Building ships and a wide range of marine engineering has taken place at the Ferguson Marine, Newark Works in Port Glasgow since 1791. In more contemporary times, the yard has produced over 350 vessels of every types and scale, including the worlds's first Hybrid ferries - and now construction of 2 x 100m ferries with ground-breaking LNG propulsion.
Ferries have long been a speciality of Ferguson Marine - supplying key UK ferry companies with state-of-the art vessels for over a hundred years. The first of these was back in 1908 - a vehicle/passenger ferry for the Clyde Navigation Trust.
In more recent times we have been privileged to supply ferries to Caledonian McBrayne/CMAL, Western Ferries and Red Funnel.
In 2013, Ferguson's launched the 'MV Hallaig' the worlds first Hybrid Ferry for Caledonian McBrayne, following up with two more hybrids and now continuing on the innovation trail by starting the construction of two new 100m LNG Ferries, also for Caledonian Mcbrayne.
Until recently, the offshore industry has provided huge opportunities for shipyards throughout the world. Despite strong competition in a market which has attracted worldwide interest, Ferguson Marine have supplied the industry with Workboats, Anchor Handlers and a string of Supply Vessels.
Built for whatever the North Sea and further afield can throw at them, Ferguson-built ships will see out the longer lifetimes that look set to be the norm for the immediate future. Despite the short-term negative projections for the offshore oil industry, Ferguson Marine will be in an stronger position than ever when the market returns.
Ferguson Marine has a long and proud reputation for supplying specialist vessels for fishery research and protection duties. The foundation of this specialist sector was laid by the SS Discovery II which was built for the Falklands in 1929.
Since then, we have supplied research and protection vessels to a number of Government Marine agencies including the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries & Food and the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency.
From as far back as 1918, Ferguson Marine have been involved in providing vessels to the fishing industry. Howeveany changes in the company strategy over the years, saw a move towards specialisation in other types of vessel, moving the yard away from what had been a successful area of operation.
We have not been involved with fishing fleets since 1974, but it is now the intention to change that with the rebirth of the yard and the introduction of world-leading sectional build-and-fit procedures which will see the yard building as many as six vessels simultaneously, including state-of-the-art Trawlers and Wellboats.
One area of specialism for Ferguson's has been the provision of tender vessels for the all-important Lighthouse service, with a number of vessels continuing to serve successfully or doing so, having been converted to other duties.
As a category generalisation, "smaller vessels" is an over-simplification for a very important part of both maritime traffic and the Ferguson's story.
From large numbers of humble sludge vessels to more sophisticated split-hull ash disposal, the yard has fulfilled and supported the less fashionable but essential workhorses of the sea. Continuing the tradition of flexibility in its contemporary role, the £12m redeveloped yard will see Ferguson Marine ready to service the recovery of the Workboat market.
From the conventional to the dual purpose Anchor Handler/Tugs, Ferguson Marine have added no less than 97 of these impressive workhorses to the seas and oceans of the world: from the UK to South Africa, the Middle East, Nigeria, Singapore, Trinidad and India.
Keeping the waterways clear from the UK to Australia; China to New Zealand; Brazil to Egypt; Nigeria to South Africa: Dredgers from the Ferguson Marine yard have been keeping the sea-lanes clear since the beginning of last century.
67 dredgers have launched their long and fruitful careers from the Newark slipway, building a track record that Ferguson Marine intend to reprise with the new yard and the new approach to simultaneous multiple vessel fabrication.
A significant part of our history was the six year period between 1939 and 1944, when Ferguson Marine produced an astonishing 30 naval vessels.
Minesweepers, Corvettes, Steam Tugs and Boom Defence vessels represented an output that defied the size of the yard. What is also worthy of consideration is the sophistication of the vessels and how quickly the management and workforce adapted to entirely new specifications for a customer where no quarter could be given.