MV Finlaggan now arriving at Birkenhead for repairs

The Islay ferry, MV Finlaggan is now – 14.27 on 21st June 2011 – in the Mersey Narrows on her final manoeuvres into the Cammell Laird yard at Birkenhead. Her ETA is 15.00 and she is there for repairs to her hydraulics and pipework associated with having been given contaminated oil in that system.

She will have her pipework flushed out and refilled with clean oil; with some repair work to the cylinders and pumps in the hydraulic system

Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) hope that this will see the end of her teething problems since she signed on to the fleet from her builders – Remontowa at Gdansk in Poland – and that she will quickly return to service. In her absence, the MV Isle of Arran is running the Islay to Kennacraig route.

Back in 2005, the then Labour-LibDem Scottish Executive – owners of CalMac and its associated companies under corporate parent, David MacBraye Ltd, awarded the contract for Finlaggan’s build to the Polish yard in preference to the Clydeside yard of Fergusons. Will ‘best value’, in the end. prove quite that?

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2 Responses to MV Finlaggan now arriving at Birkenhead for repairs

  1. Robert, I think that the work being done on Finlaggan just now is down to the shpbuilder under guarantee, and not down to CMAL/CalMac as owners. That’s usually what happens during a ship’s first year anyway with any defects being to the builder’s account. Re- the Clyde yard (only one, now, capable of handing Finlaggan or similar sized ships) at Greenock, it’s alway busy in the winter, with CalMac, Western, and Serco all using Garvel. There’s almost always two ships in their drydock from October to Easter, so they get their share. Last winter, of the CalMac fleet, I think it was 12 ships that had their regular refits there, a fair proportion I think you’d agree.

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  2. Thanks Jim; it’s sad that there’s so little drydock capacity on the Clyde. It appears from the CMAL website that the Finnish suppliers of the operable bits of the ship suffering from contaminated hydraulic oil are sorting the problem, and it’s food for thought that they were originally a British firm that evolved through various nordic companies into the MacGregor division of Cargotec. An example of British engineering innovation that’s fled the coop.

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