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Ships Of Calmac - Fleet News

30/11/04 The overhaul relief circuit continues... When Loch Buie returns to Fionnphort she will resume Iona duties. Loch Linnhe will then head north to Skye and relieve the Loch Striven on the Raasay crossing. Meanwhile, the Tobermory - Kilchoan crossing is being maintained by the Raasay throughout the winter. (Thanks to Ian McCrorie for the news update)

29/11/04 Coruisk left Garvel Dry Dock this afternoon having completed her annual overhaul. 


Loch Buie is now at Rothesay, having previously come down from Iona for her annual overhaul at Ardmaleish. Loch Linnhe is covering on the Iona crossing. Loch Fyne is due to come down to the Clyde for her overhaul and is expected to go in with Jupiter. We expect that when Loch Dunvegan returns to service at Colintraive, she will release the Isle of Cumbrae to go and relieve at Fishnish. Loch Riddon is on the slip at Ardmaleish.

25/11/04 Isle of Arran has arrived at Gourock from her previous berth at Stornoway. She is believed to have called at Oban overnight earlier this week. Loch Riddon has also arrived in the JWD for remedial work on her ramps - she will sail shortly for Ardmaleish and annual overhaul. Currently in Garvel Dry Dock are Coruisk and Loch Dunvegan - the latter is also receiving new bow and stern ramps which recently arrived by sea from Poland, along with the new Dunoon linkspan and a new linkspan for Oban which will be kept in storage until such time it can be installed. Upon completion of her overhaul, Coruisk will relieve Jupiter on the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay crossing while the streaker goes in for her overhaul. It is likely that she will be partnering the Juno when she celebrates the 30th anniversary of her entry into service on 2nd December.
19/11/04 The new linkspan for Dunoon was installed today.

It has been announced that on Monday, 13th December there will be no 1230 sailing from Ardrossan to Brodick. The return sailing at 1350 from Brodick is also cancelled. It states in the published timetables that on a Monday these sailings are subject to cancellation at short notice.
16/11/04 Isle Of Lewis was spotted passing Scalpay on her return to Stornoway today following her refit. Travelling at some speed, she passed Scalpay at around lunchtime.

13/11/04 Dunoon linkspan upgrade is due to step up another level with the fitting of the actual linkspan on Tuesday. It will be lifted into place by the Mersey Mammoth, after delivery from Polish manufacturers. Also coming on the coaster are the Loch Dunvegan's new ramps. She is currently sitting in JWD with no ramps fitted to her at all.
  Isle of Lewis has had internal refurbishment with the addition of more child-friendly amenities and facilities specifically designed to cater for the disabled. The former TV Lounge is being altered to a family room suitable for children up to the age of 14 incorporating a TV, small snack bar and seating area for adults to enable them to watch over their children. The Soft Play Room has now been converted into a Games Machine Room. Disabled customers will have better access to the cafeteria and pet-owners will have more comfortable seating and the Pet area has also been expanded. TV screens are to be fitted in the Bar area and better coffee and snack facilities are also to be available in the bar area. Calmac have decided not to make the costs of the changes available to the public. She is due to leave dock in Liverpool next Tuesday and should be back on the Stornoway run by 20 November. Taken from Friday's 'Hebridean'. For current pictures of Isle of Lewis in Birkenhead, visit Mersey Shipping.
Disruption NorthLink: Please note that due to weather conditions, the sailings on the Pentland Firth may be subject to delays or cancellations.
12/11/04 Caledonian Isles is subject to delays due to heavy winds at Arran - some sailings may be cancelled in the interest of passenger safety. Lochnevis sailed to Eigg this morning but had to abort the landing at Eigg due to her bow thrusters not working correctly. She lay of Eigg for about an hour before informing the passengers waiting to depart that she was heading back to Mallaig. This is also due to heavy winds.
Disruptions: Mallaig / Small Isles / Armadale The 1600h sailing ex Mallaig and the 1640h sailing ex Armadale are cancelled this afternoon, there will be an additional call at Muck tomorrow weather permitting. Oban / Colonsay Service Next sailing MV Isle of Mull on Sunday at : Dep Oban 0930 Arr Colonsay 1200 Dep Colonsay 1230 Arr Oban 1500 Sound of Barra Service. Due to adverse weather conditions all sailings for the remainder of the day have been cancelled
  Northlink: Pentland Firth: Hamnavoe departed Scrabster at 12:00 and is expected to arrive in Stromness at approximately 14:00. Due to adverse weather conditions and in the interest of passenger comfort and safety, the scheduled 16:30 sailing from Stromness to Scrabster and the 19:00 sailing from Scrabster to Stromness have been cancelled.
12/11/04 Caledonian MacBrayne Press Release...

