- Written by Carole Nash Editor
- Created: 30 July 2014
More motorcycle capacity will be available on fast ferry services operating before, during and after next year's Isle of Man TT.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has said that it plans to install a new mezzanine vehicle deck on its fast craft Manannan prior to each TT, accommodating an extra 100 motorcycles per sailing - or 300 motorcycles each way every day. The mezzanine deck will also be installed for the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling, which includes the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix.
According to the company, its catamaran can already carry 1,000 motorcycles per day each way and this mezzanine deck will increase capacity by 30%, allowing for more motorcycles to be carried on the most popular crossings.
Steam Packet Company chief executive Mark Woodward noted that the additional capacity would also make the ferry operator more self-sufficient, relying less on charter vessels for the motorcycle festivals.
The extra deck means that there will be a restriction on the height of vehicles Manannan can carry during the TT and Festival of Motorcycling periods, but the company said that high vans and similar vehicles will be accommodated on its conventional ferry Ben-my-Chree instead.
Addressing questions from motorcyclists about how additional passengers will be accommodated on board the vessel, the Steam Packet Company said that Manannan's maximum passenger capacity will not be exceeded and the number of seats on the vessel always exceeds the passenger numbers. The new mezzanine deck will give more TT fans the opportunity to bring their motorcycle with them, the company added.