1 EAGLETON NOTES: MV Loch Seaforth

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Friday, 10 October 2014

MV Loch Seaforth

The new ferry for the service between Ullapool (on the Scottish Mainland) and Stornoway (on the Isle of Lewis) is called MV Loch Seaforth.  The ferry has capacity to take 700 passengers, 143 cars or 20 commercial vehicles. The vessel was named after the Loch Seaforth, a mail boat that sailed between Lewis and Mallaig on the Scottish mainland  between 1947 and 1972.

MV Loch Seaforth (picture from the BBC website)
She was due to take up her duties in September. However there have been a number of problems at the German yard where she is being built and now it is reported that the yard (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft) is on the verge of bankruptcy.  It is understood that an offer has been made by a Norwegian yard but if that falls through then it could be a matter for the German courts to decide and the handover of the ferry to it's new owners could be delayed and that doesn't bode well for the coming winter services.

Ah well.  We'll just have to wait and see.

26 comments:

  1. I think of you living on a fairly small remote island... But that looks bigger than our inter Island ferry. Rapid rethinking of numbers of people needing to use it! Mind you we tend to fly across Cook Strait here....perhaps that is not an option for you to escape to the mainland?

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    1. Kate The Isle of Lewis and Harris is about 100k long as the crow flies and the Island chain about 175k from tip to toe. Of course it's much longer by road and sea. We have over a dozen flights out of Stornoway airport each day to Inverness, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Benbecula with connecting flights to, well, even New Zealand.

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  2. Well, I guess I'll just have to catch the McBrain :-)

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  3. Hang on…. the McBrayne is the Seaforth? But she is not yet built… ? I'm confused. This is a computer-generated image?

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    1. It is the actual ship. She is in Denmark now having something modified.

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    2. The situation is Kate that Caledonian MacBrayne will be the operating company for the ship which, as Adrian said, has been launched but still need a lot of fitting out of electrical systems and so on so has not yet been handed over to its new owners (which is a company owned by the Scottish Government).

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  4. You'll wait and see and do quite well with the old ferry. It seems that all estimates for completion are completely inaccurate.

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    1. There have been practical problems Red due to things like the roof blowing off the shipyard in a storm. We'll soldier on with the old ferry which will be quieter during the winter but it has had reliability issues in the last year.

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  5. I was wondering where she had got to. I understood that she was originally due in June.

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    1. I think you may be correct about the original delivery date Adrian but the terminals are not quite ready yet anyway.

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  6. Yesterday, I happened to come across a documentary on German telly about the Outer Hebrides, Graham. There was lots about Barra and Vatersay, and also about Lewis and Harris. Some of what they showed looked so much like the pictures I've seen on your blog that I thought the TV people must have been filming from your garden.

    As for the German wharf - shame on them for sloppy work. Looks like Germany is fast becoming the ridicule of Europe (if not the world); for such a long time, we've had the reputation of being diligent and punctual in our work, and now look at the state of our army's equipment, and now this. Sad!

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    1. I wonder which programme that was Meike but not a surprise given the huge number of programmes being made about the Scottish islands at the moment. It's sad if Germany's reputation for punctuality and quality is declining.

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  7. Graham, if things don't go according to plan, will you be stranded? I guess that's the downside of living in such a remote and beautiful place. Presumably some transport will have to be provided?

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    1. No Frances we won't be stranded. The ferry that's on now will continue in operation. There is a second ferry from Harris to Skye which some people use anyway. I have used it several times this year.

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    2. The supermarkets on Lewis are better by far than anything Ullapool has to offer.

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  8. I am a bit confused ~ but that is not surprising. Is the photo of the new ship or old ship?

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    1. Carol the ship in the picture is the new vessel, MV Loch Seaforth. The current vessel is MV Isle of Lewis.

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  9. So how much bigger is the new ferry compared to the old one? And is it supposed to be faster as well, or just bigger and better in other ways?

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    1. The new ferry is a bit faster I think and it is a bit larger but the main difference will be in the type of propulsion units and the fact that it is designed to run 24/7 and run even when one engine is down.

      MV Isle of Lewis
      Tonnage: 6,753 GT
      Length: 101.25 metres (332.2 ft)[1]
      Beam: 18.52 metres (60.8 ft)[1]
      Draught: 4.19 metres (13.7 ft)[1]
      Propulsion: 2 x Mirrlees Blackstone K6 Major, 2 x Ulstein 1500 AGSC gearboxes
      Speed: 18.0 knots (20.7 mph)(service)
      Capacity: 680 passengers, 123 cars
      Crew: 32

      MV Loch Seaforth
      Tonnage: 7800
      Length: 116 metres (381 ft)[2]
      Beam: 18.4 metres (60 ft).[3]
      Propulsion: 2 x Wärtsilä, 3 x auxiliary
      Capacity: 700 passengers, 143 cars

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    2. OK I guess that answers all my questions (and more) ... (LOL)

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  10. If the worst comes to the worst you can all just stay on the Isle of Lewis. One of the side benefits is that you will miss out on the worldwide ebola epidemic.

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  11. I hope all the final work on the ferry gets done and it is put in service soon.

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    1. Terra the latest bulletin is that agreement has been reached and the ferry is now in the ownership of the Scottish Company and will shortly be on it's way to Scotland. When it will actually start on the run I do not know.

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  12. That's a nice looking ferry...hope it all works out well....I may get to ride on it one of these days.

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    1. That would be good Virginia. I'm hoping that I will soon too.

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