26 March 2017

Coruisk interiors, 5 June 2016

As an admittedly delayed follow-up to the last entry, here are the Coruisk interior photos promised. Since it is a small ship, there aren't that many photos in this entry.

Coruisk

IMO 9274836
Built 2003, Appledore Shipbuilders Bideford, United Kingdom
Tonnage 1 559 GT
Length 65,00 m
Width 14,00 m
Draught 3,05 m
249 passengers
40 cars
2 MaK diesels, combined 2 280 kW
2 azimuthing pods
Speed 14 knots

All photos are from 5 June 2016, taken during a crossing from Craignure to Oban.

Being essentially a glorifued road ferry, the Coruisk has just one public room, which houses a combined cafeteria/shop in one end....
...and rows of seating in the other end.
Embarkation and disembarkation is via the car deck, which is open to the elements.
The podded propulsion caused quite a lot of vibrations, which resulted the cars' burglar alarms going off all the time. Must be hell for the crew.
Kships will return.

13 March 2017

Coruisk at Craignure, 5 June 2016

Coruisk

IMO 9274836
Built 2003, Appledore Shipbuilders Bideford, United Kingdom
Tonnage 1 559 GT
Length 65,00 m
Width 14,00 m
Draught 3,05 m
249 passengers
40 cars
2 MaK diesels, combined 2 280 kW
2 azimuthing pods
Speed 14 knots

The Coruisk (or Coir' Uisg' in Scots Gaelic) was conceived as a "sheltered waters vessel" for Caledonian MacBrayne, for service on the Mallaig-Armadale route during the summer and as a relief vessel during the winters. It was conceived with an unusual construction, resembling a double-ended ferry but with a a dedicated bow and stern, as well as a side ramp. Built by Appledore in Bideford, England, the ship was delivered in August 2003 and entered service on the Mallaig-Armadale -route... where it suffered a series of mishaps, culminating in a computer error resulting in a serious grounding after just a week in service. The ship was repaired and partially rebuilt at Glasgow, then re-entered service on the Gourock-Dunoon -service, deputising for the ship normally in this service. This was another failure, as it was discovered the Coruisk could not berth at Dunoon at all states of tide. Subsequently modifications were carried out and after the initial mishaps, the ships appears to have performed admirably.

A big change for the ship came in 2016, when Caledonian MacBrayne decided to move it to the Oban-Craignure route for the summer season, sailing alongside the Isle of Mull. This resulted in some criticism, as the Coruisk's replacement on Mallaig-Armadale proved less than suitable (and certainly the Coruisk is a poor running mate for the Isle of Mull as far as passenger facilities are concerned). Even so, Caledonian MacBrayne apparently plan to retain the arrangement for the coming years, with the Coruisk thus sailing Oban-Craignure during the summers and as a relief ship on Wemyss Bay-Rothesay during the winters.

The photos below show the Coruisk arriving at Craignure on 5 June 2016. As per the usual, click on an image to see it in larger size.

The ship does look very odd.
Scotland did have a tendency to be quite photogenic during my visit.
Here you can quite nicely see the different ship of the bow and stern - while at first the ship looks like a double-ender, it isn't.
And then we got some nice foreground crap...
...which only got better!
Next time: I think I will finally fullfill my plan of pairing exterior and interior entries of CalMac ships, so next time we'll look at Coruisk interiors (the little that there is).

06 March 2017

Megastar in Helsinki, 4 March 2017

As promised, today we shall be looking at the Megastar. For those interested in not only looking at my photos but also reading more about the ship, the article I wrote about her for Cruise Business Review's most recent issue can be read online (as can the entire magazine) for free behind this link. (the Megastar article is on pages 53-60).

Megastar

IMO 9773064
Built 2017, Meyer Turku, Finland
Tonnage 49 134 GT
Length 212,10 metres
Width 30,60 metres
Draught 7,00 metres
2 824 passengers
188 cabin berths
800 cars (if no freight units carried) or
320 cars and 110 freight units
1 970 lane metres
5 Wärtsilä LNG/diesel hybrid engines, combined 45 600 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
2 stern thrusters
Service speed 27 knots
Ice class 1A

As there's very little to say about the Megastar's history, I think it best we go straight to the images. These show the Megastar departing Helsinki Länsisatama (West Harbour) on the afternoon of 4 March 2017, photographed from Vattuniemi. As always, you can see the photos in larger size by clicking on them.

