Life at the end of the road

April 22, 2008

Possibly the most idiot proof boat in the world

Filed under: daily doings, food, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:35 pm

Another  mad Tuesday  draws to a close and I’m back on the ferry tomorrow. I’ve been rushing around manically all day trying to get everything finished and shipshape for mrs C as I can’t do much else when I’m working. The first job being to take the Dude to school, mrs C could have done it but I wanted to get some rocks for filling in around that drain I was working at yesterday. If you Know Raasay then you probably think “he must be bonkers, the north ends all rock” well I know it is but there’s rock and there’s rock and the rock I had in mind was just the right rock for the job.

Though I could not resist a couple of larger ones whilst I was at it and of course no trip to the south end would be complete without a visit to that other rock fanatic and his wall.

I’m not sure if Ron was doing an impression of Thor wielding his hammer or telling me to go away. Anyway the wall is doing just fine.

Lifting the first creels

Once back home the first job was to lift the creels and bring in the boat whilst the tide was still high, I’d planned to do it yesterday but we were all wrecked after the weekends socialising and the Dude had recorder practice so did not get in till late. I was using my friends ‘Pioner Maxi’ and a more rugged and suitable boat for up here would be hard to find. It is completely bomb proof, idiot proof, and unsinkable. They are particularly suited to shores without a slip as they can be easily dragged over most surfaces with little damage. I first came across them about 15 years ago when Kenmore salmon (who operated the fish farm) bought one, a ‘Pioner 10’ with a 4hp Yamaha outboard. When it arrived I laughed at it, 4 years later after it being dragged up and down the rocky shore 2 or 4 times a day and being abused by 4 fish farmers I had a tremendous respect for it.

Pioner Maxi at Arnish

I have the ‘Pioner 10’ and it has seen plenty of action as tender to my old fishing boat ‘Conqueror BRD257’ before going into early retirement as our wee runabout. I had been using the bigger more powerful Maxi because we had been covering allot of ground on Sunday but now it was time to see how the cat food had been doing (for those not familiar I’d baited the creels with cat food cos I’m lousy at fishing!) and put the boat away.

And just as I’d suspected it was pretty poor bait, still 2 wee crabs are better than 1/2 a tin of cat food in my book and who knows what will be in there after a whole week?

Hydro nozzles

With the boat safely ashore I went to have a look at the ‘Harris hydro’ turbine I’d fitted for my mate as he’d reported a loss of output. Suspecting dirt in the nozzles I went to have a look.

The unit has 4 nozzles of two different sizes and you can alter the output of the unit depending on the amount of water available. 1 small nozzle gives about 4 amps 2 about 8 ( as far as I can remember ) I think the 2 large ones give about 16amps, which at 28v is over 400w. Upon inspecting the unit I found that ALL the 4 nozzles were loose!!!! (probably just put in finger tight at the factory) there’s the 2 different sizes on the left and one in situ on the right (just pointing at the ‘pelton wheel’) once tightened up and run up all was sweetness and light and I left it running on one nozzle for the rest of the day.

By this time I was getting very hungry and mrs C had rustled up something quick and very tasty with three large scallops some black pudding and 2 rashers of bacon.

Believe it or not scallops go really well with black pud, I put the roes in first with the bacon and black  pudding then once the pudding and bacon’s cooked do the scallops lightly on both sides, pop em ontop of the puddings then crank up the heat to give the roes a good crisping then just tuck in, YUM YUM.

I did do lots more stuff, like messing about with a phone antennae and re hanging a gate but it’s up early for the ferry tomorrow so I’m off to bed shortly.


  1. Before we settled our inland croft, I tried to persuade the Other Half that we should have a croft on the coast (mainland or island). I was particularly tempted by a croft in Shetland that included a long stretch of coast and an island. Fishing was reputed to be fairly good and it was quicker to use a boat to reach the nearest village than to use a car.

    If I could have persuaded the Other Half to live somewhere like that, I’d have gone for a Pioner, too. The Multi in particular looked a good bet if we wanted a boat that combined seaworthiness, load carrying ability, ease of loading, and toughness.

    But while the OH likes visiting the coast, she’s not keen on living on it nor on regular travel by small craft. We all have our foibles!

    Comment by Stonehead — April 23, 2008 @ 9:04 am

  2. Aye Stoney, The Multi is a fine craft with 50hp on the back. A couple of the salmon farms I did diving work for used them (and abused them) and their indestructibility never ceased to amaze me. They aren’t a pretty boat and not very good for posing but they’re seafaring crofters answer to the ‘old grey Fergie’

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 23, 2008 @ 8:10 pm

  3. Exactly. I wanted the Land Rover Defender of boats. It would have had to be able to take four of us, a month’s animal feed, a month’s human shopping, and bits and bobs without fuss. I’d have enjoyed it, too, but the Boss said no.

    I did suggest a rethink recently, even suggesting the Falklands! Unfortunately, she saw through my cunning plan and not only said no, but added that it was also no to a halfway compromise of the Outer Hebrides as well. Sigh.

    Comment by Stonehead — April 23, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

  4. Just keep at it Stoney, It took me years to persuade mrs C to get a couple of weaners and now look at us! up to our ears in pig s**t and loving every minute of it. I don’t know if it’s still the case but they seemed to go quite cheap on fleabay a couple of years ago, I think my Pioner 10 was £400 but a jamie mate of mine got a little used Multi with a 50hp Yam and top quality trailer for £3k !!!! had a couple of years use out of it and sold it for MUCH more.

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 24, 2008 @ 5:11 am

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