LYNHER has been taken out of service this morning to prepare for being towed to Falmouth for her refit at the A&P dry dock facilities. Work has now started on preparing the ferry for the tow, including de-storing and installation of steelwork that supports the prows, and keeps the ferry watertight, during the tow. The ferry is currently scheduled to leave Torpoint on Friday, 20 March to travel to Falmouth, but, as always, this is dependent on acceptable wind and sea state conditions. The ferry is currently due to return to service by mid-May but if weather conditions are good and there are no other issues, the ferry could return to service earlier than this date.
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 Crossings Ltd 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.
LYNHER’s refit will include 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
· carrying out an extensive package of electrical work required because of the age of the vessel ( it is now 15 years old)
· repainting the vessels both above and below the waterline – this will include using more environmentally friendly paint systems than were available in the past, and gives the opportunity to rationalise the range of paints being used which significantly reduces the levels of potential waste
During the refit period the service will be provided by the two remaining ferries, leaving each side of the river every 15 minutes (on the hour and 15, 30 and 45 minutes past the hour), and the normal single ferry, half hourly, night service from 2200 to 06.30.
The reduced capacity means that there will inevitably be greater pressure on the service with the potential for longer waits, so ferry users are advised to allow more time for their journeys and to monitor the Tamar Crossings website and social media channels for any updates.
We recognise that the reduction in service during refit periods is not desirable, however these refits are essential to maximise the life of the ferries and ensure that we continue to provide a safe and reliable service. We are also working hard to find innovative solutions to improve the overall life of the ferries and reduce the need for extensive periods of maintenance.