Further to our update of 20 July, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company wishes to advise passengers of engineering activity and specialist assessments since that date.
Following the removal of the damaged crankshaft, extensive and detailed examinations of the affected engine have been undertaken. These have revealed that work needs to be carried out to the engine block to bring it back within the required engineering tolerances in order to avoid a similar situation arising once the new crankshaft is fitted.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company engineers in association with the engine manufacturers have assessed the options available. The Company has concluded that the most effective long-term repair will be carried out in appropriate specialist workshop conditions as opposed to repairing the engine in situ. This will require the engine to be removed from the vessel.
As a result, and in order to minimise disruption to holidaymakers and other travellers at this busy time of year, Manannan will continue to operate on three engines until the end of the fast craft season in October following which the engine will be removed for repair. The alternative would be to take the vessel out of service for a prolonged period resulting in the cancellation of a number of sailings.
The Company feels that continuing to operate the vessel on three engines, albeit with crossing times that are around 30 minutes longer than scheduled, is an approach that causes the least disruption to passengers.
Snaefell has also been subjected to detailed examination and repairs can be carried out with the engine in site.
The repairs will require the vessel to be out of service for a period of up to six days. As with Manannan services, in order to avoid cancelling scheduled sailings during the busy summer season, the Company wishes to maintain planned services. With effect from 15.30 on Wednesday 28 July Manannan is covering Snaefell’s mid-week sailings on the Liverpool route. One of the key criteria when considering a new vessel was the ability to maintain a reasonable speed on not just four but also three engines and Manannan is particularly good in that regard with respect to a number of other fast craft. As a result we anticipate that this positive move for passengers will assist with the operation of services.
Snaefell will continue to operate the Dublin and Belfast routes on three engines until early September. At this time the schedule becomes less busy and Manannan can be used to cover all scheduled Snaefell services while repairs to Snaefell are carried out. Snaefell will then be back to full power for October.
The Liverpool route departure timings are unaffected and the passage time will continue to be around 3 hours.
The Dublin route will be around 4 hours.
The Belfast route will be around 3 hours 45 minutes.
As previously advised the following minor changes have been made to some sailings on the Belfast and Dublin routes:
All sailings on these routes that are scheduled to depart at 1400 will now depart at 1445 until further notice.
All sailings on these routes that are scheduled to depart at 1815 will now depart at 1830 until further notice.
Passengers on sailings affected by these changes are being contacted by Steam Packet Company reservations staff.
Fleetwood Day Trip
The Fleetwood trip on 7 August is now subject to the following schedule:
Douglas to Fleetwood 0645 will now depart at 0600
Fleetwood to Douglas will depart at 0915 as scheduled
Douglas to Fleetwood 1900 will now depart at 1800
Fleetwood to Douglas 2130 will depart as scheduled
These alterations to the schedule are necessary due to an increase in the crossing time to 2 hours 45 minutes and the need to coincide with the correct tidal conditions at Fleetwood. Steam Packet Company reservations staff are contacting passengers on these sailings.
Chief Executive Mark Woodward said, “Over the course of the last week we have been examining the affected engines and giving great consideration to how we can effect repairs while minimising inconvenience to our passengers. It has become apparent that the most appropriate way to repair Manannan is for the work to be carried out in workshop conditions. This will enable engineers to effect a repair that will enhance the longer-term reliability of the engine.
Repairs to Snaefell can be carried out in situ and it is planned to carry these out during the relatively quieter period just after the school summer holidays. I would like to apologise to passengers for the ongoing longer crossing times, but having given the situation due consideration, still feel that this approach causes the least disruption to passengers and avoids the need to cancel sailings.
We are continuing to review the situation on a daily basis and will provide further updates to passengers.”