Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has announced the winning name for the world’s first hybrid ferry, which will initially serve on the Sconser-Raasay route, after a two stage competition.
There were hundreds of votes entered to name the world’s first sea going roll on roll off vehicle and passenger diesel electric hybrid ferry, but the most popular name by far was Hallaig.
Hallaig is a poem written by Sorley Maclean which is named after an abandoned township on Raasay. It is a reflection on the passing of time and includes vivid imagery of nature, particularly woodlands and deer.
It was originally written in Gaelic, and has been translated into English by Seamus Heaney and also into Lowland Scots.
The choice of Hallaig as the name for the new ferry marks the beginning of the new Scottish Literary Class, meaning all new ships to the fleet, including the second hybrid ferry, will be named after Scottish literature.
The two entrants who suggested the Hallaig from the first stage of the competition will be special guests at the ferry’s launch in December 2012, as well as winning a one day ferry crossing of their choice for a car and two people on a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry.
They will also receive an invitation to be on the ferry’s first scheduled crossing between Sconser and Raasay, with travel costs within the UK paid for the winner and a guest from their home to Port Glasgow (launch) and Sconser (first crossing).
As well as this, two people, picked at random from those voting for the winning name from the shortlist, will also win a one day ferry crossing of their choice for a car and two people on one of the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries, courtesy of CalMac Ferries Ltd.
Guy Platten, Chief Executive of CMAL commented: “We are very excited about the name of the new ferry; it reflects CMAL’s Scottish heritage and the direct connection we have with the places our ferries serve. This hybrid ferry project demonstrates CMAL’s commitment to leading the way in innovative ferry design.”
The two ferries are currently being built at Ferguson Shipyard in Port Glasgow and it is anticipated that the first vessel will enter service in late spring/early summer 2013, with the second following three months later.
The ferries will accommodate 150 passengers, 23 cars or two HGVs, with a service speed of nine knots and are designed for use on many of the short crossing routes around the Clyde and Hebrides.
The new ferries will use some of the most innovative new ‘green’ technology, including Lithium Ion battery banks supplying a minimum of 20% of the energy consumed on board. Benefits include reduced fuel consumption and impact of CO2 emissions and other pollutants, noise reduction and lower maintenance requirements.