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Four government vessels on sale for $1.9m

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Four government vessels listed for sale with a combined price of $1.9 million are not up for grabs, the Government said today.

Two tugboats and two ferries were advertised on the SeaBoats marine brokers website.

The site explained that sister tugs Powerful and Faithful were built by Cochrane Shipbuilders in Britain in 1988 and 1990, respectively. They were listed for $375,000 each.

The site said: “They are in fully operational conditions and ready for any test.

“Both are capable of supplying fuel, water and supplies to vessels in protected waters as well as offshore.

“They also have advanced fire- fighting capabilities, oil recovery tanks, oil-dispersing booms and automatic towing winches.

“They are able to proceed to sea in favourable conditions, if required for towing rescue work.”

A separate entry on the site listed the two passenger catamaran ferries for a total price of $1.15 million, as reported by Bermuda Broadcasting Company last night.

SeaBoats said the vessels were 77ft 5in long with a beam width of 25ft 9in.

They were designed by Teknicraft Design in Auckland, New Zealand, and built by North West Bay Ships in Tasmania, Australia.

The website said that full load for the “tourist ferries” was 177 passengers and two crew.

It added: “Voyages around Bermuda are short with many stops so the high level of manoeuvrability provided by the twin waterjets is important to speed up passenger transfers and maintain service schedules.”

The ferries were reportedly bought for about $2.65 million each. They were launched in Bermudian waters in July 2004 after their 8,000-mile ocean crossing from Tasmania aboard the CEC Light container ship.

The pair was among a fleet of six fast ferries acquired over several years.

Terry Lister, when he was the transport minister in 2010, said that the vessels were “constructed for a 20-year service life”.

He added: “There are no plans to sell any of the fast ferries before the end of the estimated useful life of their hulls.”

Providing details of problems encountered with the six catamarans over their three to nine-year life span, he said that the Tempest and Venturilla suffered issues with their cylinder ram and driveshaft seals on all four water jet units.

The Government's 2019 Transport Green Paper included, in a list of stakeholders' thoughts: “Sell current ferry fleet, eg the Venturilla and Tempest class vessels, and purchase a new more cost-effective, low-carbon fuel fast-ferry fleet.”

The marine police patrol ship MV Guardian was sold for $69,000 last year, after it was bought for $1.7 million in 2006.

It spent much of its career tied up at Dockyard, where it required regular maintenance because of its complex electronics.

A Government spokesman said today that the information posted online was “incorrect”.

He added: “The boats are not for sale, and as such, the information should not have been visible to the public.

“The website administrators have been contacted and instructed to remove the content in question.”

The spokesman said that if the Government decided to sell the boats in the future, due process and procedure for the sale of government assets would be followed.

UPDATE: This article has been updated to include a response from the Government, which said the information posted online was incorrect and that the boats were not for sale.

For sale: ferries Tempest and Venturilla
For sale: tugboat Faithful (File photograph)

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Published February 05, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated February 05, 2020 at 5:45 pm)

Four government vessels on sale for $1.9m

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