With strong winds due as the Trident season begins this Saturday, Peter Wilcox said that the weather will always play the biggest part in the success of his business and the island.
‘I’m a little concerned as the forecast is looking pretty awful so we may end up not starting on Saturday, but the intention certainly is to,’ he said. ‘It’s looking quite stormy, we have to look at whether it is safe enough to operate and the economics of it all.’
Tridents 5 and 6 have been undergoing maintenance throughout the winter, including both having engine replacements.
‘Continuity of service is so critical as we only operate for seven months of the year. The worst thing that could happen is that we end up with a mechanical problem that knocks us out of action for a week in the middle of summer,’ said Mr Wilcox.
‘When we take an engine out it is an opportunity to do a spring clean and check through all the different systems and pipe work. They’ve had general maintenance, painting on the hull and anti-fouling on the areas which take the most hammering.
‘The winter period is the worst time of the year to carry out maintenance, because you’ve got the combination of sea, salt, wind, rain and all the things that are not ideal when working with steel.’
The insides of both vessels needed a bit of a tidy up, he said.
Trident 6 maintenance started in November, when it had a reconditioned engine installed. The engine was stripped, rebuilt and sent to the UK to be tested under extreme conditions.
Trident 5 is currently at the Bridge, and has had a brand new engine installed. The engine that came out of it will be reconditioned and rebuilt as well, which will put it back to almost brand new for any future repair requirements.
‘We are looking forward to a good season, bookings are coming in, including for schools and corporations, and we are ever-hopeful for a very successful season, but what will play the biggest part here is the weather,’ said Mr Wilcox.
‘As things stand currently, the season will run as it did last year from 1 April to 31 October, but we are open to negotiation with Herm, should they wish to look at trying to work things out with us.’
The schedule of sailing times for the Trident will remain the same as last year.
A decision will be made today as to whether the weekend's services will need to be reduced.
‘It is disappointing, we do hope that when we start off the season we start on a good note and a nice day,' Mr Wilcox added.