Western Ferries stages Keel Laying ceremony at Cammell Laird
Birkenhead based shipyard and engineering firm Cammell Laird today (18 October 2012) formally began its work to build two new vessels for Scottish based ferry operator Western Ferries.
In a ceremony at Cammell Laird, a party from Western Ferries led by Chairman Alistair Ross formally laid the Cammell Laird keel number 1387.
Western Ferries announced at the ceremony that the completed vessel will be named Sound of Seil continuing its tradition of naming ferries after Scottish Sounds. Its sister vessel is due to commence construction in November and will be called Sound of Soay. Both vessels are due to be handed over to Western Ferries in late summer 2013. These ferries will be used on the Company’s service between Dunoon and Gourock which provides a strategic link between the West Coast of Scotland and the Central Belt.
“It is fantastic to be here at Cammell Laird and see work begin on the first ferry,” he said. “This is a historic day for us and the beginning of a journey which we believe will make a massive difference to our company and the local community for many years to come. These vessels represent a major investment in our service and will enhance the travelling experience for our passengers. The new ferries will be bigger, faster, more efficient and more comfortable than the vessels they are replacing. Capacity will be increasing by 20 per cent to facilitate the expected growth in vehicle numbers. In terms of the environment they will be at the cutting edge of the latest engine technology, thereby reducing fuel usage and emissions.”
Cammell Laird Managing Director Linton Roberts said the company could not wait to get cracking on the building work.
“Cammell Laird is exceptionally pleased and proud to welcome the team from Western Ferries for this historic keel laying ceremony,” he said. “We fully appreciate the importance of this investment in state of the art vessels for the company and their ambitions. Our workforce has vast experience and expertise and we are already working hard to ensure these vessels provide the best possible passenger experience and support the growth of Western Ferries.”