Main The Fleet Ships of the Fleet Loch Seaforth (II) History

After a public vote to choose her name LOCH SEAFORTH came top reviving fond memories of one of the greatest of the motor-driven mailboats built for David MacBrayne Ltd. For a quarter-century the pervious ship sailed from Stornoway, capital of the large and populous Isle of Lewis, to Mallaig and Kyle of Lochalsh. She is still fondly remembered for the reliability of her service and the wit and warmth of her crew.
The building of the new £42 million Stornoway ferry started with the first steel being cut at Flensburger shipyard in Germany on the 16th September 2013. An official ceremony was held to mark the milestone. Present were Andy Robertson and Nick Johnson from Lloyd’s Banking Group, joined by Guy Platten, CEO of Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) and Andrew Duncan, Director of Vessels at CMAL who all pushed the button to start the steel cutting machine. After the keel was laid the pre-fabricated sections were welded together.

The hull of the LOCH SEAFORTH is due to be launched in February 2014. She is then expected to be in service between Stornoway and Ullapool by summer 2014.

Built with the capability of operating 24 hours a day she will have a capacity for up to 700 passengers, and 143 cars or 20 commercial vehicles and be 10% faster than the current vessel, ISLE OF LEWIS. She is also specially designed to have next to none disruptions due to mechanical breakdowns. Three back-up engines aim to keep the ship going on her regular timetable and speed even if one of her two main engines breaks down. Such a set-up is a huge advantage over the present ISLE OF LEWIS which cannot legally sail unless it has two fully operating main engines.

3D Artist Impression

First Steel Being Cut in Germany

From Hebrides News:
Any one of the MV Loch Seaforth’s three generators - normally used for making electricity for onboard use - can be used to drive a propeller through a propulsion unit and separate input into the gearboxes.
This bypass system satisfies strict UK maritime safety rules and may also be used to stop an engine for regular maintenance at sea or even to allow for cleaning or painting.
However, only one propulsion unit can be run at any time so at least one main engine has to be running normally.
Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), which will lease the vessel to the ferry operator said that the ship can reach about 15 knots with just one main engine.
Firing up one of the propulsion units can add at least another four knots taking her to full speed.
A CMAL spokesman said: “In reality CMAL thinks it would be more likely that the power to both propellers would be equalised to give the normal service speed.
“There is a lot of reserve power in the engines and the service speed can easily be reached.”

She will be owned by the Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) which will lease it to Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL). In turn, CMAL will charter her to the operator of the route.
CMAL is the Scottish Government company which owns the ships providing ferry services to the Western Isles. Under European rules the vessels are charted to a the best operator which successfully bids to run the service.

Text Ships of CalMac (C) & Hebrides News. Images; 3D Profile - CMAL, Steel Being Cut - Hebrides News

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