Aratere to set sail for Singapore

The first female master of an Interislander ferry, Jenny Cuttriss, has been rostered to take command of the crippled ship Aratere on a scheduled voyage to Singapore this month. 

Maritime sources told the Dominion Post Captain Cuttriss is expected to take the Aratere out of Wellington this weekend.

Until recently Captain Cuttriss was chief mate on Aratere, which lost its starboard propeller during a routine sailing from Picton to Wellington on the night of Tuesday, November 5.

The sailing to Singapore is expected to take three weeks. At least one propeller and shaft are to be replaced on the Aratere.

Interislander spokeswoman Sophie Lee said the new skipper was too busy preparing for the voyage to speak with media.

KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn, who stands down from his position later this month, said today no decision had yet been made on which drydock Aratere would have its repair work done in Asia. Aratere has been temporarily replaced on the Cook Strait run by the Swedish-owned charter vessel Stena Alegra. 

In 2011 Aratere underwent a five-month $53.8 million extension project at a Sembawang shipyard. The supersizing project involved the installation of a new 30-metre mid-bodyin the ship, as well as a new stern profile, a new bow, new generators, and a total interior refurbishment.

The 2011 Singapore expansion project was overseen by Interislander general manager Thomas Davis and the company's former shipping services boss Peter Clarke.

The Dominion Post