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Scotland Sailing
Insights into Sailing in Scotland
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Get Sailing 2012

April 4th, 2012 alison

Easter is almost upon us and with it the start of the 2012 season. While some hardy folk have already been out sailing in the chillier weather, here at Mainsail we have been working away getting the boats all prepped for the forthcoming season, and waiting for some warmer weather! The first daysail is on Saturday 14th April and we still have some places left. Get the most out of your sailing season and come and join us for what will hopefully be some sunshine sailing!

Daysail relaxation

Daysail relaxation

Daysail information can be found on our Yachting Trips website.

More daysails are planned for later in the year, book 2 places during April and get 10% off!

Daysail dates: Saturday 14th April, Sunday 13th May, Saturday 2nd June, Sunday 17th June, Saturday 7th July,  Sunday 5th August, Saturday 1st September, Sunday 16th September

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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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The great “Dileas” adventure… (Part 3)

October 26th, 2009 alison

Read Part 2

The next day we had planned to head to Oban and try to sneak into Kerrera to berth while all the West Highland Week fleet was out racing. However, we had a change of plan and decided to head for Loch Aline instead where we could spend the night at anchor. Having spent the first part of our holidays in marinas and canals we were looking forward to the change.

We left Craobh and headed for the Cuan Sound, a picturesque narrow channel between the islands of Seil and Luing. We passed by Easdale and headed up the Sound of Luing aiming for the Sound of Mull. There was quite a breeze once we got into the open water and having started with one reef in the main and a well reefed genoa we decided we’d be more comfortable with a second reef and further tested our single line reefing (a pleasant change from the  slab reefing which we were used to!).  Feeling more under control we headed again towards the Sound of Mull passing Insh Island to  starboard, and the entrance of Loch Spelve to port. Just as we were reaching Lady Rock we saw the lead boats in the West Highland Week fleet heading past Lismore Light in the Round Lismore Race. This year they had gone anti-clockwise around Lismore Island. Following close on their heels was the rest of the fleet. Being used to being part of the fleet I hadn’t realised how spectacular it could look, and seeing all the yachts reaching along the island side by side was really fantastic.

West Highland Week fleet off Lismore Light

West Highland Week passes Lismore Light

We carried on up the Sound of Mull passing Glas Eilean to port and as we got closer to Loch Aline’s entrance rolled away the genoa, sailing through the entrance under the power of the main. You need to keep an eye on the ferry leaving Loch Aline as the entrance is quite narrow and meeting the ferry on its way out would have made it feel very tight for space. We dropped the main once inside the loch, decided where to anchor, and tested the windlass for the first time this trip. Anchored in 9m just into south of the entrance we found ourselves nicely sheltered from the southerly winds forecast, and although another 5 or 6 boats joined us throughout the rest of the day it remained peaceful. The plan for the next part was to head for Loch Drumbuie, and then to make the short hop to Tobermory to join in some of the shoreside festivities that accompany West Highland Week.

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The great “Dileas” adventure… (Part 2)

October 23rd, 2009 alison

Read Part 1.

The rain from the previous day had gone when we got up, but it didn’t seem far away. We decided to stay above the canal basin and watch all the boats head through the locks - and as the fleet was heading through for West Highland Week there was almost guaranteed to be some entertainment…

As we had our morning coffee the bottleneck began and we were glad to be tucked in out the way against the wall.

A busier Crinan Canal

Crinan bottleneck

As most of the yachts were heading North through the Dorus Mor most had to be away by lunchtime, and with the bottleneck over we enjoyed a peaceful afternoon and evening with coffee and cake outside the Crinan coffee shop, and later some drinks in the Crinan Hotel bar.

Sunday started a bit sunnier, but with strong winds forecast we decided just to head to Craobh marina, which gave us the option of heading to Oban the next day if the forecast was still for strong winds. We thought we might have seen some of the West Highland Week fleet racing from Craobh to Oban, but we were just a bit too late and just caught the tail end of the fleet rounding the bottom of Shuna, heading up the Sound of Luing and past Fladda Light.

As the weather was nice we extended our sail and went past Craobh, into Loch Melfort to investigate the anchorages and moorings there. Then it was back to Craobh to settle for the evening and enjoy the fabulous sunset.

