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MSN APRIL 1997

 

MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS

27 April 1997

Welcome to this week's Mersey Shipping News.

There is big news from Sea Containers/IoMSPCo with the ordering of a brand new vessel from Van der Geissen.

SEA CONTAINERS (IOM) LTD

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY LTD

LADY OF MANN - currently in Wright and Beyer's Dry Dock. On Saturday repainting appeared to be well underway.

PEVERIL - remains in Cammell Laird's wet basin.

First brand new IoMSPCo vessel since 1976!

The big news is that Sea Containers have placed a 24 million pound order for a new ro/ro vessel with Van der Giessen of the Netherlands. This new ship will replace both the KING ORRY and PEVERIL on the Douglas to Heysham route. Contracts were reported signed on Friday and delivery is expected in July 1998.

The vessel will have a service speed of 19 knots - about the same as the present KING ORRY though much faster than the PEVERIL. Length will be 125 metres, 11 metres longer than the KING ORRY. The vessel will have a reduced passenger accommodation compared to KING ORRY at just 500 - the King can carry over 1000. However, the new vessel will be able to carry more vehicles than the KING ORRY and PEVERIL combined!

Since January 1997 the emphasis has been placed on developing the Liverpool to Douglas route for passengers and light vehicles and Heysham to Douglas for HGVs and Coaches. The reduced passenger accommodation on the new vessel reflects this policy.

The choice of builders is interesting - Van der Giessen are responsible for the construction of the new Irish Ferries tonnage ISLE OF INNISFREE and ISLE OF INISHMORE. Though designed by Hart, Fenton & Company - The Sea Container's owned marine architects - the preliminary published drawings resemble a scaled down version of the ISLE OF INNISFREE. With a similar distinctive funnel located aft on an open stern vehicle deck.

The ship will be equipped with two bow thrusters. Its design allows for quick turn-rounds. This will permit two return sailings per day to be operated. The design incorporates all the latest SOLAS requirements. The company intends to sell the KING ORRY, though it looks as though the venerable PEVERIL will be retained as a back-up vessel.

It also looks as though the LADY OF MANN's operation of the new Liverpool to Dublin service may be short lived. Plans are afoot to replace her with a new "Super SeaCat" for 1998 and a second conventional SeaCat may be made available for other Steam Packet routes.

On Saturday 26 April shortly after 13.00 the Howard Smith Towage Company tug CANADA was seen hauling the IOMSPCO Liverpool linkspan out of Liverpool docks where it had lain unused since the withdrawal of the SeaCat service in September 1995. The tug was hauling the barge-mounted structure to McTay's shipyard up river at Bromborough for maintenance. Meanwhile, on Prince's Landing Stage it was noted that the ramps that are used to join the link span to the landing stage had been "unstacked" and laid out on the stage in preparation for the reintroduction of SeaCat services.

CAMMELL LAIRD

Shortly after 13.45 on Saturday 26th April the large tanker PETROTRYM was brought out and turned ready for sea by four Cory Towage tugs. Still in the wet basin were the IoMSPCo PEVERIL, the Cable and Wireless ship CABLE INSTALLER. The ORIANA 1 left earlier in the week. Busy at work in one of the adjoining dry docks was the dredger CAVE SAND. This little ship left for the spoil ground some minutes before the PETROTRYM left the Wet Basin. The dredging work is apparently part of Laird's expansion plans to recommision another one of the dry-docks on the site.

MERSEY LINER CALLS

The cruise liner season got off to a low key start this week. With a little advertised call by the newly acquired Airtours vessel SUNDREAM which picked up passengers for a weekend cruise to Dublin. She is due to return on Sunday 27th April. The next liner call will be on Tuesday 13th May when the ALBATROSS calls.

