MV Strangford/Strangford Ferry (Verlome #811)

MV Strangford

MV Strangford (also known as Strangford Ferry as thats the name she had painted on her) was the smaller of the 2 vehicle carrying vessels operated on the link across Strangford Lough between Strangford and Portaferry until the end of 2016.  Until the entry into service of the Portaferry II, MV Strangford was the main vessel on the route, having launched the vehicle ferry service in 1969.  Following Portaferry II‘s arrival she was used to provide extra capacity on the service during the summer or to cover maintenance on the larger Portaferry II.  MV Strangford was originally built for Down County Council in 1969, and was earmarked as far back as 2009 for replacement in 2016, by which stage she was operational for some 47 years.

The “Strangford Ferry” loading at Strangford for Portaferry. The car nearest the camera is a Morris Marina while a Ford Cortina is on the ramp. A Mini is visible behind the member of the crew directing the vehicles. Taken in 1981. © Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Life extension and replacement

In order to extend her life until 2016 MV Strangford received new vehicle ramps and a full repaint following sand blasting during a dry docking at Harland and Wolff in 2011.  Despite the delayed entry into service of the new Strangford II, MV Strangford was removed from service towards the end of 2016, leaving Portaferry II to maintain the service on her own.

Strangford Ferry leaves Portaferry. Copyright © Ross McDonald.
Strangford Ferry leaves Portaferry. Copyright © Ross McDonald.

Prior to the arrival of Portaferry II the support vessel on the service was 1962 built Portaferry (ex Cleddau King).  She had operated on the route since November 1975 having been purchased from Pembroke County Council for just £43,000 and modified at Harland and Wolff.

Title image credit: Strangford Ferry in August 2010.  Copyright © Ross McDonald.

Technical data (at end of Strangford Ferry service)


MV Strangford

IMO Number


Building Yard

Verlome Cork Shipyard, Cork Dockyard, Cobh, Ireland

Hull Number



Burness Corlett & Partners, Basingstoke, England.
(now known as BCTQ)


NI Department for Infrastructure (UK Govt.)


Strangford Lough Ferry


15th August 1969

Year Completed


In service (original)


Call sign


Length overall (inc ramps)

32 m (50m)





Gross Tonnage




  • Two Voith-Schneider 14E propellers
  • One Kelvin TBSC8 495hp engine and one Kelvin TASC8 440hp Engine
  • Two Ford generator sets
  • One Lister diesel backup fire pump
Life preserving equipment
  •  1 x zodiac rescue boat
  • 3 x Survitec (RFD) Ferryman life rafts
  • 260 life jackets

935hp (approx. 697 kW)

Operational speed


Capacity (max)

260 passengers and 18 cars

Vehicle decks

Single deck accessed by a ramp at either end.  Double-ended ferry.


UK (Belfast)


Additional media

Strangford Ferry.
Strangford Ferry. Copyright © Scott Mackey.
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