It's after its 5-yearly refit at A & P Falmouth.
Once safely returned to port after its 44 nautical miles sea journey, the towing gear will be removed and the ferry prepared for service which will take a few days to complete.
This means the ferry should be back in service for the start of the May Bank Holiday weekend – a full week ahead of the original scheduled date of 1 June. 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.
The refit has been a very complex project and both Tamar Crossings and A&P Falmouth are delighted that the works have been completed and the ferry returned to Torpoint ahead of schedule.
“The programme for TAMAR included a longer time in the dry dock than for PLYM and included a contingency period in case of bad weather” said David List, General Manager of Tamar Crossings. “Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved with the refit project really good progress was achieved, and subject to final inspection and clearance to operate from the MCA, we should have three ferries in service for the busy bank holiday weekend.“
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 should be 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.
“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.” said David List. “During the period of two ferry operation the staff at the ferry have worked hard to minimise disruption to service, and defect repair has been carried out as quickly as possible.
“I would like to thank drivers and passengers for their patience during this period.
“We are also working hard to find innovative solutions to improve the overall life, reliability and resilience of the ferries.”