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Ferryport Invests in New Pilot Boat at Holyhead

26th September 2017
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New pilot boat for the Port of Holyhead, the St. Columba will be used to transfer pilots and crew to ships (not ferries) but visiting cruiseships arriving and departing New pilot boat for the Port of Holyhead, the St. Columba will be used to transfer pilots and crew to ships (not ferries) but visiting cruiseships arriving and departing Photo: Port of Holyhead / Stena Line Ports

#ferryport - An investment in a new pilot boat to be used at the north Wales ferryport of Holyhead Port took place last month.

The boat built by Holyhead Marine Services Ltd is to a design created by Camarc Design and will be used by Stena Line for pilotage operations in and out of the Port of Holyhead.

Afloat adds that asides ferryport operations see report, large cruiseships call to the port by anchoring offshore. In addition smaller sized ships can berth in the harbour's inner basin. 

The pilot boat is 13 metres in length with a max speed of over 27 knots.  At these speeds the boat will be fast and efficient in the role of transferring up to four pilots and two crew members to and from ships arriving and departing Port of Holyhead.

Captain Wyn Parry, Stena Line’s Irish Sea South Ports Manager said: “We’re delighted that our acquisition of the new pilot boat in Holyhead has allowed us to invest in and support the local economy. It was important for Stena Line to try and support the local maritime industry where possible and we are delighted with the design and build quality that Holyhead Marine Services have been able to provide for us."

"The new pilot boat will prove essential to the daily operations of the port in terms of embarking and disembarking the ports pilots safely on and off the ships they help guide into and out of the harbour.”

Nick Colin York, Managing Director of Holyhead Marine Services Ltd commented: “We’re very proud of the hard work that has gone into the building and design of the new pilot boat. It features a resiliently mounted wheelhouse which will give crew a comfortable and quiet working environment and a Popsure fender system which will add to the safety of operations as it spreads impact loads over a large area.”

“This craft is a welcome addition to Holyhead Marine’s portfolio of composite pilot boats designed by Camarc Design and has extended the existing range to include this smaller and more economic model. In keeping with maritime tradition, the Port Authority has christened the new boat and called it St Columba,” added Nick.

 

 

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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