The MV Kent was purchased from Ireland in 2001 and originally utilised on the Cook Strait run, doing a weekly freight only service from Wellington to Nelson. In January 2007 she began a coastal service moving containers and general freight between the ports of Wellington, Nelson and Napier, later extending the route to include Lyttelton until 2010.
The 123 metre Kent was a versatile, freight only vessel with the capability to carry most forms of cargo and the expertise on board to manage almost every requirement.
At just under 7,000 tonnes, the Kent has a service speed of 15 knots and a capacity of 1,100 lane metres, or 200 TEU including 64 reefer points. Built in Japan in 1977, the Kent has two pielstick engines.
The Kent was sold by Strait Shipping in 2010.
Built in 1970 by North Queensland Engineers and Agents in Cairns, Australia she had a draft of 3.81 metres.
The Straitsman spent her early days in Bass Strait, Australia, sailing between Melbourne, Tasmania and King Island. Used to transport livestock, she launched Strait Shippings service across Cook Strait between Wellington, Picton and Nelson in 1992.
The Straitsman travelled at a speed of 12 knots running on two Lister Blackstone diesel engines with one bowthruster.
The Straitsman operated continuous service until the introduction of MV Santa Regina in 2003 when she was temporarily retired before being sold in 2004. She continues her life in warmer Fijian waters under the name of Sinu-I-Wasa (Flower of the Sea in Fijian).
Although no longer part of the fleet, MV Straitsman (Lollipop as she was affectionately known) remains very much a part of Strait Shipping history.
She was built by Moss Rosenberg in Stavanger, Norway on 1974. Her overall length was 86.52 metres and she had a draft of 4.962 metres.
Originally designed for the North Atlantic as a transporter of cars to the USA, she was purchased by the Scottish Office for service with Caledonian-Macbrayne. Operating in the North West of Scotland she sailed on the Isle of Lewis Service from Ullapool to Stornway. MV Suilven entered into service with Strait Shipping in 1995.
The Suilven travelled at a service speed of 13 knots, and ran on two Wichman diesel engines with two Brunvoll bow thrusters and two Denny Brown stabiilisers.
For seven years MV Suilven ran between Wellington and Picton before being transferred to the Wellington to Nelson service in late 2002. During this time she sailed three round trips a week for freight and a small number of passengers. In April 2004 the Suilven was sold and left for a new life in Fiji.
The Monte Stello was built by Societe Nouvelle Des Ateliers et Chatier in France in 1979. It had an overall length of 126 metres and a draft of just under six metres. The Monte Stello arrived in New Zealand from Las Palmas, Canary Islands in March 2006.
Known as the Palanga while sailing between Las Palmas and Tenerife, the vessel was returned to its original name of Monte Stello, as per Strait Shipping tradition, when she arrived in New Zealand. The Monte Stello also received a face-lift in keeping with the Santa Regina and joined the Cook Strait service route in December 2006.
The 11,630 ton Monte Stello had a lane metre capacity of 1000 metres she was a significant asset to the Strait Shipping freight fleet.
Suitable for every type of freight from livestock to breakbulk or overdimensional loads, the Monte Stello sailed twice daily from both Picton and Wellington.
With a service speed of 19.5 knots, the Monte Stello ran two Pielstick diesel engines and featured one bow thruster and two stabilisers.
The Monte was sold in November 2011.