The MV Holiday Island is ready for its biennial checkup.
The 46-year-old vessel is scheduled to undergo preventative maintenance as part of its statutory dry dock in the spring.
The MV Holiday Island and the MV Confederation are inspected every year and have statutory dry docks every two years.
The preventative maintenance for the MV Holiday Island will likely take a few weeks and will be conducted at a shipyard in Atlantic Canada.
Don Cormier, vice-president of operations for Northumberland Ferries Ltd., said they have already identified some steel work that needs to be done with some of it already initiated dockside.
“The ship will always be in safe condition,” said Cormier in an interview with The Guardian.
Both ferries ran in the 2017 season. The MV Holiday Island came out of service in November on schedule. The last crossing for the MV Confederation was Dec. 20.
“The (MV) Holiday Island is an open deck, consequently when you get into colder temperatures and more inclement weather, it’s not as suitable of a vessel for the service as the (MV) Confederation,” explained Cormier.
Cormier says this year’s sailing season was “exceptionally good”.
“Not only did we eclipse last year’s, which obviously was going to happen because we had challenges in 2016, but we actually had the strongest traffic (that) we’ve had in the previous five years.”
The MV Holiday Island was docked from June to September 2016.
Cormier said extensive repairs were required at that time for the tanks, as well as underwater steel work to meet regulatory requirements.
“There was a huge investment made in renewing all of those structural members,” said Cormier.
Cormier said the running life of a ferry depends on a lot of factors, but he knows of some ships in Canadian waters that are 50 to 60 years old.
“It’s really a function of the amount of maintenance that you put into the assets,” said Cormier. “We are very diligent. Our company is extremely committed to safety, that is why we are not going to put a ship in service that is not absolutely safe. We wouldn’t do that to our customers and we wouldn’t do that to our employees.”
The MV Confederation is due for its statutory dry dock in 2019.
Both ferries are expected to be fully operational for next season.
“We look forward to building on a more successful year in 2018 in support of the tourism industry and the communities that we serve,” said Cormier.