Main The Fleet Ships of the Fleet Broadford (II) History

Traffic continued to pile up at the CSP's Kyleakin outpost and another new ferry was duly ordered for the service. Launched without ceremony at Port Glasgow on Wednesday 5th October 1966, the second BROADFORD was, like the previous year's Portree, a product of Lamont's yard, of identical dimensions and similar design. Her navigation bridge, however, was placed aft for greater stability and her side-ramps were hydraulically operated; they were also significantly wider, as PORTREE was struggling to load large vehicles. The new BROADFORD cost 34,000 and in December 1966 repaired briefly to Greenock's Albert Harbour before entering service at Kyleakin on 7th January 1967.
The 1954 BROADFORD, a 4-car turntable craft, had been renamed BROADFORD II the previous June and remained in service till the end of 1966. Though sold in January 1967 to the Orwell and Harwich Navigation Co. Ltd, they never collected their new acquisition and BROADFORD II deteriorated at Kyleakin for over a year. In March 1968 she was sold on to Marine Transport Services Ltd. of Cobh, in the Republic of Ireland, and crossed the Irish Sea later that spring after an overhaul at Campbeltown. She remained in Irish service and appears to have been scrapped in 1981.

PICTURE: Jim Prentice
Her ramp submerged whilst loading in the Kyles

These 9-car ferry boats certainly helped to clear up the vehicle traffic which was threatening to overwhelm the Kyleakin service, but unlike the surviving turntable ferries - in wet weather passengers got soaked. In 1968 a very small shelter was fitted to protect pedestrians on BROADFORD at least.

With the advent of the 28-car KYLEAKIN (III) in August 1970, and the service's conversion to drive-through operation, BROADFORD languished for some months as spare vessel and was eventually summoned to the Clyde for service on the Kyles of Bute crossing, with her old consort PORTREE. She underwent near-identical conversion at Lamont's but, unlike PORTREE, was not re was neither re-engined nor (very marginally) shortened.

BROADFORD duly took up her new Rhubodach-Colintraive career in June 1971 and, like PORTREE, was notionally chartered to the Bute Ferry Co. Ltd, though both vessels continued to fly the Caley pennant and the arrangement was technical only.

Like PORTREE, BROADFORD occasionally assisted at the Largs-Cumbrae Slip station and, from the early 1980s, enjoyed her annual overhaul at the Ardmaleish boatyard on Rothesay's outskirts. Latterly she seems to have been in service less frequently than her elder sister.

With the advent of LOCH RIDDON (1986) on the Colintraive station, the old Skye sisters were laid up and on 4th November 1987 both PORTREE and BROADFORD were acquired by Mr Hooper of Sandbank on the Holy Loch. If the former PORTREE now languishes as a glorified mooring in that haven, BROADFORD has been more fortunate; she continues to ply the Clyde as a workboat, minus a vehicle-ramp, in bright blue livery and glorying in the name of BROADFORD BAY. She has spent much of 2004 at Renfrew harbour.

Text thanks to John MacLeod (C)

PICTURE: Ian Montgomery
Laid-up with sister Portree in Sandbank, Holy Loch

PICTURE: Brian Clime
As 'Broadford Bay' at Renfrew, Glasgow

All material on this site Ships of CalMac 2001 - 2017, unless otherwise stated.
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