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Scotland Sailing
Insights into Sailing in Scotland
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2010 so far…

September 13th, 2010 alison

The 2010 season at Charter For You has been a busy one with not much blogging time, but the changing weather which suggests that the sailing season may not have long left this year has produced a lull and the chance to look back at the season so far.

Our Bavaria 44 “Pamina” had enjoyed a winter sojourn in Lanzarote and made her way back to the Clyde during April. A trip via Madiera, Portugal, France and Ireland,  saw her arriving back at the end of the month with only a few weeks left before she was due out on her first charters. An erupting volcano couldn’t stop her making it back on time! Meanwhile the first RYA courses and bareboat charters of the season were underway.

“Pamina” had an exciting start to her season with a multi-boat stag party to take care of and then a trip to Scottish Series as mother ship to one of the racing boats, along with her usual daysails and family holidays where she got to tour her familiar waters of the Clyde. The other charter boats were also cruising the west coast in style. “Iona” took a few trips up and down the west coast to Badachro, Gairloch, and “Rotozaza” did some milebuilders from Inverkip to Oban so that she could enjoy some West Coast cruising with her owners before going on to do a long West Coast charter with some visitors from Germany. “Clan” also had been taken on a few trips around the Mull and back through the Crinan Canal.

“Blue” the Moody 54 was also doing some long distance cruising this year, after a weeks charter in the Clyde she took a trip up the West Coast and out to the Outer Hebrides for the Clyde Cruising Club’s centenary cruise. She partook in their sunflower of yachts in Loch Drambuie, before dropping her guests in Oban and heading back down to Kip Marina for the rest of the season.

Later “Pamina” was out again on a multi-yacht party and could be seen tearing her way down the Clyde to Lamlash on one of the windiest weekends of the year so far.

Pamina en route to Arran

Pamina en route to Arran

Although it’s raining now, the weather has really been quite kind to us this season. There has been plenty of breeze to provide fantastic sailing and really it is hard to beat sailing up the west coast, round villages and towns… (thank you Deacon Blue). Most of the charterers have experienced wind and sunshine with the odd rain shower, and, hopefully this will continue. Rainy it may be, but it is still warm and with the weather set to improve as the week goes on we hope that the rest of the charters and courses this year will get the weather they are wanting to make their holiday something special.

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Winter Yacht Care

November 25th, 2009 alison
Snow on the water

Snow on the water

Over the winter it can be hard to fit in looking after your boat around all the festivities. Let Charter For You take the pressure off and keep an eye on your yacht for you. Based at Kip Marina we can respond to the weather when you can’t and check that lines are secure and that electrical connections and equipment such as heaters and dehumidifiers are still working. A number of Winter Care / Guardianage packages are available, and can be tailored to suit your needs. All of which means you can enjoy all the other activities which winter brings while having peace of mind that your boat is being cared for.

Details are available from Charter For You. Fill in the contact form, or call us on 01475 528 825

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The great “Dileas” adventure… (Part 4)

October 29th, 2009 alison

Read Part 3

Time for reflection - Loch Drumbuie

Loch Drumbuie

At half 11 we upped anchor and left Loch Aline. We were headed for Loch Drumbuie (Loch na Droma Buidhe), and as we entered the Sound of Mull we put up the mainsail and drifted downwind towards our destination, enjoying a cuppa enroute. At half 1 we were off the entrance to Loch Sunart and being careful to avoid both Little and Big Stirk we turned to see the entrance of Loch Drumbuie ahead of us. We dropped the sail, motored through the gap, wary of the underwater rock just inside the entrance. After deciding on the traditional spot just to the right of the entrance where only 2 other yachts were anchored, we dropped the hook in 6 metres. With the anchor holding first time we settled to a leisurely lunch and kept an eye on whether or not we were going to drag, as the wind was funnelling through the loch and making us swing about quite a bit. There are numerous options for places to anchor in Loch Drumbuie and as the afternoon progressed more boats arrived with another couple anchoring close to us, many up the head of the loch, and the Glen Massan anchoring on the opposite side (near where the fish farm used to be). The weather was warm despite the funnelling wind, and some children off one of the other boats had gone in swimming, but wetsuits were required!

