Long-delayed CalMac ferry 802 emerges into view at Ferguson Marine shipyard
New drone footage by John Devlin, a photographer for The Scotsman, shows the bows and upper parts of the vessel visible on a slipway at the Scottish Government-owned site in Port Glasgow.
It remains known only as hull 802 with a name still to be announced.
The ferry is currently due to be completed by the end of the summer of next year, six years later than the original date of July 2018. This includes a further six-month delay announced last month.
The ship will follow sister vessel Glen Sannox, which is now scheduled to be finished this autumn, more than five years later than its planned completion in May 2018.
That ferry, also known as hull 801, is moored afloat on the downstream side of the yard after being launched 2017.
The overall bill for the two ferries is now expected to be more than three times the original contract price of £97 million agreed in 2015 by the yard's then owner Jim McColl.
The vessels are due to operate on the main Arran route and between Skye, Harris and North Uist.
Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) said it was currently completing the assembly of the various parts of hull 802.
Its spokesperson said: “We are in the final stages of consolidating the structure, with the wheelhouse and the last few modules for the officers’ accommodation on deck seven due to be installed over the next six to eight weeks.
"A portion of scaffolding will be removed to facilitate this.
"In addition, scaffolding was briefly removed recently from around the bow area to allow the bow thrusters to be installed.”
The spokesperson said the drone video showed two of the six senior officers’ ‘blocks’ in place, while two small white tented areas were for preparing the deck seven structure to receive the remaining four blocks.
However, they said the increased number of cars parked at the yard did not indicate that extra workers had been taken on.
It said: “As we continue to remove mobile offices, which were only needed during the pandemic and earlier stages of the build processes, the site tidy up creates more useable space for parking. We have remained fairly steady at around 350 staff plus contractors.”
Ferguson Marine chief executive David Tydeman’s latest progress report to MSPs last month said the further six-month delay was due to “design gaps and build errors” dating back several years which continued to be found on the 801, resulting in a “cascade effect” for 802.
He said: “Regrettably, we continue to find design gaps and build errors, some dating back over many years, and whilst we are dealing with them successfully as they arise, we are progressing more slowly than planned.
However, it is hoped that as 802 was at an earlier stage of construction than 801 when Mr Tydeman was appointed a year ago, fewer of the mistakes made in the building of the first vessel would have been repeated in the second.
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