Australian catamaran for Mull service

A new study has found that a catamaran could well be the best option for local inter-island ferry services

By John A. MacInnes
Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 4:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 7:39 pm
Pentland Ferries operate a Pentalina service
Pentland Ferries operate a Pentalina service

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar welcomes the release of the findings of Strathclyde University who have assessed the suitability of the Catamaran identified by the Mull and Iona Ferry Committee.

The unique vessel has been identified for service primarily on the Mull route but also on a large number of other inter-island service routes operated by CalMac including Islay, Arran and Colonsay.

Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Chairman of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said: “The expert analysis by Strathclyde University of the catamaran that is currently available to CMAL for purchase from Sea Transport Solutions of Australia is extremely positive.

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"It shows that the vessel would immediately become one of the safest in the CalMac fleet if a purchase is approved. This is great news not just for Mull but for other communities across the CalMac network who would enjoy greater resilience from the technical failures that have dogged the ageing CalMac fleet.

“I wrote to the Islands Minister last month asking him to seriously consider this option and having had sight of the report it is clear that there are no credible reasons not to proceed to commercial terms for the purchase of this ferry.

"The people of Barra in particular would benefit from the availability of the MV Isle of Mull to cover their service during dry dock periods instead of the completely unsuitable MV Isle of Arran.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Scottish Minsters received the report from the Mull and Iona Ferry Committee on Sunday and will review it alongside CMAL and its consultants. It would not be appropriate to comment further until this material has been reviewed.”