Ferry McFerryface? Your chance to name Mull’s new-ish vessel

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Any competition to name a boat should sound the ship’s alarm.

Who could forget ‘Boaty McBoatface’, which scored the highest number of votes in a poll to name the British Antarctic Survey’s £200M polar research ship, later christened the more august RSS Sir David Attenborough.

A quick Google search reveals boat owners are as good at puns as hairdressers: Seas the Day, Shore Thing, Usain Boat, Water U Lookin’ At, Pier Pressure, Ship Happens, Aboat Time, and, perhaps fittingly for CalMac’s ageing fleet, Knot Working.

That’s perhaps why Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has wisely given a shortlist of names associated with Mull, in its competition to name the island’s recently purchased second-hand ferry, the MV Utne. The shortlisted names are:

Loch Frisa – The largest loch on the Isle of Mull, located four miles south of Tobermory.
Glen Forsa – A beautiful open glen in the heart of Mull, with the peak of Beinn Talaidh at its head.
Torosay – Torosay Castle was built in 1858 by architect David Bryce and sits on the northwest side of Mull’s Duart Bay.

Those who would like to vote can do so on CMAL’s website: www.cmassets.co.uk/project/mv-utne . Voting closes at midnight on December 19 2021.

One person chosen at random from those suggesting the most popular name will be invited as a special guest, with a friend, to travel onboard the newly named vessel, and win a £200 gift voucher for the Isle of Mull hotel.

The vessel, which has been earmarked for the Oban-Craignure route, arrived in Leith from Norway this month and will undergo modification work before it enters service.
The works is expected to be completed by early 2022, with CalMac staff then undergoing onboard training and familiarisation.

Kevin Hobbs, chief executive of CMAL said: ‘Welcoming the MV Utne to Scotland will bring extra resilience to the fleet and while it will serve the Oban and Mull communities, those in Skye and the Western Isles will also benefit as a result of the cascade of vessels elsewhere on the network.

‘Utne is a name with Norwegian roots and we are keen to rename the vessel to bring her in line with Scottish heritage and the island she’ll serve. We have a strong list of names to choose from, and I look forward to seeing which one proves the most popular.’

Utne is a ferry port connecting two sides of a fjord in the Hardanger region of Vestland county, Norway. The village is home to the Utne Hotel, Norway’s oldest hotel in continuous operation, founded in 1722. Utne, in Norwegian, may derive from ‘Út-tún’, meaning the hamlet or farmstead that is ‘out’, which fits with village’s position at the tip of a peninsula that sticks out into the Hardangerfjorden.

NO_T49_MV Utne in Leith_01

Caption: Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited has announced its shortlist of names for the recently purchased MV Utne, which will be renamed before joining the fleet. Members of the public will have the opportunity to vote for the vessel’s new name from a shortlist of names associated with Mull, which will give the ferry strong ties to the island.