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New Clyde Ferry Is Hugely Delayed will Need Eight Weeks of Trials after Shipyard Completion – CalMac

20th March 2023
The newbuild ferry, Glen Sannox continues to be heavily delayed at the shipyard of Ferguson Marine before it can enter service for CalMac on the Firth of Clyde route of Ardrossan-Brodick (Arran)
The newbuild ferry, Glen Sannox continues to be heavily delayed at the shipyard of Ferguson Marine before it can enter service for CalMac on the Firth of Clyde route of Ardrossan-Brodick (Arran) Credit: The Scotsman-twitter

Glen Sannox, the massively delayed Scottish ferry for operator CalMac, will need nearly two months of further tests before the 1,000 passenger capacity vessel can enter service on the Firth of Clyde.

In addition the duel-fuelled powered ferry which is to serve the Isle of Arran route, will also have to undergo "extensive” sea trials prior to completion by shipyard Ferguson Marine which John Swinney related to MSPs last week.

CalMac, has confirmed to The Scotsman, of the duration of the additional “familiarisation and network trials” that will be required before the hybrid newbuild will be able to operate on the Ardrossan-Brodick route.

Such trials of the 102m newbuild is likely to increase the pressure to have the new ferry ready for next year’s summer season after Deputy First Minister announced a further delivery delay at the shipyard owned by the Scottish government.

The delay at the Clydeside shipyard, is now to see the 16.5 knot ferry enter from May to this autumn, if not the end of the year.

A twin of Glen Sannox, the as-yet unnamed hull (#802) to operate between Uig, Harris and North Uist, will also be delayed, from March 2024 to “late summer”, if not the end of the year.

According to spending watchdog, Audit Scotland they expect the project to cost at least £293 million – this amount is three times the cost of the original contract and as Afloat reported the Glen Sannox was due to enter service in 2018.

More here on the shipbuilding story. 

Published in Shipyards
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

Asides from shipbuilding, marine engineering projects such as offshore installations take place and others have diversified in the construction of offshore renewable projects, from wind-turbines and related tower structures. When ships are decommissioned and need to be disposed of, some yards have recycling facilities to segregate materials, though other vessels are run ashore, i.e. 'beached' and broken up there on site. The scrapped metal can be sold and made into other items.