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: Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited
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: in service
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. She is now owned by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited and operated by Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd on the Ballycastle to Rathlin Island route in Northern Ireland.


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 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]


  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. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  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.