[A Look Inside] Arrow | Isle of Man Steam Pack


Fast facts on the arrow

Current name: Arrow Previous names: RR arrow, 6 dart, Varbola
Shipyard: Astilleros de Huelva SA, Huelva [ES], # 571, 571 IMO number: 9119414
Current operator: Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Current route: Douglas [IOM] – Heysham [GB]
Total length: Beam:
Passenger capacity: 12 Vehicle capacity: 1057 meters of freight track (around 65 trailers)

Introduction to Arrow

A rare glimpse inside the Isle of Man Steam Packet ARROW Ro-Ro Ferry. Gary Andrews was kindly invited aboard the former Seatruck in 2017 while stationed at Larne.

ARROW is currently owned by a company registered in Denmark and long-term chartered to the Isle of Man Steam Packet. However, it is still managed by Seatruck Ferries under contract.

As the Steam Packet cover ship, ARROW’s role is to replace BEN-MY-CHREE when it is under maintenance. It also provides additional cargo capacity between England and the Isle of Man when needed, such as during the Isle of Man TT. ARROW is also contracted out on a long term basis to cover Condor Ferries. Her year ends with a job for Northlink covering her sister ships and lay-ups at Larne when not needed.

Originally named VARBOLA, ARROW was completed in Spain for Eesti Merelaevandus (ESCO) in 1998. She has three twin ships – HELLIAR and HILDASAY from Northlink, and CTMA VOYAGEUR II from CTMA (ex CLIPPER RANGER). All four vessels were completed for ESCO and will later go through Seatruck before moving to new owners when replaced by specially built tonnage (P class and FSG class).

When the new MANXMAN Steam Packet ship is delivered, ARROW will be replaced as a reserve ship in the fleet by BEN-MY-CHREE.


Machine spaces

ARROW is powered by two Wärtsilä 9R32 LN good cylinder marine diesel engines. Each motor drives a single propeller via its own Wärtsilä SV 850 P530 reducer. ARROW is equipped with a single Ulstein 150TV bow thruster.

Passenger accommodation

Accommodation is provided for up to 12 commercial drivers on board ARROW. Maintenance work was in progress at the driver’s lounge during the visit.

Crew areas and accommodation

ARROW’s crew accommodation includes the usual cabins, dining room and exercise facilities. Unusually for a ship in the Irish Sea, ARROW also has a sauna for the crew.

Navigation bridge

Thanks to the ARROW crew for their hospitality.

References and further reading


About Lillian Coomer

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