Saturday, 23 February 2008


One of CalMac's ferries built locally by Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd left the Garvel Drydock this morning and was berthed in the James Watt Dock to continue her annual overhaul. LOCH FYNE, sister of the Colintraive ferry LOCH DUNVEGAN, joined the CalMac fleet in 1991 and was initially used on the short crossing between Kyle of Lochalsh and Kyleakin before the Skye Bridge was built. LOCH FYNE is 56.0 metres overall with her ramps stowed, and is 549 tons gross. From 1995, when the bridge rendered her and her sister obsolete, until 1997, she lay in the James Watt Dock and on the sale list. No buyer was found and she was given a reprieve when LOCH DUNVEGAN, which had also been laid up for some time, broke down while serving on the Lochaline-Fishnish route across the Sound of Mull. LOCH FYNE was recommissioned, sent to replace her, and has served Mull faithfully since then. Her large capacity is useful for carrying the large number of commercial vehicles now engaged in timber haulage operations in the area. Berthed astern of LOCH FYNE, the Rothesay ferry ARGYLE continues with her overhaul.