One metre of a propeller blade has broken off Stena Alegra!!!
It's not clear just how serious the issue is - investigations are continuing.
So, temporary solutions:
(a) Bolt a new blade on to the propeller, or
(b) Trim the opposite blade to balance the prop (a common, faster and simpler temporary repair when prop tips are damaged).
Ok, so that'll fix the propeller problem. But wait: there's more!
Stena Alegra is burning oil like there's no tomorrow! It'll take on another 10,000 litres of lubricating oil this weekend. That's a huge amount, considering it already received 10,000L on 03 Feb., 23 Feb., 16 March and 07 April. Experienced waterfront staff are astounded by the amount of lubricant fuel used, and they say it points to serious problems.
As I’ve said before, both Stena Alegra AND Aratere are BLOODY DOGS!!!
UPDATE: 13 May 2014 - Ah-haaa! Now it transpires that the Stena's prop damage was caused when hitting a wharf in Picton! The skipper has been stood down - was he the same skipper who collided with the wharf in Wellington???