A Look Inside (Onboard Galleries)

[A Look Inside] Arrow | Isle of Man Steam Packet

Arrow Fast Facts

Current Name: ArrowPrevious Names: RR Arrow, Dart 6, Varbola
Shipyard: Astilleros de Huelva SA, Huelva [ES], #571, 571IMO Number: 9119414
Current Operator: Isle of Man Steam Packet CompanyCurrent Route: Douglas [IOM] - Heysham [GB]
Length Overall: Beam:
Passenger Capacity: 12Vehicle Capacity: 1,057 lane metres of freight (approx. 65 trailers)

Introduction to Arrow

A rare glimpse inside the Isle of Man Steam Packet’s Ro-Ro ferry ARROW. Gary Andrews was kindly invited aboard the former Seatruck vessel during 2017 while she was laid up at Larne.

ARROW is currently owned by a company registered in Denmark1 and long-term chartered to the Isle of Man Steam Packet. She is still managed by Seatruck Ferries under contract, however.

As the Steam Packet’s cover ship, ARROW’s role is to fill in for BEN-MY-CHREE when she is undergoing maintenance. She also provides additional freight capacity between England and the Isle of Man when required, such as during the Isle of Man TT. ARROW is also long-term subcontracted to cover for Condor Ferries. Her year tens to be completed with work for Northlink covering her sister-ships and lay-ups at Larne when not required.

Originally named VARBOLA, ARROW was completed in Spain for Eesti Merelaevandus (ESCO) in 1998. She has three sister-ships – Northlink’s HELLIAR and HILDASAY, and CTMA’s CTMA VOYAGEUR II (ex CLIPPER RANGER). All four vessels were completed for ESCO and would later pass through Seatruck before moving on to new owners when replaced by purpose built tonnage (The P-Class and FSG-Class).

When the new Steam Packet vessel MANXMAN is delivered, ARROW will be replaced as reserve ship in the fleet by BEN-MY-CHREE.


Vehicle Decks

Machinery Spaces

ARROW is powered by two Wärtsilä 9R32 LN nice-cylinder marine Diesel engines. Each engines drives a single propeller via its own Wärtsilä SV 850 P530 reduction gear. ARROW is equipped with a single Ulstein 150TV bow thruster.1

Passenger Accomodation

Accommodation is provided for up to 12 commercial drivers onboard ARROW. Some maintenance was taking place to the drivers lounge during the visit.

Crew Areas and Accommodation

ARROW’s crew accommodation includes the usual cabins, mess room, and exercise facilities. Unusually for an Irish Sea vessel, ARROW also has a crew sauna.

Navigational Bridge

With thanks to the crew of ARROW for their hospitality.

References and Further Reading
  1. Vesselregister.dnvgl.com. 2021. DNV GL Vessel Register. [online] Available at: <https://vesselregister.dnvgl.com/vesselregister/vesselregister.html> [Accessed 21 February 2021].[][]

Steven Tarbox

Steven is a former retail professional and a ferry writer and photographer. He created NI Ferry Site as a web design project in 2014 to be a news and information source for everyone with an interest in ferries, with a particular focus on Northern Ireland. Steven is the editor of the website and looks after all of the technical aspects.
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