MV Canna

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The Rathlin ferry (4) - - 795666.jpg
MV Canna at Ballycastle
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svgUnited Kingdom
Name: MV Canna
Owner: ??
Port of registry: Glasgow
Builder: James Lamont & Co, Port Glasgow[1]
Yard number: 424
Laid down: 1975
Launched: 31 October 1975[2]
In service: 29 January 1976[3]
Status: Withdrawn
General characteristics
Tonnage: Gross tonnage: 69[3]
Length: 22.5 m (73.8 ft)
Beam: 6.4 m (21.0 ft)
Draught: 1.4 m (4.6 ft)
Installed power:

now fitted with 2 x Scania D9 93M35 turbocharged 6-cylinder diesel engines[3]

rated at 257 hp at 1,900 rpm[5]
Speed: 8 knots
Capacity: 140 passengers (27 winter[5]) and 6 cars[3]
Crew: 3

MV Canna is a car ferry built for Caledonian MacBrayne in 1975.


MV Canna was the seventh Island Class ferry built for Caledonian MacBrayne. She was re-engined at Timbacraft, Shandon.

In May 2009, MV Canna became the first CMAL (Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd) ship to receive its Inventory of Hazardous Materials (Green Passport).[6][7]


The eight Island Class ferries, built between 1972 and 1976, were a very simple design, based on World War II landing craft. They had a two-part folding ramp at the bow, an open plan car deck incorporating a small turntable immediately aft and a sheltered area of passenger accommodation at the stern. The wheelhouse was above the passenger accommodation and the main mast above the ramp at the bow. A radar mast sat on top of the bridge, just forward of the small funnel and engine exhaust.[8]


MV Canna entered service with Calmac on the Raasay route in January 1976, initially from Portree, but this soon changed to a shorter crossing from Sconser.[9] After only 3 months she was moved to the Lochaline crossing to Mull, where she remained for the next ten years.[9] In 1986 MV Loch Linnhe and then the larger MV Isle of Cumbrae replaced Canna.[9]

After two years as spare vessel, Canna spent seven years crossing between Kyles Scalpay on Harris and the slipway on Scalpay - a crossing of just three minutes. In April 1997 she took over the Ballycastle - Rathlin Island crossing in Northern Ireland,[10] initially operated by Calmac. In 2008 Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd took over the service, leasing the vessel from Caledonian Maritime Assets.[11]

In 2017, she was replaced by a new vessel Spirit of Rathlin and her future became uncertain.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "MV Canna". Clydebuilt. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  2. ^ "MV Canna". Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  3. ^ a b c d "MV Canna". Ships of Calmac. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Canna". Shipping Data. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Review of Certain Subsidised Ferry Services to the Islands" (DOC). Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  6. ^ "A green first". Lloyds Register. 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
  7. ^ "News:Green Passport". Caledonian Maritime Assets. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  8. ^ "Island Class Vessels". Ships of Calmac. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  9. ^ a b c "History of MV Canna". Ships of Calmac. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  10. ^ "History of MV Bruernish". Ships of Calmac. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  11. ^ "Improved service for Rathlin ferry will half travel time". Northern Ireland Executive. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-02.