British and Irish Steam Packet Company (B&I Line)Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IoMSPCo)JetfoilPast and Present

GTS (15) Ginga (Ex Cu Na Mara) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7915840

GTS Ginga

Ex Cu Na Mara

British & Irish Steam Packet Co. (B&I Line)

British & Irish Steam Packet Co. (B&I Line)

Aluminium 929-115 series Jetfoil high speed passenger ferry built in 1980 by Boeing Jetfoil Industries, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. (Yard No 15) for Boeing Marine Systems, Seattle, USA.

Technical Data

  • Length: 30.10  m (overall), 23.9268 (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 9.50m (across foils), 8.53m
  • Depth: 2.59m (moulded)
  • Draught: 4.30m
  • Tonnage: 277 gross, 267 gross/115 deadweight
  • Engines: Two General Motors Detroit Diesel Allison gas turbines
  • Power: 5443 kW/ 7400 sHP
  • Speed: 43 knots (service), 50 knots (maximum)
  • Capacity: 250-300 passengers
  • Call Sign: JF2120
  • IMO Number: 7915840
  • MMSI Number: 431013283
  • Official  Number: 120063
  • Registry: Dublin/Ireland 🇮🇪, Ryotsu/Japan 🇯🇵
  • Sisters: GTS 929 – 115’s 11/12/13/14/16/17/18/19/20/21/22/23/24/25/26

Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the VesselFinder AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


Mid 1978: Ordered at a cost of £6.6 million. B & I took out an option on a second jetfoil, to be exercised in the middle of 1979. This vessel was to be on a new Belfast-Glasgow route, The option for a second craft was extended to autumn 1980 and then to the end of 1980, but nothing was ever heard of it.

November 1979: Completed and named in Seattle. Loaded onto containership ANTONIA JOHNSON for a delivery voyage to Dublin Port.

© Simonwp

Antonia Johnson – © Simonwp

February 13th 1980: Arrived at Gladstone Dock, Liverpool and delivered to British & Irish Steam Packet Co. (B&I Line), Dublin, Ireland

“Prior to coming into service, there were to be at least six weeks of working-up trials and crew training. Initially, an American bridge team of captain and engineer would instruct a small number of selected B. & I. masters and mates until they were officially qualified to operate the craft. Amongst the port’s requirements would be the employment of a Liverpool Pilot when navigating the River and Mersey channels. The pilots to be used would have to be current members of the Pilotage and Examination Committees and would report back on any potential problems whilst in the pilotage area.”.

“ A river and channel trip was arranged for all available pilots to give them an idea of operational parameters and the high approach speeds. Throughout the trial trips four Liverpool pilots were employed, individually, but such was the efficiency and experience of the B. & I. masters and mates that there was no problem in extending their pilotage exemption certificates to cover the jetfoil.

April 25th 1980: Maiden voyage Dublin – Liverpool (1 – 2 daily round sailings).

© Ian Collard

© Ian Collard

July 2nd 1980: Collided with MANXMAN, which was berthed at the landing stage. She suffered substantial damage and engineers from Boeing were flown over to assist with the repairs, which took place in Trafalgar Dock. In contrast, the MANXMAN  was undamaged.

July 13th 1980: Returned to service.

October 22nd 1980: Forced to abandon her crossing to Liverpool after making three attempts to leave Dublin.

November 3rd 1980: Seasonal services ceased,

1980/81( Winter):  Boeing carried out modifications to improve her fuel economy and her bad weather performance. Following these modifications, she was chartered to the Belgian RTM  for two months to carry out crew training and familiarisation, before the introduction of a jetfoil service between Ostend and Dover.

Internet Source

Internet Source

November 3rd 1980: Withdrawn for the winter, despite earlier hints that it might become a year-round service

May 4th 1981: Before opening the ‘81 service called at Douglas, Isle of Man to assess its potential as a storm port.

May 8th 1981: Services Dublin – Liverpool.

© Capt Jan Melchers © Capt Jan Melchers © Capt Jan Melchers

© Capt Jan Melchers

1981(Season): Twice withdrawn from service because of mechanical problems. The B. & I. Line was suffering huge losses, and was required by its owner, the Irish Government, to take steps to improve its financial performance. After a full review. the company decided to withdraw the jetfoil service at the end of the 1981 season.

© Ian Collard © Ian Collard

© Ian Collard

1981: Withdrawn and laid up, for sale around £6.6 million, in Arklow.

January 1985: Sold to Sado Kisen KK for around £5 million.

January 1985 (mid): Handed over to her new owners and renamed GINGA.

May 1st 1986: At Dublin, Ocean Pier,  loaded onto CONTI BELGICA for transportation to Hong Kong.

© Simonwp

Conti Belgica – © Simonwp

Getty Images Getty Images Getty Images Getty Images

Getty Images

1986: Services Niigatao –  Ryotsu.

Sado Kisen Sado Kisen Sado Kisen

Sado Kisen

March 19th 2019:

“NIIGATA – Eighty people were injured Saturday after a jetfoil ferry apparently hit a marine animal off Sado Island in the Sea of Japan, according to the Japan Coast Guard. Thirteen people sustained serious injuries, the coast guard said.
The collision at around 12:15 p.m. did not prevent the jetfoil from reaching its destination on Sado Island, according to ferry operator Sado Steam Ship Co. A 15-cm crack was found at the stern.

Coast guard officials are investigating the cause of the incident. The vessel may have hit a whale or some other creature, they said.

The vessel, carrying 121 passengers and four crew, had left Niigata Port at 11:30 a.m. It arrived at Ryotsu Port at around 1:30 p.m.

Crew members call on passengers to wear seat belts before departure as well as when the vessel is sailing, Sado Steam Ship said.

The boat, propelled by a high pressure jet of seawater, operates at a speed of 80 kph, connecting Niigata and Ryotsu ports in about an hour. Its hydrofoil wings were also damaged in the collision.

“After the sound of a bang … my throat hit the seat in front of me. People around me were moaning (because of pain),” one of the passengers told reporters.”

Japan Times 

Japan Times 

Japan Times 

Sado Kisen

Sado Kisen

2023: Believed to be still in service (Status update sought).


All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Ian Collard, Japan Times , Sado Kisen, Capt Jan Melchers, Simonwp and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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