MV Loch Seaforth (2014)

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MV Loch Seaforth Departing Stornoway For Ullapool, 24 February 2015.jpg
Departing Stornoway for Ullapool, 24 February 2015..
History
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svgUnited Kingdom
Name: MV Loch Seaforth, "Loch Shìophort"
Namesake: Loch Seaforth
Owner: Lloyds Banking Group leased to Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd.
Operator: Caledonian MacBrayne
Port of registry: Glasgow
Route: StornowayUllapool
Ordered: 22 June 2012
Builder: Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft MBH and Co KG, Flensburg, Germany
Cost: £42 million
Yard number: 764
Launched: 21 March 2014
Christened: by Mrs Joan Murray
In service: 16 February 2015
Identification:
General characteristics
Class and type: Passenger/Ro-Ro Cargo Ferry
Tonnage: 7800
Length: 117.9 metres (387 ft)
Beam: 19.2 metres (63 ft)
Installed power: 2 x 4000kW Wärtsilä 8L 32 (main), 3 x 1600kW (generators), 2 x 700kW (auxiliary & emergency generators), 3 x 900kW thrusters
Propulsion: Twin 4.10m diameter controllable pitch propellers; 2 bow and 1 stern thrusters
Speed: 19.2 knots (22.1 mph; service speed)
Capacity: 700 passengers, 143 cars or 20 commercial vehicles
Crew: 43
Notes: [1]

MV Loch Seaforth (Scottish Gaelic: Loch Sìophort) is a Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited ferry operated by Caledonian MacBrayne between Stornoway and Ullapool. She was launched on 21 March 2014 and entered service in mid-February 2015, replacing both the former vessel, 1995-built MV Isle of Lewis and a chartered freight vessel (latterly MS Clipper Ranger).

History[edit]

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP announced on 8 June 2012 there was to be a replacement vessel for the Stornoway-Ullapool route.[2] Two weeks later on 22 June, Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited announced that the contract to construct had been signed with Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft MBH and Co KG in Germany. Construction commenced on 16 September 2013 with the cutting of the first steel. The shed at the Flensburger shipyard suffered damage in the St. Jude storm, delaying delivery by about two weeks.

The name was chosen in a competition run by CMAL, reviving that of MacBrayne's 1947 Stornoway mailboat.[3] Before launch, there was speculation over the timetables for the new vessel. Despite being capable of 24-hour operation, there were concerns that she would not carry out 24-hour sailings in summer.[4] Loch Seaforth was launched on 21 March 2014 and christened by Mrs Joan Murray, the eldest daughter of the late Captain John Smith, master of the original 1947 mailboat.[5]

Loch Seaforth departed Germany on her delivery voyage on 4 November 2014 and arrived in Greenock three days later. After sea trials, she was laid up as the piers at Stornoway and Ullapool were unfinished. She sailed to Ullapool on 12 November 2014, to conduct berthing trials, which were successful and returned to the Clyde.[6] On 6 December 2014, she sailed to carry out crew familiarisation tests at Stornoway, despite the terminal not being ready to accommodate her. Once again, she returned to the Clyde.[7]

Loch Seaforth undertook berthing trials at the new pier at Stornoway on 4 February 2015. Her first commercial sailing was the overnight freight sailing on 10/11 February. An open day for public viewing was held in Stornoway on 13 February, and she gave her first passenger crossing of the Minch the following day. She entered public service on 16 February, initially on a 'phasing-in' basis, but full-time, effectively relieving Isle of Lewis, which was delayed in leaving drydock in Birkenhead during her annual overhaul. On 5 March, Loch Seaforth developed a ventilation fan problem at Ullapool, leaving the Isle of Lewis to rescue passengers and their vehicles and take them back to Stornoway, putting her new 'back up' status straight to the test.[8]

The Ullapool port reopened in May 2015 with a new linkspan. Loch Seaforth was finally able to take up her full round-the-clock schedule between Stornoway and Ullapool. Chartered freight vessel, MS Clipper Ranger left Stornoway for Heysham after staying in reserve for any teething troubles. MV Isle of Lewis remained as a back-up vessel on the route until the summer of 2015,[4][9] undertaking extra sailings on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer of 2015 to cope with demand.

Loch Seaforth is owned by the Lloyds Banking Group and leased by CMAL who in turn charter her to the operator, CalMac.[10]

Layout[edit]

MV Loch Seaforth is of ro-ro design with bow and stern ramps. She has "clam shell" bow doors that open sideways. The car deck provides 376 lane-metres[11] and is partially open at the stern. Car capacity is augmented by two hoistable mezzanine decks.[12] Five stairways and two passenger lifts give access to the main passenger accommodation on Deck 5.[13] This includes a Quiet Lounge, a shop, a Coffee Cabin, a play area and a gaming area. Towards the bow is a cafeteria, with an observation lounge looking forwards, on the deck above.[13] There is outside seating towards the stern on decks 6 and 7.[13]

The combination of diesel electrical and diesel mechanical propulsion give a high level of redundancy.[14] The two Wärtsilä 8L 32 main engines can use IFO 40 and MDO fuel oils.[11] Three backup diesel generators would allow her to operate to timetable even with one main engine out of service.[3]

Service[edit]

MV Loch Seaforth is operated by Caledonian MacBrayne on the Stornoway to Ullapool route. She provides passenger sailings through the day and an overnight freight service.

From 29 October to 12 November 2015, Loch Seaforth was relieved by MV Isle of Lewis and the NorthLink vessel MS Hildasay.[15]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "MV Loch Seaforth". CMAL. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  2. ^ "'Greener and faster' ferry ordered for Stornoway-Ullapool route". BBC News. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Loch Seaforth - History". Ships of Calmac. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Concerns about timetables as new ferry delayed by storm". Stornoway Gazette. 26 January 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Loch Seaforth Expected to be launched on March 21st". Stornoway Gazette. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  6. ^ "New ferry for Stornoway-Ullapool route starts sea trials". BBC News. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  7. ^ "MV Loch Seaforth in Stornoway visit". Hebrides News. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  8. ^ "New £43 million ferry breaks down". Hebrides News. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  9. ^ "MV Loch Seaforth to start service on September 8th". Stornoway Gazette. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Financing Vital Ferry Service". Lloyds Banking Group. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Loch Seaforth updates FSG ro-pax design". The Motorship. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Loch Seaforth". Ships of Calmac. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  13. ^ a b c "Welcome on board MV Loch Seaforth" (PDF). CalMac. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  14. ^ "RoPax Ferry Loch Seaforth". Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  15. ^ "CALMAC FINALISES DRY DOCK REFIT PROGRAMME". Am Paipear. 28 October 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.

External links[edit]