Life at the end of the road

January 17, 2013

Easy out :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, New hybrid ferry — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:04 pm

I got distracted yesterday, by the time I’d got home and fitted a new set of discs to wifey’s car I was in no mood for posting. Especially as we were in late after a bit of a picnic separating the piglets from their mothers. Not that the piglets were bothered, no they didn’t seem to give a fig, just like children remarked the wife Smile The ‘old hand’ Jamie Lea, now on probably her tenth or twelfth was glad to see the back of them ‘hanging off her’ but poor Ellie was loathe to be parted from her eight little ‘babies’ Sad smile We managed to get her out of the field no bother but she refused point blank to be led away into a field at the other end of the croft despite bribery with bread, bananas, nectarines and carrots. In the end we just left her marching up and down the line of the nearest fence to her litter, the piglets rapidly loosing interest in mum when we opened the gate that separated the two groups of piglets and let them ‘get to know each other’. Sadly, by now it was well dark and photographs were out of the question.

Shame because it was hilarious to watch the eight ‘tammies’, eleven ‘spotties’ and Molly charging about chasing each other, stealing food and generally larking about in the mud. Of course there was the usual testosterone fuelled scarps between the more aggressive types but they soon sorted each other out and eventually went to their own beds after an hour or so.

Back to Port Glasgow


Anyway, rewind back to Tuesday and my visit to the MV Hallaig at Fergusons.


This is looking forward, or at least I think it is Smile kinda difficult to tell at this stage, but the square plate in the upper deck is for lifting the ‘Voith unit’ in and out. The picture is taken from the top of the gangway and I’m pretty sure it’s the starboard side look towards the bow as the mess room windows are facing the same way.



This will be the inside of the crews area which will include a shower and small office, it’s the ‘box’ below the wheelhouse.


This is from the forward end looking aft,


and this one from the massive, (or at least massive compared to the Loch Striven’s) car deck.



The accommodation, which I believe is going to be fitted out to a very high standard with semi reclining seats, not that there’s much time for a sleep on our twenty minute crossing Smile


Down below in the ‘forward propulsion room’ we have one of the ‘Voith Schneider’ propeller units, similar to the Loch Striven’s but larger and with five blades instead of four.

VSP Types and Dimensions

Probably somewhere between the two Smile



Hydraulic power pack being plumbed in.



Unlike the Loch Striven, the Hallaig will have two engine rooms separated by this ‘electro hydraulic’ watertight sliding door.


The main switchboard in position and boxed in with wood for protection during the fitting out.


Two of the three large Volvo diesel generators, again boxed in for protection during the build.

Good for another year

Today it was off for the MOT, which is basically the whole day really despite a 10:30 appointment at S Morrison’s in Portree. Ten thirty in Portree means the 8:55 ferry so leaving Arnish at 8:10 to allow time for dodging the potholes Sad smile Finished and passed by 11:30 and it’s 14:00 by the time we’re back at Arnish, unload the car and have a cup of tea and its 15:00 with darkness just two hours away Sad smile 


Still, I did manage to take a diversion via Inverarish to view progress on the new ‘Heritage Centre’


that seems to be progressing nicely.

After doing all the aforementioned i set about what should have been a simple task of fixing an oil leak from the oil pressure gauge sender unit area of the Land Rover. First of all it could not be tightened due to it fouling the oil cooler outlet, with that removed and me duly covered in black oil I put a spanner on it, only to have it snap off in my hands Sad smile

Never being one to panic in such a situation ( I am very adept at removing broken studs ) as I’ve had such things happen on many occasions, I looked for my ‘EASY OUTS’.


They’re like a tapered tap with a left hand twist, you just drill a hole in your broken stud and twist it in with a wrench. Fortunately my broken stud already had a hole in and was soft brass so it came out very easily.

015 016

That’s the tool going into the broken bit just by that ring terminal.


That’s the broken bit on the end of the ‘Easy out’, I just removed the ‘Y’ piece and refitted the oil light switch without the oil gauge sender until i could get a new one.

By now it was pitch dark, Ellie was hungry and I managed to coax her into the right field Smile



  1. Hi Paul
    MV Hallaig – really exciting! When is she due to start service? Love the pig stories, too.
    Hope the LR is well now.

    Comment by Sue — January 17, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

    • Morning Sue, glad you like it, wifey and I just polished off a fine fruity Argentine Malbec last night and toasted your health 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 18, 2013 @ 9:18 am

  2. Hi Paul
    Just wanted to say thanks for posting photos of the progress on the meal mill. Funnily enough I was going to ask you how it was doing on your last post :-). Any idea if the ‘wheel’ is being remade?

