Castle Moil

/Castle Moil
Castle Moil2018-11-16T15:08:43+00:00
Castle Moil St Peters Basin

Castle Moil BRD360,

was built for Dan Reid and Billy Finlayson in Kyleaken. She had a Glen Ifler 120hp engine and was fifty-five feet long. She was one of the first if not the first boat built by Fairlie 1946-47. Unusually she had a step deck and a forward winch powered by a separate small Kelvin engine. She neighboured Misty Isle and Arctic Star at the ring net.

This photograph is displayed courtesy of the Kyleakin History website: gallery page.

Kyleakin History website

At some point, the engine was changed to a Kelvin T120, and later possibly a Gardiner. She was sold in 1965 when she moved to Bridlington and her name possibly changed to Catherine.

She returned to the west coast of Scotland and during the early 1980s was on Barra registered as FD40 and named Sweet Caroline where she was used to dive for scallops.

In Nov/Dec 1987 she was bought by Neil and Lucinda Hopkinson and moved to Renfrew for some initial caulking and anti-fouling, then to Bowling on the Forth-Clyde canal. At this time Neil and Lucinda lived on board while continuing with improvements. During renovations of her wheelhouse, Neil and Linda found that she still had the nameCastle Moilon the wheelhouse roof, it had been filled in and painted over. Sweet Caroline visited Carradale where the Hopkinsons were invited to lunch with a couple of retired fishermen who used to fish with her, they spent a pleasant time listening to recounted fishing stories. In 1991 Sweet Caroline left bowling and went to the Crinan Canal still under the ownership of the Hopkinsons.

In 1992 she was sold to a local man named Norman Beaton who continued to live on her and who sold her on again sometime in the late 1990s when it is believed that she left under her own steam. During this period it is also believed that she suffered a cracked block (Gardner 6LX).

Her trail runs dry her but at some point, she found her way to her current location in Newcastle. After alternating between floating and sinking she finally opted for the latter, St. Peters Marina.

It was reported in the Glasgow Herald under the heading FLEET IN SHELTER on December 20th 1957 that:


Twelve herring boats waiting to enter Gairloch harbour were unable to tie up at the jetty for fear of being smashed against it. For most of the day the fleet had to stand off and shelter in Shieldaig near by. During lulls, however, single boats unloaded their catches. By the time darkness fell the force of the wind had abated, the stormy sea had begun to subside, most of the catch was discharged. Two ring net boats, the Enterprise with 40 crans on board and the Castle Moilwith 60 crans could not cross the Minch to Gairloch and were forced to run for shelter to Portree harbour.


Glasgow Herald article.


Neil Hopkinson bumped into a man who said he was the son of the original builder at Fairlie and who was working as a crane driver in one of the Clyde boat yards. Whilst in conversation this man said he remembered his father burning all of the paperwork and drawings of the boats built at that time when the yard closed.

Thanks to Neil and Lucinda Hopkinson for their help in updating the information on this page Jan 2017.

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Research for this page was undertaken by Discovering Heritage