$7 Million Fresh New Look For Freshwater Ferry

The MV Freshwater has returned to customer service today after a major $7 million makeover to improve customer comfort and accessibility.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the significant overhaul was required to ensure the iconic 40-year-old vessel can continue to serve customers on the F1 Circular Quay – Manly route for the years to come.

“In addition to the required essential maintenance, this makeover was all about giving this majestic vessel, the oldest in the Freshwater fleet, a new lease of life. It will also bring it closer into line with some of our more modern vessels by offering improved levels of comfort and accessibility for customers,” Mr Constance said.

The makeover includes brand new flooring, lighting, painting, CCTV, PA systems and improved accessibility for people with disability, limited mobility and parents with prams.

Regular maintenance activities were also carried out including taking the 1100 tonne vessel out of the water for thorough inspections as well as critical work to maintain the hull, rudder and propellers.

The work began in late February and has taken more than 100 days to complete, with more than 100 staff and contractors involved across a variety of maritime engineering and trade roles including boilermakers, shipwrights, painters, plumbers and electricians.

Member for Manly James Griffin said his local community admires the Freshwater and they will be pleased to see her carrying customers again.

“As a community, we’ve fought hard to show this Government that the Freshwater is an important part of our lives so it’s great to see this work is now complete, and she can resume her rightful place back out on the water where she belongs,” Mr Griffin said.

Over the period of the project, the equivalent of around 3,500 days of work was delivered. The MV Freshwater was the first of four Freshwater vessels to enter passenger service in 1982.

Key facts

 The makeover included:

  • More than 4,000 litres of paint was used to protect the steel work
  • Over 7kms of new cabling was connected – roughly the same distance the Freshwater travels when carries passengers between Circular Quay and Manly
  • 750 square metres of new flooring laid which is almost the same size of three tennis courts
  • 650 square metres of new ceiling panels which is around the same size as one and a half basketball courts
  • While at the Garden Island, several 64-tonne cranes were used to move many of Freshwater’s heavier components around the drydock area. Amongst these items were her 2300kg rudders, 4000kg propellers and 1800kg anchor.
  • Almost 60 ceiling-mounted surveillance cameras have been installed, as part of a major passenger safety initiative
  • Freshwater’s Forward Rudder, which is similar weight to a medium sized truck at around 2300kgs, was one of the many heavy pieces included in the ‘below-waterline’ preservation work
  • The engine room is bigger than a basketball court.
  • The main engine is 32 times more powerful than an average car