The project to organise a much needed slipway was started as a result of the community consultation taken at HEARD's inception. Also from requests from local boat owners and from people out with this area who were finding it impossible to safely launch a boat or recover a trailered boat in the Hillswick area irrespective of the tide state.
A meeting was arranged between the boat owners, officials of Shetland Island Council and Shetland Enterprise after which an inspection of all possible sites deemed suitable for the construction of a slip followed and the proposed location and preferred facilities were selected.
The scheme chosen by the boat owners at this point involved the design and construction of a slipway, approximately 35m in length and suitable for launching trailered boats, a minimum of 7m in length. The provision of a floating walkway with an associated safety hand rail will run parallel with the slip and it is designed to be removed from the water for winter storage.
The project includes the design and construction of a car park able to take six cars, with a turning area and will be 5.6m from the main road edge as has been stipulated by the SIC.
After a tendering process Arch Henderson and Partners were appointed as engineering consultants for the project. Meetings between their engineers and the local boat owners have taken place on site at Swarthoull and in the Hillswick Public Hall. One of the decisions taken after advice and costing was to go for a permanent pier instead of floating pontoons which would have high maintenance costs and have to taken out of the water and stored at the end of each season before being reinstated in spring. Although initially more expensive it was thought to be the best option and will be not be subject to damage by summer gales.
A site and seabed survey has been completed. Arch Henderson have now produced preliminary design plans and funds are now in place for detailed design prior to going out to tender for construction. Arch Henderson hope to start on the detailed plans early in 2007.
HEARD will be continuing with their fund raising activities for this project, so if you have any bright ideas or can help in any way to raise our share of the cost, please e-mail us or telephone Nancy on 01806 503362.