Tasmania’s newest Bass Strait passenger, vehicle and freight ship has officially been named and launched at a ceremony held at the shipbuilders yard in Finland.
Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) launched the Spirit of Tasmania IV on Friday night Tasmanian time, a moment Chairman Michael Grainger said he was “delighted to witness”.
“Both Spirit of Tasmania and RMC have invested significant time on this project and to see that culmination of effort today in the official naming and launch of the vessel was truly rewarding,” Grainger said.
Deborah Grainger, the wife of Chairman Grainger, formally named the ship the ‘Spirit of Tasmania IV’ as she broke a bottle of Tasmanian Jansz Vintage Cuvee sparkling wine on the ship’s bow.
The maritime tradition of naming the ship is a long-standing one, believed to bring good fortune to the vessel on her voyages.
However, while it was promised to be live-streamed on the night, technical issues prevented this from happening, which disappointed many.
The boat was then floated for the first time in the dry dock over a period of around 4 hours after multiple valves were opened to allow water to flow in.
RMC say their focus will now shift to equipment assembly, interior plumbing, electrical work and interior design on the ship, as well as work within the vessel’s engine room and car deck.
“We are excited to start a new phase in the construction of the vessel as the work shifts from building the ship’s hull to interior work and systems implementation,” says Johanna Kaijo, Project Manager of Spirit of Tasmania at RMC.
“This also means that we are able to start constructing the second vessel’s hull in the construction pool.”
After the equipment assembly phase, multiple sea trials will be conducted before the vessel is handed over for its journey down under in 2024.
Spirit of Tasmania IV is one of two new 212-metre-long vessels ordered by Spirit of Tasmania to replace the existing ships.