Life at the end of the road

August 26, 2012

Two whole weeks :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:32 pm

Now she probably did tell me, but when ‘darling wife’ said ‘I’ll be back in two weeks time’ I nearly fell out of bed !!! After the initial shock and expletives from yours truly she explained that she’d already told me, but was surprised when I took it so well Smile That would be on account of me being deaf and thinking that she said two days Smile Anyway there’s nowt I can do about it and ‘the light of my life’ has good reason. Still it’s going to make interesting reading on here over the next fortnight as I attempt to look after the Dude, dug, pigs, hens, croft, and get ready for six months training and watch keeping for the new hybrid ferry.

True to the forecast the day was just peachy, not quite the ‘wall to wall’ sunshine promised but as near as makes no difference. I managed a wee lie in and wifey did all the feeding and cleaning of pigs and hens, no doubt because she wouldn’t be doing it for a while Smile


After driving over to on the quad to check up on a few things I went to work. More correctly ‘we went to work’, the newly arrived ‘Beetleman’ to the car park and Molly to the ferry. Rocky our Tamworth boar taking ‘time out’ from his grubbing in a passing place to wish us goodbye Smile



The ‘wee dug’ helped me start up the ferry before being confined to the Land Rover until after the first sailing, though not before she had chance to meet Donald’s new pup.



I dunno how many times I’ve said this, but as you all know ‘I’m not a dog person’ Smile


The wee spaniels tail was wagging like mad but Molly was not impressed, in fact she looked quite scared Sad smile

Anyway, once the first sailing was out of the way and the ‘big breakfast’ consumed I turned my attention towards the two 12 litre Volvo TAD 121C marine diesels that push the Loch Striven along. It was most likely the last time I would ever service these two Swedes after nursing them for ten years.



The new ferry will be equipped with three of the newer, cleaner and more fuel efficient D13 Volvo gensets.

Volvo Penta D13 MG Marine Genset Engine


The new Volvo Penta D13 MG marine genset offers more power and high load acceptance, with emission levels in compliance with EPA Tier 3 and low fuel consumption. The secret is the advanced technology Volvo Penta uses throughout the engine.
As with all Volvo Penta marine gensets, the D13 MG is delivered complete with electric generator and onboard electronics, tested and classified.
“The D13 MG is better in every respect, compared to the current D12, which also is a very good engine,” says Gerard Törneman at Volvo Penta. “For the customer the load acceptance and low fuel consumption will mean more efficient operation at a lower total cost.”
Low fuel consumption and Tier 3 emissions
Fuel cost alone is a very high portion of a marine genset life-cycle cost. EMS 2, the engine control system developed by Volvo, regulates fuel injection and monitors engine conditions. The system controls the unit injectors, one per cylinder, which operate at a pressure of as much as 2000 bar and atomize the fuel for optimum combustion. The result of this efficient combustion is low fuel consumption, combined with emissions in compliance with Tier 3.
Choice of cooling system
The D13 is available with keel cooling, heat exchanger or radiator cooling already from the introduction. This means it is ready to use for a number of applications, auxiliary, harbor operations, emergency and diesel electric propulsion.
Reduced noise
The noise level of the new D13 MG has been further reduced thanks to variable injector pressure and a new, efficient cooling system. The harbor and emergency gensets with radiator cooling system can offer even lower sound pressure with an optional visco fan.
Miller timing and twin-entry turbo
The D13 MG has very low levels of NOx emissions and no visible smoke, regardless of load. This is combined with high load acceptance, much thanks to the advanced and efficient charge air system. The D13 MG has a mid-position, twin-entry turbo with waste gate. This turbo offers pulse charging with high charge air pressure directly from low rpm. To fully utilize this efficient turbo, it is combined with Miller inlet valve timing. This means that the inlet valve closes earlier, reducing engine temperature and mechanical stress, which allows for higher boost pressure. Equally important for durability is the cooling system. D13 MG features a plate heat exchanger – a proven and reliable technology. All D13 MG models comply with the EPA Tier 3 emission regulations.
High quality
The D13 MG has the same robust basic architecture as engine platform used for the Volvo D9, D11, and D16 in-line 6 diesel. The platform features a rigid block design, wet liners, rear-end transmission, ladder frame and a single cylinder head with overhead camshaft operating 4 valves per cylinder and the injectors. This contributes to smooth running, high reliability and long-term durability. The D13 engine is manufactured by the Volvo Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of heavy-duty diesel engines for commercial use. The generator is from market-leading Newage Stamford and the complete gensets are assembled and tested at Volvo Penta.
The D13 MG is easy to service and has a 500-hour service interval.
Fully classed, fully emission-approved
D13 MG genset comes complete with Volvo Penta’s MCC control system, a flexible and expandable system for classified installations. MCC is easy to interface with leading suppliers of ship control systems.  The engine meets the latest EU IWW, CCNR, IMO and EPA emission legislation requirements.
The engine is fully classifiable to meet the demands of all major classification societies.
The engines and the control system are type-approved by LR, DNV, GL, IRS, RS, CCS, ABS, RINA and BV.
Technical Data  D13 MG
No. of cylinders and configuration: in-line 6
Method of operation: 4-stroke, direct-injected, turbocharged
diesel engine with charge air cooler
Bore/stroke, mm (in.): 131/158 (5.16/6.22)
Displacement, l (in3): 12.78 (779.7)
Compression ratio: 18.5:1

‘Nursing’ is probably a bit strong, at 26 years of age and 90,170 hours  they’ve still got plenty of life in them thanks to excellent build quality and a rigorous maintenance schedule.


A busier than usual day, with drills and servicing meant that I didn’t get my usual wander about with Molly to Raasay House but we did mange to get onto the pier to see the boys.


Lightning, Conner and my son busy catching mackerel then doing a spot of swimming and pier jumping.


It really is incredibly dull living out in the sticks Smile

A major incident

I did manage to get the Land Rover cleaned up and off the ferry before the 16:00 sailing,

26 Aug Raasay ferry a


though I was caught on camera by my mate Gary of just before we sailed for Sconser Smile



Aint that just a beautiful harbour Smile

It was whist taking the helm over to Sconser that I heard on the VHF of an incident a few miles north near Gairloch


Somewhere near Longa island a member of the public had reported four people in the water


the Portree lifeboat and several other craft responded but it seems like one person is still missing Sad smile



That was it really, I collected my son and the ‘Beetleman’ then drove home to deal with hens, pigs, dinner and blah, blah, blah Smile



  1. The Volvo engines sound like they are well suited for the task, we have some Kalmar dce90 and 120 FLT’s here in the cloud factory, they have fairly reliable volvo engines. Can’t say that for the electronics or hydraulic systems though. Bit of a mare with these…

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — August 26, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

  2. It is the Loch Striven! I used to go on that as a kid to Millport – and her sister the Loch Linnhe. I have fond memories of those boats.

    Comment by heartlandroad — August 27, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

  3. Looks like that canoe incident has turned into a real tragedy, with 2 kids died, 1 still critical and one of the fathers missing.

    Comment by heartlandroad — August 27, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

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