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Vessel will serve islands

Bute boatyard building ‘gentleman’s’ cruiser

Andy ThomsA small Scottish boatyard is building a vessel designed for cruising to the Outer Hebrides and St Kilda.

The Majestic Line, has commissioned Ardmaleish Boatyard on the Isle of Bute to build The Glen Etive which will carry 12 passengers and four crew.

Ewan Ferguson, managing director at the yard said that building a fully fitted cruise boat for guest use is a new experience for the company, which builds work boats for the ferry and fishing sectors.

“The building of The Glen Etive requires many specialist skills and has kept the workforce fully employed, especially giving valuable experience to our apprentices. We have also involved local trades in the interior fit-out. We are proud to demonstrate what can be achieved by building boats on the Clyde,” he said.

The vessel, finished in traditional hardwood and brass, is said to have the look and feel of a 1930s “gentleman’s motor yacht”.

The Majestic Line has been operating in Argyll and the Inner Hebrides for the past 11 years with two vessels, The Glen Tarsan and The Glen Massan which are converted fishing boats.

Now in their 70s, company owners Andy Thoms (pictured) and Ken Grant are passionate about expanding the cruise company. Mr Thoms said: “We are the only small-boat cruising company in the UK, with a fleet of vessels providing high standards of accommodation, including ensuite.

“Our mini-cruise vessels allow for an intimate connection with the natural environment which larger vessels simply can’t provide.”

The pair have a strong commitment to the local area, which is why Ardmaleish Boatyard on the Isle of Bute was chosen to build the boat. Mr Thoms is overseeing the building and designing many of the elements, from the design of the interior layout to the mechanics of ventilation and hydraulics.

The race is now on to complete The Glen Etive in time for her inaugural cruise “From Skye to the Shiants” on 23 April. Mr Ferguson is confident that the build is on track.

“The main construction of the vessel is complete and the interior fit-out is coming along nicely,” he said. “We are now commencing the exterior paintwork. The Glen Etive will be a beautiful vessel and it will be a very proud day for us all when she is launched.”

There are seven double ensuite cabins, a guest dining area, a guest lounge area and three outdoor viewing decks.

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