MV Loch Tarbert

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MV Loch Tarbert at Lochranza slipway
MV Loch Tarbert at Lochranza slipway
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svgUnited Kingdom
Namesake: Sound of Mull
Owner: Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited
Operator: Caledonian MacBrayne
Port of registry: Glasgow
Route: Tobermory - Kilchoan
Builder: J W Miller & Sons Ltd, St Monans[1]
Yard number: 1046
Launched: 1992
In service: 25 July 1992
Status: in service
General characteristics
Class and type: ro-ro vehicle ferry
Length: 30.2 m (99.1 ft)[1]
Beam: 10 m (32.8 ft)[1]
Draught: 1.6m
Propulsion: 2 × Voith Schneider Propellers
Speed: 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph)
Capacity: 142 passengers and 17 cars
Crew: 3

MV Loch Tarbert is a Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited ro-ro car ferry, built in 1992 and currently operated by Caledonian MacBrayne. She has spent most of her career on the seasonal ClaonaigLochranza crossing.


MV Loch Tarbert was built in 1992 by JW Miller & Sons Ltd of St Monans.[1]


Loch Tarbert is a variant on MV Isle of Cumbrae's design. Her car deck has capacity for 18 cars. Passenger accommodation for 150 passengers is in a starboard lounge and on two outer decks.[4] A large funnel on the opposite side to her wheelhouse is painted in CalMac livery.[3]


MV Loch Tarbert replaced MV Loch Ranza on the seasonal ClaonaigLochranza crossing in July 1992, operating this crossing in summers until 2016.[4] In winters, she has relieved at Fishnish, Colintraive and Largs. She provided additional dangerous loads sailings from Largs to Lochranza until the service from Tarbert to Arran started.

In early 1996, she opened the new OtternishLeverburgh route across the Sound of Harris, awaiting new MV Loch Bhrusda. During a seaman's strike in 2000, Arran traffic was diverted to the Loch Fyne and Claonaig crossings. Loch Tarbert was joined by MV Isle of Cumbrae to cope with the traffic.[4]

At the end of recent summers, Loch Tarbert has moved to Tarbert to start a winter service to Portavadie, with a lunchtime sailing to Arran. The service is usually taken over by one of the smaller Loch Class. Loch Tarbert usually relieves at Largs, however spends most of the winter as a spare vessel.[4]

Loch Tarbert was replaced on the Claonaig - Lochranza crossing in September 2016 by the MV Catriona - the third of Caledonian MacBrayne's hybrid ferries - and she became a spare/relief vessel that winter.[5]. In Summer 2017, she became the dedicated vessel on the Tobermory to Kilchoan route owing to rising vehicle traffic on that route. She displaced MV Loch Linnhe.


  1. ^ a b c d "MV Loch Tarbert". CalMac. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Ships Index: L6". World Shipping Register. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Loch Tarbert". Ships of Calmac. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Loch Tarbert - History". Ships of Calmac. Retrieved 21 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "MV Catriona starts final sea trials" (Press release). Calmac. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 

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