MERSEY FERRIES

The MOUNTWOOD was out and about on the river this weekend sporting her new semi-open upper deck shelter. Being able to see the vessel at a greater distance than possible when viewing her at her lay-up berth in East Float confirmed that this new addition has radically altered the vessel's profile. The funnel, where it passes through the deck shelter, has been painted white. Only the section above the shelter is painted red. The black topping has been narrowed to keep it proportion. When I took a trip on her on Saturday it was quite wet and the benefit of the new shelter which has a glazed roof was readily apparent as quite a few passengers were able to sit outside without getting wet. One wonders if the WOODCHURCH or OVERCHURCH will also be fitted in due course. It was also apparent that a new pa system has also been fitted to MOUNTWOOD.

MERSEY DOCKS AND HARBOUR COMPANY/

WIRRAL BOROUGH COUNCIL

Since last July it has not been possible to use the main road which runs across Birkenhead Docks - The Four Bridges Route. Though today only two bridges remain - only one of which is a movable span. The reason for this is that maintenance work is being undertaken on the last remaining moveable span. This work should have been completed by Christmas, but it is still unfinished. It has been reported in the local press that metallurgists are to be appointed to inspect the bridge and the prospect of the route re-opening remains sometime off. Shipping movements are of course unaffected as the bridge has been anchored with cables in the open position.

 


 

MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS

20 April 1997

 

Welcome to this week's Mersey Shipping News. Ensure you visit the Front Page to check for several other updates this week!

 

SEA CONTAINERS (IOM) LTD

ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY LTD

LADY OF MANN - has moved to Wright and Beyer's Bidston Dry Dock for annual maintenance and preparation for the new season.

PEVERIL - has appeared in Cammell Laird's wet basin.

The Steam Packet made headline news in the local newspapers on Tuesday 15th April when the new Liverpool to Dublin service was officially announced to the public. In a follow up to the news item on the new service the Daily Post followed with an article of similar size entitled the "Sad Night of Doomed Earl's Final Voyage". This recounted the final Dublin to Liverpool sailing of the then Sea Container's owned Sealink ship EARL WILLIAM which made its final voyage in January 1990 just a few months before Sea Containers sold the Sealink operation to Stena Line of Sweden. In the circumstances it would have been better to have forgotten Sea Container's previous attempts to run a Dublin - Liverpool service and just report on the positive aspects of the new link. The follow up article appeared to be a real dampener!

Tuesday evening's Liverpool Echo was more enthusiastic about the new route which featured in the editorial. According to the article the introductory Liverpool - Dublin day return will be 10.00. Crossing times will be 6.5 hours by LADY OF MANN and around 4 hours by SEACAT ISLE OF MAN. The SeaCat will operate on the route on Wednesdays. Liverpool departures by LADY OF MANN will be at 08.30 with return sailings from Dublin departing at 16.30. The Wednesday SeaCat departure will be at 11.00.

Obviously the existing Steam Packet timetables for 1997 are going to have to be revised. The new timetables should be available next week and I understand the on-line WWW timetable should be available soon too.

Though the timetables are not available the company is taking bookings and issuing tickets. I have the first 10.00 day excursion ticket, known as the "Irish Flyer" fare! Sadly though, work prevents me from making the inaugural sailing on the 12 June - I'll have to wait until the 14th June.

MERSEY FERRIES

Some Mersey Ferries Special Events for 1997

24 & 26 May - Ellesmere Port Boat Museum

One of the Mersey Ferries will be open to the public for "behind the scenes" viewing during the Boat Museum's "Tug Weekend".

Manchester Ship Canal Cruises will operate on the following weekends 7 & 8 June, 12 & 13 and 26 & 27 July, 9 & 10 August and 30 & 31 August.

Great Ferry Boat Race. A repeat of last year's event will take place on 14 June when the three Mersey Ferries will undertake a two circuit race. Last year MOUNTWOOD was the winner. Though with the recently added promenade deck superstructure - perhaps she won't be quite so quick this year!

On the 10 July the replica of HMS ENDEAVOUR will arrive on the Mersey. A special cruise will be operated to meet the incoming visitor at the mouth of the River Mersey and escort her to the docks.

