Sark acts as guarantor for loan for new ferry

News | Published:

ISLE OF SARK SHIPPING’S new boat could come into service in the first week of May, the company’s managing director has said in the wake of Chief Pleas giving it the go-ahead to buy the vessel.

An extraordinary meeting was held on Wednesday at which members voted to approve the purchase and also to guarantee a loan of £300,000 to the company.

The boat is currently serving the Chausey Islands in Normandy under the name Corsaire des Iles II.

Built in 2007, it is a 23m aluminium monohull vessel capable of a top speed of 15 knots and carrying up to 157 passengers. As well as inside seating, there are a number on the open air top deck.

The outside seating area.

Sark Shipping managing director Yan Milner said that it should cut the journey time to Sark from about 50 minutes to between 30 and 35 ‘at the vessel’s economical cruising/operating speed’, which will allow more flexibility in the schedule.

The cost of the boat is £630,000, but the required modifications and compliance work will see the total cost come in at £750,000.

The company stressed in its business case that the £300,000 approved by Chief Pleas was not the government making the loan.

‘This is not Sark making the loan but merely ensuring that the loan is covered should the company be in default.’

Mr Milner said the purchase of the new boat is due to be completed towards the end of March, after which it will need to be re-flagged.

Then there could be the need for modifications as a result of a survey by the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency and time will be needed for crew training and sea trials.

Mark Ogier

By Mark Ogier
News reporter

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