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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    38

    Default West coast of Scotland - is it cruising friendly?

    Hi,
    I recently took a closer look to west coast of Scotland and I wonder if it is friendly to cruising? Looks like it should be well sheltered by Islay, Inner and Outer Hebrides from the Atlantic waves, but is it so? Is weather there friendly for crusing in smaller yacht (say up to 30 feet), or its still rough place? I am not planning to go there anytime soon, just want to know where I should place it in my sailing TODO list.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    6,795

    Default Re: West coast of Scotland - is it cruising friendly?

    The West Coast probably has some of the best cruising ground of anywhere. However, the weather can at times be challenging. This is offset by the fantastic number of safe and sheltered anchorages. Quite a few of the busier places now have visitor's moorings, and even pontoons, but be aware that many of these are not sheltered in all wind directions. Your 30 footer will be fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ardfern and Malvern
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: West coast of Scotland - is it cruising friendly?

    Quote Originally Posted by slawosz View Post
    Hi,
    I recently took a closer look to west coast of Scotland and I wonder if it is friendly to cruising? Looks like it should be well sheltered by Islay, Inner and Outer Hebrides from the Atlantic waves, but is it so? Is weather there friendly for crusing in smaller yacht (say up to 30 feet), or its still rough place? I am not planning to go there anytime soon, just want to know where I should place it in my sailing TODO list.
    Don’t tell anyone else, but it is the dog’s danglies and should be right at the top of that list of yours.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    N of Ardnamurchan, winter Loch Melfort
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: West coast of Scotland - is it cruising friendly?

    Friendly? The natives can be bit hairy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Eastern Atlantic seaboard
    Posts
    2,982

    Default Re: West coast of Scotland - is it cruising friendly?

    IF the weather is good it is a fine cruising ground. More realistically, only a fool or a masochist would head that way from south of 52 degrees N when the whole of Normandy and Brittany awaits in the other direction, not to mention S & W Ireland to the right
    .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    14,017

    Default Re: West coast of Scotland - is it cruising friendly?

    It has more than its fair share of constrictions and fast rate of tide which can cause problems with wave height and period, but all can be managed taking care to follow the pilot guides. Outside Islay / Mull can be very rough and dangerous as can the wee bit of water to the East of Mull. Going out of the Sound of Mull, northwards can be a challenge as calms water hits a big swell from the south, same for the waters of the Minch.

    It is very easy to ruin your day on the West Coast of Scotland and it is still remote, with longer distances, longer response times, despite the proliferation of good mobile signals for data and voice, which makes it appear just a FB page away.
    "'...contradictions .... are deliberate exercises in doublethink." Orwell from 1984

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    6,795

    Default Re: West coast of Scotland - is it cruising friendly?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlowingOldBoots View Post
    It has more than its fair share of constrictions and fast rate of tide which can cause problems with wave height and period, but all can be managed taking care to follow the pilot guides. Outside Islay / Mull can be very rough and dangerous as can the wee bit of water to the East of Mull. Going out of the Sound of Mull, northwards can be a challenge as calms water hits a big swell from the south, same for the waters of the Minch.

    It is very easy to ruin your day on the West Coast of Scotland and it is still remote, with longer distances, longer response times, despite the proliferation of good mobile signals for data and voice, which makes it appear just a FB page away.
    We're doomed, 'a tell ye, we're a' doomed!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Argyll
    Posts
    6,197

    Default Re: West coast of Scotland - is it cruising friendly?

    I have been sailing on the West Coast of Scotland and the N. Channel to N.I. for 45 years in a variety of boats between 24 and 38 feet. I tend to be careful about weather now but in earlier times when working sometimes delay was not an option. We have been in plenty of scrapes but in all that time I can only recall being scared once. It was back in the early days when my children were small and my fear was more for them than myself, we needed to get back to Carrickfergus in N. I. and the size of the waves off the Mull Of Kintyre made me put my family below and close the hatches, with more experience now I would hope to cope better. The important thing is that in summer we have a variable climate, gales are rare and usually do not last long so the way to enjoy it is to move when the weather is right, it can be horrendous in winter though but most people lay their boats up then. The chains of islands and long deep lochs usually mean that there are few days that you can not get somewhere, though it is foolish to presume that being in the lee of high cliffs or mountains mean that you are in shelter.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    A Member State of the European Union
    Posts
    4,329

    Default Re: West coast of Scotland - is it cruising friendly?

    Midges apart, the West coast of Scotland is cruiser friendly, and outstandingly beautiful.
    'To lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe' (EC Treaty)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Loch Snizort, Isle of Skye
    Posts
    4,843

    Default Re: West coast of Scotland - is it cruising friendly?

    Apart from a brief foray to the decidedly similar NW coast of Ireland, all of my sailing has been on the west coast of Scotland.
    I would roughly divide it into three areas- the Clyde estuary, Kintyre to Ardnamurchan, and everything north of that.
    I've barely sailed in the Clyde but it seems very civilised, lots of boats, marinas, good shelter. Marinas start to get thin on the ground as you head further north, but there are almost unlimited sheltered anchorages.
    Whilst facilities (harbours, pontoons, engineers, public transport connections etc) become sparse, there isn't really anything to worry about as you are never more than a few miles from a good anchorage. So it suits people who are quite self sufficient.

    The best thing you can have on your side, though, is ample time. The weather can be fickle at any time of year and it can be pretty unpleasant to have to motorsail against a choppy headwind to get back down the Minch, for example. Much better to wait a few days and do it when the weather is more cooperative (which btw tends to May into June).

    My home cruising ground of Skye and northwards takes some beating. We plan to sail away into the sunset in a couple of years time, and one of my biggest fears is that nowhere else will be as good as home
    Moody 39- Deb 33- Wayfarer- Wanderer

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