Current / Last Route
David MacBrayne Ltd.
An inland Loch to the North of Glasgow and West of Loch Lomond.
Ferguson Bros. (Port Glasgow) Ltd.
British Polar Engines Ltd.
1 Oil 2 SCSA 6 cyl. 340 x 570 mm.
Hoist & Lifts:
2 x Derricks (5 and 10 tons) Later replaced by 16 ½ ton capacity.
She had two rather stylish two-berth staterooms, for her four passengers.
1955 - 1964: Glasgow - Outer Isles Cargo
1964 - 1970: Glasgow - Islay Cargo
1970: Glasgow - Dublin (Charter)
LOCH ARD was the last cargo-boat to be built for David MacBrayne Ltd. and, like CLAYMORE, was a necessary fruit of the 1952 mail contract. The new ship was launched at Fergusons' of Port Glasgow on 23rd May 1955 and, after completion, entered service in June, succeeding HEBRIDES (1898) on the fortnightly Outer Islands cargo-run from Glasgow.
Though like LOCHCARRON in many ways, LOCH ARD had certain innovations. The most striking was the self-supporting bipod mast, with derricks that could lift five and ten tons respectively – the latter a new Company record. One reason for this especially robust kit was awareness of the very heavy loads likely to be carried to the Outer Hebrides in the next few years, as major civil engineering works were expected – such as the North Ford, which would link North Uist to Benbecula.
But LOCH ARD was also readily adapted for the transport of livestock – including 130 head of cattle – and had plenty of space for deck cargo besides, including buses and lorries as well as cars. She had two rather stylish two-berth staterooms, for her four fortunate passengers. On the front of the bridge superstructure, too, LOCH ARD proudly wore the David MacBrayne Ltd. House-flag, worked in metal. This, too, was a company first. She enjoyed the same navigational technology as the new CLAYMORE,.
As if ten tons were not enough, in January 1957 it was agreed to fit LOCH ARD with a derrick capable of lifting 16 ½ tons.
From 1964 she was employed almost entirely on the Glasgow to Islay service, and as a result LOCH ARD became very vulnerable to the advent of an Islay car ferry. Once the ARRAN took up service in that capacity for MacBraynes in January 1970 – on top of the Western Ferries roll on/roll off vessels from Kennacraig – LOCH ARD, still not fifteen years old, was finished.
Between March and June 1970 she was chartered for service between Glasgow and Dublin. LOCH ARD was finally sold in April 1971 to Holborn Shipping Ltd. of Liberia and left the Clyde for Piraeus on ther 27th, named HOLBORN. She was later acquired by Spanish owners and named CANDIERA. On 7th May 1984 the sometime Islay cargo-boat sank in the Mediterranean. She seems to have been subsequently raised, only to be scrapped at Bilbao in 1985.