Future ferries for Mull?

<<< UPDATED>>>

On Thursday November 5th, we will be hosting an online presentation (a ‘webinar’) on the potential benefits that a catamaran could bring to the Oban-Craignure ferry service.

The webinar will begin with a presentation by Alf Baird, formerly Professor of Maritime Business and Director of the Maritime Research Group at Napier University. Professor Baird is a respected authority on catamaran ferries (as well as being very familiar with Pentland Ferries’ catamaran Alfred, which plies the Pentland Firth to Orkney).

We will also present details of a catamaran that is available to purchase now.

We have all the details of this potential new ferry ready to present at the webinar. The Scottish Government have a declared intention to buy new vessels when they become available, and we believe there is a strong case that this catamaran is both suitable and offers big service benefits. If Government take the opportunity to buy, it could potentially be in service to Mull next year.

The webinar will begin on Thursday November 5th at 7:30pm. You can watch from any device simply by clicking this link on the evening: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81749608443

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions, and if you can’t make it ‘live’, you will be able to watch a recording afterward on our website.

<<< VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE TO WATCH AT https://mullandionaferrycommittee.org/future-ferries-for-mull/ >>>

There are many hurdles to overcome before this new ferry could be ‘in the bag’, but there is at least enough progress at this point to present the ferry publicly and get users’ response and input. We hope you can watch.

19 thoughts on “Future ferries for Mull?

  1. Sounds like a good idea. Will be unable to listen to the meeting but will watch the recording. Thank you for the information.

  2. Be careful what you wish for, consider the consequences, I love travelling to the islands by ferry, but that is because I can see where I’m headed and where I’ve come from! Removing those elements in the name of progress , is a retrograde step.
    Enjoyment of the ” journey ” is paramount, otherwise we would travel the world in tunnels or at 30,000ft in an aircraft.

    1. It will still be the same journey!

      1. I travelled to Jersey on a vessel such as this. It was a terrific experience and yes one can go outside to see where you are going and where you have come from no difference in that respect. Sounds promising in my book. Good work guys and thank you for all the hard work you out in.

    2. Please clarify. You are not deprived of seeing where you are headed or where you have come from
      check out :-

      1. I really liked the music, but maybe to ‘sell’ it on Mull, we ideally need the Gaelic Choir or Sorren and Hannah or Tidelines in the background?

  3. Alasdair McPherson 16th October 2020 — 7:49 am

    Will you be inviting representatives from CalMac Ferries and CMAL to the event to share their views on the topic?

    1. Hi Alasdair. Not at this event, no. We are already talking to CMAL, CalMac and TS about this of course, but this event is about beginning a discussion with users and getting their input.

      1. Alasdair McPherson 17th October 2020 — 8:07 am

        Dear Mr Reade, thank you for your response. It seems that you are doing a good job for the residents in Mull with your work. Just one more question if I may, a friend of mine who works at Cammell Laird in Liverpool had mentioned that you were looking at a catamaran being built somewhere in the Far East as an option. Do you know if this would be approved by the UK shipping authorities for your route from Oban to Cragnure? Many thanks and have a good weekend. Alasdair.

      2. Getting approval from the MCA is the next step. The Pentalina is a very similar design (same designers) and she was approved by the MCA.

  4. Raxacorico Fallapatorius 16th October 2020 — 3:31 pm

    Perhaps I’m too pessimistic, but based upon the fact that CalMac appear to be going ahead with the huge spend on Hulls 801 & 802, I see no reason for them to do something sensible!

  5. Would be interested in watching this webinar on Wednesday evening. Is it possible to say how long the presentation etc will last ?

    1. Hi Inez. It’s on Thursday night, and should last about an hour or so. It will be recorded, so you will be able to watch it afterward if you can’t catch it on the night.

  6. Hi Joe

    I hope to join the meeting tonight but in case I can’t I was wondering, if the Isle of Mull is replaced with a catamaran would there need to be changes made to the piers and link spans at Craignure and Oban to accommodate it. And so would other Calmac vessels still be able to use the piers and link spans?

    1. Hi Ian. No – changes to piers not needed, so no impacts like that. The cat can easily fit all linkspans and piers in the entire network, thanks to having twin ramps (ie one on each side) at both bow and stern. We’ll post the video on our website soon so you can watch the full presentation.

  7. Raxacorico Fallapatorius 6th November 2020 — 4:13 pm

    Excellent webinar last night! The ‘new’ catamaran is compelling, and a very good ‘fit’ for our route. I understand that there are still several obstacles before any possible implementation, but I do hope it happens. It could pave the way for more such vessels; finally upending the poor mindset of CalMac. Congratulations for your hard work Joe!

  8. Alasdair McPherson 8th November 2020 — 12:31 pm

    Dear Mr Reade, sorry that I couldn’t watch the webinar the other night, we had a powercut up here in Sutherland and so I lost the internet. Has the recording been published yet? I’ve seen a few comments on Facebook sites and so wondered, assuming the presentation went well, where do you as a community committee go from here. Does CMAL have ‘first refusal’ on the catamaran that Mr Baird was to talk about and will it need much work on it to get the clearance to operate in Scotland’s waters. Presumably it will be able, if bought, to also cover other CalMac routes across the Hebrides? Many thanks, I look forward to seeing the video and thank you. Alasdair

    1. Hi Alasdair
      Videos of the webinar will be on our website no later than Monday.
      At this point, CMAL and the sellers are discussing the vessel and what modifications will be needed for it to pass MCA approval. If the technical / regulatory issues, and also CalMac’s operational needs can be met by modifying the superstructure, then it will be a viable vessel that Scottish Government will need to make a decision on whether to spend the money or not. The evidence so far is that all the technical issues can be addressed, so our efforts are focussed on making the case with government that it represents good value for money, and will bring considerable benefits to users.
      And yes – it would fit all piers and linkspans in the network no problem.

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