It is the end of the line for former Stornoway ferry MV Suilven which is to be scrapped
after nearly forty years of service.
Her present owners are selling the 87-metre long vessel to be broken up.
For 20 years the Norwegian-built Suilven had sailed the Minch and was the largest
ship in the Caledonian Macbrayne fleet when introduced in 1975, the year after she
was launched, to replace the old MV Clansman. Ullapool also supercede Kyle as the
the mainland destination port for Lewis passengers.
The Suilven has retained the same name throughout her working life. She was sold
to Strait Shipping in 1995 carrying mainly freight and some passengers between North
Island and South Island in New Zealand.
Eight years ago she was bought by an investment firm and operated by Blighwater Shipping
needed for her service between Suva, Savusavu and Taveuni and other islands in Fiji
in the South Pacific.
Former Fiji prime minister and the army colonel who staged the islands’ 1987 coup
was the ferry firm’s boss for a period.
The Suilven, which needed to be fitted out with extra air conditioning units for
sailing in the heat of the tropics, often operated in bad weather except cyclones.
A new-born baby girl was delivered by the ships officers while at sea in December
Blighwater was a new competitor on Fiji sea routes and the Suilven’s entry launched
a fares war between rival shipping firms with the cost of freight tumbling by 25%.
However, like in the Western Isles, islanders complained cheaper fares for haulage
firms were not reflected in lower shop prices.
Offers are being invited for the ship and its sales broker says delivery can be arranged
Scrapyard beckons for former Stornoway ferry 19/8/12