The PLYM ferry has returned to service today (June 26) - providing a three-ferry service from 06.50 am. 

The ferry was towed back to the port of Plymouth at the end of last week following the completion of its five yearly refit at A & P Falmouth.

Staff from Tamar Crossings and A&P Falmouth have spent the past few days removing the towing gear and preparing the vessel for service. This has included reconnecting the ferry to the chains, restoring the lifesaving & firefighting equipment and seating, and carrying out engineering trials of the upgraded chain drive system. 

 This work has now finished, and both the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Lloyds Register have completed their inspections and have cleared the ferry for service. 

The Torpoint Ferry is the world’s biggest and busiest chain ferry service and the UK’s busiest inland waterway ferry crossing – providing crossings for up to 8,000 vehicles and 1,500 pedestrians each day. 

 David List, General Manager of Tamar Crossings, said “The return of PLYM to service tomorrow morning is very good news. 

 “The refit has been a very complex project, and everyone involved with the project has worked exceptionally hard to complete the work and get the ferry into service.

 PLYM’s refit has included a number of key elements, including 

  • A mandatory dry docking to allow a survey of the underwater hull to ensure the material state is sufficient to safely last a further five years. This is a statutory requirement and satisfactory completion is required to allow the issue of a Chain Ferry Certificate by the regulatory authority, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. 
  • Replacing systems and equipment that are becoming obsolete or have reached end of life, including chainwheel drive couplings and bearings together with propulsion motor electronic drive components. 
  • Repainting the vessel both above and below the waterline. 

“These refits are essential to maximise the life of the ferries and ensure that we continue to provide a safe and reliable service.” said David List.  “During the period of two ferry operation the staff at the ferry have worked hard to minimise disruption to service, and any defect repairs have been carried out as quickly as possible.  

“I would like to thank drivers and passengers for their patience during this period. " b

 Tamar Crossings operate the ferries 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in all weathers. Achieving this requires a significant planned maintenance programme. While the majority of maintenance is carried out while the vessels are afloat or during off peak periods while an individual vessel is not on scheduled service, some maintenance activities have to be carried out during refits in dry dock conditions. Each of the three ferries undergoes a full refit every five years. PLYM is the first of the ferries to undergo a refit during this five-year cycle. TAMAR’s next refit is scheduled to take place in April 2024, and LYNHER’s in April 2025.