Lady Wakehurst

Lady Wakehurst

Type :
Steel motor vessel
Launched  :
Builder :
New South Wales State Dockyard
Newcastle, NSW
Gross weight :
350 tons
Dimensions :
43.90x 10.34  (metres)
Passenger capacity :
820 (718 in Manly service)
Speed :
13 knots

Lady Wakehurst is a sister to Lady Northcott and is the most travelled of the Ladies.

Along with her sister ship she was to become vital on the degraded Manly run after the withdrawal of the South Steyne left only North Head & Baragoola to fill that service; with Baragoola out for an extended refit the two new, smaller inner harbour ferries were quickly pressed into service to fill the hole. (It should be noted that Lady Wakehurst had an ignomious start to her manly careeer, breaking down on her first trip). However, disaster struck both the Manly run & Hobart in 1975 when the Lake Illawarra struck the Derwent Bridge. Lady Wakehurst along with several other Sydney ferries (including the aging Kosciusko) were towed to Hobart to assist in the loads of people needing an alternate way to cross the river. This left a gap in the Manly service & was one of the final catalysts for the construction of the Freshwater class of ferries.

After 18 months in Hobart she was towed back to Sydney, she had suffered bow damage whilst there, interestingly it wasn't until 1990 that the damage was repaired. Her arrival back home was lucky as her sister  (Lady Nortcott) was out of action with hull damage. Finally in 1982 with the new Manly boats in service she finally began to ply the inner harbour routes for which she had been designed.

After being withdrawn from service she was sold to New Zealand - she made the trip under her own power - and the return too. She was owned by the same company that owns the Harbour Queen (ex Lady Scott) & operates as a cruise/function vessel on the harbour.

Recently, she was sold to Quayside Charters who have indicated that she will be soon sent for a refit.

As a footnote, in February 2006 three of the Freshwater ferries were out of service, Lady Northcott was returned to the Manly run & Sydney Ferries chartered Lady Wakehurst to operate as her running mate. Ironically Lady Wakehurst had been originally withdrawn from the fleet because she was supposedly too expensive to refit & there was no need to maintain her as a spare Manly boat.

As of 19/05/2007 Lady Wakehurst is for sale via tender - details are at the site of the broker. The Tender closes on the 25th of May.

Update 09/06/2007 - Lady Wakehurst remains still available for sale.