Scilly’s Steamship Company Announces Replacement For Gry Maritha Freight Ship

The Mali Rose

The Mali Rose

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.



12 Responses to Scilly’s Steamship Company Announces Replacement For Gry Maritha Freight Ship

  1. Miss Ed le Quay June 11, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Word on the street in PZ is that the Mali Rose is a fuel thirsty beast and that the Profit before Service company is planning to do one less trip a week. And still only provision for 6 passengers. What a waste of an opportunity.

  2. Ray Wornes June 3, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    There can be no doubt that a larger cargo boat for servicing the needs of the islands will provide the opportunity to undertake a range of strategy changes that could make improved services and protection of these island’s environment more deliverable. As long as the needs of this community which includes peace and tranquillity, clean air replacing deasil and dust, protection of the coastal environment and a thriving tourist industry are met. Whether the Council has the necessary intellectual capacity to improve anything is my fear knowing the mess that has already been made of a number of projects which have failed to deliver the best outcomes for this community or at a sensible price. The need for improvements in passenger transport across the board have not been delivered and look like never being delivered even with a new Scillonian. I’m sorry to say that the brave attempt by the Council to bring policymaking down to the level of the residents has totally failed because residents are not being listened to. How can there be any improvement in tourism or anything else when those businesses who decide the priorities and make their own policies are operating outside of Council control, behind the scenes and refusing to be held to account by the community. Therefore nothing has changed and the future could be even worse.

    • Hugh Muiron June 12, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      There can also be no doubt that a larger cargo vessel for servicing the needs of the Islands will provide the opportunity to undertake a variety of opportunity reductions like sailing less often meaning that fresh produce is available less often but fuel and crewing costs are minimised. One capable new dual purpose vessel is once again the sensible way forward

  3. Mike May 21, 2016 at 8:54 am

    As a regular visitor to the Scillies since 1946 I have read comments that the Steamship Company might no longer give back the difference between the flight and travel on SC111 in times of bad weather. My annual visit to the Scillies used to be by Skybus from Bristol and now from Exeter. On several occasions be it owing to fog, at either end, or bad weather precluding flying, we have been taken to Penzance and put onto SC111. In such cases there has been a refund between the cost of the flight and that of the boat. There is a considerable difference in cost between the flight and boat. I hope that the Steamship Company will retain this refund. Incidentally, I have on occasions, used my holiday insurance in an attempt to make up the difference but it is almost impossible to obtain any satisfaction and once one takes into account the cost of a night in Penzance, plus a meal, plus a lost night in Hell Bay hotel Bryher etc it can prove to be quite expensive.

  4. Adam Morton, St.Martins May 18, 2016 at 9:06 am

    That is great news to hear that vessel replacement is underway although SCIIIs successor with capacity enough to back up no fly days at peak times would have been even better news. SCIII being 39 years old to the GRYs 35.
    I would however question the remarks on the quay improvements, I’m at a loss to see how the taxi parking (Quay widening)is going to improve freight handling. Im equally at a loss to see how the extra length in the quay which already berthed SCIII at 68m long is going to make a difference to MALI ROSE at 50.2m LOA? Undoubtedly the balcony will shelter waiting passengers which is a +. I suspect that such anecdotal evidence will be used to support massive overspends on the project that can’t actually deliver any more than its predecessor. This conspicuous spending is against a backdrop of total refusal by the Council or IOSSSG to even attest to the need for some form of subsidy on the import costs which have risen by an average 25% this year alone! Put in real terms that’s £12.03 freight for a small box of veg (minimum charge)! Conveniently IP conducts surveys showing low scores in value for money places to eat & drink – That’s sooooo helpful!
    Ignoring this doesn’t make it a positive news item so i’m not apologising for what will no doubt be classed as a “negative comment ” by those who won’t be affected. How can these freight rates be remotely at market value when there is zero market forces at work? If I or anyone else put up our prices by 25%, we lose 50% of our customers to our competitors but our costs keep rising well above inflation. Its no good winging that there’s nowhere to eat out AFTER everyone’s shut up shop and the remaining one or two can charge prices that reflect the situation! £6 a pint anone ? to go with your £16 burger & pre cut chips?

    • Gordon Bilsborough May 18, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Some people are never satisfied with anything. If the cap fits, wear it!

