Maid of Skelmorlie
Ship Number
Vessel Type
Passenger Ferry
A&J Inglis
Launch Date
April 2, 1953
June 24, 1953
British Railways, Scottish Region Caledonian Steam Packet Co
508 grt
BP Length
28 feet
No. of Screws
Speed (approx)
14 knots
British Polar Engines Ltd Glasgow - oil 2SA 6 cylinder 1300bhp
Official No.
Laid Up
 Maid of Skelmorlie

Sister ships: Maid Of Argyll, - Ashton, - Cumbrae .
Maid of Skelmorlie initially assisted  Maid of Argyll on Gourock – Rothesay duties and developed the afternoon cruise programme. She often did Wemyss Bay – Innellan runs and, on Mondays and Fridays took late afternoon sailing from Craigendoran to Rothesay. She ran various weekend connections to Tighnabruaich and a Saturday cruise to Lochgoilhead/Arrochar. She became increasingly associated with Wemyss Bay and Largs and their connexions to Rothesay and Millport.
In the late 1950s, the Maids lost their fixed routes and all operated across the Clyde network. They became progressively redundant as the car ferry revolution swept all before it. Maid of Skelmorlie spent more and more time laid up and was finally withdrawn at the end of the 1972 season and never wore the CalMac colours.
In April 1973, she was sold to an Italian concern and sailed for the Mediterranean. She was converted to a stern-loading car ferry, and renamed the Ala. She had considerable success operating in the Bay of Naples, maintaining the Sorrento to Capri route for almost twenty years from early 1976. After the 1995 season, the Ala was laid up and took various charters: from 1997 to 1999 a winter cargo service to the Tremiti Islands in the Adriatic and in the summer of 2001 between Pozzuoli and the island of Procida. As late as 2004 she provided scheduled ferry service between Naples and Sorrento for the Navigazione Libera del Golfo line.
As of October 2014, she was laid up at the San Vincenzo wharf in central Naples.