Scilly’s Steamship Company Announces Replacement For Gry Maritha Freight Ship
Scilly will soon be served by a larger freight ship after the Steamship Company announced today that it is in the process of buying a replacement for the Gry Maritha.
Company bosses say they’re undergoing the final legal stages to purchase the Mali Rose, which arrived in Penzance from Norway earlier this week.
They expect to take ownership in the next few days.
Like the Gry Maritha, the Mali Rose is Norwegian in origin but having been built in 1992 is considerably younger, and much larger.
At 12.6 metres longer and almost a metre wider, her gross tonnage of 842 tonnes is 65% greater.
The Gry is now 35 years old and was acquired by the company in 1989.
James Struthers, Head of Marine Services, said the vessel has undergone substantial upgrades and refits since it was built and is in “impressive condition.”
“We’re proposing to make a number of modifications including a heavy lift crane, and subject to everything going to plan we expect it to enter service in the autumn,” says James, who added, “There’s no doubt this will represent a step change in our freight capability.”
James said the new ship would be able to offer far more flexibility for special projects, plant and vehicle transport, as well as better protection of freight.
The recent widening and lengthening the quay at Hugh Town on St Mary’s would also provide added flexibility.
The new ship will be licensed initially to carry up to six passengers, subject to the Master’s discretion.
This means it will maintain the same winter capability for passengers as the Gry Maritha in the event of an emergency requirement.
Chief Executive Rob Goldsmith said buying the Mali Rose will be a “huge milestone” for the company and will mark the start of their vessel replacement strategy.
Rob said: “The Gry Maritha has been a faithful workhorse and is part of the fabric of island life but it’s time to upgrade to a bigger, younger ship that is better able to manage peaks in demand and special projects.”
The company also says that “detailed evaluation work” is underway on replacing its Scillonian III passenger ship.