    Best regards

    Comment by Derek — January 17, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

    • Morning Derek, the progress on the mill quite stunned me. I’ve been away so long and nowadays seldom pass the mill, will have to remedy that now of course 🙂 Pretty sure that the wheel is being refurbished.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 18, 2013 @ 9:19 am

  3. Hi Paul,

    I see Calum’s road made the ‘nationals’:

    Comment by Roy Bun — January 17, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

    • Cheers Roy and welcome aboard, in all honesty the actual ‘Calum’s road’ bit is probably one of the better stretches, it’s actually getting there that wrecks your car 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 18, 2013 @ 9:21 am

  4. Paul, I am looking for the post you put on a while ago when you had a problem resetting something on the car and a blog reader sent you instructions which worked. Do you remember which post they are in? I can’t find it. Can only vaguely remember what it was about and it may not be relevant but my daughter’s Citroen has immobilised itself and is giving her different error messages when she tries again after a gap to start it. She will get the AA tomorrow but if you get this before she is able to call them and it is relevant (may of course have been about a different problem!) I’d be grateful! Will check if you were able to reply in the morning. Thanks, May

    Comment by may cruickshank — January 18, 2013 @ 12:31 am

    • Good morning May, the post you seek is called ‘The late turkey’ but I’m afraid it was for a different problem. However if you daughter ‘Googles’ her problem she may come up with a simple solution.

      Good luck, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 18, 2013 @ 9:24 am

      • yep, I see different car, different problem!! Thanks for taking time to give me the link during your piglet-weaning programme, though. Morag tried the car again today without success and of course when the AA man tried it started no bother, with no warning messages any more! She did look up google which suggests it might be the key fob wearing out so she is going to get that checked – too cold (today and yesterday were anyway) to be stuck with two young children when you least expect it!

        Comment by may cruickshank — January 18, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

  5. That is so strange ,before i read your blog just doing some research on these easy outs ,now thats sorted i will order some,removing parts of old saab lots of bolts and studs stuck

    Comment by phill — January 18, 2013 @ 12:55 am

    • Morning Phill, I’ve had those ‘easy outs’ for a good thirty years and they’ve pulled me out of many a hole. One word of caution though, buy quality ones, for if one breaks in your stud you will struggle to drill it out.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 18, 2013 @ 9:26 am

  6. I think you need a Landcruser bud!!! or a Hi Lux?

    Comment by v8mbo — January 18, 2013 @ 3:30 am

    • Morning Robin,

      I think you need a Landcruser bud!!! or a Hi Lux? 😦

      After driving Lachie’s Ranger up and down Calum’s road last week I’m beging to agree with you 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 18, 2013 @ 9:30 am

  7. Can’t understand why anyone would want to sit in the reclining seats in the lounge on the ferry journey, much better to be up on deck admiring the scenery, unless the weather is terrible! The mill has certainly come on since I was on the island in August. Any snow on the island, Paul? we have 10cm+ down here in the sowf, that’s a lot for us!

    Comment by Frances — January 18, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    • It’s always good to take in the air on a crossing, even if it is only briefly if it is blowing a hoolie. 😉
      I take it that the deck outside the crew box will be crew only so that just leaves part of the side available for passengers as on the good ship Striven and her sisters, just about where the bloke in the white boiler-suit is in the pic.

      Comment by Phil Cook — January 18, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

      • Hi Phil, I take it that the deck outside the crew box will be crew only no there’s seating up there on one half Phil with just two gates to prevent passenger access to the bridge and mess.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 18, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

    • Beautiful day here Frances with not even a hint of snow Can’t understand why anyone would want to sit in the reclining seats in the lounge on the ferry journey, spend some time here in January and February and you’ll soon see why 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 18, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

  8. If the ship were run like the Caledonian sleeper train, it could charge one fare for standing on the deck, a higher fare for reclining in the seats, and First Class would mean you also get a warm towel over your eyes and that would be your “private cabin” ! And if one’s spouse sat on your lap in the recliner, there would be the same amount of room!

    Comment by drgeo — January 18, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

  9. Them easy outs are in good nick for there age, never had to much success with them myself snapped more of them in than I would like to remember.should of spent a bit more money on them.

    Comment by MW — January 18, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

  10. Great to see the progress on the MV Hallaig and to hear how the piglets are coming on. Good set of easy-outs! MY granddad used to say a pound extra on a good tool would save a hundred on a repair, never proved him wrong yet, just wish my old man would give me some of granddad’s excellent tool kit, some pre-war ones that look like they just came from a showroom. Must drop some more hints next time we are visiting him, my sister says he has started downsizing the stuff in the garage and sheds. Make a change from reel to reel machine’s tapes and cassette’s. 😉
    Sorry to have missed your blog the last week or so, been rather ill again as has Joan, afraid we both have a viral flu which is not good at all. Joan was so bad she was in hospital for a week and is back on steroids and is to get a nebuliser(sp) for the bronchitis which was what made it worse for her. Great to be able to catch up again at last.
    Keep safe and warm my friend and our love to the family, Graham

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — January 24, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

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