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Scillonian III approaching St. Mary's Harbour
Name: Scillonian III
Owner: Isles of Scilly Steamship Company
Operator: Isles of Scilly Steamship Company
Port of registry:  United Kingdom
Builder: Appledore Shipbuilders, North Devon
Christened: 17 May 1977
In service: May 1977
Status: in service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 1,255.25 gross register tons (GRT)
Length: 68 m (223.1 ft)
Beam: 11.85 m (38.9 ft)
Draught: 2.89 m (9 ft 5.8 in)
Speed: 15.15 kn (28.1 km/h)

RMV Scillonian III is a passenger ship based at Penzance in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, run by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company. She operates the principal ferry service to the Isles of Scilly, assisted by the cargo vessel Gry Maritha.



The Scillonian III was purpose built for the Steamship Company by Appledore Shipbuilders Ltd of Appledore in Devon and was christened by H.R.H. Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall on 17 May 1977[1] and entered service later in the same month. She is the third passenger ship to carry the Scillonian name and made her first trip to Scilly on 19 May 1977, sailing from Bideford to St Mary's.[2] On the arrival of the new ship, critics found it "too big, they will never hold her, not suitable or not as good a sea boat as the old boat" (the same had happened when the first Scillonian went into service in 1926 and again with her replacement in 1956).[2]

The Scillonian III has a length of 68 m, a beam of 11.85 m, a draft of 2.89 m, a gross tonnage of 1255.25, and a service speed of 15.15 knots. Due to the number of tidal currents which meet off Lands End, and the need for a shallow draught to allow access to the Islands, the sea journey can be rough, to the point of Scillonian III having been nicknamed "vomit comet". For this reason the ship is fitted with a "Flume" stabilizer system.

The Scillonian III is currently in service for passengers and cargo 8 months of the year, carrying up to 600 passengers for day trips or longer holidays to the Islands. As a preferred means of transport between Scilly and the mainland, she is a familiar sight in Penzance and St Mary's - often photographed by tourists and also featured in the BBC series, An Island Parish.

In 1998, faced with the cost of building a new ship, the Company decided to give Scillonian III a major refit, during which over 50 tons of steel were used to increase the standard of the ship. The ship also had 3 new generators and a new bow thruster fitted. The cost of this was £1.7 million.[2] In early 2007, press reports indicated that Cornwall County Council was expected to approved plans for the construction of a new ro-ro ferry at a cost of £17.5 million. This vessel would be leased to the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company and would replace both Scillonian III and Gry Maritha.[3]


See also


  1. ^ "Back in service". Scilly Up To Date. April 1999. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Description on Hearts of Oak The Penzance/Isles of Scilly Mail Packets.
  3. ^ Plummer, Russell (February 2007). "Ferry news". Ships Monthly (IPC Country & Leisure Media): pp. 6. 

External links



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