The impending closure of the Appledore Yard is another loss of merchant ship-building capacity even though its bread and butter, in latter years, has been Irish Defence Force warships and major sections of the RN’s new carriers.
Their ferry building heritage was relatively small, but they did prove extremely versatile in their design and build skills.
The Calmac fleets will run two major Appledore vessels for years to come, Clansman being one of their larger units and few ships work harder than Coruisk.
Two near sisters, Shannon Dolphin and Shannon Breeze in ’93 and 2000, were delivered to operate the Shannon estuary crossing. I voyaged on Appledore-built Orkney Ferries’ Hoy Head which was later stretched (by Cammell Lairds).
The ferry jewel in their heritage has to be Scillonian III, ie the one-off ship built for West country operation in a West Country yard. It is a great shame the yard will not be around to build the inevitable replacement which cannot be far away.