Mooring/berthing in Scotland (West Coast)

gardenshed

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I've just landed a new job back in Scotland. I'll be based in Stirling and most likely live north of there, somewhere close to the A9 (crieff, auchterarder or somewhere near there).
As I grew up sailing on the clyde/west coast, I'm reasonably familiar with the marinas & anchorages but there has been a lot of development in the 15 years since I left the UK. I'm happy enough to leave the boat on a mooring (particularly if there is loading pontoon & decent car park/tender park) or to put it in the Marina. Considerations are:
cost
winter storage
acess to family friendly anchorages for day trips
what are the suggestions.........

The boat is a Grand Soleil 39, i.e. 40ft, 2.2m draft
 

gardenshed

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had seen it and am quite interested. Anyone have any experience of it?
also on my list is Ardoran Marine.
are there any places that are filled up (ardfern?) and is there space in the marinas?
 

fluffc

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The clyde area has got very expensive in recent years - comparable to south coast prices. Go further up the West Coast for cheaper prices. Caledonian Canal is very reasonable, but there is waiting list for most moorings.
 

Aja

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Ardoran Marine in Loch Feochan can be tricky to get into as it is very shoal, though I believe they do lay buoys to mark a channel. Last time I drove past on the way to Oban it looked decidedly shallow, but with plenty of boats moored in different parts of the loch.

I'm sure that the CCC directions mention that it could be tricky getting in in certain conditions.

Sgier should be along shortlly - he has a mooring Loch Creran way.

Kilmelford is also very nice. Claymore is absolutely right in saying that it is almost perfectly placed with lots of opportunities. My brother-in-law has just joined him in that locale.

Don't know much about the marinas. Seldom go there.


Donald
 

1114C

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Certainly from where you are going to live I would not go to the Clyde - at times the west coast will be the same distance time wise away due to the delights of the Kingston Bridge and all the M8 roadworks and a much nicer drive

That leaves a fantastic choice, we have deliberated over this for a while and (it is only my opinion) I would go for:
Linnhe marina - easy access, moorings but with a pontoon, good price
Dunstaffnage - great base, they have some moorings
Ardfern - a bit more hassle to get to by road, they have moorings, you can bring along side to the pontoons, great pub (if that is important to you)
Kerrara - if you can be bothered with the ferry that is, nice though
Kilmelford - great location, moorings again with a pontoon

there is also the marine resource centre at barcaldine - I know less about this, in Loch Creran and I would be put off by having the same sail out of the loch every time


What a choice you have, a great position to be in - enjoy!
 

TLOM

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Would agree with all of that. Plenty of good options. I suspect that Dunstaffnage could be the most convenient and there are litteraly dozens and dozens of superb bays, loch and islands half a days sail away in all directions.

South of Oban you're adding at least another hour total travel time.
I wouldn't fancy Feochan or Creran myself because of the tidal entrance.
Linnhe marine looks a good bet and they've buoyed the approach up Shuna Sound.

Whatever you chose you'll have a great time.

TLOM
 

cpedw

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I have a mooring at their next door neighbours, Creran Marine a small, basic operation that has been there for a number of years. Rumours I hear are that the new place is rather disorganised, with big plans but not much in place on the ground. But I can state that they have installed a lot of moorings and not many are occupied. So there might be a good deal to be had there.

These two places are both about 2 miles from the mouth of Loch Creran, which is quite attractive itself but there's only one way in/out, and that's quite tidal (about 3 knots max) and shallow in parts. With your draft, you would want to try it near high water the first few times. I'm fairly sure it is deep enough for you at all tides, but not in all the most obvious places. The chart is quite accurate.

Regards,
Derek.
 

gardenshed

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"South of Oban you're adding at least another hour total travel time."

Yes that's what I was thinking, i.e. the time to get through the town and then the extra drive beyond that.

I've been spoiled in recetn years. In Athens, I was 45 min from Olympic Marina and here in Dublin (Howth) I'm between 5 and 10 mins from the boat, depending on how many tourists I have to swerve to avoid.