Information can be obtained from Mersey Ferries, Victoria Place, Wallasey, Merseyside L44 6QY. Tel: 0151-330-1444

MERSEY DOCKS AND HARBOUR COMPANY

On Monday 14th April the Company's large floating crane MERSEY MAMMOTH raised the MD&HC's marine survey vessel HM DENHAM. This catamaran had sank in Brocklebank Dock the previous Thursday morning not long after returning from survey work. This small craft is named after Admiral Henry Mangles Denham who was the River Mersey's first marine surveyor.

 CAMMELL LAIRD

The wet basin at Cammell Lairds appears rather busy this week. Vessels present on Saturday 19th April were the Isle of Man Steam Packet's ro/ro ship PEVERIL, the large tanker PETROTRYM, Cable and Wireless's CABLE INSTALLER and the ORIANA 1.

NORSE IRISH FERRIES

The first of two new vessels for Norse Irish is now nearing completion. The MERSEY VIKING is currently fitting out near Venice and will replace the chartered NORSE MERSEY. In October its sister ship will enter service. The new ships have a capacity for 340 passengers, 166 articulated vehicles and 100 cars. Though the photograph published in the local press is not particularly clear, the ship certainly looks quite impressive in both its large size and distinctive design. The funnel, which is placed aft on the open vehicle deck appears to have an interesting backwards curving shape. In fact it almost looks back to front!

HOLLYMAN GROUP

I have been informed by Garry Houghton of New Zealand that SeaCat CONDOR 10 which is featured in one of the gallery pictures in MSN is on its way back to the UK having departed from New Zealand the weekend after Easter. She left Liverpool in November shortly after I took the photograph of her berthed at the Prince's Landing Stage following refit in Canada Dock for her southern hemisphere summer charter to New Zealand Rail Ferries. The SeaCat's passage from New Zealand to the UK takes around 25 days.

 


 

  MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS MERSEY SHIPPING NEWS LADY OF MANN - remains laid in Vittoria Dock. However, work appears to be getting under way on preparing her for the new season evidenced by quite a bit of red-leading on the ships rails and a couple of busy crewmen. LADY OF MANN - remains laid in Vittoria Dock. However, work appears to be getting under way on preparing her for the new season evidenced by quite a bit of red-leading on the ships rails and a couple of busy crewmen. LADY OF MANN - remains laid in Vittoria Dock. However, work appears to be getting under way on preparing her for the new season evidenced by quite a bit of red-leading on the ships rails and a couple of busy crewmen.

SPLENDOUR OF THE SEAS

It has been announced that the liner SPLENDOUR OF THE SEAS will visit Liverpool again this year on 31st July. The enthusiastic reception the ship received last year has prompted the company to include Liverpool on this year's itinerary.

CAMMELL LAIRD

 It is anticipated that Cammell Lairds will become a listed company on the stock exchange in the near future according to local press reports. Since the yard was reopened by Coastwise Industries some time ago the ship repair and rebuilding business has gone from strength to strength with many interesting vessels occupying the dry dock and wet basin over the past couple of years or so. Two years ago the company bought much of the site and the rights to use the Cammell Laird name from VSEL. Now one of the most famous names in shipbuilding and repair will gain an even higher profile. It is anticipated that Cammell Lairds will become a listed company on the stock exchange in the near future according to local press reports. Since the yard was reopened by Coastwise Industries some time ago the ship repair and rebuilding business has gone from strength to strength with many interesting vessels occupying the dry dock and wet basin over the past couple of years or so. Two years ago the company bought much of the site and the rights to use the Cammell Laird name from VSEL. Now one of the most famous names in shipbuilding and repair will gain an even higher profile. It is anticipated that Cammell Lairds will become a listed company on the stock exchange in the near future according to local press reports. Since the yard was reopened by Coastwise Industries some time ago the ship repair and rebuilding business has gone from strength to strength with many interesting vessels occupying the dry dock and wet basin over the past couple of years or so. Two years ago the company bought much of the site and the rights to use the Cammell Laird name from VSEL. Now one of the most famous names in shipbuilding and repair will gain an even higher profile.

