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


  1. That’s one fine ship you have there Paul I bet the whole of Raasay will be well chuffed when sailings start. Whats going to happen to the L.S will she be redeployed or is she going to be laid up for scrap (I hope not) lol

    Comment by jay mitchell — August 10, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

    • Aye Jay, it’s ‘one fine ship’ indeed and you could fit the whole of Raasay on it, with their cars probably 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 11, 2013 @ 7:35 am

  2. that looks yummy, I’ve just copied the recipe and hope to make it tomorrow … when will the Hallaig be in service to Raasay, do you know yet?

    Comment by cazinatutu — August 10, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

    • It was indeed yummy Caz, I’ve not made it for years but shall do so more often now.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 11, 2013 @ 7:34 am

  3. Hallaig looks just tremendous Paul and isn’t she BIG!! The technology onboard looks just a quantum leap forward than Dunstan’s ever put into a vessel. I’m sure you’re very excited and straining at the bit to put her into action!

    Good luck


    Comment by Mark James — August 10, 2013 @ 8:30 pm

    • Morning Mark, yup, there sure is a lot to ‘take onboard’

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 11, 2013 @ 7:34 am

  4. Woohaa.. liking the new batteries. ….me want. ..

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — August 10, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

    • Woohaa.. liking the new batteries. ….me want. ..

      Me too Steve 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 11, 2013 @ 7:32 am

  5. Hi Paul

    Looking at the size of the Hallaig I wonder how she will do tied up at the pier on a high tide! You might need a rope ladder 🙂

    Comment by Derek — August 10, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

    • Looking at the size of the Hallaig I wonder how she will do tied up at the pier on a high tide! You might need a rope ladder

      This is definitely an ‘issue’ Derek.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 11, 2013 @ 7:06 am

  6. Who will be in charge of making all passengers wipe their feet prior to stepping aboard?

    Comment by drgeo — August 10, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

  7. Hi Paul,
    Living in Silicon Valley, I have to ask: What’s the weekly commute like for the Man from Gourock? I think he stays in a camper on Raasay on his week on, right? I can see why he would be willing to put up with the drive, his flat and the views look great!

    Comment by Morgan — August 11, 2013 @ 3:01 am

    • Morning Morgan, my mate is in ‘the pool’ so here there and everywhere covering for holidays and sickness.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 11, 2013 @ 7:05 am

  8. Paul,
    That is a big ship but handsome but the monkey island view is reserved for crew :-).
    I take it the batteries are far too expensive to have in a private home? ? ?
    Good too see the recipes making a reappearance.


    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — August 11, 2013 @ 5:54 am

  9. If this ship is to have a motto could it be – “Ever ready” :-).Looks great.

    Comment by Andy — August 11, 2013 @ 10:11 am

  10. Hi paul
    Thanks for update on ferry it looks brilliant cant wait for it to arrive how long will we have to wait for her to come home?.
    I’ll come over for her arrival keep us posted ! ! are you painting all the time on your week on her,?

    Comment by Catherine Ann Macleod — August 12, 2013 @ 8:50 am

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