Displaying items by tag: Manannan
#FastCraftRepaired – The Isle of Man Steam Packet's fast-craft, Manannan (1998/5,746grt) has returned to full power following repairs to one of its four engines was finally completed.
According to the operator's website, the Manannan is now operating on all four engines and back to its normal schedule. The Tasmanian built 96m wave-piercing catamaran from the yard of InCat, normally serves her main route between Douglas and Liverpool.
As previously reported in July, she had a suffered a failed crankshaft with one of its four engines.
The incident that took place at the height of the summer season was not at option for the Steam-Packet to take Manannan out of service. Otherwise this would of led to several days to carry out the repairs resulting in huge disruption for passengers.
Instead, the Manx based operator announced a revised schedule allowing for slightly longer journey times, so travellers could plan ahead. This allowed a committment of additional resources to be carried out in repairing the vessel while staying in port overnight.
Usually these winter sailings are operated by Ben-My-Chree (1998/12,504grt), as the Dutch built ro-pax is in dry-dock at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead for repairs to her bow-thruster.
The InCAT built Manannan will cover these sailings with an arrival in Dublin Port this evening at 22.00hrs. She spends a short-around in port lasting only 45 minutes, before returning to the Manx capital.
The third service between Belfast-Stranraer is in the hands of rivals Stena Line which maintain the HSS Stena Voyager (1996/19,638 grt) on sailings but only to around mid-November. She will be replaced by conventional sister-ships which will be introduced on the North Channel's newest port when services switch from Stranraer to a new terminal close to Cairnryan.
Finally the fourth fast-ferry is Irish Ferries marketed 'Dublin Swift' service which runs on the Dublin-Holyhead route served by Jonathan Swift (1999/5,989 grt). The craft built by Austal in Fremantle, operates alongside the conventional cruise-ferry Ulysses.
Stena Line's decision to terminate HSS Stena Explorer sailings between Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead this day last week follows fast-ferry Stena Lynx III's end-of-season Rosslare-Fishguard sailings earlier this month.
From next year, Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead sailings are to be seasonal-only and according to Stena Line they hope to resume fast-ferry sailings in April or May though no exact date has been set. Unlike the central corridor route which was entirely dependent on HSS operations, the Rosslare-Fishguard route remains operating year-round with the conventional ferry Stena Europe.
As a result of the discontinued fast-ferries, the HSS Stena Explorer is now spending a lay-up period in the Welsh port for the winter. The smaller Stena Lynx III is also 'wintering' but in on the opposite side of the Irish Sea in Dun Laoghaire, where the vessel has done so in previous years.
The lay-up of both fast-ferries in Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead is ironic considering that neither ports' are connected by the very craft that used to share sailing rosters in recent years. In addition the wintering of these catamaran craft is the first time that this has occurred since the pioneering Stena Sea Lynx fast-ferry launched such sailings in 1993.
This first 'Lynx' provided seasonal sailings on the route with conventional car-ferry Stena Hibernia, the former St. Columba, custom-built in 1977 for Sealink /British Rail. She was given a second name under Stena ownership, the Stena Adventurer and remained on the 57 nautical-mile route until replaced in 1996 by the year-round operated HSS Stena Explorer.
Apart from cross-channel fast-ferry services, the Isle of Man is served by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. Ltd's routes linking the islands capital Douglas with Belfast, Dublin, Heysham and Liverpool (Birkenhead) in the winter. These routes include seasonal services which are operated by a combination of conventional tonnage using Ben-My-Chree and fast-ferry Manannan (1998/5,089grt), a former US Navy vessel, to read more click HERE. For sailing schedules, vessel type deployed on route and for fares click HERE.
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Manannan's chequered career included a five year charter initially to the United States Navy but transferred to the United States Army Forces between 2001-2006. The 5,029grt craft (see photo) was used for various trials and demonstrations and in which saw service in the Persian Gulf in support of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' and in 2003 'Operation Enduring Freedom' in the Horn of Africa.
An engine plant of 4 x Caterpillars diesel generates a speed of over 40 knots / 46 mph which provided logistical solutions by the High-Speed Vessel (HSV) to transport troops and supplies covering long distances in support of the Combined Joint Task Force.
Other tasks required by the force included the roles of operating as a mobile command centre which entailed working closely inshore and operating as a helicopter carrier. Helicopters landed at the craft's stern positioned helicopter landing deck.
The military role of the craft is in stark contrast compared to when the 96m ferry was launched in 1998 for civilian purposes as the Incat 050, the number representing the number of pioneering wave-piercing craft built by InCat in Hobart, Tasmania.
Asides her military days the 800-passenger / 200 vehicle fast-ferry has served the Hobart-Melbourne route, between New Zealand's north and south island and in European waters in the Mediterrean and to the Canary Islands.
Manannan (see photo) entered service last May after the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPco) purchased the vessel which was laid-up in Hobart. She made the long delivery to the northern hemisphere and was re-converted for ferry usesage during a refit in Portsmouth.
The 181 year-old company is the only sea-based passenger operator to the island on services linking Dublin, Belfast, Heysham, Liverpool and (Birkenhead) in the winter months.
There are rival companies such as the Ramsey Steamship Company but they are freight-only operators mostly running to Belfast and Liverpool using short-sea coastal traders and to other small Irish Sea ports.
An annual round island cruise is held and like last year the Manannan will be serving the cruise on Sunday 1 May departing Douglas at 11am for a journey of around 2 hours. The route closely circumnavigates the spectacular Manx coastline. For information on the island cruise and fares click here.