Loch Carron

Gaelic Name:

Type:

Callsign:

IMO:

MMSI:

Launched:

Acquired:

Steel MV

5210222

27/10/1951

Entered Service:

Disposed:

1977

N/A

DIMENSIONS

Length:

194.8'

Draught:

Breadth:

9.8'

34.1'

Gross Tonnage:

CAPACITIES

Passengers:

Cars:

Crew:

Lifeboats:

4

0

19

2

Current / Last Route

683

DETAILS

Ordered By:

Cost:

Registered:

Launched by: 

Named after:

David MacBrayne Ltd.

Glasgow

Mrs T E Cameron

TECHNICAL

Builders:

Ardrossan Dockyard Ltd

Yard No:

413

Engine Builders:

British Polar Engines Ltd

Machinery:

2 SCSA 6 cyls. 13 3/8”-22 7/16”.

Speed:

11

Hoist & Lifts:

FACILITIES

ROUTE TIMELINE

Sorry, Not Compiled Yet.

History

MacBrayne's shipbuilding policy remained much at the behest of the Royal Mail contract and that of 1949 demanded a new purpose-built cargo vessel. Contract was placed with the Ardrossan Dockyard Ltd – who had built the 1930 classics LOCHEARN and LOCHMOR – and the new ship, LOCHCARRON< was launched by Mrs T E Cameron on 27th October 1951.

In her lines the design of LOCHCARRON obviously owed something to LOCHBROOM (II) – raked stem, cruiser stern, one oval funnel (aft), and two neat masts – but in accomodation she was much superior. As well as officers and crew she could comfortably board four passengers, not to mention 148 cattle and four horses as occasion required – and that in addition to cargo. Capacity for all this was forward and her two derricks could handle 7 ½ tons amnd 5 tons respectively – the heaviest lifting gear on any MacBrayne boat at that date. McTaggart-Scott supplied the hydraulic machinery necessary for operation – which worked on one circuit with that for her windlass, steering gear and so on.
LOCHCARRON was, indeed, the very first ship in either fleet to be fitted with hydraulic equipment and she was also the first to be built with a cellular double bottom and the first to emerge with radar fitted as standard. Her engine, records G E Langmuir, was a standard M 46 Polar six-cylinder diesel, made by British Polar Engines Ltd., Glasgow, and giving a speed of eleven knots.

She spent practically all her career on the Outer Hebrides cargo run from Glasgow – at first with the 1898 steamer HEBRIDES as her opposite number, and from 1955 the LOCHARD. Latterly, LOCHCARRON chugged alone. She left Glasgow ever Friday – until 1970, when the day of departure was changed to Thursday. This allowed her to make an Oban-Lismore run and she could also give special sailings to Tiree for cars – the last major Hebridean island to gain a scheduled car ferry service, in 1975.

In February 1972 LOCHCARRON performed the Stornoway cargo service as the LOCH SEAFORTH took over the “Inner Isles Mail” from Claymore and combined that with an Oban-based cargo service for Coll, Tiree, Barra etc.

But the Seventies saw a precipitate decline in goods for MacBrayne's last cargo services and by 1974 the LOCHCARRON was the last boat devoted to it – heavy goods, parcels and even livestock were increasingly freighted by road and the rapidly expanding car ferry network. The STG's first bid, in 1975, to end the Glasgow cargo sailings from 31st October that year met with a storm of objections. By the following year the Company was able to give better assurances regarding special transport arrangements for livestock – for instance, deploying ferries like COLUMBA for the Oban sales – and the Scottish Transport Users' Consultative Committee agreed no hardship would result. The impact of the big new Stornoway car ferry, SUILVEN, on the carriage of Lewis freight was also evident by 1976.

LOCHCARRON made the last MacBrayne cargo sailing from Glasgow on 26th October 1976, returning from Stornoway on 7th November. In January 1977 she was sold to Kopsi Shipping Co. Ltd., Cyprus, but remained laid up at Springfield Quay, Glasgow until May, at which point they took delivery and she became the GEORGIS K.

She is believed still to be in service, under the name RANADA, and registered in Honduras. The variable tradition of passenger and freight by direct sailings to the Hebrides from Glasgow died with her departure.

TYPICAL SAILING DAYS FOR LOCH CARRON:

MONDAY:
Depart Kingston Dock Glasgow A.M. - Greenock P.M.
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TUESDAY:
Colonsay - Iona - Oban (overnight)
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WEDNESDAY:
Craigienure - Lochaline - Salen - Tobermoray (at anchor overnight)
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THRUSDAY:
Coll - Tiree - Castlebay
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FRIDAY:
Lochboisdale - Loch Skipport
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SATURDAY:
Lochmaddy - Scalpay - Tarbert ( Harris)
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SUNDAY:
Alongside in Tarbert, no sailings on a Sunday
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MONDAY:
Uig - Dunvegan - Carbost
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TUESDAY:
Oban - Bowmore
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WEDNESDAY:
Glasgow
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Alternate Monday's from Glasgow were carried out by the Loch Ard.

Loch Carron at Stornoway

At Glasgow

Loch Carron at Stornoway

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