Cammell Laird Shipyard built a pair of 45-car ferries and recently launched them into the River Mersey at Birkenhead. The sister ferries are the first complete vessels built at the yard in 20 years.
The MV Sound of Soay and MV Sound of Seil continue the tradition of their owners, Western Ferries, of naming vessels after Scottish Sounds. Once interior details are finished and sea trails completed, the twin ferries will enter service on the company’s 2.2-nautical mile Firth of Clyde route between Gourock and Dunoon.
The double-ended ro-ro ferries are each 49.95-meters overall with 13.5-meter beams extended over the sponsons to around 15 meters. The molded depth from the car deck is four meters while the ferries will operate with a draft of 2.5 meters. With capacity for up to 220 passengers each ferry will be powered by two IMO and EU emission compliant Cummins QSK19-M diesel engines producing 600 HP (447 kW) at 1,800 RPM. Each engine will power an independent Rolls Royce Aquamaster azimuthing thruster mounted fore and aft.