Lady Herron

Lady Herron

Type :
Steel motor vessel
Launched  :
Builder :
New South Wales State Dockyard
Newcastle, NSW
Gross weight :
287 tons
Dimensions :
38.70 x 8.84 (metres)
Passenger capacity :
573 as built, 554 after 2002 refit
Speed :
11 knots

Lady Herron was the last of the Lady class vessels to be built, she is an identical sister to Lady Street, also launched in the same year (but now withdrawn from service and scrapped). Her launch date was the 23rd of August, 1979. Built by the State Dockyard at Carrington Slipway in Newcastle, Lady Herron was delivered in 1979. The vessel is constructed of steel and is 38.71 metres in length, has total breadth of 9.38 metres and draught of 2.06 metres. Lady Herron has a displacement of 287 tonnes and can carry up to 552 passengers. The normal crew of three includes the master, engineer and one general purpose hand. The normal operating speed is 11 knots. These vessels were designed to operate at dead end wharves where turning the vessel is not possible.

Lady Herron is equipped with a single 403 kW 4-stroke main engine which drives the fixed pitch propellers at each end of the hull. The main engine drives a clutch/reduction gearbox arrangement at each end of its crankshaft. Each gearbox is coupled to a propeller shaft which drives one of the two fixed-pitch propellers. The propellers are unidirectional, ie. they turn only one way, and the clutches are interlocked so that only one propeller may be operated at any time.

She is mainly confined to the Mosman - Circular Quay - Taronga Zoo run and along with the Lady Nortcott she operates the three Sydney Ferries' harbour cruises as far as Middle Harbour.

In 2002 the three remaining Lady ferries were withdrawn from service for a refit. The refit cost $10 million dollars and saw only Lady Herron and Lady Northcott returned to passenger carrying duties. The decision was made to retire Lady Street. The refitted Lady Herron and the Lady Northcott will be fit to run until 2018.

Lady Herron is no stranger to accidents. On the 23rd of July 2003 she ran aground on Shark Island during one of her harbour cruises. Fortunately damage was light. In February of the following year she was not so lucky when she continued the long standing tradition of running into wharves. While under the command of a recertifying master she took a swipe at Circular Quay No. 5 Wharf  and did considerable damage to both the wharf and herself. Damage to the wharf was estimated at $98,000 whilst damage to the ferry ran to $80,000 and required her to be withdrawn from service for repairs.