Overview of Frazer Mariner
Previously named Berne-Farge, FRAZER MARINER was acquired in early 2017 and restarted the Lough Foyle ferry service between Magilligan and Greencastle (Co. Donegal) during July 2017. Since her construction was completed in Germany in 1983, Berne-Farge had operated across the River Wesser in Germany between Berne and Bremen-Farge for Fähren Bremen-Stedingen GmbH (FBS). In recent years she had been used as a backup vessel for use during peak times or for when the main vessel JULIUSPLATE was out of use. With a new larger ferry on order to replace her, Berne-Farge was listed for sale and sold for service in Ireland.
Journey from Germany
In order to transport Berne-Farge to Ireland it was required to lift her onboard a transport ship. This was because she was not designed to be able to make a journey such as that from Germany to Lough Foyle on her own. Berne-Farge was lifted onboard the Dutch heavy-lift vessel DEO VOLENTE at the former Vulkan-Werft shipyard in Bremen using DEO VOLENTE‘s onboard Liebherr cranes during January 2017, and transported to the Foyle. The process of lifting and securing the ferry onboard the transport ship took around 5 hours.
Berne-Farge becomes Frazer Mariner
Following her journey from Germany, Berne-Farge was repainted and modified/upgraded for her service across Lough Foyle in early 2017, including a two month spell with the Foyle Port engineering team. During this time she was renamed FRAZER MARINER, and had a new aluminum rescue boat davit and a new life ring launcher fitted. These were fabricated specifically for the vessel by Greencastle based Seabound Engineering. However FRAZER MARINER‘s entry into service was delayed after she failed to gain certification in July 2017 due to requiring a new high pressure fuel pipe. This was the only issue raised during the inspection however, and once rectified FRAZER MARINER reopened the Lough Foyle service on 17th July 2017.
On 15th September 2017, Ferry Manager Peter Hayes revealed via the Inishowen Independent newspaper that it was planned to run the Scenic Foyle Ferry service for longer during 2018, including over Easter and during the May Bank Holidays.
Following the conclusion of her 2017 season, FRAZER MARINER underwent further maintenance at Lisahally Docks (Foyle Port) which saw both of her vehicle ramps removed. In early January 2018 she visited the shipyard of Ardmaleish Boatbuilding Company at Port Bannatyne, near Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland.
On her return to the Island of Ireland, FRAZER MARINER released AISLING GABRIELLE to go for her own overhaul as well as to cover that of FRAZER TINTERN on the Passage East ferry service. AISLING GABRIELLE did not return to her normal service until late-June due to an engine upgrade, which meant the former Strangford Lough Ferry STRANGFORD 1 operated the Lough Foyle service during her absence. FRAZER MARINER returned in early-July, operating a two-ship Foyle service with STRANGFORD 1 for the duration of the Irish Open. Prior to this she paid a visit to Londonderry on the 5th of July where her vehicle ramps were refitted having been removed for the sea voyage from Greenore. The two-ship service was repeated on the weekend commencing 13th July which coincided with the Foyle Maritime Festival. FRAZER MARINER laid over at Moville when not required.
For 2019, FRAZER MARINER was based at Greenore, operating the Carlingford Lough Ferry service in the absence of AISLING GABRIELLE. She also ventured south to relieve FRAZER TINTERN on the Passage East Ferry service while the latter went for overhaul at New Ross. FRAZER MARINER did not return to the North West during 2019, instead remaining in Carlingford Lough when she wasn’t required. Veteran ferry STRANGFORD was the sole vessel on the Lough Foyle service for 2019 as a result.
- The vessel Berne-Farge was built to replace (also named Berne Farge (1960)) was acquired in 1982 by Derek Donnelly and used to establish the Passage East Ferry service across the river Suir between Ballyhack (Co. Wexford) and Passage East (Co. Waterford) as F.B.D. Dunbrody. Although now replaced herself first by F.B.D. Tintern (i) (later Edmund D), and later the current vessel FRAZER TINTERN (ex F.B.D Tintern (ii), Stedingen, Vegesack, Stadt Linz, St Johannes (ii)) this is notable as the Passage East Ferry Company is owned by Frazer Ferries, just as the Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry is. FRAZER TINTERN coincidentally is also a former Fähren Bremen-Stedingen GmbH (FBS) vessel.
- FRAZER MARINER is the second former FBS ferry to serve the Greencastle to Magilligan Point route. The first was the former Foyle Rambler (ex Stedingen) which was a similar size to the current vessel, and also ran on the Berne to Farge route before coming to Ireland.
Fr. Fassmer & Co, Berne-Motzen, Germany (Fassmer-Werft)
|Operator||Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry (Frazer Ferries)|
|Previous Operator||Fähren Bremen-Stedingen GmbH (FBS)|
|Length (including ramps)||47m|
|Length (between perpendiculars)||27m|
|Scantling draught (moulded)||1.28m|
|Max operating draught||1.24m|
|Machinery (as built)||
|Capacity||20 cars plus passengers
A maximum of 2 articulated lorries at a time have been carried in her previous service.
General Arrangement Plan
The following General Arrangement plan is provided courtesy of Frazer Ferries Marketing Department. Please click on the below image to go to the full file.
Photographs of Berne-Farge being lifted onboard her transport ship for the journey north can be found here (in German).
With Thanks to Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry/Frazer Ferries, Kayleigh Clarke, Martin McKenna, Paul Rafferty, and Scott Mackey for their kind assistance with this article.
Original article published: 15/07.17
Converted to Gutenberg Blocks: 10.01.19