Life at the end of the road

November 1, 2014

Coming together nicely

Filed under: daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:52 pm

Well another day over with at the dock and once more I’m pretty whacked. We usually have an easier time of it at the weekend, as all the other yards I’ve worked in shut early on Saturday, start late on Sunday and usually kick you out after lunch. Not this crowd, after my full day today I asked the Polish engineer what time tomorrow, “eight o clock, it’s always eight o clock” Sad smile Oh well, so much for the ‘lie in’ Smile 

I’m not sure when we’ll be floating again but I can’t see it being far away, the hull is painted and tomorrow should see all the ramp bushings ‘pulled and checked’. The four (easy) inner ones have all been done, measured and photographed and my two Polish friends were busy trying to draw the first of the large outer ‘serious’ ones right up to 17:00 when they ‘knocked off’. I say ‘knocked off’ but that would be finished on Hallaig for the day. After that they were working like Trojan’s in the pishing rain clearing up the dry dock. I dunno what the score is but I get the impression that Dales have just taken this dock over and are setting about making it a better working environment. All through the day there have been workers filling skips with ‘carp or treasure’, depending on your perspective. Now I know my last postings about the life I love on Raasay were all about me clearing out thirty years worth of ‘carp or treasure’ but the hoarder in me couldn’t resist, and I’ve amassed a great collection of strops, slings, harnesses and two cracking vices out of the skip Smile One for me and one for my ‘back to back’, I was just too slow to get the 3/4” airline and fittings before a crane load of proper carp jammed it in Sad smile

As well as removing scrap they have been welding new hand rails around the edge of the dock and modifying steel shipping containers into workshops and stores. Me, I spent the early part of the day finishing off the Renk couplings on the aft cardan shaft and assisting with fitting a new hydraulic ram.

007 005

Assisting sounds rather grand, actually all I was doing was operating the hydraulics for Billy and his ‘older co worker’ Smile This does seem like major work on a twelve month old ferry, but Ferguson’s sadly made ‘one or two’ major ‘cock up’s’ in her build I’m afraid. Since they have now ‘gone down the toilet’ it’s left to CMAL the vessel’s owners and Calmac the vessel’s operators to ‘pick up the tab’.Which is a bit bizarre cos at the end of the day both are owned by the taxpayer. As you may well gather I do not have a degree in business studies or economics or I would understand this dichotomy.  

All I know is that it creates major headaches in the paperwork department Smile Anyway, as I said things are progressing nicely, but after two Czech beers and ‘fish and chips’ I’ve kinda ‘lost the thread!



That’ll be the crab cakes for a starter,


the main course



and sweet, now perhaps you can understand why I’m talking rubbish. All the blood has gone from my brain and is trying to digest this lot!


Forward ramp prior to painting,



aft ramp being painted and aft anchor painted.


003 004

The ‘impressed current. copper anodes and ‘box coolers’ with a mental note to make sure the yard tighten up those nuts!!



  1. Google’s free online language translation service instantly translates text from…Maori, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, … And now you can speak to Google and hear how the translation sounds.

    Hi Guys! =

    Cześć chłopaki!

    Comment by Drgeo — November 1, 2014 @ 11:00 pm

  2. This may sound a daft question Paul but how do they paint the bit the blocks are touching on the hull. Watched a few of those documentaries on discovery channel and see ships getting refurbished but none explain if these parts get painted or just left for next time ?

    Comment by jay — November 2, 2014 @ 9:02 am

  3. Paul,
    Good to see you back blogging and enjoying some great looking food, that is a mean fish and chips.
    Glad your ‘holiday’ is going well.
    As you say after twelve months of being surrounded by salt water it is amazing its effect on the ship.
    Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — November 3, 2014 @ 9:32 am

  4. Hi Paul.
    I notice on photo 2 ( new hydraulic ) Looks like the wheel scuffer was welded on not taking into account to having to take the pin out at some time for maintenance. I wonder how many more cocky ups await you?

    Comment by Polite Scouser — November 3, 2014 @ 1:15 pm

    • Lots and lots Walter, half of the ramp hinge pins were fitted in such a way as to make the use of an extractor tool almost impossible. A little thought in fitting them would have made Tibi and Wojeck’s lives much easier.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 4, 2014 @ 6:46 am

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