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ISLAY-KENNACRAIG: Islay debut delayed

Although late May gales, which played havoc with Irish Sea and Scottish services, failed to stop Caledonian MacBrayne’s new Islay route ferry Finlaggan from arriving in time for a naming ceremony on 25 May, the £24.5 million vessel was unable to enter service two days later due to a mechanical problem.

Built at Gdansk by Remontowa, the 550-passenger/85-car Finlaggan reached Oban on a delivery voyage from Poland before moving to Kennacraig to carry guests to Port Askaig to be named by Gina McAuslan, chair of the Finlaggan Trust Committee, which looks after the archaeological site after which the ship is named. The first dedicated new vessel to be built for Islay service in almost 40 years, Finlaggan initially sails between Kennacraig and Port Askaig, but will later serve Port Ellen when pier modernisation is completed.

A Cal Mac spokesman said it was ‘very disappointed’ after the vessel’s commercial debut was delayed by an unexplained component failure in the port engine With engine manufacturers Wärtsilä drafted in to investigate the fault, Hebridean Isles and Isle of Arran continued in service.

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