The next morning we were up early and travelling the 5 miles to Tobermory. We thought we would try to meet up with the West Higland Week fleet and enjoy some of the fun of the regatta. At 10.15 we raised the anchor and headed out into a southeasterly 20kt breeze. However, we had no plans to sail for this short hop as the main aim was to get into Tobermory before the race boats and hopefully get a pontoon berth before they were filled.

As the forecasts had been for windy weather we found Tobermory a little busier than expected, with many cruising boats sitting out the worst of the weather, and only one space left on the pontoons. We made use of the new facilties at the harbour and then sat and waited for the pandemonium to begin. As the racing fleet arrived numerous boats came over to try and get a space on the pontoon, only to be turned away by the harbourmaster after a lucky few had been allowed to raft off. The rest had to go and use the moorings, or anchor around the edges of Tobermory Bay, but it didn’t stop them making it to dry land for the evenings entertainment and the Mishnish and Macgochans were bursting at the seams.

A busy Tobermory about to get busier when the West Highland Week fleet arrives         Tobermory about to get busier

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Updates to Photo Album page

October 20th, 2009 alison

Puilladobhrain's entrance

Check out our updated Cruising Scotland 2009 photo album, and our album of a daytrip on the PS Waverley.

Part 2 of The Great “Dileas” adventure coming soon

Read Part 1 here

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Ever seen something and been glad it wasn’t you?

August 26th, 2009 alison

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West Highland Yachting Week 2009

July 28th, 2009 alison
Spinnakers heading from Tobermory to Oban

Some yachts taking part in West Highland Week 2008

West Highland Yachting Week starts on Friday for those boats in the Clyde ready to make their way west. With a 9am start from outside Kip Marina the competitors will head down round Garroch Head and make their way up to Ardrishaig, ready to go through the Crinan Canal on the Saturday an dmake thier way to Craobh. Those already on the west coast may take part in a feeder race from Gigha (after some live music the night before in the Gigha Hotel) or Oban to Craobh Marina, where an evening of entertainment awaits them in the Lord of the Isles Bar and Restaurant.

On the Sunday the fleet splits into 10 classes and races to Oban. Passing Shuna,going through the Sound of Luing, leaving Easdale and Seil behind them they finish in the Sound of Kerrera and split for the night. At Oban there is a number of places where the fleet will choose to berth. Some may moor outside Oban Sailing Club, while others will tie up at Oban Marina, Kerrera, or Dunstaffnage Marina. One or two boats may even tie up alongside the North Pier, in the very centre of Oban.

The Monday and Tuesday are spent racing out of Oban, with the whole fleet racing round Lismore in an anticlockwise direction on the Monday. On the Tuesday the fleet splits in two with those yachts flying kites going round the cans in the Firth of Lorn, and those who are in the restricted sail classes sailing a set course away from any out of control spinnaker poles! The late starts will allow for a full appreciation of the social programme, with the Kerrera barn dance on the Sunday evening, a skipper’s reception, Oban Sailing Club barbecue, and “Skerryvore” in the Skipinnish celidh house on the Monday, and the Wide Mouthed Frog at Dunstaffnage getting in on the action on the Tuesday afternoon and evening with entertainment and live music.

Wednesday sees the fleet come together once more for the race to Tobermory. The 1130 start means there’s no excuse for being late to the start line, and after passing Lismore Light, the entrance of Loch Aline, Green Island and Calve Island the fleet will settle in Tobermory Bay for the night. On the Thursday the fleet again splits into two groups for the Round the cans racing in the Sound of Mull. Entertainment in Tobermory will be the usual selection of live music and celidhs. Macgochans Pub has both “Trail West” and “Gunna Sound” playing live, and it would be a surprise if there was not some sort of live music in the Mishnish also.

