We are sorry to report to members of the Carrick Castle Boat Club, that Jack Lavender who lived in Carrick Castle died in the early hours of Sunday 26th February 2012.

Jack’s funeral was announced here and was held at 12.30 on Monday 5th March 2012 at the Lochgoilhead Church where over 100 people attended.

Jack was the club’s Mooring Officer for 8 years from 1995 to 2003.

On 10th March 2006 after the club’s AGM, Jack Lavendar showed members a video on a large screen of ‘Viking’ on her last voyage from Carrick Castle to Kip. He gave a very informative talk throughout the video of the motor launch’s history and more… Jack was thanked for coming back to the club and giving an insight of the earlier history of boating in Carrick Castle.

If you wish to improve your nautical skills the following RYA courses are available locally in Garelochhead: –

  • Essential Navigation & Seamanship
  • Day Skipper
  • Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore
  • Evening Classes
  • Intensive Courses
  • Diesel Engine
  • Marine Radio
  • First Aid

Central Scotland Sea School, The Lighthouse, 165 Feorlin Way, Garelochhead, Helensburgh, G84 0EB

Tel: 01436 811006 E-mail: principal@scotlands-sailing-school.org.uk Web: www.scotlands-sailing-school.org.uk

Other training establishments in Scotland are at Biggar, Inverkeithing, Inverness, Tobermory and Kirkwall.

Advice on buying new seacocks and keeping them in good working order through regular maintenance.

The RYA strongly recommends that, when buying replacement sea-cocks and through-hull fittings, you only buy fittings that comply with ISO 9093-1.

The difficulty is that many of the less expensive sea-cocks and through-hull fittings currently available in chandleries and over the internet are not built to this standard. So many yachts in which the sea-cocks and through-hull fittings have been replaced may now be fitted with sub-standard fittings.

International standard

The international standard specified in the Recreational Craft Directive for metallic sea-cocks and other through-hull fittings is ISO 9093-1:1998.

This requires sea-cocks and other through-hull fittings to be made of a material that does not display any defect within five years of service that would impair its watertight integrity.

This does not mean that components need only have a service life of five years but rather that components must function for at least five years without displaying any defect.

As far as the RYA is aware, since this standard was introduced in the late 1990s there has been no evidence of widespread failures of sea-cocks and through-hull fittings that met this standard.

Regular maintenance is key

Hidden deep in the murky depths of the bilge, often covered by floorboards seacocks often go unnoticed from year to year.

They tirelessly let water in and out of the boat, whilst being a first line defence should a pipe fail. Its main function to close the hole in the hull when required or when there’s a leak.

If they fail they could allow your boat to sink. On a day to day basis, they also feed the engine with cooling water. Should the engine overheat, often the engine seacock requires closing to clean the strainer and this cannot be done if the seacock is seized.

Neglect or seacock abuse, often finds them seized up and unable to do their ‘turn’, when required.

Poor Maintenance on the increase

When inspecting boats or running some own boat tuition, I’m finding more and more seized seacocks. Quite often the boats are under five years old and have so called ‘maintenance free’ seacocks. Worryingly, when trying to move the seacock handle either the handle starts bending or the valve itself is in danger of breaking or moving the skin-fitting within the hull.

Maintaining seacocks

There are many types of seacock; some require servicing annually whilst others claim to be maintenance free. Whatever the type, including those that are maintenance free, they all need to be exercised regularly so that they do not corrode or foul up in the open or closed position.

Seacock safety

Hoses attached to seacocks and skin fittings should be double clipped so that they are secure. Double clipping increases the surface area of the clipped pipe so there is less chance of the pipe coming off.

Seacocks should be made out of materials resistant to seawater corrosion including bronze, DZR (Dezincification Resistant Brass) or fibre reinforced nylon.

Ideally the handle should operate through 90?, so that it is easy to identify when a seacock is open or shut.


