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30/10/2019

Record investment in ferry overhaul programme

Ferry operator CalMac is investing a record amount in keeping its fleet in ship shape condition during this year's winter maintenance programme.

More than £9 million is being targeted at vessel resilience responding to the challenges of an increasing average age of fleet.  This is in addition to the annual planned maintenance expenditure to ensure every vessel is ready for another year of supporting communities across the west coast. The resilience programme  is more than double the amount spent last year.

Including inter-island services, CalMac runs a total of 49 routes served by 33 vessels each of which is required to undergo a period of annual dry dock maintenance.

'Trying to ensure that every vessel gets the proper levels of maintenance and upgrades, while keeping lifeline ferry services running is an extremely complex operation,' said CalMac's Director of Asset Management, Julie Philpott.

'Not all vessels are suitable for every route and harbour, meaning the matrix we need to design to ensure service continuity is long in the planning.'

'We try where we can, within the resources available to us, to provide as seamless a service as possible during this period, matching suitable vessels to cover routes. But getting every vessel in for maintenance requires us to do a certain amount of manoeuvring. We try and keep inconvenience to a minimum, and hope the travelling public can understand why we have to make the vessel changes that we do at this time of year.'

On top of the regular cyclical planned maintenance CalMac are carrying out more then 90 major projects to the fleet this year. This includes new engines on the MV Loch Striven and Loch Tarbert, replacement pitch control systems on the MV Clansman and Isle of Lewis, a new bow thruster on the MV Hebridean Isles, replacement ramps and new generators on various vessels.

'For those not involved in the refit process the sheer scale of the tasks involved is hard to picture. Last year we fitted more then 11km of electrical wiring and this year new CCTV networks and pitch control systems alone will see 18km of new cable installed,' said Julie.

'Some communities may lose their regular vessel for longer periods due to the scale of the work being carried out this winter. However, this additional time out of timetable will help support delivery of a more resilient service in the long term. Customers will be able to see meaningful improvements in service,' she added.

Work on the vessels is carried out at yards in Greenock, Troon, Liverpool, Ardmaliesh, Leith and Aberdeen.

Refit schedule

The schedule may change depending on operational priorities, but current arrangements are:

VESSEL

DATE

REPLACEMENT

 

MV LOCH SEAFORTH:

MV BUTE:

MV LOCH STRIVEN:

MV ALI CAT:

MV LOCH BUIE:

MV LORD of the ISLES:

MV HEBRIDEAN ISLES:

MV ARGYLE:

MV LOCH TARBERT:

MV CORUISK:

MV LOCH ALAINN:

MV ISLE of MULL:

MV CATRIONA:

MV LOCH RANZA:

MV CALEDONIAN ISLES:

MV LOCH BHRUSDA:

MV LOCH SHIRA:

MV ISLE of LEWIS:

MV CLANSMAN:

MV ISLE of CUMBRAE:

MV LOCH PORTAIN:

MV LOCH FYNE:

MV FINLAGGAN:

MV HEBRIDES:

MV LOCHINVAR:

MV ARGYLL FLYER

Oct 21/Nov 6

Oct 22/Oct 30

Oct 28/Nov 18

Oct 29/Nov 12

Oct 31/Nov 14

Nov 5/Nov 21

Nov 6/Nov 22

Nov 6/Nov 14

Nov 18/Dec 9

Nov 22/Dec 10

Nov 25/Dec 9

Nov 28/Dec 12

Dec 3/Dec 17

Jan 4/Jan 18

Jan 4/Jan 20

Jan 9/Jan 23

Jan 18/Feb 2

Jan 25/Feb 16

Jan 25/Feb 16

Jan 27/Feb 10

Feb 3/Feb 17            

Feb 18/March 3

Feb 20/March 5

March 9/March 23

March 4/March 18

May 4/May 18

Isle of Lewis & Hebridean Isles 

Coruisk

Loch Riddon

Single Vessel Service

Loch Tarbert

Isle Of Arran

N/A

Coruisk

Loch Riddon

N/A

Loch Bhrusda

Isle Of Arran

Loch Riddon

Loch Linnhe

Isle of Arran & Hebridean Isles

Relief Vessel

Catriona

Hebridean Isles

Lord of the Isles

N/A

Loch Bhrusda

N/A

Hebridean Isles & Isle of Arran

Clansman

Hallaig

Single Vessel

 

 

                                    

 

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