The Megastar looks quite okay when viewed from the front... but as we discussed with my friend and collaborator Bruce Peter, she does look like the wasn't given the final designer touch that would make for a truly beautiful ship.
The sun refused to shine on the ship, but it made for good photos never the less.
And the few remnants of the near-nonexistant sea ice of this winter made for a decent foreground.
Alas, seen from the rear the ship isn't particularly attractive - a situation made worse by the sloppy design of the livery in that part.
Dramatic background.
Sisä-Hattu, my usual favourite photo location, was turned into a foreground object this time around.
Kships will return.

25 February 2017

Isle of Lewis in the Sound of Mull, 4 June 2016

Today, we return to the misty shores of Scotland and look at yet another fascinating local ferry.

Isle of Lewis

IMO 9085974
Built 1984, Ferguson Shipbuilders Glasgow, United Kingdom
Tonnage 6 753 GT
Length 101,25 m
Width 18,52 m
Draught 4,19 m
970 passengers
114 cars
170 lane metres
2 Mirrlees Blackstone diesels, combined 6 442 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 18 knots

As the name perhaps suggests, the Isle of Lewis (or Eilean Leòdhais in Gaelic) was originally built for Caledonian MacBrayne's prestigious run linking Ullapool on the Scottish mainland with Stornoway (Steòrnabhagh) on the titular Isle of Lewis. The ship sharing its name with the island was built by Ferguson Shipbuilders in 1995; it was named by Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra in April 1995. On completion in July of the same year, the Isle of Lewis was not only the largest ship in the CalMac fleet by some margin, but also the fastest, with a top speed of 18,92 knots reached during the sea trials.

From 1995 until the entry into service of the new Loch Seaforth in 2015, the Isle of Lewis sailed on the Ullapool-Stornoway -run. Interestingly, until 2009 there was no service on Sundays, as the Isle of Lewis was the last place in Britain where Sabbath was strictly observed.

Following the arrival of the Loch Seaforth, the Isle of Lewis was moved to sail out of CalMac's hub in Oban to Acha (Coll) and Scarinish (Tiree) in the Inner Hebrides where, as far as I could gather from CalMac's website, the ship remains at the time of writing,

The photos below show the Isle of Lewis in the Sound of Mull (if I have identified the loction correctly) on 4 june 2016, photographed from onboard the paddle steamer Waverley. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

Proper Scottish weather we had.
I like the large windows in the forward superstructure, but I do wonder if CalMac had anyone with even a basic understanding of aesthetics look at the drawings before they went and approved the design.
Maybe I'm being too negative here, but... yeah. Not my favourite of the CalMac fleet as far as looks go.
The background does look very Scottish here.
One thing I also wonder about are the narrow aft ramps on most CalMac ships... surely a wider ramp would be a much more modern solution?
The landscape looks great, though!

Kships will return. Next week, I should be able to finally get some good exterior shots of the Megastar, so that will probably be the subject of the next update.

18 February 2017

Further variations on the Viking FSTR

My vision for the Viking FSTR from yesterday (well, technically today, as it was posted after midnight) spawned some feedback... which got my creative juices flowing, thinking about how my first design could be improved, and different ways in which it could be made work. This time around, I've also done some changes to the dark stripes around the windows; they were not too pretty in the original form, so I thought Viking could maybe invest in a small amount of black paint and make the ship look a tad better.

For Version 2, I altered the red paint at the bow for a 'faster' look, changed the ship's name slightly, and as said fiddled with the dark window stripes a bit.
One of the big criticisms of the original design was that there's too much red at the bow... so for Version 3, instead of the red colour rising up at the bow, it slopes down in the same angle as the top of the bow. In addition to that, the only change to V2 is moving the ship's name to a slightly different location at the bow.
Unless I get another bout of inspiration to work further on this, the next entry will really be about the promised images of the Isle of Lewis. Honestly.