Published: 08/09/2017 13:00 - Updated: 08/09/2017 10:50

Skipper to bow out after 42 years at the helm

Written byKenny MacDonald

 

Steam Boat
Nick Walker on board the steam boat that will be offering free tours this weekend.

CAPTAIN Nick Walker is taking the helm for the last time this weekend after steering Para Handy into Inverness for two open days.

The popular puffer, fired by a coal boiler, will be in the city for this weekend docked at Muirtown canal basin.

Skipper Mr Walker said: "I have been working for 42 years and decided to call it a day. I am 70 next week and feel I am too old to keep doing this.

"It will be a sad day for me with it being the last day at the helm, so to speak, but the puffer will carry on and there will be other skippers to keep it going."

Mr Walker added: "We always get a great response at Inverness since we started doing these open days 10 years ago.

"And we would encourage as many families as possible to come along for the free tour and the chance of a coffee on Saturday and Sunday.

"The open days start at 9am and run through to 5pm."

Mr Walker, originally from London but now living in Crinan,  said of his love of sailing and the Para Handy: "I am a lifelong sailor and have been boating ever since I was a toddler.

"My wife Rachel and I bought the boat back in 1975 in Whitby. After restoring it, including putting in a new boiler, we have run it for boating holidays which have proved very popular and it can take up to 12 passengers."

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