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Locally built workboat launched in Scalloway

The Vaila Marie sporting Canadian flags in honour of Cooke Aquaculture's roots. Photos: Chris Cope/Shetland News

THERE was a sense of occasion in the centre of Scalloway on Wednesday morning as a new salmon farm workboat was launched by Malakoff.

The 14m Cooke Aquaculture catamaran was built at Malakoff’s new boat building facility in Lerwick – and another one is on the way for the aquaculture company.

Cooke Aquaculture's David Brown with his daughter who inspired the name of the workboat Vaila Marie.

David Brown from Cooke said it was a positive move to keep the vessel’s construction in the isles.

His four year old daughter, who inspired the boat’s name Vaila Marie, was on hand to cut the ribbon at the launch ceremony at the Malakoff slipway.

“I think it’s good for Cooke to have it be built in Shetland, and I think it’s good for Shetland to have it built in Shetland,” Brown said.

“This has provided more employment for Malakoff and the job they’ve done is really excellent. They were really good at including us through the design and construction.”

The Vaila Marie has a seven-metre wide deck with a hull depth of 2.1m and Brown said, by an odd coincidence, that it is set to be positioned off the island of Vaila.

He added that Malakoff is currently building another catamaran workboat for Cooke, with the vessel expected to be delivered before the end of the year.

Malakoff's Ryan Stevenson (right) preparing the champagne bottle before it was smashed against the boat.

Malakoff project manager Ryan Stevenson said the boat was designed in-house.

“It’s based on some of the other boats that we’ve done before,” he said.

“It’s probably a design upgrade – it’s bigger, it’s got more capacity and it’s got a bigger crane on it.

“It’s been a good development for us and it’s good to keep this kind of work inside Shetland.”

Earlier this year it was announced that Highlands and Island Enterprise (HIE) is due to give Malakoff £120,000 over the next three years to support the training and development of staff in its boat building division.

Last year the company built a 12-metre ferry which serves the small west coast island of Kerrera.

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