Case Study

Lift Type: Marine Lift

Case Study: MV Fingal

Location: UK

Marine Lift Case Study


The boat’s new interiors are high-end and Art Deco-inspired. Key features include glass pillars, curvaceous wood panelling and gorgeous gold ceilings. The opulence of the 1930’s is brought to life with a strong maritime / lighthouse theme throughout with original portholes inserted in doors, and rooms named after lighthouses engineered by Robert Louis Stevenson’s family.

The lift concept itself is circular and provides a central focal point to the room, rising up through the middle of the ship. The lift itself needed to resemble a beacon at the top of the lighthouse, fitted out in brass and bronze, accented with vertical fretted / bevelled glass strips creating the effect of the light of the lighthouse rotating as you walked around it.

The lift services five floors of the ship, with just 2.3m between floors, which is insufficient for any normal lift installation. This, combined with other technical challenges, such as the circular nature of the lift, the fact it is on a boat with limited access, awkward entry for large glass panels and the drive system to power the lift meant the lift was truly bespoke in every aspect of its design.


The MV Fingal was commissioned in 1963 by the Royal Yacht Britannia (the last ship to be built by Blythswood Shipbuilding Company).

The ship’s Royal roots go deeper still, as Princess Anne, the Patron of the Northern Lighthouse Board, is famed to have liked the Fingal so much that she had her own quarters aboard.

The Fingal was registered in Leith, however, she spent most of her 30 year Northern Lighthouse Board service working out of Oban on the Western coast of Scotland, followed by six years based in Stromness, Orkney.  She was then sold by the Northern Lighthouse Board to Tamahine Shipping and has been berthed on the River Fal in Cornwall for the eight years, when she was sold back to the Royal Yacht Britannia trust.  



We worked tirelessly with our partners Gruppo Millepiani in Italy, continually adjusting the drawings to meet with the specification constraints set out by Pedley Group.  This project had many obstacles to overcome stretching our design team to the limits. The brief was to provide a beautifully designed period style centrepiece for the ship within extremely confined spaces available.

The constraints on pit and headroom would normally mean using a machinery directive lift at 0.15mps, however, this was deemed unsuitable for this particular installation. We had to design a lift that would meet the brief requirements and also provide a satisfactory speed between floors. Using the latest safety technology and certifying under EN81-21 we have not only met, but exceeded the design brief and our client’s expectations.

This project is so unusual that we have decided to run a ‘’work in progress’’ case study, so… watch this space!


“It [MV Fingal] is going to be very high end but we wanted to keep it authentic and retain the sense of the original boat,” said Lynda Dalgleish, head of visitor experience at The Royal Yacht Britannia.

Britannia’s Chief Executive Bob Downie said, “After many years of searching for the right ship, we are delighted that we have been able to acquire this iconic vessel and look forward to opening Scotland’s first ‘boatique’ hotel. As a youngster growing up in Oban I have very fond memories of seeing the Fingal and I am delighted that the long-term future of another much loved classic vessel has been secured.”

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Premier Lifts supply an extensive range of passenger & platform lifts, complying or exceeding all relevant legislation and building regulations.

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