Should a seacock fail, a softwood bung can be placed in the hole. Bungs should be taped or tied to the seacock or pipe so they are readily available in an emergency.


If you have different crew sailing on your boat, construct a plan identifying where the holes are in the boat. Then, in the event of water suddenly coming in, it will be easier for anyone to check the seacocks. Consider labelling seacocks in a compartment, so that their use is readily apparent.

Something for the weekend…?

So this weekend I implore you, dig deep into your lockers, search them out and stop the abuse; turn them on and off a few times and set them free. They’ll love you for it.

Simon Jinks – RYA Yachtmaster Instructor at SeaRegs Training and Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager

If you take a boat up the river Clyde you will see the Bell Monument on the north bank next to the ruined Dunglass Castle just before and to the west of Bowling Harbour, the entrance to the Forth & Clyde Canal.
Looking upstream on the left bank, an obelisk erected in 1838, is the Monument to Henry Bell who designed the paddle-steamer Comet. Launched at Port Glasgow in 1812, it provided the first regular steamship service on the Clyde.

Henry Bell (1767-1830) and his pioneering steamship, Comet, paved the way for the Clyde’s place as a centre of shipbuilding and marine engineering though his own business ventures mostly ended disastrously.

Engineer Henry Bell

A contemporary said of Henry Bell, ‘His mind was a chaos of extraordinary projects, the most of which, from his want of accurate scientific calculation, he never could carry into practice.’ He was certainly something of a visionary and a jack of all trades; he spent time as a stone mason, millwright, carpenter, ship modeller and engineer, latterly working in Glasgow. He became fascinated by the then experimental technology and potential of steam propelled ships. He corresponded with and may have assisted the American steamship pioneer Robert Fulton who, in 1807, introduced a steamboat service in New York. However, Bell failed to persuade the Admiralty to take any interest in his ideas about steam propulsion. While continuing to experiment and speculate, he and his wife moved in 1807 to Helensburgh where they ran an inn and superintended the public baths.

In 1811, Bell commissioned a Port Glasgow shipbuilder to build a 30-ton wooden paddle steamer with a 3hp engine. He named her Comet after a spectacular comet that had appeared the previous year. In August 1812, after a trial voyage from Port Glasgow to the Broomielaw and then back down to Greenock, during which the boat made 5 knots against a headwind and dramatically cut the usual journey time, Bell inaugurated a regular passenger service between Glasgow, Greenock and Helensburgh. No longer did ferries need be so dependent upon wind and tide. This was the first commercial steam passenger service in Europe.

Lengthened and improved, the Comet then ran a service to Oban and Fort William via the Crinan Canal, but in 1820 she was shipwrecked off Oban. A successor Comet sank after a collision with considerable loss of life. Bell’s pioneering venture was soon superseded technically and eclipsed by rivals but he had shown the way.

Bell was not a successful businessman and ended his days in poverty, dependent upon a public subscription on his behalf, supported by Thomas Telford among others, and an annual stipend from the trustees of the Clyde Navigation. The Monument was erected in 1838 on the initiative of James Lumsden, later Lord Provost of Glasgow, who had been on the Comet’s maiden voyage. It stands in the grounds of Dunglass Castle (ruin). A further obelisk monument was erected on the seafront at Helensburgh in 1872.

The replica of PS Comet in Prt Glasgow town centre shows the elongated paddle boxes over the two paddle wheels on each side.

A full size replica of the Comet, constructed for 150th anniversary in 1962 by shipyard apprentices, is installed at Port Glasgow. The original engine was salvaged and is now in the Science Museum, London. The salvaged engine from the second, ill-fated Comet is now on display at the new Riverside Museum in Glasgow.

There is another obelisk in memory of Henry Bell in Helensburgh where he died in 1830.

Spring news from the CMPP
Notes from the Team

In case you missed the news from our last newsletter, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform has signed the Ministerial Direction which delegates the functions of regional marine planning for the Clyde Marine Region to the CMPP and its 11 public authority members. Read the full story for more information on the CMPP news page.