      • Adam Morton, St.Martins May 19, 2016 at 8:50 am

        Gordon , do we take it you are satisfied with failure?
        May I remind you that in 2013 when the current council was elected , the islands faced widespread bankruptcy and declining visitor numbers. Since then the factors causing this have been added to in SCIII losing 25% of its capacity and doesn’t seem to travel at night anymore. Fares & freight have jumped substantially ahead of inflation. This means that fogbound passengers are no longer transported on the same day and the proportion of visitor spend going on travel has increased consequently decreasing their spend on the islands. To those of us reliant on earning a living by conventional means (eg working) the situation is now substantially worse – do please feel free to point out the positive side to this.
        Despite the expenditure of perhaps £30m in grant funding in the islands, the cost of imports is substantially higher, the number of people (& therefore visitor numbers) through the airport has remained stagnant. far from expanding we have seen the Southampton & Bristol routs dropped. The increased efficiency from concentrating on lands end has brought about increased not decreased fares. Again please point out the the satisfaction in this!
        People are so obsessed with upholding the IP spin to fool the visitors that they now actually believe it themselves and forget they actually needed to do anything about it! Talk about goldfish memory! Just because some of you find being reminded of the situation , boring or distasteful doesn’t mean its gone away!
        Face it, you left us to rot out here while you divvy up the grant money on nonessential projects. There’s no council jobbies, The WLT pinched all the stewardship money for St.Marys people, the council turned off the water in our bogs and took away the launch subsidy.I walked the length of the island 9pm last week and 2/3 of the holiday lets were in darkness.Unless this smart grid starts S****ing miracles , there’s going to be some very empty and worthless islands real soon!

        • fed up now May 20, 2016 at 9:06 am

          Adam,
          Although so often i disagree with you, occasionally you speak 100% truth.
          To think that arguably the most media-prominent councillor is postulating that we should be happy with just a new supply ship is ridiculous. We need quicker, cheaper, more reliable service all round.
          Gordon, yes, it is good news, doesnt mean its anywhere near enough in the long run. If you are satisfied with this as an outcome, shame on you

          • Adam Morton, St.Martins May 21, 2016 at 9:52 am

            Fed up now. I’m not sure how you can pick and choose, 90% at least of my rants are aimed at result or cause of the failure to sort the transport problem. Where there is no will, there is no way! There is no will among the majority of residents, Council or SSco. Of course no one’s going to say no to cheaper or more regular fares but it doesn’t mean they are willing to sacrifice anything to exchange for it. I don’t think we would be individually much better off but it would give a future and room for expansion in the islands for coming generations.
            Actually the SSco couldn’t massively change either the frequency or cost of fares on the profits they make . The directorship just show how much they really care about the islands by increasing an already good profit and generous dividends!
            There actually is enough money coming into Scilly via grant funding to fund vessels and or a small subsidy to the most deserving sector. It cannot currently be accessed for this due to rules & ring fencing. Councillors don’t see the need to change it so don’t ask and the SSco don’t want it, in there somewhere are Council & SSco workers and dependants who to one degree or another support this strategy for obvious reasons.Technically that leaves anyone on the outside of this outnumbered , outvoted and forgotten! Their only recourse is making their position known via ST & the like. In fact , I fully suspect that thanks to many years of being ignored , there probably aren’t any left now! As I have said before , virtually everyone I know of my generation has left the off islands because there is no future there for them.
            Previous generations have always had something to sell but now the Duchy have stopped handing out leases you can sell off for your retirement fund , the council has stopped you building a holiday let and you can only build a house you can’t own on a 106. You practically pay to go to work in any other industry, thanks to the high import /export costs. The only chink is anything small enough to post, given that Royal mail currently still subsidise it ( someone told me a few years back ,to the tune of £12 a letter)!
            Councillors don’t speak or listen to you unless you are rich & influential. Unless the whole strategic investment scheme is changed , we are stuck with things as they are, Unless they want to change there is 0 chance .Unless people ask the Councillors to change it, it won’t happen. Unless people see the need for change , they won’t ask for it. How far back do you go?
            I will emphasise it with the upcoming round of grant funding for new businesses & employment.You can’t start a business unless you have a house, you cant get a house here unless you van prove you have a profitable business! Effectively that cuts out all the off islands from any realistic propositions.
            I fill in every survey & questionnaire, I post here in the hope that St.Mary’s people can see the writing on the wall and act in time to save that island from the same fate as the off islands, but thanks to the few who can be bothered to respond on here, I can see they couldn’t care less!

      • Janus May 22, 2016 at 12:14 am

        Some people talk a good fight but when it comes down to it can only be relied on to abstain, change their stance radically or just plain not turn up.
        If the cap fits wear it.

    • Pete May 18, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Adam. The IOSSC can not offer competitive rates for freight or passenger fares while they are making 178% profit. Come on think of the share holders.

  5. Cathy Mainwaring May 18, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Good to see that the Steamship company is evaluating the need of replacing the Scillonian III.She will be 40 years old next year and has done well to survive this length of time.