The Duchess of Cornwall: Diary Entry 7

1 May — 14 August 2008

Stage 7: The Systems

Engine, pumps, electrics and heating are all part of the systems of a boat and over the last couple of weeks, these have been installed on the new St Mawes Ferry at Cockwells Classic Boatbuilders in Penryn.

The wooden ferry, which will carry 100 passengers between Falmouth and St Mawes 364 days of the year, will have two 115 horse-powered, four-cylinder turbo Nanni engines from France which will be capable of a cruising speed of eight knots when the ferry is at full capacity.

There are three main pumps aboard the ferry, along with ten bilge pumps. Two of the main pumps will supply fresh water to the sinks in the toilet and bar areas, and seawater to fill the cystern above the toilet. The third will only be used if there is a fire onboard and will draw seawater directly from the sea to a hose with enough power behind it to send out a six metre jet.

The ten bilge pumps will also only be used in an emergency as they will pump water out from the hold if the ferry takes in water after a collision. The hold has been divided into seven sections by bulk heads (watertight walls dividing each section) so that if the hold does flood, it will only do so in one section, enabling the crew to carry on with their journey without the risk of capsizing.

Craig Chad and Andrew Squibb from Cockwells have overseen the electical and cabling work due to the amount of regulations set by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Craig said: “Each section of the ferry has to adhere to fire regulations and we have had to install insulated boundaries in the engine room to ensure that if a fire breaks out down there, it doesn’t spread. There is also an automatic fire extinguisher in the engine room, smoke detectors near the fuel tanks and obviously fire extinguishers throughout the public areas.”

In the wheelhouse, the ferrymen will have state of the art navigational aids including radar depth sounder, VHF radio, global positioning satellites (GPS), fire detection system and a PA system which can also be linked to the stereo/radio

.Andrew added: “The ferry will have an emergency battery which will operate the navigation equipment, lights, pumps, heater and PA system so if need be, the crew will be able to get to shore safety.”Once all the electrical work is complete, Cockwells will move onto the “fitting out” of the ferry.