Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Celebration of Glenachulish

On 27th July we held a party at the Glenelg slipway to celebrate the Glenachulish's return to her original livery and the restoration of the slipway on the mainland side.
Cameron of Lochiel, Lord Lieutenant of Inverness was our special guest. His father was owner of the Ballachulish Ferry Company who commissioned Glenachulish in 1968 to work at the Ballachulish crossing before the bridge was built there.

It was a cracking day and enjoyed by those who came down to support it. We were joined by the children of Glenelg Primary School who have produced a booklet full of stories they have collected about the ferry. Look out for it on sale in the Ferry Lighthouse soon.
A big thank you to the skipper and crew for their professional handling of the eager crowd and to Cameron of Lochiel for his generous tribute:
It was a huge pleasure to come to Glenelg yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. You have a wonderful team and the ferry ( which looked very "Cameron" ! ) is obviously a huge success. I met lots of lovely people and couldn't have had a more interesting or happy day. 
We had a good trip back and waved to Victor as we left !
I hope we meet again and meanwhile thank you for your warm and kind welcome (and for two delicious hamburgers).
Best wishes

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Hi Folks
We are readying ourselves for the coming season and the boat is undergoing some extensive refurbishment courtesy of Q Banting, skipper/engineer who is hard at it in Kishorn as we speak. The distinctive turntable has been removed for the first time in the vessel's history and was in remarkably good condition. It has been sandblasted and repainted and looks splendid!Our intended start date for service is 10th April - which may be subject to other works in and around the Glenelg slipway. I shall of course, keep you informed closer to the date. Fingers crossed.
Excitingly, Glenachulish will look very different this season with a return to her original livery. A photo opportunity if ever there was one...
Skipper Donovan was named as an ambassador for tourism in Scotland at a recent Visit Scotland event in Inverness hosted by Fergus Ewing and has been contacted by The One Show with a view to an appearance this summer! Keep watching! 
We have some interesting events/happenings planned for this season also - details nearer the time.


A reminder to send your entries in for the merchandise competition (free car and up to four passengers return travel on the ferry) to the facebook page, or to me at this address - Remember that you can follow the blog on the website, the ferry facebook page and twitter too - all details below.

We look forward to welcoming many of you aboard in the coming season.

Monday, 20 January 2014

The Glenachulish Preservation Trust are holding a Charity Auction at the Caledonia Club in London on the 3rd April this year. The charity exists to preserve our wonderful vessel and ensure her continuation.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Skipper-Engineer's report and some re-fit pics!

Skipper - Engineer's End of Season Report
2013 was a good season for the Isle of Skye Ferry Company and the GLENACHULISH, with her rebuilt Kelvin T6 engine just purred along. In fact the fuel consumption was down by 6 litres per day over previous years which represents nearly £1000 saving in fuel costs over the season.
So for those of you who like your stats. We sailed for 7 months/30 weeks/210 days;  with only 7 days lost to weather,. 12,732 litres of fuel, 28 litres of engine oil, 10.5 litres of gearbox oil and 62.75 litres of stern-tube luboil. Oh, and approximately 2000 assorted biscuits, 15 Kgs of cake and untold quantities of ‘stickies’ mostly from our extraordinarily generous passengers who display a wonderful disregard for the crews’ waistlines!
At the end of the season we took the GLENACHULISH round to Kishorn for her Winter refit; on the way we loaded about 7 tons of old greenheart pier timbers kindly released to us by the Community Council which are going to be sawn up for baulks that the ferry, once out of the water, can rest on. The major restoration project this Winter is the turntable and the first challenge is how/will it come off! Consulting the previous skippers only confirmed that this has never been done in the vessel’s lifetime and no-one is exactly sure how it’s attached! In the end we took the ramps off, welded lifting eyes to the frame, slung it up to a nice big crane and it came off the central press-fit (!) bearing with a ‘pop’. As I write this the 12 trunnion wheels are all off and remarkably only 2 of them need new bearings – all that weekly greasing has paid off lads! About 6 of the main frame sections have been cropped out and renewed and the frame is back out of the shed being blasted to bare metal for painting. New gates, new damper rods and covers all in the new paint scheme and it’ll be good as new. Meanwhile, most of the baulks are cut and the Ferry will come off the trolley and onto them in January. Then, as the weather allows, I will be surveying the main deck, the water-tight bulkheads and the keel section for refurbishment as necessary. If the funding allows, we might replace the fendering arrangements for the Starboard side. But in any case there’s loads of maintenance and painting to be done. The time will race by and before I know it, it’ll be Easter and the 2014 will be upon us. So I’d better stop scribbling and get on with it. Hope you enjoy the pictures and I’ll bring you all up to date again early in 2014 – Bliadhna mhath Ur!
Seven tons of greenheart cargo!

Cutting up greenheart blocks.

Loading baulks at Glenelg.

The turntable ready for sandblasting.

The turntable wheels are off!

And they're not short of a spot or two of grease!!!

Q Banting                                                                              “Master and Commander”
Skipper/Engineer to MV GLENACHULISH                              “Fitheach dubh loch Carrann”

Isle of Skye Ferry Community Interest Company