Let's leave the beach for the grand kids to play safely
Having just read the March 4 edition of Peninsula News regarding the fast ferry, the photo of the Kobe fast ferry on the front page representing the proposed fast ferry from Ettalong to Sydney is totally unsuitable.
Being foil borne that vessel draws about four to five metres draft when moving at slow speed and stopped, so would need six metres of water depth to operate west of Little Box Head at low tide.
The area would require a large amount of continuous dredging from Little Box Head around Half Tide Rocks as well as a large deep channel along the Ettalong shore.
This deep channel would then suck all the sand from the beaches including Lobster Beach.
That sand would come off the beaches and the dredging would then dump the sand in deep water at the entrance of Broken Bay.
I am certain the beach goers would complain if their beaches suddenly disappeared over night due to tidal erosion or storms.
As Ettalong is built on sand, after a few years the erosion could be bad enough and with dredging the town might slip into the channel.
High speed ferries can cost a lot of money to run so the fares would be approaching aircraft fare costs and there would not be too many people living on the Coast that could afford two trips a day for a week and every week all year round.
This is in addition to the parking problem at Ettalong, where we have just lost a lot of car spaces opposite the Mantra Resort.
These type of ferries are only suitable for deep water long distance runs and need deep water berthing facilities.
They have high maintenance running costs, as well as the damage to foils hitting the sea bed in shallow waters.
The old Manly hydrofoil ferries were stopped by high maintenance costs.
Let's leave Ettalong as it is: a nice quite retirement and holiday area where the grand kids can safely play on the beach and stay with their grandparents during the holidays.
Email, 7 Mar 2017
William Bollard, Ettalong