|Aratere: jinx ship?|
The roll-on roll-off ferry was built in 1998. Her history is littered with engine failures and steering faults. She was lengthened in 2011 by 30m...against expert advice (some of whom believe Aratere now can't handle the stresses of Cook Strait crossings). While none of these problems can be linked, crew have often whispered the word 'jinxed'.
KiwiRail has no idea when Aratere will be back in service, but the breakdown is already forecast at $30 million, including lost passenger and commercial revenue and the cost of the replacement ship Stena Alegra.
|Stena Alegra: left hand down a bit...|
Meanwhile...Stena Alegra is herself out of action while surveyors assess damage to her hull. The ferry sustained a gash at the Wellington ferry terminal this week in extreme weather conditions. In other words, she rammed the wharf, right?
In late 2009, Aratere celebrated her 20,000th crossing of the vicious Cook Strait, having travelled around 2 million kms.
So...isn't it well past time the old dog was PUT DOWN?!
UPDATE: 06 May 2014 - The dog will be back at the end of June...