Embarrassing RN submarine grounding in the Kyle of Lochalsh

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Kyle of Lochalsh

The story of high-tech Naval submarine HMS Astute getting stuck in the Kyle of Lochalsh is possibly disappointing for ┬átax payers who paid for all the technology and training that’s meant to prevent this kind of thing – and probably even worse for the officers involved.

Still, it does make me feel a little better able to forgive myself for all errors I’ve made in sailing over the years – and leads me to fervently hope all my future mistakes will have equally minor consequences. I also recommend reading Ewan Kennedy’s musings about the event – he knows the area, and argues that it is in fact well charted though it’s lucky the big, expensive boat hit gravel and not rock. My thanks to John Lockwood for tipping me off about this.

One other thought thought is this. I’ve never has occasion to look at a map of the area before, but I must say the Kyle looks like a super cruising ground for small boats.

PS – Thanks to John again, I’ve learned that the sub got damaged by the tug that pulled it free.

Can anyone help with the history of AH Comben’s Nosila, built by HB Hornby?



(Top) Nosila, (above) Nosila stern, Gadfly II in the mid-ground

This seems to be a week for folks appealing for information – but that’s just fine with us here at Intheboatshed.net Towers.

In fact, behind the scenes we seem to be making progress in discovering more of the story of Gadfly II and I hope to be able to report on that shortly. In the mean time, I’ve received the following message from Kyle Abingdon, who is working in the yard alongside with Simon Papendick.

‘Hello Gavin,

‘I too am restoring a wooden boat at the same yard as Simon. Nosila is a carvel-built Bermudan cutter, of 35 x 9.6 x 4.4ft. She was designed by AH Comben and built by HB Hornby in Wallasey in 1946.

‘The question I have is this: does anybody else have a Comben or Hornby boat – for if so I would love to see it. Apparently HB Hornby built lifeboats during the WW2, and as Nosila is very heavily built this may make sense.

‘But my reasearch on both these men and their boats has revealed only one other boat, Schalime II, which was built in 1939 and is listed in the National Historic Ships Register at http://nationalhistoricships.org.uk/index.cfm/event/getVessel/vref/1945 .

‘I enclose some pictures. The wheelhouse was added in the 1990s.



Thanks Kyle! If anyone knows any more about this boat, or indeed any Hornby boat, please let us know through the Comment link below, or email me at gmatkin@gmail.com. Also if you happen to know more about Schalime II, there’s an appeal for information on the NHSR page too.

PS Kyle reports today (Feb 4th) that he’s discovered that Wirral Council has some archive material about the Hornby company.