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has confirmed that the name of its new ship to service the Isle of Bute will be named after the island. MV Bute is currently being built by the Remontowa Group in Gdansk, Poland.
Funding of up to £8.75million for the new ship was announced in October, 2003, by Minister of Transport, Nicol Stephen MSP. The ship is due to enter service as the newest addition to the CalMac fleet in the summer of 2005.
The name of the new ship was confirmed today (Friday, November 12), by CalMac’s Chairman Dr Harold Mills, at the Conference organised by the Firth of Clyde Forum on “Transport on the Clyde” being held today in Glasgow.  Dr Mills said: “The new MV Bute will actually be the seventh ship on the Clyde to have the name.  The first was one of the original paddle steamers built for the Wemyss Bay Railway when it opened in 1865, while the next four were cargo ships sailing all the way from Glasgow and discharging at the various small piers on the Firth until they reached Rothesay and beyond.  The best known Bute, however, was the car ferry which entered service for The Caledonian Steam Packet Company on the Wemyss Bay-Rothesay crossing on 6 December, 1954.”
Dr Mills continued: “She was the third member of the trio of dual-purpose vessels - Arran, Bute and Cowal - which revolutionized the Clyde services half a century ago.  Until their appearance car drivers had to experience the trauma of negotiating narrow wooden planks and then only if the tide was suitable.  The 'ABC ferries' introduced the concept of hoist-loading where vehicles were driven on to the lift at any state of the tide and subsequently parked in a spacious garage beneath the passenger accommodation. This new ferry will mark the start of the latest generation of car ferries and we are pleased to be able to confirm good progress. This is an important step towards the development of a 21st century ferry service for the island of Bute and we have already begun to prepare for her introduction next summer.”
Dr Mills concluded “I am pleased that the Board has decided to name the new vessel MV Bute, especially since I served in the late fifties on the previous MV Bute as an Assistant Purser to well known Rothesay Purser Peter Shaw.”
The Remontowa shipyard’s technical department employs the most up to date technology and has recently introduced three-dimensional modelling techniques for steel and outfit production information.
Norrie Brown, who is supervising the project on behalf of CalMac said: “One of the most interesting features of the project has been the creation of a new ship model and it is, for example, possible to “walk through” the engine room and accommodation to get an impression of what the compartments will eventually look like. Production of steel units is now well advanced and assembly on a transportable arrangement has commenced, prior to integrated blocks being transferred to the launch way.  This will be a “sideways” launch, so there will be quite a splash!”
Testing of the stabiliser equipment took place recently in the Rolls-Royce works in Dunfermline.
Procuring the new ship will cost up to £8.75million and MV Bute will carry nearly 60 cars (nearly twice as many cars as the 38 carried by Streaker's currently operating on the Clyde) and 450 passengers on CalMac’s busiest route, and is due to  enter service in the summer of next year.
Further details on MV Bute’s progress and her anticipated arrival on station will be confirmed as she takes shape and progress will regularly be updated on the Company’s website
  MV Bute on SoC
06/11/04 Loch Linnhe is at Rothesay having just finished her overhaul. Isle of Cumbrae is covering for the super loch at the Kyle's of Bute. Loch Tarbert sailed full while covering at Portavidie and the Hebridean Isles has had all her external decks covered with a new non-slip matting at her last overhaul.
05/11/04 Ex Hebridean CalMac ferry Hebridean Princess arrived on the Clyde this morning for docking at Garvel.
Castlebay Timetable Amends due to Linkspan Maintenance (6/11 - 11/11)
The Castlebay linkspan will be shut down for scheduled maintenance from Saturday 6th November until Thursday 11 November inclusive. To allow the shipment of articulated vehicles to and from Barra, it will be necessary to reroute services via Lochboisdale in order that articulated vehicles can use the Ceann a Gharaidh – Ardmhor (Eriskay – Barra) service. Other vehicles (cars and rigid commercial vehicles/vans) will be conveyed to and from Castlebay where they will be loaded/discharged via the use of the vessels (Lord of the Isles) side loading hoist. Customers are advised to contact either the Castlebay or Lochboisdale offices prior to travel to confirm that there have been no further changes to the following revised timetable. Saturday 6 November No scheduled service Sunday 7 November 1500 Oban - Lochboisdale 2020 2035 Lochboisdale – Castlebay 2225 Monday 8 November 0730 Castlebay - Lochboisdale 0920 0935 Lochboisdale – Oban 1455 Tuesday 9 November 1530 Oban - Lochboisdale 2050 2105 Lochboisdale – Castlebay 2255 Wednesday 10 November 0730 Castlebay - Lochboisdale 0920 0935 Lochboisdale – Oban 1455 Thursday 11 November 1530 Oban - Castlebay 2050 2105 Castlebay - Lochboisdale 2255 2310 Lochboisdale – Oban 0540 ( Friday morning ) Friday 12 November 0930 Oban – Lochboisdale 1450 1505 Lochboisdale – Castlebay 1655 1710 Castlebay – Oban 2230
02/11/04 Loch Dunvegan left the Kyles of Bute for the James Watt Dock this morning. She is expected to go into Garvel dry-dock for her annual overhaul in the next few days where she is believed to to be receiving new ramps. We believe Isle of Cumbrae is currently operating on the Colintraive - Rhubodach route. Coruisk has also been put into service on the Gourock - Dunoon crossing today while Jupiter lay at the 'wires' berth.

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