We could make this web site as a blueprint list, just put the plans online and you fellas download… But all these ships are not just “objects” that we like somehow. It’s their stories, and the roles they have during their lives that takes our interest. Lochiel and her story is one of them that satisfies us in that manner. (I couldn’t tell it worse, but i guess you can understand what i mean…)
Lochiel was launched in April 4th 1939 after the order of David MacBrayne ltd a year earlier. She had a sister in the order but the launch of Loch Seaforth was delayed until 1947. The builder was William and Denny Brothers of Dumbarton who also built legendary M/V Fenerbahçe. She was 55.95m long and 9.78m wide. She had double 8 cylinder 4 stroke diesel engines which is quite a good technology for that date. She had two 3 blade screws. Her service speed was 12 knots and she could accomodate 599 passengers along with her cargo. Lochiel was the fourth ship to carry her name. Previous ones were single screw mail steamers.
October 8th 1960 was not a lucky day for her. She hit the rocks under water and sank. You can learn much more about the incident from a witness, Mr. Cranston. He was onboard Lochiel that day, as a 13 week boy. Click here to visit his blog about Lochiel. He collected so many cool stuff about the ship like videos and photos. She was raised by salvage tugboat Plantagenet and stayed out of service until following March.
In 1970, her carreer with MacBrayne ltd ended and she was sold to Norwest Shipping ltd. She was renamed Norwest Laird. She had some repairs and she ran between Fleetwood and Douglas. But soon the company went bankrupt and her carreer as a ferry ended. Then she was bought by Courage ltd to be renovated as a floating restaurant – bar and renamed Old Lochiel. She could survive until 1994 and then she was sold for scrap. She was scrapped in Bristol in December 1994.
Her sister Loch Seaforth did not survive that long. She ran aground and sank, and scrapped in 1972. There seem to be more of this design but couldn’t find more info yet.