This winter’s dry-docking schedule has pretty much disintegrated due to breakdowns and the discovery of previously unknown problems. MV Caledonian Isles has engine failure and will not be fixed until March 31st (ie just before the summer timetable starts), having first arrived in Greenock in mid-January. She should have returned to service on Feb 4th, but engine problems have added almost two months to her lay-up. MV Clansman is back in Greenock, also with engine problems that developed just one day after returning from dry-dock in Liverpool, which itself had been extended due to the discovery of excessive hull corrosion. MV Isle of Mull also had an extended dry-docking in January, followed by it’s own breakdown. There were multiple other breakdowns and problems, too numerous to list.
It is looking increasingly unlikely that dry-docking of the fleet will be complete before the start of the summer timetable on April 1st.
The immediate impact to Mull and Iona is a further extension of the Loch-Frisa-only timetable through to the middle of March. Loch Frisa’s overhaul is being postponed, but very little time remains to get her serviced and back on the route for April.
The MV Lochinvar (Lochaline-Fishnish) was due to go for overhaul at the same time as the Loch Frisa, to be replaced by the much smaller MV Loch Tarbert. We have asked that this arrangement be changed. A combination of reduced capacity on the Lochaline service together with the tiny Loch Frisa as the only vessel on the Craignure service would be hugely problematic, particularly as spring approaches. We have also suggested that availability of the Coruisk be investigated, if certification allows.
Meanwhile, the Pentalina sits in Belfast, fully crewed as we understand it, but idle. CalMac want her, the network desperately needs her …. what the delay is, we have no idea.
Scroll down for a summary of what this winter’s timetable dates should have been, and what so far has happened.
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