British Railways Board (BRB)British Transport Commission (BTC)FerriesIsle of Wight FerriesPast and Present

TSMV Lymington (II) – Past and Present

TSMV Sound of Sanda

ex Lymington (II)


Steel twin screw double ended vessel built in 1938 at William Denny Brothers, Dumbarton (Yard Number. 1322) for British Railways Board, London, England as a Motor Car Ferry (Double-ended)

Technical Data

  • Length: 45.12 m (overall) 40.31 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 11.21 m
  • Depth: 2.75 m
  • Draught: 1.728 m
  • Tonnage: 275 gross/139 net/46 deadweight
  • Engines: Oil 4SA 12-cylinder W H Allens Sons Co Ltd (Bedford) diesel
  • Power: 294 kW/400 BHP
  • Speed: 7.0 knots (11.0 knots max)
  • Capacity: 516 (Summer) – 390 (Winter)/400 passengers or 17/20 Cars
  • Call Sign: GXVV
  • IMO Number: 5215222
  • Official Number: 165129
  • Port of Registry: Southampton/UK, Campbeltown/UK


April 1st 1938: Christened and launched by Mrs Biddle, wife of Mr R P Biddle (Southern Railway Docks and Marine Manager), but completion was delayed by the late delivery of the propellers.

Sealink News

April 7th 1938: Trials delayed owing to a seized labyrinth seal.


Sealink News

April 9th 1938: Completed trials and (having been boarded up for the journey) sailed for Southampton.

April 12th 1938: Delivered to British Railways Board at Southampton for the Lymington – Yarmouth, Isle of Wight service. Cost £31,633. Entered dry dock for examination of her propellers.

British Railways Board

© British Railways Board

May 1st 1938: In service. The use of Voith Schneider fin propellers (the first in a ferry) was aimed at improving navigation in the shallow confines waters of Lymington river. In service they were not up to the expectations because the propellers were damaged by driftwood. They had twice to be replaced during the first summer. Each time new propellers had to come from Germany. By the end of the year she had only seen four months service.

January 1st 1948: Transferred to British Transport Commission, Southern Region.

Sealink News

November 9th 1973: Made her final sailing Lymington – Yarmouth.

January 1974: Withdrawn and laid-up in Portsmouth Lake on the upper reaches of Portsmouth Harbour. Replaced by the new ‘C’ class ferries.

April 1974: Several offers were made before she was sold, for £29,000, to Western Ferries (Argyll) ltd, Campbeltown. Renamed SOUND OF SANDA. Introduced Hunters Quay, Dunoon – McInroy’s Point, Gourock service.

© A G Jones

© A G Jones (Hunters Quay, 19/09/1974)

1975: Owners restyled to Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd.

Chantry Classic Postcard

Chantry Classic Postcard

1984 (June – Sept): River cruises.

1987: Used as the relief vessel. Moored at sandbank, Holy Loch.

January 5th 1988: Overhaul at Clyde Ship Repairers, Renfrew.

© Bob Scott  © Robbie Shaw

© Bob Scott (Left) and © Robbie Shaw (04/04/1988) (Right)

1990: The ship was near to retirement and the Lymington Maritime Society was formed to try to preserve and even operate her in Southampton Water.

1992: Relief ship.

March 1994: Resold for work-boat use.

July 1995: Reduced to a hulk on Loch Etive.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: A G Jones, Bob Scott and Robbie Shaw for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

One Comment

  1. Oh my gosh, it’s so great you have these old photos preserved and share the history. Just fabulous Nigel.

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