Arahura out of action for weeks

DRY DOCKED: The Arahura is in Auckland for maintenance.
DRY DOCKED: The Arahura is in Auckland for maintenance.

The Cook Strait ferry Arahura is out of service for three weeks and in unfamiliar waters in Auckland for maintenance.

Interislander engineering manager Peter Mathews said the ship was small enough for the dry dock at the naval dockyard in Auckland.

“The dry dock is part of a regular two-year maintenance programme for the ship, during which time its hull will be cleaned and painted to improve fuel efficiency. The ship will also be fitted with new propeller blades to increase fuel savings."

Mr Mathews said that in addition to underwater inspections and surveys, all the salt water tanks inside the ship would be painted to prevent corrosion, the stern door overhauled and the rail on the rail deck renewed.

“Painting the hull is the critical piece of work and takes the longest period of time, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that the Auckland rain holds off for us.”

Twenty-seven crew members are living onboard during the docking period and doing painting and maintenance tasks around the ship.

During Arahura's dry dock, all freight will be carried on Interislander's other ships, Aratere and Kaitaki. Kaitaki will operate a "road bridge" for transferring rail freight on to trucks for the Cook Strait journey. Arahura and Aratere have rail tracks and can carry wagons, but Kaitaki does not.

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