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Another ferry for Scottish Owners launched at Northern Shipyard

On June 30, 2010, the launching of the ferry for Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. (CMAL) took place at Northern Shipyard (Stocznia Północna S.A.), member of REMONTOWA Group. The ship launched, under newbuilding no. B 608/1, to be named Finlaggan, will be the third unit to be built at REMONTOWA and operated by renowned Scottish ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac).
The agreement on the construction and delivery of the vessel was signed on November 2, 2007, between Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) and Remontowa SA in Gdansk. According to the agreement, Remontowa is to deliver an 89.90 m long vehicle/passenger ferry in spring, 2011. CMAL’s Managing Director, Guy Platten said at the time of signing the agreement: - The Remontowa tender was one of 4 received and represented extremely good value in a very challenging shipbuilding market. The delivery of the vessel in spring 2011 reflects the huge demand for new shipping worldwide and the scarcity of vital components including engines. CMAL and CFL have been working very closely together on this project and are convinced that the ship will be cost-effective, provide value for money, and will meet all of our technical requirements. [...] Once delivered it will provide the operator with the resources needed on the routes from Kennacraig to Islay to offer a first-class service.

The new vessel is a modern ro-ro Euro Class B passenger vessel designed to carry 550 passengers, up to 88 cars, as well as coaches and commercial vehicles. The ship will also be capable of carrying dangerous goods. The ship features seven decks, of which passengers will be accommodated on two well-appointed decks, with access gained at the lower of the two from an enclosed passenger gangway. There will be two lifts, one on each side of the ship, to all decks. The ship will also be built in line with DPTAC guidance on facilities for customers whose mobility is impaired. Finlagan's propulsion will be capable of providing the ship with a speed of 16.5 knots.
The new ship will facilitate the passenger traffic between Glasgow and other major towns of Western coast of Scotland and Western Hebrides islands. This area of operation features complex navigation conditions resulting both from harsh weather and difficult navigation among numerous islands and rocks. Therefore the requirements (imposed by the Owner, from classification society Lloyd’s Register and from government authorities - Maritime Coast Guard Agency) regarding the new ferry from REMONTOWA Group have been highly demanding as it comes to seaworthiness, stability and survivalability, reliable performance of propulsion and steering systems, maneuverability and navigation equipment. Maritime safety authorities also take care of executing high level requirements on fire safety of the vessel.
The cost of procuring the vessel, to be operated by CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL) on the routes serving Islay from the mainland, and bringing her into service will be GBP 24.5 million and is being financed by a loan from the Scottish Government. The overall cost of GBP 24.5 million is broken down as follows: shipyard build cost - GBP 21.75 million, additional overheads such as project supervision, vessel spares, training and delivery into service bring the total cost of the project to GBP 24.5 million.

According to the Owners - the new ship is on target for delivery on April 7 2010 and, after trials in Scotland, it is expected that she will be on the Kennacraig to Islay route on May 1, 2011.
The name for the ferry was one of four put to a public vote by CMAL and was the overwhelming winner with more than 70 percent of the votes. The name comes from Loch Finlaggan on Islay which is best known as the ancient administration centre of the Lords of the Isles between the 13th and 15th centuries. Two randomly chosen islanders - submitters of the winning name Finlaggan were invited by the owner to come to Poland and see the launch of the ship.
The REMONTOWA Group had completed two highly successful, slightly smaller than the one recently launched, ferries, operated by CalMac before. These were Argyle and Bute operated on the route from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay. Bute was included in the 2005 edition of prestigious publication of Royal Institution of Naval Architects - "Significant Small Ships of the Year".

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