Wightlink is investing more than half a million pounds in essential maintenance and improvements to its FastCats ready for the 2021 season.
Wight Ryder 1 has already been lifted out of the water at the Trafalgar Shipyard drydock in Portchester for her annual refit. Wight Ryder 2 will follow in January.
Major work on WR1 has included maintenance work to a propeller shaft, propeller and rudder, a complete refurbishment of the catamaran’s toilet facilities and a fresh coat of paint.
Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield says: “It is vitally important to invest in keeping our fleet in good condition. Our skilled engineering team carry out extensive work to all our vessels at quieter times so they are ready when demand grows.
We are sorry that a reduction of 80% in passenger numbers during lockdown has forced us to suspend our FastCat service temporarily. We look forward to restoring our normal services in the near future.
We also look forward to 2021 when the new Island Line trains begin operating and work starts to transform the derelict tramway on Ryde Pier into a walkway and cycleway connecting to our terminal.”
All of Wightlink’s fleet undergoes essential maintenance and improvements in winter at a total annual cost of more than £6million.