On January 27th 2020 it was officially confirmed by Chessington that the parks fearsome pirate ship Black Buccaneer had left the resort. It had set sail to pastures new and a new ship was making sail towards the park. A naming contest was started and the chosen name later became “The Blue Barnacle”.
Construction started to pick up in February 2020 to prepare the site for the new ship. It is not currently known who the manufacturer of the new vessel is, nor when it will open. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, it may have been delayed until the 2021 season. All the latest news and updates as and when we have them will be posted below.
In November 2020, Chessington Buzz received multiple unconfirmed reports that the Blue Barnacle had arrived at the resort. Days later, the park confirmed that the new ship had made port at the park and was being lifted into its final position. This confirms our thoughts that the ride will open for the 2021 season, alongside Croc Drop over in Forbidden Kingdom.
December 5th 2020
We finally get to see what the Blue Barnacle will look like now that the ship has arrived at the park, and Chessington has reopened for its annual Winters Tail event. The ship, which we can now confirm as being manufactured by German company Metallbau Emmeln, is fully on site, with the rides structure tucked away by Griffin’s Galleon.
The drive motor for the ride is in place, and work has started on replacing the ride control system in the operator cabin. The ship itself is in place and the park are starting to pump out water from within the rides pit following the recent heavy rain.
The ship is bright and colourful and has 10 rows, seating a total of 42 passengers per ride. Barriers on one side of the boat make it clear that guests will exit the ride on the same side they embark.
November 14th 2020
It’s official, Blue Barnacle has arrived. In this photo posted by Chessington on their social media Channels, it’s been confirmed that the ride has arrived. With a single image showing the ride being craned into its final location.
October 17th 2020
Although there are once again no major updates to the site, park management were spotted on the Blue Barnacle site. We believe they were discussing the arrival of the ship and we’re therefore hopeful it will be arriving soon.
July 27th 2020
No work appears to have taken place over the last month, with it likely that Chessington have postponed the ride until next season due to the ongoing global pandemic. Ground works appear mostly completed however, so it could be an easy thing to pick back up again once things have gone quiet once more? Time will tell!
June 20th 2020
In our first update post lockdown, we can see how much work has been done on site once more. Large amounts have been completed, with water proofing in place around the lagoon area. All the foundations are in, the queue-line fences are in and the tarmac has been laid.
Planting has been done on the mound of fresh earth which was set up behind the rocks. It looks very nearly ready for the new ride to be installed. Only changes to be completed are the installation of the exit path behind the ride. We cannot be sure if the ride will feature an unload on the opposite side as before, but it looks likely.
March 19th 2020
Just 4 days after our last update, work is still moving ahead, with the queue-line fence being replace. Sections that were removed are being put back in, with gravel in place ahead of sections being tarmacked.
March 15th 2020
Huge changes have happened in the past month! It appears that all of the new rides foundations are in place, including those for the rides drive system. Large amount of soil has been moved alongside the site, with new rocks in place also. It certainly looks as though the rides pond will be returning!
February 20th 2020
Large progress has been made over the last few days. Two of the concrete foundation tubes are now in place. The rebar cages which will form the rides footers have been made and will be concreted inside the tubes to support the ride.
Large volumes of ground have been moved around on site. Could this hopefully mean that the Black Buccaneer’s lagoon setting will be returning?
February 15th 2020
Now we’re talking! A lot has changed on site, with new foundations being poured through concrete tubing. A lot of ground has been moved to make way for the new footers and a trench has been dug out beneath the ride. We believe this is for the rides new drive motors. Progress is being made rapidly!
February 1st 2020
With it now officially confirmed that Chessington is set to replace the Black Buccaneer for the 2020 season, we will be keeping an eye on site. Work has not yet moved on since December, with work on clearing out the operator cabin suspended.
December 7th 2019
According to our sources, Chessington will be replacing the tired Black Buccaneer ride with a new ship for the 2020 season. It appears that some work has taken place here, with a clear out of the rides operating cabin. This is of course unconfirmed and subject to change.