Troubled start for new Raasay hybrid ferry

The new Raasay ferry – the world’s first in-service, sea-going hybrid ferry – broke down on its first day of service this week.

MV ‘Hallaig’ – which is powered by both diesel and electric sources – made two return runs from Raasay to Sconser on Monday morning before breaking down. The vessel she replaced and which for now is acting as back-up on the run, the MV ‘Loch Striven’, was drafted into action, allowing crossings to continue as normal.

A spokesman for ferry operators Caledonian MacBrayne said a “technical glitch with a propeller unit” was to blame for the breakdown, adding that it was nothing to do with the new hybrid system.

Martin Dorchester, managing director of CalMac, added: “She is a very new ship with some innovative features and some glitches are to be expected, so we are easing her into service with a ‘soft launch’ while she beds in.”

The  ‘Hallaig” was due to be back in service today (Friday).

Uncharted waters for Raasay’s new vessel