Preparations for the planned refit of the Torpoint ferry PLYM are now well underway, with the ferry currently due to be taken out of service on Saturday, 29 April 2023 in preparation for being towed to Falmouth. Weather permitting the ferry will be towed to A&P Falmouth’s dry dock facilities on Friday, 5 May 2023.
PLYM is one of three chain ferries operated by Tamar Crossings which provide a vital 24-hour ferry service in all weathers for up to 8,000 vehicles and around 1,500 pedestrians each day, 365 days a year.
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.
The ferries can only be towed in relatively calm sea states and wind conditions. This means that adverse weather can, and has in the past, significantly impacted on the actual dates of the towing operations in both directions.
We are obviously hopeful that the tow will be able to go ahead on schedule. If, however, the date has to be changed at short notice we will provide information through our website, social media and other means. We will also be publishing regular updates on the progress of the refit on our website.
Each of the three ferries undergoes a full refit every five years. PLYM is the first of the ferries to undergo a refit during this five-year cycle. TAMAR’s next refit is scheduled to take place in April 2024, and LYNHER’s in April 2025.
The refit duration is approximately 6 weeks and this means that the ferry should be back in service in mid-June.
The refits also give Lloyds Register and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) the opportunity to carry out their five-yearly dry-docked inspections which are aimed at ensuring that the ferries are in a good material condition, and that they are safe to operate.