group transfers & also to be used for the very popular HISTORY CRUISES, CAST OFF Festival, OYSTER Festival & the very popular NYE Celebrations at Gosford Waterfront.
After a public campaign, the vessel was renamed SORRENTO. SORRENTO was the name of a guest house in the now named Empire Bay. The owner of the guest house wanted to open up the local post office & the suburb to be called SORRENTO. However this name was rejected by the Post Master as there is a suburb in Melbourne called SORRENTO. Hence the suburb was named EMPIRE BAY. The name also fits in with SORRENTO’s smaller sister ship SARATOGA.
Both the cats were designed, built & launched in the same year, so its fitting that they ply the waterways here on the Central Coast together.