THE boss of Ferguson Marine has said that the hugely delayed ferry Glen Sannox is ready to set sail today if it had the proper certification.  

David Tydeman said that the vessel was working and that operationally everything was in place to take the ferry “down the river” Clyde. 

The ferry and its sister ship – known as hull 802 – are more than five years late and £500m over budget, and remain at their construction yard Ferguson marine Ltc in Port Glasgow.   

But Mr Tydeman believes the day when Glen Sannox is pressed into service is fast approaching, as work continues apace to get it shipshape.  

READ MORE: Ferguson Marine reaches milestone as bridge is lifted on to Hull 802

Yesterday, the wheelhouse of hull 802 was lowered into place, completing another milestone on its journey towards seaworthiness.  

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Tydeman said that the construction of the Glen Sannox had been more like a “conversion” process than a straightforward build.  

He said: “We’ve done a lot of rework on this ship. We’ve taken pipe work out that was put in place with the wrong materials. This building…of Glen Sannox has been more like a conversion project of an existing ship.” 

Greenock Telegraph:

He added: “Everything is working – you could take this ship down the river. We haven’t got our final certificates yet, so it wouldn’t be legal. 

“But operationally, rudders are working, steering gear is working. We can run the ship from here, we can star/stop engines, we can turn her left and right, we can speed up, slow down – She's working.” 

The vessel is due to start harbour and sea trials this summer, with a handover to CalMac scheduled for between late autumn and Christmas. It should start sailing the route to Arran next Spring. 

The as-yet unnamed Hull 802 is now watertight, and 80 per cent structurally complete.

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The hope is it will be launched at the end of November and handed over in the late summer of next year. 

The delays to both ships have been branded a fiasco, with wrangles over their design and financing eventually leading to the yard being nationalised.  

Mr Tydeman said: “There was a lot of debates going on between (procurement company) CMAL and FMEL in the design and the integrity of what is the final design specification.  

“But I think with hindsight, everybody would agree it would have been worth spending more time getting that specification and design complete before you started welding steel.”