A good news story from Merseytravel – I copy their press release below
The Royal Iris, one of the famous Mersey Ferries, is undergoing a major scheme of repair and refurbishment to keep it ship shape and fit for service on one of the fastest tidal rivers in the world.
The 54-year-old vessel is currently in dry dock for cleaning, the painting of the hull, mechanical works and renewal of large areas of deck timber.
This will be followed by the complete strip down and inspection of both engines – work carried out after 24,000 hours service, roughly equivalent to 100,000 nautical miles.
The work, costing £500,000, is due to be completed in January next year, when the Royal Iris will return to service operating commuter sailings, River Explorer Cruises and the ever popular Manchester Ship Canal Cruises. The Snowdrop will continue to sail across the Mersey in the meantime.
Councillor Liam Robinson, chair of Merseytravel said: “This scheme of refurbishment represents a real investment in our iconic Mersey Ferries and shows our commitment to keep our vessels in tip top condition. They are one of the most popular paid-for attractions in the region and contribute a great deal to the visitor economy.”
During the programme
• A total of 320litres of paint will be used during the maintenance – including 280 litres of paint to cover the hull.
• An oil change will be carried out, using 836 litres of oil.
• Approximately 110m² Iroko timber will be used to replace areas of the top and main deck.
The Royal Iris was built in 1959 and was originally named “Mountwood”. She was the subject of a major refit 2002 which included the replacement of main engines and all engine room ancillary equipment together with remodelling of the saloons and the addition of a fixed canopy to the aft end of the promenade deck. The vessel is currently certified by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency with a Class V Passenger Certificate, allowing her to carry passengers on cross river and River Explorer Cruises and on longer Manchester Ship Canal Cruises.
Merseytravel owns and operates the famous Mersey Ferries and associated tourism attractions; the U-Boat Story, Spaceport, the Mersey Tunnel Tour, the Beatles Story, and the Beatles Story Pier Head, which contributes more than £34 million and the equivalent of 742 full-time jobs to the region’s economy.