New for 2020: MV Swift - A timeline of our new vessel's construction

Keep up to date with progress on our exciting new boat!

Work is well-underway on assembling Windermere Lake Cruises’ brand-new 300-seat boat, MV Swift, which is currently on-schedule to take to the water next year, 2020.

Built by Netherlands-based boat-builder Damen, the new addition to the Windermere Lake Cruises fleet will be the largest craft to be ‘launched’ onto Windermere for more than 80 years.

Too large to transport by road, the size of the vessel means it is necessary to build it in smaller sections off-site before being transported to Lakeside for final assembly.

You can also keep up to date on progress with this frequently updated timeline of construction highlights, with most recent developments and milestones listed first.


December 2019

Two significant days in the build of the new boat:

  • Tuesday 10 December - MV Swift is successfully maneuvered into position from the build site to the pier
  • Wednesday 11 December - the boat is gently lowered into the water for the first time

MV Swift after being gently lowered into Lake WIndermere for the first time

MV Swift after being gently lowered into Lake Windermere for the first time

And here's how it happened..

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Wednesday 11 December - 10am

The team from Mammoet begin to attach the straps around MV Swift in preparation for the lift.

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Wednesday 11 December - 10:20am

The two massive cranes prepare to lift the 150 tonnes of the boat.

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Wednesday 11 December - 11:45am

MV Swift takes to the air, slowly edging out over Lake Windermere.

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Wednesday 11 December - 11:55am

The boat is slowly rotated in preparation for landing in water for the first time.

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Wednesday 11 December - 12 noon

The boat is slowly lowered into Lake Windermere

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Wednesday 11 December - 12 noon

Edging towards the lake.

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Wednesday 11 December - 12:05pm

MV Swift's bow touches Lake Windermere for the first time.

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Wednesday 11 December - 12:15pm

She's afloat! After some quick safety checks, the straps are removed.

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Wednesday 11 December - 12:45pm

Afloat unaided for the first time.

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Wednesday 11 December - 2pm

Finally the wheel-house that was delivered on Tuesday is lifted into position.

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Wednesday 11 December - 2:15pm

The wheel-house is slowly lowered onto the vessel.

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Wednesday 11 December - 3pm

All done. MV Swift is complete with wheel-house safely located.


Tuesday 10 December - moving the boat from build site to launch position

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Tuesday 10 December

The wheel-house arrives by road and is unloaded onto Lakeside Pier. This piece will be added to the floating vessel after it is lowered into Lake Windermere on Wednesday 11 December.

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Tuesday 10 December

MV Swift is lowered onto a moving powered platform and is slowly maneuvered from the build site to the cranes at Lakeside Pier.

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Tuesday 10 December

It was a tight squeeze between Lakes Aquarium and the woodland, but the ship eventually got through.

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Tuesday 10 December

The tight squeeze as MV Swift makes her way to the launch position.

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Tuesday 10 December

The ship edges its way closer to the pier

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Tuesday 10 December

The view from above the maneuvering site. MV Swift half-way to the cranes and launch position.

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Tuesday 10 December

MV Swift in position for launch on Wednesday 11 December

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In preparation for the 'soft launch' of MV Swift into Lake Windermere.

Press & Media:

We have lots of high-res images and video of the maneuver and 'soft launch' over Wednesday 11 & Thursday 12 December. If you would like any please contact James Ventham on j.ventham@winander-leisure.co.uk

The hull of MV Swift, before being soft-launched into Windermere

Earlier in December:

Two huge cranes have been moved to Lakeside Pier in preparation for moving the partly-finished boat onto the water for the first time. An announcement on the exact date and time of lowering the structure into the water will be made on this page soon.

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One of the cranes arriving by road over Newby Bridge.

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The cranes will be used to lower the present structure into Lake Windermere for the first time later in December.

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Two huge cranes have been maneuvered to Lakeside Pier.


October & November:

Engineers from boatbuilder, Damen, have provided us with notes on progress on the ongoing construction of MV Swift, with good progress being reported ahead of the winter.

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Progress in the last eight weeks has been swift (pun very much intended), with recent favourable weather helping the construction crew’s many crane lift operations which continues to see our brand new vessel, MV Swift, take shape.

Diesel gensets are now in position.

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Transformers, frequency converters, batteries, FM200 bottle and bow thruster motor/tube have all been all lifted onboard and into their respective compartments or on MV Swift’s main deck, awaiting lowering to the vessel’s lower deck.

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All aluminium upper deck sections have been lifted into place and aligned. Welding is expected to commence in the coming days.

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Inside the vessel, installation work has continued for pipework.

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Several floor support structures are almost complete, with interior painting well underway.

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Engine room hatch fitting has been completed.

• Fair weather has enabled some painting over hull seam welds and scars to progress well.

• Work is continuing on seam welding on MV Swift’s upper deck (main deck saloon) structures.

• Designs for MV Swift’s lifejacket and CCTV arrangements are underway.


September:

  • All MV Swift's main hull sections have now been delivered to the construction site at Lakeside, including the vessel's superstructure. Work on welding the main sections together is now well-underway.

The Windermere Lake Cruises management team has also travelled to Damen's steel-cutting facility in Holland, where they were given their first look at MV Swift's bridge.


August:

This video was produced by Damen Shipbuilders who are constructing the vessel at Lakeside.

  • A third hull section arrived at the Lakeside construction site in on August 6th and a traditional keel laying ceremony was held. As per tradition in boat-building, a coin was welded to the keel of the new boat, to bless MV Swift as a symbol of good fortune.
  • You can see a short time-lapse video of the work that’s been done so far at Lakeside, below.


July:

  • A security company was tasked with maintaining a watchful-eye around the site’s perimeter fence and to look-out for any signs of forced entry or unauthorised activities, while while the first two sections of MV Swift’s hull continued to be fabricated off site in Damen’s shipyard.
  • Preparation work began at Lakeside for the arrival of two of Swift’s hull sections, including laying a steel base on the car park surface and support cradles for the hull sections.
  • As planned, the road from Newby Bridge to Lakeside was closed for one hour whilst the transport company delivered the two sections for alignment.
  • The first two sections of MV Swift’s hull were welded together.

Ground-pressure testing at Lakeside


June:

  • Ground Measurements at Lakeside were completed, with further work to ensure the site was suitable for building, transporting and lifting the hull.
  • The southern end of Lakeside car park was cordoned off, to enable the south end to be used for MV Swift’s construction. Access to that part of the site has been restricted to the Damen workforce and inspection teams from Lloyd’s Register and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
  • Our Operations Director, John Woodburn visited the Damen Shipyard (pictured below)


May:

  • Damen engineers carried out a visit to the Lakeside construction area to design a final layout for the site, in preparation for hull sections’ future arrival.


April:

  • The first cutting of the steel for MV Swift took place on 9 April 2019, off-site, at one of Damen’s facilities.


March:

  • Multi-million-pound contract signed by Windermere Lake Cruises and Damen for construction of 300-seat MV Swift. You can read more about that, here.