Flexibility for Freedom for Remote Scottish Businesses
Penny and Jamie Robinson work and live in one of the most remote places on the UK mainland. The alternative to a 30km trek through Scottish wilderness is a 6 mile sea passage from Mallaig across the mouth of Loch Nevis and north east into the Sound of Sleat. The tiny hamlet of Doune nestles in a small rocky inlet protected from the full brunt of the Atlantic by the southern peninsular of Skye. Penny and Jamie have tamed the seemingly inhospitable into an idyllic culinary retreat and whilst the sea and the land provide a sporadic yet interesting concoction of ingredients for the Cookery School all other supplies including guests must make the commute from Mallaig. To operate the business, a boat operable in all weathers was a necessary requirement.
Penny and Jamie previously ran Scottish sailing holidays aboard their classic yacht, the Eda Frandsen for many years before returning to Doune. 'After hearing good reports on the running capabilities of the Cheetah Catamaran and seeing first hand Cheetahs working along the west coast of Scotland during our time sailing aboard the classic yacht we thought there was really no better advert' said Jamie
The couple ordered a 6.9m Cheetah with a long wheelhouse and arrived on the Isle of Wight to collect it in early February. 'The criteria was challenging for a small boat' Jamie recalls 'but perfectly achievable on Cheetah's tested 6.9m hull.'
Firstly, Ruby Tuesday had to handle rough weather and she had to be stable with good load carrying capabilities. A large wheelhouse was essential to escape the brutality of the Scottish weather and finally, the Cheetah needed to be winched up onto the slipway and into the boathouse for loading and unloading of supplies and equipment.
In addition to the cookery school, Jamie is an engineer who taps into natural resources and designs off-grid power systems. His company, Alternative Engineering Solutions provides renewable and conventional power systems to other isolated estates and hamlets. To access remote shoreside properties it was essential to be able to beach the Cheetah and unload welding gear and other bulky equipment as simply as possible. Stainless steel keel bands have been fitted to each keel to protect the hulls when beaching and a side door fitted to the port side. 'We generally travel a range of 25-30 miles mostly within the Sound of Sleat and solve issues where there is no mains power. We harness the very abundant wind and (believe it or not) solar resources we have in Scotland. We also reclaim waste heat from the generators to heat water and also our poly tunnel.'
With food, shelter and energy more than taken care of, Ruby Tuesday provides transport should the Robinson's want to return to civilization and leave their idyllic croft. With twin Honda 40hp outboards, fuel consumption is kept to a minimum at cruising speeds of 17 knots.
'Ruby Tuesday' is my ticket to Freedom' comments Penny. 'We have been waiting for a boat which can operate in all weathers meaning we have flexibility to visit Mallaig as required as opposed to when the weather allows. Yesterday we went out for Sunday lunch which is an absolute first. We have got the whole operation so smooth that I am able to slip her singlehanded with the trailer for launch and recovery to and from the boatshed.'
For more information see thegalleyonthehill.co.uk
|Length ex pods
|L2.4 x W2.2m
|L2.0 x W2.2m