The Steam Packet has announced a long-term charter of a familiar vessel.
The MV Arrow has been used by the company during the TT since 2012, and the deal will also see an option to buy her.
In a statement, the Steam Packet says she’ll provide a long-term backup for its freight services and extra capacity during future TTs as well as the Festival of Motorcycling.
Chief Executive Mark Woodward says having the ship available will also help when the Ben-my-Chree goes in for her scheduled overhaul next year.
Mr Woodward says the Ben will be out of service in April 2014, and the MV Arrow will allow the company to plan for her absence.
The Arrow was built in 1998 and has been in service with Seatruck Ferries since 2007.
Mr Woodward says she’s ideally suited because she can sail in all weathers and tides at Heysham and Liverpool – something increasingly rare in available vessels.
Meanwhile, company chairman Robert Quayle says the recently-announced debt reduction means the Steam Packet is in a better position to plan future strategy.