We’ve mentioned the MSP challenge in our newsletters before, and in May we’ll be running a series of events where you can experience the game first hand and have a go at being a marine planner. Events will be run on the 23rd and 24th May in Lochgilphead, Arrochar and Greenock. If you are interested in attending please register via the following links:

In other news
Marine Scotland has recently published the first set of policy guidelines for commercial seaweed cultivation. This guidance provides clarity on where seaweed may be grown and what kind of development will be approved. More information on this is available from Marine Scotland.

The Celtic Seas Partnership, a transboundary four year project aimed at developing a collaborative and innovative approach to marine management has now ended. However, the wealth of materials and outputs from the project are available to view on their website, including interviews with stakeholders and an exploration of what the future could look like in the Celtic seas. Take a look at all the resources here.

Forthcoming events
Get your glad rags and dancing shoes on with the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine for their event on the 20th May – ‘Style at Sea: A night of glamour, cocktails and dance’. The night will be a 1930s themed event with big band swing and jazz to mark this year’s Festival of Museums. More details are available here.

The second SeaScotland conference will be taking place on the 21st June in Dundee. This event will be focussed on the implications of constitutional change on environmental policy in the marine area. The programme can be viewed here.

Also in June, Glasgow will be hosting the European Climate Change Adaptation conference from the 5th – 9thof the month. The CMPP will be presenting a poster on sea-level rise in the Clyde Marine Region.

The Field Studies Council, Millport are running a great range of courses from identifying species to marine mammal and bird surveys. See the full list of courses and book your place here.

Keeping you posted
Recent changes have taken place to the management of Crown Estate resources in Scotland. From the start of April this year, Scottish ministers have new control over Crown Estate owned property which includes most of the seabed and parts of the foreshore. Read the full storyhere.
What are we reading?
We’ve been reading the recent edition of the Nurdle Hunt newsletterThis issue has results from the Great Winter Nurdle Hunt, which took place nationally. More than 10 surveys took place in the Clyde Marine Region and the information gathered will feed into the Governments’ consultations on microplastics.
Get in touch
Sinead on 0141 951 0821
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A Community First Responder is a member of the public who volunteers to help their community by responding to medical emergencies ehile the ambulance is ob its way.

If you wanted to become a Community First Responder you would be trained in a wide range of emergency skills, and use specialised equipment such as automatic external defibrillators and oxygen therapy. You would then be able to provide an early intervention in situations such as heart or asthma attack before the professional ambulance crew arrives. This improves patient survival and recovery.

To find out more you are welcom to attend an informal meeting at 7:30 pm on 6th March at Littlewood, Carrick Castle. Tel 0130 703733 (Jean Shephard)

Jeremy Game, the local co-ordinator, will be at the meeting to explan the role of first responders and to answer any questions.

If you are unable to attend, but are interested to find out more, please contact Jeremy:-

jemgame1@aol.com | Tel: 01301 703510 | Mobile 07876 794937

Or visit the website:- http://www.scottishambulance.com/YourCommunity/responders.aspx

This year we had a cruise in company from Carrick Castle to Ardentinny and back again after a barbecue on the beach. There was one yacht, one open boat, one rib and one day sailer travelling at between 5 & 6 knots together. Whilst there were only six members who made it to the muster, one other cruiser made it at the end and went away again and three other expected boats didn’t arrive. We suspected it may have been because of a shower of rain that was light in Ardentinny but may have been heavier in Carrick Castle. It was a fun journey in company with four boats travelling broardside in line close together. We had a good time and hope more will join in at the next muster in 2018.

The Carrick Castle Boat Club’s muster was held on Sunday 14th August 2016 at 12 noon at Swine’s Hole, Carrick Castle with a barbecue on the beach.

Eleven people attended with a variety of boats – Yacht, speed boat, rib, sailing day boat, tenders and a kayak. Two photos below.

We had good fine weather, it was warm but no sun and no rain!