The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has chartered freighter MV Arrow from Seatruck on a long-term basis.

The agreement includes an option to purchase, should this be necessary. The charter of MV Arrow provides the Island with a long-term back-up for its vital freight services, as well as guaranteed additional capacity to help grow the TT and Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling.

Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: “MV Arrow is one of a class of vessels ideally suited to Steam Packet Company needs and the services we provide.

“Vessels which are suitable for operation in all weathers and at all states of tide in both Douglas and Heysham harbours are now becoming increasingly scarce.  In recent years it has proven difficult to charter vessels for the short period necessary to either cover the Ben-my-Chree overhaul or simply to provide extra capacity at TT.”

He added: “In the short-term the charter will allow certainty in planning for the scheduled biennial overhaul of Ben-my-Chree in April 2014. It will also enable us to plan ahead and to devote the Ben-my-Chree fully to visitor traffic for next year’s TT event, while the MV Arrow provides a bespoke and uninterrupted service for our freight customers.”

Chairman Robert Quayle concluded: “We have been concerned for some time now at the falling number of suitable vessels available to us on the charter market. As a result of the recently announced debt reduction, the Steam Packet Company is now well placed to be able to implement key strategic developments for the future.”

MV Arrow