Interesting that no one suggests the clyde, given that at the weekends, it is a relatively easy drive through the city and down to Kip or down to Largs. Rhu would be cheaper but it is always a drag to get out from the gareloch/helensburgh and round to the cloch. adds a few extra hours every weekend when coming back from Rothsay.

The comments about lochs crerran and feochan are useful as I wasn't aware that the tide runs so hard in the entrances. Loch Linnhe looks quite attractive but a bit remote. Couldbe that 6 months in one of the more expensive locations and then wintering in one of the remote boatyards is the right compromise between convenience and cost.

look forward to hearing more suggesions.

Any word on Portavadie Marina? Is it reality yet?
 

dovekie

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Having tried Clyde marinas, Ardfern, Croabh and Dunstaffnage I agree with Claymore, Kilmelford. Good boatyard (very safe handling lift ins, cranes etc and excellent thoughtful work if you ask them to do things), chunky moorings with loading pontoon, 5-10 miles of sheltered miles on sheltered water befor you meet tidal gates. For us it's worth the drive (from Cumbria)
 

Aja

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Had a look at Portavadie during Scottish Series.

Facilities are a bit basic, new portacabins in place, but the actual pontoons are possibly the best I've seen in a while.

See their website for their plans...

http://www.portavadiemarina.com/

Donald
 

Sgeir

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I'm sure Barcaldine would be fine and well-sheltered, but, you're about two to three miles from the sea (not a great hardship, but it's all time at a weekend), and there's a tidal gate at the entrance to Loch Creran. JohnBuch of this Parish is moving his boat to Loch Creran shortly, so perhaps he can say more about it. EDIT: Apologies Derek, I hadn't read your post.

We're very pleased with Linnhe Marine at Appin.

060821aDallensBay.jpg
 

polantom

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I have had a boat in Loch Creran before. I had it (a Foxcub) at Creran Moorings(now Creran Marine) and I loved it I never found access to Loch Linnhe to be much of a problem except at the middle of the tide during springs. The entrance is fairly easy at most other times and the few hazards are well known. There is deep water all the way in. My GK draws 1.5 metres and I have never had any problems. Follow the directions and you shouldn't have a problem.
When I bought another boat last year I went to Barcaldine Marine and it was a bit of a nightmare at times. Its an industrial site and they haven't really separated the mooring business from this. This caused a few issues for me.
There are often lorries and industrial equipment moving about which can get a bit hairy.
The slip is often in use by workboats which sometimes dry out and block the slip making it difficult to get your tender in the water.
I live just up the road so I like to nip down in the evening for a bit of a sail on the loch. Unfortunately, a few times the gates were locked at night making it impossible to get in. This was annoying for me but if you had just returned from a trip and wanted to get home and couldn't get your car out of the gate it could be a big problem.
Also the advertised pontoon still hasn't materialised. they seem to be waiting to get more boats on the moorings. However they won't get many more boats until they put in more facilities.
Oh and the toilet is atrocious.
Needless to say I was looking for a new mooring this year so I was lucky enough to get one at Creran Marine next door once more. I am now much happier. As far as I know there is a waiting list though. As has been said Linnhe Marine is also very nice. If you want a pontoon berth Dunstaffnage isn't bad and they are putting in new berths at the moment.
Best of luck.
 

rhumlady

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Loch Shuna has tidal gates at Cuan and Sound of Luing(?). I have had some very good seasons at Craobh but have to accept not giong North every other weekend. I had some exelent seasons at Kerrera when Jon was there and have had some good reports of the new setup. It certainly was good for access to the Sound of Mull and to the North. The Ferry is free again and once you get used to the timetable it's not to much of a hassle. Oban is just across the bay for supplies and transport if needed and when you don't want to be too near a town then Oban is across the bay out of the way. When the refit is over that is where I hope to go back to.
 
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