UK Shipyard Returns to New Ship Construction


Cummins Vessel Reference #692

The return of United Kingdom shipbuilding tradition and quality is currently being demonstrated in the construction of two ro-ro car ferries at the yard of Cammell Laird Shiprepairers & Shipbuilders Ltd. at Birkenhead, Merseyside. Building to the account of Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd. the new ferries will replace two aging ferries in a four-vessel fleet that Western operates on a 2.2-nautical mile crossing of the Firth of Clyde.

The new ferries will be based on an already successful design of the two newer ferries built in 2001 and 2003. The two existing ferries were recognized as being of optimum capacity, speed, fuel consumption, sea-keeping capabilities and ease of operation. A spokesperson for the owners has said, “We have therefore concluded that an ideal new vessel design would logically be a reproduction of these existing craft with a few enhancements to reflect changes in applicable rules, new technology and operator experience.”

The hulls of the new ferries will be 48.6 metres with beak extensions taking them to 49.95 meters overall. Similarly the moulded breadth will be 13.5 meters but the additional sponsons will bring the beam to just over 15 meters. The moulded depth to the main deck will be 4 meters.

The new 220-passenger ferries will accommodate approximately 40 average size cars. Capable of also carrying heavy trucks, the ferries will have a clear deck height of 5.2 meters and a deadweight of about 220 tonnes with a mean moulded draft of 2.5 metres. They have been designed, built and classed to Lloyd’s Register of Shipping requirements, with emphasis on truly ‘green’ credentials that supports minimal use of hazardous materials, diminishing the potential for environmental harm and to meet recycling concerns as defined by the IMO. These objectives will be achieved throughout the service life of the vessels by the efficient matching of the hull design to the propulsion package.

Propulsion will be by two Rolls Royce Aquamaster azimuthing thrusters, with one forward and one aft. Each independent thruster will be powered by an IMO and EU emission compliant Cummins QSK19-M diesel engine generating 600 HP or 447 Kw at 1800 RPM. This power will, optimize the efficiency of the proven hull design to give the ferries a service speed, under normal conditions, of 11.5 knots at 85% of MCR.

The modern ferry is a fitting addition to Cammell Laird’s long history of shipbuilding. Established in 1824, the yard has built over 1300 ships and lays claim to the first use of iron and steel in shipbuilding, first screw driven vessel, first all welded ship, first ship with double bottom for ballast, and first rolled armour plates for warships. When delivered by the Cammell Laird yard in the summer of 2013 the ferries will be the first new vessels from the historic yard in many years. At the same time they will demonstrate that the UK still has a strong and a proud presence in marine engineering.

For further information:

Graeme J Fletcher
Technical Director
Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd
Hunters Quay
PA23 8HJ
Tel: 01369 704452
Fax: 01369 706020
E-mail: [email protected]

Rob Mcburney
Cammell Laird Shipyard Campbeltown Road
CH41 9BP
Tel: +44 0 151 649 6600
Fax: +44 0 151 649 6699
E-mail: [email protected]

Sjoerd Spronck
Communications & Media Coordinator – Europe
Cummins Distribution Europe
Cummins Holland B.V.
Olivijn 800, 3316 KH Dordrecht
Postbus 520, 3300 AM Dordrecht
Mobile: +31 0 6 110 11 075
Tel Direct: +31 0 78 653 09 27
Switchboard: +31 0 78 618 12 00
E-mail: [email protected]

Alan Haig-Brown

Alan Haig-Brown

Over 30 years as an author for global commercial marine and fishing publications backed with hands-on experience on commercial fishing boats and coastal freighters makes Alan Haig-Brown uniquely qualified to provide vessel reference articles for Cummins Marine. You can find him in shipyards around the world, and on his own website,

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