The Tiffany of Melfort being raised after slipping its moorings and sinking on rocks last winter. Photo: Kames.

Kames lines up bigger boat after loss of landing craft

Scottish trout farmer Kames will take delivery of a bigger and better workboat within the next few weeks, just over a year after its previous vessel was wrecked after slipping its moorings in a storm.

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The nearly new Tiffany of Melfort, a 19-metre landing craft utility vessel (LUV), went down in shallow water close to the Shiant Isles east of Harris on the weekend of October 31-November 1 after being carried by the tide from Kames’ Loch Pooltiel site in north-west Skye.

The £1.1 million boat, built for Kames by Exeter-based Coastal Workboats Scotland Ltd (a sister company to Exeter Fabrications) in 2018, was raised from the seabed but damage was too extensive for the vessel to be brought back into service.

The Kames boat is based on this Damen design for its 2208 LUV, built in Exeter by Coastal Workboats Scotland Ltd. Click on image to enlarge.

Three metres longer

Coastal Workboats has been working on a replacement that is three metres longer and a metre wider, significantly increasing space and carrying capacity.

“We will have this replacement for the Tiffany of Melfort by the end of November or start of December,” said Kames managing director Stuart Cannon.

“We miss her. It has been difficult managing boats over the past year.”

Doubling production

Like the previous boat, the new vessel will be based on a design by Dutch shipbuilder Damen. Salmon farmers Loch Duart and Organic Sea Harvest also have Damen-designed LUV’s built by Coastal Workboats / Exeter Fabrications.

The “Tiffany II” is costing more than £1.5 million and will help Kames with its plans to double production from around 2,500-3,000 tonnes of sea-going trout (steelhead).

Kames, based at Kilmelford near Oban, has also spent more than £1m on a new feed barge for its Loch Pooltiel site, where it has the potential to triple production. It currently harvests around 7-800 tonnes of trout per year at Loch Pooltiel, but the site is licensed for 2,500 tonnes of standing biomass which would enable Kames to produce an annual volume of 3-3,300 tonnes.