 MV CITA MV CITA 

 You may recall the separate file uploaded last week in which I described the events surrounding the loss of the MV CITA at Porth Hellick, Isles of Scilly whilst on a voyage from Southampton to Belfast whilst loaded with a general cargo. Apparently the ship has now been declared a total loss. More information and pictures of this event very soon. You may recall the separate file uploaded last week in which I described the events surrounding the loss of the MV CITA at Porth Hellick, Isles of Scilly whilst on a voyage from Southampton to Belfast whilst loaded with a general cargo. Apparently the ship has now been declared a total loss. More information and pictures of this event very soon. You may recall the separate file uploaded last week in which I described the events surrounding the loss of the MV CITA at Porth Hellick, Isles of Scilly whilst on a voyage from Southampton to Belfast whilst loaded with a general cargo. Apparently the ship has now been declared a total loss. More information and pictures of this event very soon. You may recall the separate file uploaded last week in which I described the events surrounding the loss of the MV CITA at Porth Hellick, Isles of Scilly whilst on a voyage from Southampton to Belfast whilst loaded with a general cargo. Apparently the ship has now been declared a total loss. More information and pictures of this event very soon.

NORSE IRISH FERRIES

 There was trouble this week at the Norse Irish Ferries Terminal when a large number of dismissed former MDHB employees tried to occupy the Norse Lagan. The police had to be called. Apparently the on going dispute is going to be the subject of a BBC program hosted by Sue Lawley and a BBC Camera crew have been blamed for acting as a catalyst for the attempt to occupy the Norse Lagan. The former employees deny this and state that they took the action because Norse Irish employees had been insulting them whilst they were picketing the company's terminal. There was trouble this week at the Norse Irish Ferries Terminal when a large number of dismissed former MDHB employees tried to occupy the Norse Lagan. The police had to be called. Apparently the on going dispute is going to be the subject of a BBC program hosted by Sue Lawley and a BBC Camera crew have been blamed for acting as a catalyst for the attempt to occupy the Norse Lagan. The former employees deny this and state that they took the action because Norse Irish employees had been insulting them whilst they were picketing the company's terminal. There was trouble this week at the Norse Irish Ferries Terminal when a large number of dismissed former MDHB employees tried to occupy the Norse Lagan. The police had to be called. Apparently the on going dispute is going to be the subject of a BBC program hosted by Sue Lawley and a BBC Camera crew have been blamed for acting as a catalyst for the attempt to occupy the Norse Lagan. The former employees deny this and state that they took the action because Norse Irish employees had been insulting them whilst they were picketing the company's terminal.

HMS ENDEAVOUR REPLICA TO VISIT LIVERPOOL

 HMS ENDEAVOUR or at least "the best replica ever", to quote the words of the director of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich will visit Liverpool in July. Due to arrive on 10th July, the ship will be open to the public between the 11th and 20th. The Australian built replica of Captain Cook's ship is currently touring various ports in the British Isles. HMS ENDEAVOUR or at least "the best replica ever", to quote the words of the director of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich will visit Liverpool in July. Due to arrive on 10th July, the ship will be open to the public between the 11th and 20th. The Australian built replica of Captain Cook's ship is currently touring various ports in the British Isles. 

The ship closely follows the original plans held at the National Maritime Museum, the only variance from these have been made to accommodate modern safety requirements and the fitment of navigational aids, radio, telephone and two diesel engines. Yes she might look like a sailing ship but in reality she is more like a twin screw motor vessel! Also fitted is a desalination plant, crew showers and an electric galley. However, the crew accommodation is close to that of the original ship but is less crowded as the replica carries only around 50 whereas in Cook's day it was 90 or so. More details will be posted nearer the date of the ship's arrival.

 

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