On the Friday there’s the earliest race start of the week with the race from Tobermory, back down the Sound of Mull, to Oban starting at 08.30am. Hopefully this will give everyone a bit of time to get cleaned up and presentable for the final prizegiving in the Corran Halls on Friday evening.

Best of luck to everyone who’s competing in West Highland Week this year, let’s hope for fair weather and good winds! Anyone who’s interested in seeing more of the sailing instructions will find them here, and there’s lots of additional information in the West Highland Week website.

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Some good links to photographs of the Mylne Classic Regatta 2009

July 26th, 2009 alison

The Mylne Classic Regatta took place over the 12th to 16th July and it was great to see all the boats sailing about the Clyde - reminiscent of the Fyfe Regatta of last year, only with better weather!

There are now some photos up on the Mylne Regatta website and they only emphasise how attractive these yachts are. Some of them are also quite imposing, and with so many different sails and sheets sailing some of the larger Mylnes must be quite a challenge.

While browsing for photos of the regatta I came across some links to a few sites which I think are worth a look.

Andy Walters Yachting Shots

Pbase link 1

Pbase link 2

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Sunny weather and summer holidays

July 15th, 2009 alison

The recent spell of gloriously sunny weather looked set to end this week on the Clyde, but so far at Kip the rain has not managed to make a lasting appearance. Good news for the two sailing courses out! One course was out over the weekend and arrived back in this afternoon having had some rain, but also enough time to dry out before having to pack away their things and head home. The second course departed yesterday after some berthing practise. The weather forecast showed numerous low pressure systems heading their way and it seemed like they were doomed to a damp week, but it turns out that if the weather holds as it has done the last couple of days they may only get rained on in the mornings!

Looking out at Kip Marina at the moment the sun is beating down on the boats, but many of the berths are empty as people have gone on their summer cruises. This weekend the Clyde Cruising Club holds its annual Tobermory Race, a race popular with members who want to go sailing around the west coast for their holidays.  With options to sail Round the Mull to Crinan on the 17th July, or to go from Rothesay to Ardrishaig on the 18th, heading west through the Crinan Canal, to join up with the boats which have gone Round the Mull for the second part of the race from Loch Craignish to Tobermory on the 19th July. This year the tides appear to have been kind to the competitors with a 9am start rather than the 4am start it often can be.

The last Fairlie Yacht Club event was the Holy Loch Race on the 4th July. Light winds meant the racing took most of the day, but the fleet managed to avoid most of the rain showers which were gracing our shores that day. The next Fairlie event is not until the 15th August with a crew race from Largs to Ardlamont, and a muster at Portavadie marina that evening.

With so many boats away, or about to head off on their cruising adventures, the marina is quite quiet, but there was some excitment as the marina’s resident swans hatched their eggs and 4 new signets are now learning to swim in the peaceful waters of Kip.

Proud parents

Proud parents with the new additions to the Kip family

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Mylne Classic Regatta 2009

July 6th, 2009 alison
Fyfe 18

Some Fyfe Yachts racing during the 2008 Fyfe Regatta

Starting on Sunday 12th July is the Mylne Classic Regatta. In an event that may be reminiscent to some of the Fyfe Regatta last summer, these Alfred Mylne designed yachts will compete in numerous races, from Helensburgh to Rothesay, Round Bute, To Cumbrae and back from Rothesay to Rhu, meaning there will be plenty to see over the week. Let’s hope the good weather we’ve been having holds so we can see some of these yachts in their full glory! There will also be opportunities for the public to visit the yachts at each stopover.

Sure to be a sight from the land, why not get out and look at them from the water? With daysail spaces available from Kip on Saturday 18th July 2009 take the opportunity to sail the Firth of Clyde, enjoy the scenery and wildlife, and perhaps see some of these yachts as they make their way home from the regatta.

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Scottish Series Photos

June 3rd, 2009 alison

Some photos from the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series 2009 are now on up our photo album page.

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