Strangford Ferry RM - MV Strangford/Strangford Ferry (Verlome Cork #811)

MV STRANGFORD (also known as STRANGFORD FERRY, as that's the name she had painted on her hull) was the smaller of the 2 vehicle carrying vessels operating on the link across Strangford Lough between Strangford and Portaferry until the end of 2016.  Until the entry into service of the PORTAFERRY II, STRANGFORD FERRY was the main vessel on the route, having launched the vehicle ferry service in 1969.  Following PORTAFERRY II's arrival her role changed to provide extra capacity on the service during the summer and to cover maintenance on the larger PORTAFERRY II.  STRANGFORD FERRY was originally built for Down County Council in 1969, and was earmarked as far back as 2009 for replacement in 2016, by which stage she was operational for some 47 years.

The “Strangford Ferry” loading at Strangford for Portaferry. The car nearest the camera is a Morris Marina while a Ford Cortina is on the ramp. A Mini is visible behind the member of the crew directing the vehicles. Taken in 1981.
The “Strangford Ferry” loading at Strangford for Portaferry. The car nearest the camera is a Morris Marina while a Ford Cortina is on the ramp. A Mini is visible behind the member of the crew directing the vehicles. Taken in 1981. © Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Life extension and replacement

In order to extend her life until 2016 STRANGFORD FERRY received new vehicle ramps and a full repaint following sand blasting during a dry docking at Harland and Wolff in 2011.  Despite the delayed entry into service of the new STRANGFORD II, STRANGFORD FERRY was removed from service towards the end of 2016, leaving PORTAFERRY II to maintain the lifeline service on her own.

Strangford Ferry leaves Portaferry. Copyright © Ross McDonald.
Strangford Ferry leaves Portaferry. Copyright © Ross McDonald.

Prior to the arrival of Portaferry II the support vessel on the service was 1962 built Portaferry (ex Cleddau King).  She had operated on the route since November 1975 having been purchased from Pembroke County Council for just £43,000 and modified at Harland and Wolff.  In early December 2017 it was revealed that STRANGFORD FERRY had been sold to the Arranmore Ferry company for use on their Burtonport to Arranmore Island service off the west coast of Donegal.  She left Strangford the last time in February 2018, calling at Bangor and Greencastle (Co. Donegal) on the way to her new home.

STRANGFORD FERRY freshly repainted in her new red livery in advance of her move to the Arranmore (Red) Ferry service off the West Coast of Donegal. © Steven Tarbox.
STRANGFORD FERRY freshly repainted in her new red livery in advance of her move to the Arranmore (Red) Ferry service off the West Coast of Donegal. © Steven Tarbox.

STRANGFORD moored off Strangford awaiting sale, May 17. © Steven Tarbox

STRANGFORD moored off Strangford awaiting sale, May 17. © Steven Tarbox

Title image credit: Strangford Ferry in August 2010.  Copyright © Ross McDonald.

Technical data (at end of Strangford Ferry service)

 

MV Strangford

IMO Number

6926311

Building Yard

Verlome Cork Shipyard, Cork Dockyard, Cobh, Ireland

Hull Number

811

Designer

Burness Corlett & Partners, Basingstoke, England.
(now known as BCTQ)

Owner

NI Department for Infrastructure (UK Govt.)

Operator

Strangford Lough Ferry

Launched

15th August 1969

Year Completed

1969

In service (original)

1969

Call sign

MFWZ7

Length overall (inc ramps)

32 m (50m)

Beam

11.1m

Draft

?

Gross Tonnage

186

Deadweight

65

Machinery
  • Two Voith-Schneider 14E propellers
  • One Kelvin TBSC8 495hp engine and one Kelvin TASC8 440hp Engine
  • Two Ford generator sets
  • One Lister diesel backup fire pump
Life preserving equipment
  •  1 x zodiac rescue boat
  • 3 x Survitec (RFD) Ferryman life rafts
  • 260 life jackets
Power

935hp (approx. 697 kW)

Operational speed

10kts

Capacity (max)

260 passengers and 18 cars

Vehicle decks

Single deck accessed by a ramp at either end.  Double-ended ferry.

Flag

UK (Belfast)

 

Additional media

Strangford Ferry.
Strangford Ferry. Copyright © Scott Mackey.

 

MV RACHLYN (the large vessel, centre) and STRANGFORD moored at Strangford awaiting sale, May 17. © Steven Tarbox
MV RACHLYN (the large vessel, centre) and STRANGFORD moored at Strangford awaiting sale, May 17. © Steven Tarbox.

 

STRANGFORD moored off Strangford awaiting sale, May 17. © Steven Tarbox
STRANGFORD moored off Strangford awaiting sale, May 17. © Steven Tarbox.

 

Title image credit: Strangford Ferry in August 2010.  Copyright © Ross McDonald.
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