Interislander's new ferry delayed from sailing

  • 11/08/2015
Interislander's new ferry delayed from sailing

By 3 News online staff

The Interislander has been hit by another delay, this time with its new ship which is dry docked in Singapore.

The Kaiarahi, formerly the Stena Alegra, has been commissioned to replace the Aratere which had been plagued with problems including its propeller breaking off during a sailing.

While in Singapore, the ship is undergoing extensive renovations paid for by her owners including new passenger lounges, a new drivers' lounge, external stabilisers and upgrades to the engine and navigation equipment.

However, Interislander says it won't be able to have the ship in service in New Zealand next month as it planned and will now be back on the Cook Strait in October.

It will stay in Singapore while more work is done to the ship's stern tubes before undertaking its final sea trials in preparation for its New Zealand service.

General manager Mark Thompson says the tubes weren't due for replacement, some wear had been detected in them.

"While it is possible to operate the ship, it makes sense to do this work now while Kaiarahi has access to a dry dock and specialists to make the repairs, as there are no suitable facilities in New Zealand," he says.

The required replacement parts are already on site and technicians are booked in to do the work.

In the meantime, the company says it will be in touch with those affected customers to explain the process and transfer their bookings to the two other ferries the Kaitaki and the Aratere.

The Stena Alegra was initially brought in to temporarily replace the Aratere while it was sent away for repairs.

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