The new Lismore ferry is expected to arrive at Port Appin this month and be ready to serve the community once the Passenger Safety Certificate is issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Once sea trials and final checks have been completed successfully, the vessel should depart Pembroke on 13 December to begin its 302 nautical mile journey to its destination. This is heavily dependent on suitable weather conditions at the time.
Until it is ready for service, the current ferry will remain in operation.
Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee welcomed the news last week and endorsed the ferry’s name, the Lady of Lismore.
Local residents and primary school pupils chose the ferry’s name through a poll organised by the Community Council.
A community event will be held to celebrate the arrival of the new ferry in early January.
Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Roads and Infrastructure Services, said: “We wish the Lady of Lismore a safe passage to Port Appin and we await her arrival with great excitement.
“The old ferry sailed the route for more than three decades and we look forward to the new ferry future-proofing this life-line service for decades to come.”
The new all-steel vessel, designed by Keel Marine and built by Mainstay Marine Solutions, will have a crew of two and can accommodate 23 passengers all year round with a cruising speed of eight knots.
The new ferry is designed and built to current exacting specifications defined by Maritime and Coastguard Agency. These specifications take account of passenger safety and accessibility requirements. Funding was made available by Transport Scotland.