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Old 07 May 2011, 15:01   #1
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Redbay 850 goes to Easdale Rib Rendezvous

This time it was all Tony Hill's fault. He started it. Of course, the boss has to accept some of the blame as he DID say he needed a few Test Monkeys to put some hours up on the new 315hp Redbay 850 Prototype.

And the Test Monkeys - well, they were my fault

I gathered them at Redbay around noon on the Friday and after the Obligatory Lunch in Harry's, we four loaded the 850 (by ladder - big girl) with camping kit, fuel (400L in the main, 50L on deck) and excessive personal kit. There was much tutting by Tom. Scotland he said, not Antarctica....
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Old 07 May 2011, 15:03   #2
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1500 Departed and made the run over to the Mull of Kintyre in poor enough conditions, a F4 Easterly on the beam. This lumpy stuff held up until we made Gigha at around 1700ish, running between 18-22kts. The plan was to nail a badly needed pint but Tide and Time were against us so we pushed on. A little further north, the sea settled a bit and we picked up the pace until we found ourselves at the top of Jura approaching the eastern side of the Corryvreckan. Here we stopped and called Tony to arrange berthing. Then we let the horses out on the flat calm between Scarba and Luing before making Easdale at 1900.
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Old 07 May 2011, 15:08   #3
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Overall the trip was 75Nm in a range of middling to good conditions and the RIB now had four new friends. For those that don't know her, she is a product of the same mould as the mighty 1050. She is fitted with a Yanmar 315hp inboard paired with the new Yanmar ZT350 outdrive. Redbay used a Yamaha throttle to keep folks guessing (no, it's smoother). Other than that she is the result of Spartan design - Patrol console with the bare essentials, four jockey seats and, well, nothing else. She was built to assess the hullform at 8.5m and act as a test bed for the power plant. Her tubes sit proud of the water and the (very) high bow drops to a noticable forefoot with the keel holding a deep V aft without any planing pad.
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Old 07 May 2011, 15:11   #4
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We were hailed at the entrance to Easdale Island harbour and talked in. Tony had pulled all the stops out and we were tied up to the pontoon and ferried in by his guys. Tents got pitched, pubs found and dinners eaten. Good craic with Tony for a while and the yarns were well spun by 0030 when we retired.
0700 Saturday and the village was bustling to the sounds of RIBs arriving and being launched. Tony was like a whirlygig on the water. We passed on the fuss and went for the fried brekkies at the pub. Mmmmm. We pulled out at 1000 and met Jambo and Alystra to begin the run out to Colonsay. The Easterly had stiffened a touch and was blowing a steady F4 on the stern as we made our way over worsening sea. The smaller boats were catching a fair bit of air but our lady was very composed. Colonsay was fun and everyone had a chance to chat, eat and drink. Our return trip began at 1530 and we travelled back in a big dog leg, trying in vain to get some shelter from Jura in what was now a F5, gusting 6 directly on the bow. In the end we ran the Corryvreckan (sporty) and used the calmer channel between the islands to make Easdale in more comfort. During this time, Redbay 10 had responded to a MAYDAY rescuing a couple from a sinking yacht and Islay RNLI made a catch of one of the smaller ribs. Some kayakers nearby got into trouble too and at one point the Helo was on it's way. Still, excitement gives you the thirst for beer so at 1900 we were in Easdale's Puffer Bar for a stunning barbeque, beers, chat, music and a few wee wans. Fun on the wee ferry at closing time.
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Old 07 May 2011, 15:15   #5
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Looks like a good day out. I'd be interested to hear what the final verdict will be on the Yanmar, a very basic engine compared to say a Volvo D4/6, hopefully less to go wrong
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Old 07 May 2011, 15:16   #6
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Sunday brought ideal ribbing weather and at 1100 we made our farewells, got the Queen Mary treatment from the wee ferry/tug and turned south down the inner channel east of Luing. We RV'd in Pigs Bay (The Corryvreckan) with the early RIB team who were worrying scallops and eating sarnies. More farewells and we were away at a good lick. We four had divided our time on the helm and all agreed that once you got used to the scale of her, she was a stunning sea boat. We had the benefit of all sorts of conditions and plenty of time to play in her. I had come from a 6.5m with outboards to this 8.5m diesel boat with a 3.1m beam so this was a lot of RIB for me. I found that a bit of confidence was needed at close quarters but she responded well to a bit of power and a firm hand. I was JUST getting the hang of it by Sunday.
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Old 07 May 2011, 15:25   #7
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But all good things must come to an end and 18Nm down the Jura coast, our luck broke and the outdrive lay down with a currently undiagnosed problem. We made Craighouse under our own reduced steam and cried like wains on our mobiles to Tom. "We wanna go home!" Thirty minutes later the bould Tom's 11m Corryvreckan scattered the chickens as she roared into the bay, deploying all her 550 horsies to good effect. I think he was following us (I would have). Better still, he had RIBnet's very own Andy Gee on board, a man handy enough with engines to be able to tell us that we would be flying home. Now I don't like planes, so Tom hatched a plan involving the extended Team Redbay, a pickup truck, a car ferry, a minibus and the most excellent Nichol and his 11m Redbay Passenger Ferry. Home for us boys after all. Nichol is great craic and we have inducted him to our Tribe. Others may know him as Nichol McKinnon, but to us he will forever be "Dances with Supertankers". When we arrived at Ballycastle, a black BMW X5 was waiting to collect us. Is we like Gangstas or what? 'Spect Gary!
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Old 07 May 2011, 15:27   #8
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The End

The figures for the trip are mostly bloated. Too many burgers, fried brekkies, pints and energy bars. Luckily the Yanmar was fairly lean, returning 1.45 L/Nm over 185Nm in all sorts so not a bad result. Better still, she's getting an upgrade to a ZT370 leg and guess what, someone will have to put even more hours on it!

Test Monkeys Needed, Serious Mariners Need Not Apply!
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Old 07 May 2011, 15:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martini View Post
I'd be interested to hear what the final verdict will be on the Yanmar, a very basic engine compared to say a Volvo D4/6, hopefully less to go wrong
My guess is that the engine will be fine - I'll be more curious about that ZT350 leg
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Old 07 May 2011, 16:26   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willk View Post
My guess is that the engine will be fine - I'll be more curious about that ZT350 leg
Might be summat to do with putting 315hp thru it when it's rated for 260 max
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