MV Clansman

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For the MacBrayne's car ferry, see MV Clansman (1964).
MV Clansman departs Oban.JPG
MV Clansman departing Oban
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svgUnited Kingdom
Name: MV Clansman
Owner: Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited
Operator: Caledonian MacBrayne
Port of registry: Glasgow
Route: Oban - Coll/Tiree/Colonsay
Builder: Appledore Shipbuilders, Devon
Launched: 27 March 1998
Maiden voyage: 4 July 1998
Status: in service
Notes: [1]
General characteristics
Tonnage: 5,499
Length: 99 m
Beam: 15.8 m
Draft: 3.2 m
  • 2 × MAK 8 M32, Gear Box: 2 - Ulstein 1500 AGSC
  • Bow Thruster: 2 x Electric Ulstein 90TV each 7.0 tonnes thrust
Speed: 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph) (service)
Capacity: 638 passengers, 90 cars
Crew: 28
Notes: [2]

MV Clansman is a ferry owned by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited and operated by Caledonian MacBrayne, operating from Oban on the west coast of Scotland.


The present MV Clansman is the fifth vessel to carry the name in the CalMac fleet over the years. The most recent predecessor was the 1964 built hoist loading ferry. Launched on 27 March 1998 at Appledore Shipbuilders in North Devon,[3] she entered service four months later. As the third largest vessel in the fleet, she brought new levels of capacity and passenger comfort to the routes. The main complaint passengers had was Clansman's lack of open deckspace. The design of the ship was such that exterior areas for passengers came at a premium. Calmac remedied this problem by adding an extension, above the area aft of the bar during her annual overhaul in 2003.[4]

Clansman has an almost identical sister ship, MV Hebrides, built in 2000 to a similar specification.

In April 2016, Clansman currently serves Coll, Tiree and Colonsay from Oban, with MV Isle of Lewis operating a daily dedicated service to Castlebay. A new daily return service from Lochboisdale to Mallaig commenced in April 2016, thus ending South Uist's direct link with Oban.


A cafeteria is situated at the bow, with an observation lounge directly above. Aft are a series of lounges, shop and bar. Above is crew accommodation and a relatively small amount of open deck space. She lacks a forward deck.[4]

The car deck has room for approximately 90 cars. It also has a mezzanine deck on the starboard side which can be raised or lowered to allow loading of up to 10 more cars.

Recently, the upper deck was extended aft to allow for more open deck space and some deck space sheltered from the elements.


MV Clansman undergoing repairs at the Watt Dock, Greenock, on 13 July 2010, with PS Waverley also in for repairs.

Designed specifically for the ObanCastlebay / Lochboisdale and ObanColl / Tiree services, Clansman replaced MV Lord of the Isles. At 99m in length, she is the largest vessel that can safely navigate the numerous channels on her routes. She was however too large to call at Tobermory which was dropped from the Coll/Tiree sailings on her introduction.[4]

Each winter since her introduction, Clansman has relieved the larger Calmac units for their annual refit, leaving the route she was built for with Lord of the Isles. She has seen service at Lewis, Uig, Mull and Arran.[4]

A breakdown on 17 June 2010 resulted in Clansman being taken out of service for crankshaft repairs, and problems found meanwhile reassembling the engine resulted in an extended disruption to services. CalMac tried to arrange for a replacement vessel, however none could be found available for lease.[5] Out of action for six weeks, the Clansman returned to service later in the summer. After running extra services in August to cater for the Barra Fest music festival, she broke down again en route to Barra after the port engine developed a fault. The repair was effected quickly but the event caused further disruption during the busiest time of the year.[6]

From 30 September to 17 October 2016, Clansman relieved on the Uig triangle in place of the MV Hebrides, after the Hebrides was sent to dry dock to repair damage sustained in a collision in Lochmaddy Harbour.


  1. ^ "Clansman". Appledore Shipbuiders. Retrieved 26 August 2007. 
  2. ^ "Clansman (V)". Ships of Calmac. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  3. ^ "MV Clansman". Caledonian MacBrayne. Archived from the original on 2007-08-24. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  4. ^ a b c d "History of Clansman (V)". Ships of Calmac. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  5. ^ Ross, David (20 July 2010). "Services disrupted one month after ferry breakdown". Glasgow: The Herald. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Stewart, Catriona (2 August 2010). "Ferry firm runs flat out to catch up after Clansman breaks down again". Glasgow: The Herald. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 

See also[edit]