Tamar II returns to service a full week ahead of schedule in time for busy Bank Holiday weekend.
Tamar II has returned to service today – providing a three ferry service a full week ahead of the original scheduled date of 1 June, and in time for the start of the busy Bank Holiday weekend. Additionally the start of the summer Sunday service has been brought forward a week, so there will be three ferries running this Sunday.
The ferry was towed back to Torpoint on Monday morning following the completion of its five yearly refit at A & P Falmouth. Staff from Tamar Crossings and A&P Falmouth have spent the past few days removing the towing gear and preparing the vessel for service. This work has now finished, and both the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Lloyds Register have completed their inspections and have cleared the ferry for service
David List, General Manager of Tamar Crossings, said “The early return of Tamar is very good news.”
“The refit has been a very complex project, and everyone involved with the project has worked exceptionally hard to complete the work and get the ferry back early and in time for the Bank Holiday weekend. I would like to thank both Tamar Crossings staff and A&P Falmouth for achieving this“.
The Torpoint Ferry is the world’s biggest and busiest chain ferry service and the UK’s busiest inland waterway ferry crossing – providing crossings for up to 8,000 vehicles and 1,500 pedestrians each day.
Tamar II’s refit has included a number of key elements, including:
• replacing systems and equipment that are becoming obsolete and unsupported by spares, including replacement of major components within the sewage treatment plants and updating the power management systems for the diesel generators to the latest generation
• removing the prows to enable repairs to the steel structure, renewal of all the hinges and bearings, and an extensive overhaul of the ‘above deck’ hydraulic systems and then reassembling the prows once the refurbishment has been completed.
• carrying out an extensive package of electrical work required because of the age of the vessel which is now 14 years old; including the installation of a new CCTV system
• cleaning the hull and repainting the vessels both above and below the waterline – this has included blasting the decks back to bare metal, stripping the ‘non-slip’ paint from the vehicle deck, prows and upper decks, and then applying primer and the new paint.
“A&P Falmouth has been working in partnership with Torpoint Ferries to deliver Tamar II’s five year refit“ said Steve Jones, from A&P Falmouth. “Under the leadership of A&P Falmouth’s Production Director Darren Rice, the A&P team has executed the programme of works on schedule, ensuring that Tamar II is back in service in time for the Bank Holiday weekend.”
Tamar Crossings operate the ferries 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in all weathers. Achieving this requires a significant planned maintenance programme. While the majority of maintenance is carried out while the vessels are afloat or during off peak periods while an individual vessel is not on scheduled service, some maintenance activities have to be carried out during refits in dry dock conditions. These refits are essential to maximise the life of the ferries and provide a safe and reliable service.