Paddle steamer Waverley and Turkish-built MV Isle of Islay put Clyde-built Glen Rosa to shame – Scotsman comment

Famous paddle steamer Waverley is a reminder of the Clyde’s illustrious shipbuilding history

A Calmac ferry built “on time and budget”? What kind of miracle is this? Ordered just two years ago from a shipyard in Turkey, the MV Isle of Islay is to be launched on March 16, four days after the Clyde-built Glen Rosa, ordered in 2015 and still being worked on at the Scottish Government-owned Ferguson Marine shipyard.

However, despite Glen Rosa ‘winning’ the race to launch – and presumably, unlike its equally costly sister ship, the Glen Sannox, its windows will be real, rather than painted on – it will not be ready to actually start carrying passengers until at least May next year, about five months after the Turkish vessel enters service.

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Meanwhile, in a reminder that, once upon a time, we could build ships in Scotland, the paddle steamer Waverley, completed in 1946, is set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of being saved for posterity with its most extensive tour of the UK in decades. No doubt it will still be going in 50 years' time, long after Sannox and Rosa have been sent off to the breakers yard.



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