A claim by Wightlink for almost £1.4 million in damages over ’catastrophic’ engine failures affecting its former Fastcat high-speed vessels was thrown out by the High Court at the end of February. The operator sued Michell Power Systems (MPS),the company contracted to overhaul engines on Fastcat Shanklin, which suffered a major failure in July 2006, before Fastcat Ryde had similar problems the following November.

When the affected engines were sent back to German builders MTU, it was found that clearances between piston pins and pin brushes in each of the 16 cylinders did not comply with manufacturers’ requirements.

Mr Justice Hamblin dismissed Wightlink’s claim and cleared MPS of all liability. He said MPS should have had regard to the recommended clearances and not departed from them without reason. But he added: ’Iam satisfied there were good reasons to do so in this case.’

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