Cornouailles / Havelet

Wearing the grey and yellow colours of Truckline, Cornouailles is seen in the Solent providing relief cover on the Portsmouth/Caen (Ouistreham) route inbetween her seasonal Poole/Cherbourg service.
Photo: Richard Furnival

By the end of her career she was the smallest conventional Cross-Channel ferry and a vessel which her operator preferred to do without. She was built for Brittany Ferries in 1977 as the Cornouailles to serve their Plymouth/Roscoff route. She had only limited passenger capacity and within a short space of time was failing to accommodate the demand from tourist traffic. Seven years later she was chartered to S. N. C. F. to carry lorries on their Newhaven/Dieppe service. In 1986 she was painted in the grey and yellow livery of Truckline for their new Poole/Cherbourg passenger link. Again, her certificate for just three hundred rendered her inadequate and she was succeeded by a larger vessel in 1989 (Tregastel). Nevertheless, she remained based at the Dorset port as the Nassau registered Havelet, having been purchased by British Channel Island Ferries. She operated daily morning departures to St. Peter Port (Guernsey) and St. Helier (Jersey) in the summer months. When her owner was taken over by rival Condor Ferries, Havelet was retained to operate a token overnight sailing to the Channel Islands from Weymouth. The real money was to be made from the faster catamaran operation, and the conventional ship did not suit Condor's wishes to operate a purely high-speed service. She was mothballed during 1997 and 1998, but made a return to service as a relief vessel, sailing when the fast ferry was cancelled in rough weather. In 2000 she was sold, her role having already being taken by the purpose-built Commodore Clipper (albeit sailing from Portsmouth as opposed to Weymouth).

M. S. Cornouailles
Builder: Trondheims Mekaniske Verksted, Trondheim, Norway.
Yard number: 735.
Dimensions (length, breadth, depth): 110 x 16.51 x 5.18 metres.
Tonnages (gross, net, dead weight): 6,918, 2,294, 1,293.
Engines: Two Pielstick diesel.
Power: 8,240 kW.
Speed (knots): 17.
Passenger certificate: 550.
Car capacity: 205.

20.6.1976: Launched.
24.5.1977: Delivered to Brittany Ferries, Morlaix.
25.5.1977: Entered service Plymouth/Roscoff.
13.1.1984: Chartered to S. N. C. F. Dieppe/Newhaven.
1.1986: Ouistreham (near Caen)/ Portsmouth.
30.3.1986: Transferred to Truckline Poole/Cherbourg.
12.1988: Sold to British Channel Island Ferries, Nassau, Bahamas. Renamed Havelet. Poole/St. Peter Port (Guernsey)/St. Helier (Jersey).
7.3.1994: Chartered to Condor Ferries. Weymouth/ St. Peter Port (Guernsey)/St. Helier (Jersey).
10.1996: Laid up at Portland.
9.1998: Sold to Condor Ferries, St. Sampsons, Guernsey.
11.1999: Laid up at Weymouth.
8.2000: Sold to Prekookeanska Plovidba, Bar, Montenegro. Renamed Sveti Stefan.
25.8.2000: Left Weymouth for Montenegro.

Havelet passes Sandbanks as she leaves Poole Harbour for St. Peter Port on a regular morning departure during 1989. Note her port of registry is Morlaix, and consequently she is flying the French flag.
Photo: Tony Garner

From the same vantage point she is seen after her boat deck had been extended further towards her stern end, and her port of registry had been changed to Nassau in the Bahamas. These modifications were made during her refit in early 1990.
Photo: Dru Marland

Havelet steams towards Weymouth on an arrival from St. Peter Port (Guernsey) during the summer of 1994.

Here Havelet is found laid up at Weymouth on a sparkling winter's afternoon in early 1999, devoid of all Condor Ferries markings.