THE public vote has opened to help name two new ferries that will serve the Western Isles. 

The ships, constructed for CalMac's Little Minch routes by a shipyard in Turkey, are among a group of four vessels.

CalMac's Islay route will be served by the two other vessels, which have been named MV Isle of Islay and MV Loch Indaal.

The vote to name the ships is open until midnight on December 18.

There are two groups of names inspired by the landscape and history of Harris and North Uist. Voters can select one name from each group, and the two most popular names will be given to the sister vessels.

In group one: 

  • Eubhal - The highest hill in North Uist
  • Claymore - From the Gaelic Claidheamh Mòr, meaning great sword; a historical name previously given to iconic vessels
  • Eilean Dorcha - A Gaelic name given to Benbecula, meaning Dark Island in English
  • Orasay - A tidal island in South Uist and a bay in North Uist

In group two:

  • Pioneer - A historical name previously given to iconic vessels, including one that served similar routes in the mid-1980s
  • Lochmor - A historical name previously given to a vessel that served ports of the Little Minch
  • Scotasay - A small island just off the East coast of Harris
  • Clisham - The highest mountain in the Outer Hebrides, located in North Harris

Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop, said: “It’s good to see the potential names for both Little Minch vessels all have strong connections to local landmarks and Scottish heritage."

You can vote here.