#FreightFerries - Seatruck Ferries Arrow on charter to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, is currently returning to the Irish Sea in advance of Christmas, following freight relief cover for Channel Islands operator Condor Ferries, writes Jehan Ashmore.
When the 65 trailer unit Arrow returns to the Isle of Man, this will allow for added back-up cover should the ropax Ben-My-Chree require during the busy Christmas period and be subject to any damage or mechancial issues.
Arrow, an ‘R’ class freight-ferry and sister of Clipper Ranger (see, Seatruck’s third Liverpool ship) has been standing in for the winter maintenance overhaul of Condor Ferries ro-pax Commodore Clipper. The 550 passenger/55 car ro-pax has undergone a ‘scrubber’ emission technology installation to comply with the EU low sulphur directive.
Commodore Clipper also received a new livery given that applied to this year’s newcomer, Condor Liberation. The Austal built 102m fast-ferry trimaran craft made her debut in March on the Poole-Guernsey-Jersey routes.
To maintain the daily lifeline demands of the Channel Islands link to the UK, a two-ship service (to Portsmouth) was ensured by the Arrow in support of Condor Ferries freight-ferry, Commodore Goodwill. The company cited, it is always difficult to secure the right sized vessel, given the harbour restrictions imposed by St. Helier, Jersey and St. Peter Port on Guernsey.
Work to install scrubbers on the Commodore Goodwill, is also part of the winter overhaul programme on the vessel that also links Jersey with France, using the port of St. Malo, from where Condor Rapide also provides a fast-ferry link to the continent.
Commodore Clipper represents the only conventional ferry tonnage on the Channel Islands-UK and likewise of the ‘Goodwill’ she serves Portsmouth. As of yesterday afternoon, the Arrow departed the Hampshire port and is bound intially for Liverpool with an arrival on Merseyside tomorrow morning.
The ‘Clipper’ however, still remains out of service, while in dry-dock at A&P Falmouth. The 1999 Dutch built ro-pax is of a similar design of the Steam Packet’s Ben-My-Chree which too was completed by Van de Giessen du Nord but in the previous year.
She mostly operates the Douglas-Heysham route. In addition she runs a winter Douglas-Birkenhead (Liverpool) service as fast-ferry, Manannan is 'wintering' in the Manx capital from where the craft resumes sailings to Liverpool's landing stage in Spring 2016.