Connect with us

Phuket

Hydrofoils the latest boon for Phuket

Published

 on 

PHUKET: At present it sits on the quay at the Phuket Deep Sea Port in Ao Makham, looking like it’s just waiting for Buck Rogers or Dan Dare to come aboard and blast off into space.

It’s not quite that exotic, however. This is the first of three hydrofoils that will whisk passengers off to Phi-Phi, Krabi, Koh Lanta or the Similans at speeds of around 35 knots (for all you landlubbers, that’s about 65 kmh), making it possible to get to Phi Phi, for example, in 40 minutes, and Lanta in another 20.

The hydrofoil is originally a Russian design, the Kometa (“comet” – over to you again, Dan Dare). But this one and the other two to follow are from Athens, where hydrofoils are a standard way to get from the port of Piraeus to the Greek islands. Kometas are also used in Scandinavia, China and elsewhere, where they have proved their robustness and reliability.

The owner is Sakwuth Udomsrisak, who is investing a massive 45 million baht for each of the craft, including 9 million baht just for shipping each vessel here, along with a stem-to-stern overhaul and the installation of the most up-to-date equipment, including a pair of new 1,050-horsepower diesel engines from MTU of Germany.

His company, Phuket Adventures, already owns dozens of minibuses and speedboats, and he has a couple of resorts as well. “Not everyone likes bumping about in a speedboat,” he explains. “Younger people find it exciting, but older people find it uncomfortable. We are aiming the hydrofoils at 4- and 5-star hotel guests.”

The hydrofoil will certainly be a smoother ride. Once it hits about 20 knots, it begins to “fly” as the hydrofoils – like underwater airplane wings – lift the hull above the water. The result is a ride that feels more like an aircraft. The vessel can handle wave heights of up to 3 metres without any of the 132 passengers feeling the bumps.

The only thing it needs is relatively deep water when it “lands” and “takes off”, which is why the initial service will be from Ao Makham, where Sakwuth is building a special passenger terminal. He hopes to be able to run the Similans route from a floating jetty off the west coast – possibly Surin or Patong Beach.

Prices will be very similar to those for speedboats. A package trip to Phi Phi, for example, with two-way transport, lunch and a tour, will cost around 3,200 baht (approx US$ 95.00), Sakwuth says. A similar package to Lanta will be around 4,000 baht. One-way tickets will be available, probably at 1,700 and 2,200 baht respectively.

And if you are no longer keen on putting your money into stocks or bonds, Sakwuth says he’ll be delighted to talk about investment. Just call him at +66 (0) 81-895 4243 or email him here.

— Phuket Observer

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World17 hours ago

Thai gangs traffic Kenyans to Myanmar scam factories

South18 hours ago

Deep South emergency decree extended 3 months

Thailand19 hours ago

Why Is Thailand So Cheap?

Sponsored2 days ago

Where you can get cannabis in Bangkok

Expats20 hours ago

Phuket’s 5 best golf courses

Crime20 hours ago

Inmate who escaped Khon Kaen hospital back in custody

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

Masks recommended in crowds amid Covid increase

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime22 hours ago

Squabbling beach vendor gives rival a single bullet warning

Tourism23 hours ago

Russian invasion takes Thailand’s tourism forces by surprise

Road deaths23 hours ago

Late night drinking hopes dashed by Alcohol Control Committee

Thailand24 hours ago

Why Pattaya? Is Pattaya worth visiting in 2023?

Transport24 hours ago

Thai Airways appoint new CEO

Crime1 day ago

Private jet in ‘Tuhao’ case still flying free

Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | FIFA threatens to pull plug on World Cup broadcast rights in Thailand

Press Room2 days ago

Iconic chef “Alain DUCASSE” returns to Bangkok for 3rd anniversary celebrations of Blue by Alain Ducasse

Koh Samui2 days ago

VIDEO: Naked Russian man walks around with erection in Koh Samui

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending