Life at the end of the road

August 10, 2013

It is very BIG !!!

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:28 pm

This is all very civilized and a million miles away from the croft, but here I am feeling quite contented in a town centre !!! That has to be a first for me who usually hates the ‘hustle and bustle’ of city life. However sat here with an almost frozen beer watching the world go by  after a leisurely day aboard the Hallaig and Lochinvar  is quite relaxing.

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The view is lovely across the Clyde ‘Tail o’ the Bank’ to Kilcreggan and the mouth of Loch Long

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and I can feel my year’s ordeal coming to an end. Just four days aboard our new hybrid ferry has put a whole new perspective on things, and watching it all ‘come together’ during its final completion is an education to say the least

After ten years aboard the MV Loch Striven and four days on the Hallaig, plus all my hours pouring over the plans, it wasn’t until last night that I realized just how large she is. I was just browsing the with it’s excellent pictures of the Hallaig on her sea trials when I came across this gem taken by Kenny.

Riddon and Hallaig

Here she is alongside the MV Loch Riddon at Cumbrae slip on Wednesday doing ‘ramp trials’ and just look at the size of her. The wheelhouse on Hallaig is higher than the Striven’s sister ships mast!!!

Riddon and Hallaig 2

Here’s another, that sure is a ‘big lump of a boat’ Smile I can just see the Highland Council rubbing their hands now at the extra revenue. They’ve been charging an extortionate £300 a night for the Striven for years and want to put it up something like 50%. As the Striven is 30m long I guess they charge £10 a metre so the Hallaig is likely to come in at the new rate around £600 a night!!! That is not including the £50 they charge every time the ramp lands on the slipway or the pier dues they charge on every ticket, wonder if they’ll spend any more money on the roads now Smile


Anyway, I headed into Ferguson’s this morning to join the rest of the crew and the many yard workers painting and fitting insulation to our new boat.


I also went over to Lochinvar with one of the yard workers who was giving me a lesson on the remotely operated bilge valves and their switches.


As you can see, she too is progressing nicely with all the major machinery in place.

Back on my own ship I had a lesson in how to operate the rescue boat davit, being as I was unable to read the instructions which were in Turkish Smile


Hope this davit is more reliable than my Turkish shotgun Smile No seriously, it’s a fine looking davit and will go well with the Polish ramps, Finnish batteries, Swedish engines and German propellers. I just hope that the steel is not from China Smile



I just love the batteries, all 216 of them, 108 in each battery compartment,

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rated at 3.5kwh each that’s over 700kwh, not huge in ship terms but our house only uses 3.5kwh per day!!! So four of those wired up in series would keep us going for four days with no wind, sun or hydro Smile

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That’s the banks 100% charged and reading 723v!!! The 33 x 12v cells that power the emergency ‘transitional lighting’ however are a mere 400v Smile


I know, I know, you’re getting very bored with batteries, but you’ll have to forgive me, I get quite excited by them, living as I do many miles from the nearest electricity supply.


More boats


One thing about living and working near here is that you see plenty of ‘ships go by’, this being the Virtsu a 3000t cargo ship that passed by on Thursday and is now in the English Channel.



The dredger Admiral Day on the other hand headed up the Clyde this afternoon and has now turned off her AIS Sad smile


That old favourite the Waverley, the last sea going and passenger carrying paddle steamer in the world cruised quietly by during the early afternoon.


You really do get a fine view from the ‘monkey island’ on the Hallaig Smile


and it will be far easier to change the bulbs on the navigation lights thanks to that cage around the ladder. I used to tremble somewhat doing it on the Striven, despite the safety harness Smile

Anyway, it’s 20:15 now and I’d better think about getting those anchovies and red peppers in the oven

 Roasted peppers with tomatoes & anchovies

Just a quickie:-)

Filed under: daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:24 am

Seven in the morning here in Sunny Gourock, OK, perhaps not that sunny but it looks lovely from the window of my mates flat


and I can see the Svitzer Milford off Kilcreggan. She’s just turned around and is sitting there with an air of expectancy as if she’s awaiting work.

It was a lovely day yesterday, though I didn’t see a great deal of it, buried as I was amongst the valves, pipes and schematics of the good ship Hallaig.

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That’ll be part of the ‘Tyco Aqua Mist’ system on the left. It’s kind of like a sprinkler system but using fine droplets under pressure rather than just a spray. This has the great advantage of suppressing the fire quickly, cooling it rapidly and using a lot less water. There’s also a nitrogen charged bank of cylinder that can provide the pressure in case of pump or power failure. on the right are the two fresh water pumps and pressure cylinders for the fresh water system, behind them on the bulkhead a charcoal and UV filter, who knows, perhaps the Hallaig may now see the return of the much missed and very profitable drinks vending machine ??? The loss of the Striven’s, which was a result of lunatic EU regulations was a sad blow to customers and crew alike.


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Lovely pillar drill, proper vice, grinder and decent work bench Smile


Sewage treatment plant.


Watertight door between the two engine rooms and on the right one of the six? Novec cylinders a far more environmentally safe and efficient medium for fire fire suppression  medium than CO2 or Halon.

Anyway, that’s it, I’m off to Ferguson’s Smile

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