A LEGENDARY Greenock captain who took charge some of the Clyde's most famous ships and inspired a series of children's books has died.

Robin Hutchison, affectionately known as Hurricane Hutch, spent his life at sea after catching the bug at only nine-years-old.

He was one of the longest serving CalMac captains and aged 85 was one of the remaining links with the Clyde steamers who took holidaymakers 'doon the water'.

In his later years Captain Hutch was honoured to be the relief master of the Hebridean Princess, much loved by the Queen and other holidaying Royals.

Robin's daughter, a TV executive, was so inspired by his stories she created the successful Captain Bobo books.

Kay Hutchison, 60, who lives in London, said: "I already miss my dad terribly.

"The boats and the Clyde were everything to him and he was very proud of everything he did.

"I am so proud to have created the books and they will be even more poignant now.

"Dad was a great storyteller and public speaker.

"He had a really dry sense of humour and was great company.

"We have had such lovely messages from people who remember him."

Robin passed away on September 20 after suffering from failing health and he was latterly diagnosed with cancer.

His family had encouraged him to write memoirs and four years ago he published Top 10 Ships of the Clyde.

This led to Kay creating her first book, Captain Bobo Bananas.

Robin was the only son of parents William and Kathleen.

He grew up in Glen Ville nursing home in the south side of Greenock, where his dad was the owner and his mum the matron.

During the war their home was left with ceilings falling down, windows blown out and submerged in mud from an exploding mine during the Blitz on May 7 in 1941.

A pupil at Greenock Academy, he left school at 15, taking his first job as an apprentice in Denholms.

From then on he sailed all over the world to the likes of New Zealand, Australia and up the Panama Canal.

He met Ann Hendry, his wife of 62 years, the daughter of Morton and Rangers player Joe Hendry, at the Moorings in Largs.

They brought up their family - son Glen, now aged 62, and daughter Kay - in a cottage near Ravenscraig Primary and then Brisbane Street.

Sailor Robin took the decision to work closer to home and ended up a CalMac skipper.

Over the years he set sail on favourites like the Maid of the Argyll, then he was mate and captain of the Queen Mary II.

In one summer season in the early 60s he was the master of nineteen different ships in 21 days, dashing from pier to pier to keep up with demand.

After retiring from CalMac he was invited to be the relief master on the cruise ship Hebridean Princess, chartered by the Queen.

Robin was devastated by the death of his wife in 2003 from cancer.

In the years that followed he devoted his time to his granddaughters Nina and Jess as well as his dogs.

Kay told his how the family were grief stricken when they were told their dad had terminal cancer and had only weeks to live.

She added: "He was so stoic. He just said 'well you have to go sometime'."