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Keeping the Interislander Ferries cool is crucial to passenger comfort and safety.

Excel Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Wellington works with flexibility and tight turn around times to ensure the ferries are kept in optimal conditions.

“Air conditioning is really important for our vessels so if we don’t have temperature or climate control on our vessels in the middle of summer then our ships absorb so much of the heat that they turn into little furnaces,” says Peter Mathews, Interislander Fleet Operations Manager. 

“It rapidly becomes uninhabitable for not just the crew, but for the 1350 passengers that we take across each sailing at peak season. It’s a critical part of the operation… just as critical as the sewerage systems or the lifts, or the control systems on the ships.”

Contractors have a limited time aboard the vessels or they find themselves taking a trip to Picton and back while they work.

“We have a high level of confidence in the team from Excel.”

Aratere Interislander’s Chief Engineer Ryan Campbell agrees.

“We’ve got 600 passengers on board (the Aratere) so for us the air conditioning is one of the highest priorities for the passengers comfort. It’s vitally important especially in summer that we use Excel Refrigeration to come onboard fault find, diagnose and maintain all of our equipment. 

“They look after the fridge systems, domestic fridges that hold all of the food on board, and frozen goods. We hold up to a week’s worth at a time on board so there’s a significant value in the stock we hold. It’s important that we get Excel down to look after this gear, maintain it and repair it as we need to.”

Excel Wellington Director Jon Roskvist says that being organised is important. The company has a preseason maintenance schedule to make sure the ferries are in prime condition heading into the hot summer months.

“Any faults will become very evident during summer time. 

“It can be dependent on the ambient temperature. It’s a lot busier during the summer time because the equipment is working a lot harder. During the winter time not so much because things seem to tick along.”

Ryan says that Aratere does up to three round trips a day during peak season, often docking for just 50 minutes before sailing again. 

“Time is just so important and Jon does provide great service. Excel provides great service for us for preventative maintenance but also the breakdown stuff as well.”


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