Berthed at Craobh Marina

"Dileas", and the Craobh sunset

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Tara in the Lochs

September 30th, 2009 alison

The magic of the lochs south of cap Wrath

Loch Laxford

Loch Laxford

Tara (known in some places as “TheYellow Boat”…) was lucky enough to sail from Kip to the Orkney’s and back during July/August 09. This was one of the most enjoyable area she has been cruising. The part of the cruise we all remember the most was the week sailing in the lochs just south of cap Wrath (Laxford, Bervie, Badcall, Nedd…): not only the scenery is moving and impressive, but during one week, we saw only one other sailboat: non need to go to Patagonia …go to cap Wrath ! While leaving our mooring early in the morning in the extreme end of loch Laxford, we ear a bell in the profound silence: it’s John Ridgway shaking his harm from his house on top of the hill overhanging his “English Rose” …this is only in north Scotland !

English Rose

English Rose

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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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Inspiration for Father’s Day

June 16th, 2009 alison
Blue - our Moody 54 under sail

Blue - our Moody 54 under sail

If you’re looking for something a bit different for Father’s Day this year why not treat him to a day’s sailing on our Moody 54 “Blue”? Departing from Kip Marina this Saturday, 20th June at 9.30am, sail the beautiful Clyde, stopping somewhere peaceful for lunch, before returning to the marina about 4.30pm. You can take an active part in sailing the yacht, or you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery. The day is all inclusive of a soup and sandwich lunch, and although we can’t promise glorious weather, the forecast at the moment, looks set for a sunny day!

Contact Charter For You on 01369 830 258 or via the contact form for further information or to book.

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Scotland Sailing Update

May 19th, 2009 alison
The East Kyle from Rothesay Bay

The East Kyle from Rothesay Bay

Some pictures from the Fairlie Yacht Club opening muster have been added to the photo page - the weather, which was forecast to be wet and windy, stayed dry and windy instead and allowed a good race from Kip to Wreck Bay. The course was from Kip to Toward Point, round Mountstuart buoy, back to Bogany Point near Rothesay and finally up the East Kyle, finishing just at Colintraive in time for the muster in Wreck Bay.

There was a good breeze and many started with reefs in the main and small headsails. The fleet tacked towards Toward and after rounding Toward Buoy headed downwind to the Mountstuart safewater mark. After that it was back to beating to make the mark at Bogany Point and, for some, a sail change was called for as the winds lightened. With all reefs shaken out the fleet headed up the East Kyle, with the winds flukey, but most managing to make it to the finish in one tack. Those towards the back of the fleet found themselves waiting for wind to fill in to make it to the finish, but it seems that it was just the hills of the Kyles providing shelter from the wind as coming up to the finish the wind filled in again properly and the yachts were able to sail through the narrows at the Burnt Isles, drop the sails and prepare to drop anchor in Wreck Bay for the evenings muster.

The rain stayed away, except for the odd shower which was quickly blown away by the wind, and everyone ventured onto the beach for the evenings festivities. Wreck Bay stayed calm until everyone returned to their yachts - chased by a downpouring of rain, but better weather could not have been asked for as the breeze kept away the midges which always seem to find where the party is.

The rain disappeared by the next morning which allowed a leisurely start, and despite the odd shower throughout the day, the fantastic sailing weather continued. Those who made an early departure from Wreck Bay got to enjoy a downwind sail towards Rothesay and as long as you were on a port tack the sun was shining! The breeze meant that Rothesay was a good stop for a long lunch and a seat in the sun, with the entertainment provided by the local yacht club racing a variety of dinghys. The Rothesay Jazz Festival provided entertainment for those who went ashore, as did the usual array of pubs, and Zavaroni’s fish and chips!

After lunch a brisk sail back to Kip was had. The 20 - 25kts of breeze allowed for a speedy sail under headsail alone, and some record breaking journey times were recorded. Those who stayed out for the Monday holiday were not so fortunate with their weather for returning home. The winds stayed, but unfortunately the rain closed in and Monday proved to be a blustery day. We hope the weather for the next May weekend and the Scottish Series Racing stays a bit drier for all 3 days!

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