St David

Originally planned for Sealink's Fishguard to Rosslare service, the St David was instead allocated to Holyhead as the second ship. She arrived at Holyhead on 5 August 1981, replacing the chartered Prinsessan Desiree in service five days later.

St David arrives home, August 1981. © Justin Merrigan Collection

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The St David arrives in Holyhead for the first time, 5 August 1981. © John Marsh, courtesy Capt Ray Veno

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The St David glides through Holyhead for the first time. © Capt Glynne Pritchard

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St David arrives home, August 1981. © Justin Merrigan Collection

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At the end of her first season the St David replaced the St Columba as the route's main ship, the newcomer being more economical to operate during the quieter winter months. By early 1983 the roles had been reversed and the St David now spent her winter months relieving at other ports, including Stranraer, Fishguard and Dover. 

St David (as built)

Built:

 

IMO No.

Deadweight

Draught:

Class:

LOA:

Beam:

Capacity:



 

Access:

Harland & Wolff, Belfast, 1981.
7910197

2206 tonnes

4.84m

LR +100 A1

129.4m

21.02m

1000 passengers

309 cars

62 x 12m trucks

Bow and stern, twin level

The St David at Holyhead in 1984, minus her BR arrows logo in preparation for privatisation. © Justin Merrigan

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The St David at Holyhead in 1984, minus her BR arrows logo in preparation for privatisation. © Justin Merrigan

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Showing off her new livery, Autumn 1984 © Capt Neville Lester

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The St David at Holyhead in 1984, minus her BR arrows logo in preparation for privatisation. © Justin Merrigan

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In 1985, one of the first acts of Sealink's new owners, Sea Containers, was to abolish the second ship at Holyhead and enter into a pooling arrangement with competitors B+I Line. As a result, the St David was transferred to Dover for what was to be a shortlived spell on the Ostend service.  The move was not popular with British Ferries' Belgian partners RMT particularly after James Sherwood made it known that he expected his ship to take up 50% of the total traffic into Ostend.  By the end of that year Sealink was prohibited from using Ostend and the St David had been switched back to Irish waters taking up a permanent slot on the Stranraer to Larne service in January 1986.

The St David's final spell of service on the Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire run was in April 1988 when she relieved the St Columba for overhaul. Unfortunately she suffered an engine room fire while alongside at the Irish port forcing an early withdrawal from service for repairs before she returned to the Scottish link.

 

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