16 Oct 2018

Torpoint Ferry will start a programme of vessel maintenance and upgrade this Autumn as part of a new commercial partnership with A&P Falmouth.

A&P Falmouth was awarded the contract to complete the next three refits of Torpoint’s vehicle and pedestrian chain ferries, Plym II, Tamar II and Lynher II, earlier this year. These three ferries are the biggest chain ferries in operation in the UK.

Part of A&P’s new pioneering commercial partnership scheme, these contracts provide clients with a comprehensive pre-planning phase which includes assigning an A&P Programme Engineer to the project and a vessel visit from A&P and specialist subcontractors prior to the vessel refit period. By spending time onboard to clarify the full scope of work with Torpoint’s superintendents, A&P Group’s Programme Engineer will be able to schedule works, procure equipment and communicate with nominated sub-contractors well ahead of time to minimise the refit period.

Plym II will be the first to be refitted from 20 September 2018 to 30 October 2018, followed by Tamar II during April and May 2019 and Lynher II during April and May 2020.

David List, General Manager, Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry said: “We already enjoy a very strong and positive working relationship with A&P Falmouth and are looking forward to working with them again to ensure the successful completion of this series of important mid-life refits on the Torpoint Ferries. This new commercial partnership will help us to reduce downtime, improve work scheduling, enhance collaboration and secure significant cost savings, all of which are instrumental to our ongoing success.”

Refit work will include the replacement of obsolete equipment that is unsupported by spares, including replacement of major components within the sewage treatment plant and updating the diesel generator power and protection control systems to the latest generation. An extensive package of electrical work will be undertaken and each vessel will be painted above and below the waterline with more environmentally friendly paint products. Each vessel’s bow and stern ramps will be removed for major overhauls to the hinges and structure These ramps are essential to each vessel’s operation and are raised and lowered thousands of time each year to allow vehicle and pedestrian traffic on and off the ferries.

Steve Jones, Managing Director, Operations and Site Director for A&P Falmouth said: “Over the last 20 years we have enjoyed a strong working partnership with Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry. A&P has amassed vast experience working on the original three ferries as well as this latest generation of chain ferry. We are delighted to have signed a commercial partnership agreement with Torpoint that will see A&P provide even more value-added services and expertise in order to provide improved cost and refit schedule efficiencies.”

Paul Davey, Ferry Manager for Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee said: “We run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so the ferries are worked hard and in all weather conditions. These refits are essential and will optimise the longevity of the ferries and ensure the long term provision of a reliable and safe service for our customers. While each of these vessels are out of service they will also undergo their five yearly dry-docking inspections by Lloyds Register and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), to ensure they are materially sound and safe for operation.”