The Isle of Man's passenger watchdog TravelWatch is welcoming news the Ben-my-Chree is scheduled to go into dry dock for repairs before Christmas.
The Steam Packet says it hopes the repaired, second bow thrust unit will be fitted to the vessel over three days, from December 16.
That booking is still be confirmed, but if it goes ahead, the Manannan will be brought back into service for passengers, with a freighter chartered to handle goods traffic.
TravelWatch chairman Brendan O'Friel says the combination of technical problems, gales and wind direction have upset the Ben's excellent reliability record.
Mr O'Friel says although some factors are beyond anyone's control, it's important the company and passengers learn from the current disruption: