New owner of MV Western Isles keeps celebrated passenger ferry service
A well-loved Highland tradition – the MV Western Isles passed on to its new owner on 1st September 2013. The 63-year-old ferry has been a staple of Mallaig since the middle of the 20th century.
The MV Western Isles has been running a passenger ferry service from Mallaig to Inverie and The Small Isles since the 1950’s.
MV Western Isles was originally intended for use by the Admiralty as a general supply vessel for larger naval ships. However, before she was completed she was bought by Bruce Watt Snr to join Brucies’ small but growing fleet – The Clansman, The Islander and The Chieftain.
Towed to Edinburgh as just a bare hull, she was fitted out for her new status as a passenger vessel. In line with the MCA’s requirements, this meant steel water tight bulkheads, separating off to a forward cabin, main cabin, engine room and stern cabin.
Once ready she duly began sailing to the “Small Isles” and to Skye’s spectacular Loch Scavaig. Loch Nevis, Hourn & Duich also featured on her timetable. Although less frequent she did sail to St Kilda for the National Trust for 12 years and carried out service runs to Heisker light house.
Throughout the 60’s & 70’s the Western Isles also ran weekly voyages, travelling further afield to the Isles of Muck & Coll, St Kilda and calling at the Outer Hebridies. To this day many keep in touch and remain good friends with the Watt family.
New owner Joe Blower is committed to retaining the tradition of the MV Western Isles and is keen to return the ferry to its former glory.
This year from November onwards, we will undertake some refurbishments, keep an eye on our news’ section for updates.