Kaitaki headed for Nelson overhaul

Last updated 12:58 12/08/2014
Interislander ferry Kaitaki
NELSON TRIP: The Interislander ferry Kaitaki that will be in Nelson from Sunday for an engine overhaul.

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The Interislander flagship Kaitaki is coming to Nelson for an engine overhaul and other scheduled work but passenger capacity won't be affected, KiwiRail says.

Port Nelson marine specialist Diverse Engineering will be the prime contractors, supervising the overhaul, installation of a new rescue boat, painting and minor repairs.

The ship will also have a planned survey - similar to a car's WOF inspection - by Lloyd's Register while in port.

KiwiRail spokesman Michael Flyger said the work was coming to Nelson due to its favourable weather, skilled marine engineers and ease of access from Wellington.

Kaitaki would make the six-hour trip to Nelson from Wellington on Sunday, arriving about 7am.

It was scheduled to leave at 6pm on August 23 and return to service the following day, sailing from Wellington at 8.30am.

The Aratere has had performance issues since returning from a refit in Singapore, but Flyger said it was doing well in its current timetable of two crossings a day.

"Being without one ferry for a week will have some impacts on scheduling but there will be sufficient capacity for all passenger bookings."

KiwiRail was working with freight customers for that week.

Winter was a quiet time and would allow all vessels to be back in service in time for the start of the key freight season in late September, and the Christmas and summer peaks, Flyger said.

The 1650-passenger Kaitaki has been the Interislander's flagship since being chartered in 2005 and last year had a $4.5 million refurbishment.

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- The Nelson Mail

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