MV Argyle

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MV Argyle 4507d.jpg
MV Argyle off Gourock on 4 May 2007
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svgUnited Kingdom
Name: MV Argyle
Owner: Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited
Operator: Caledonian MacBrayne
Port of registry: Glasgow, United Kingdom
Route: Wemyss Bay - Rothesay
Builder: Remontowa, Poland
Cost: £9,000,000
Launched: 12 September 2006
  • 4 May 2007
  • at Rothesay by Mrs Tish Timms, wife of CalMac Chairman Peter Timms
Maiden voyage: 16 May 2007
Status: in service
General characteristics
Tonnage: approx 2612 tonnes[1]
Length: 72 m[2]
Beam: 15.3 m
Draft: 5 m
Ice class: 1A
Speed: 18 knots
Capacity: 450 passengers, 60 cars

MV Argyle is a ferry owned by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited and operated by Caledonian MacBrayne on the route between Wemyss Bay and Rothesay. She is the seventh Clyde ship to have the name Argyle.


Until 2007, there had not been an Argyle on the Clyde for over a hundred years, but the present vessel is the seventh of the name. The first was a paddle steamer built only two years after the pioneer steamship PS Comet appeared on the river in 1812. The second was commissioned in 1815; the third and fourth had connections with Loch Fyne, while the fifth was a cargo steamer sailing to the Outer Hebrides.[3]

In the mid nineteenth century the spelling of the county changed to Argyll. The old spelling, however, is appropriate as the ship’s most prominent ancestor was a paddle steamer built in 1866 and sold by her original owner within a month to the Wemyss Bay Steam Boat Company. She was the successor to their PS Bute and remained on the Wemyss Bay route for almost quarter of a century.

Built in Poland, she was launched on 12 September 2006.[2] Following delivery, the fitting out process took into account design modifications based on lessons learned from MV Bute. She was formally named at Rothesay Bay on 4 May 2007 before joining the Caledonian MacBrayne fleet later in the month.


MV Argyle has a semi-open car deck with a clearance height of 5.1m. Like the MV Coruisk before her, she has bow and stern access and in addition she has a starboard vehicle ramp aft which was used at Rothesay before the pier was converted to allow end-loading.

Passenger accommodation is located on two levels, the first housing forward and aft lounges with a kiosk area and toilets between, while the second level is open deck space from the twin funnels to just forward of the bridge. The bridge sits on its own perch above the open deck.

Superficially there is very little to differentiate Argyle from Bute. Argyle has a second lift from the car deck and the passenger lounge is a little larger than on her sister.[4]


MV Argyle operates the route between Wemyss Bay and Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, joining her sister ship MV Bute, already on the route, in May 2007.[4] Being more manoeuvrable than the new vessels, the streakers MV Juno and MV Saturn returned to provide the service during work to build a new end-loading linkspan at Rothesay pier in 2007.[citation needed]

In May 2015, Argyle encountered some technical problems and broke down mid firth. What is usually a 35 minute crossing took 5 hours for her to finally berth in Rothesay, where she berthed bow-in and undertook repairs.[citation needed] In June 2015 her turbo charger had a problem which led to a massive amount of smoke coming out of her engine room. She diverted back to Wemyss Bay and berthed stern in while fire fighters, ambulance and police were at the scene. Luckily, there were no casualties and Argyle was later towed to James Watt Dock in Greenock, and she was back in service a week later.[citation needed]

Due to works at Wemyss Bay pier, Argyle and Bute were temporarily relocated to Gourock in October 2015, making each crossing an hour long. Services resumed from Wemyss Bay in March 2016, after a £6 million pier upgrade was completed.[5]


  1. ^ Ian McCrorie. CalMac Ferries. Caledonian MacBrayne. ISBN 0-9507166-7-7.
  2. ^ a b "MV Argyle". Ships of Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  3. ^ "MV Argyle". CalMac. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b "History of MV Argyle". Ships of Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  5. ^ "Wemyss Bay Ferry Terminal". Caledonian Maritime Assets. Retrieved 2017-12-21.

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