The Windermere ferry will be taken out of the water later this month for its five-yearly refit and full inspection.
Mallard, a modern vessel that can carry 18 cars and more than 100 passengers across Englandís largest lake between Bowness and Far Sawrey, is due to be out of service between Monday April 20 and Saturday May 23.
In common with other passenger-carrying vessels Mallard, operated and maintained by Cumbria Highways, is required to have a periodic out of water inspection by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and this inspection has been timed to coincide with a refit where she will be cleaned and painted throughout and all mechanical, electrical and hydraulic components inspected and repaired or replaced as necessary.
The refit will be carried out on the slipway at Lakeside Ėthe only slip on the lake that can accommodate Mallard - and will also involve the ends of her loading ramps being modified making it easier to operate in difficult weather conditions.
The repainting will once again be done with light grey paint as brilliant white paint used in the past has caused problems to the operators, particularly during the summer when the reflected light is especially intense.
While Mallard is out of the water an alternative passenger launch, that will be able to carry pedal cycles subject to available space, is going to be operating between pier three in Bowness Bay and the Ferry House jetty. The replacement service will operate throughout the day between 8am and 5.40pm.
Councillor Alan Clark, Cumbria County Councilís cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "We apologise for any inconvenience the inspection and refit may cause but this is essential work and will ensure the ferry is thoroughly checked and in top condition just in time for the busy summer season."
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