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Sailing in Scotland - UK


DaveK

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I've got a 2 week trip planned in early October. It involves Edinburgh, Inervness, Isle o Skye, Glasgow and few days in London. Haven't really ironed out details yet of where to stay and how many days at each spot. So thought I'd ask here for any ideas or thoughts and if there's a chance to get some sailing in while I'm there?? Figured there might be some people from there on here so appreciate any help!!

Thanks guys!!

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Have a look at the Caledonian Canal - we hired a stink boat for 7 days and really enjoyed it, going from Inverness to Fort William and back - believe you can also hire sail boats as well.

Also, from Fort William catch the Jacobite steam train to Mallaig then you take the car ferry to Skye. You can return across the Skye Bridge. Don't forget all the scotch distilleries! We visited Talisker which was very interesting and it has nautical connections.

In Glasgow, if not staying in town look to stay around the west end - very similar to style of houses in Brooklyn surprisingly. Go to the Riverside Museum (free entry https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/venues/riverside-museum ) and also see the tall ship in the Clyde there.

We were disappointed in Edinburgh from the perspective that it was so overcrowded along the Royal Mile, but a very hipster place - you need to grow your beard and use hair gel....

PM me if you want more details of where stayed this year.... found some great places.

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If you have time, go from Inverness to Skye via Durness - all the way around the northern end.  It is remote and a very harsh environment, but stunningly beautiful.  Warning - the roads are SLOW - single track in many places.  It might take a couple of days, but worth it in my opinion.

I never sailed in Scotland, but second Oban as a lovely place. 

Be careful of the weather, it will change and a lot of the time it is windy as hell - https://www.windguru.cz/47810  Low pressure system after system come charging in off the Atlantic.  Be especially careful if you go climbing in the mountains.  They are not very high but they kill many people every year.  Google fatalities in scottish mountains if you want to be warned.

If you are into really stupid currents (read that carefully) arrange a visit to Corryvreckan between Scarba and Jura- a slow video, but explains the phenomenon well.  Enjoy.

EDIT - and report back.

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The above advice is good, I've been many times through Oban, mallaig and Kyle of Loch Alsh before the built the bridge.

It would be dfficult to organise a sailing trip out (Especially with the weather) and it would also depend on what sort of sailing you'd like. Looking up on the RYA  website https://www.rya.org.uk/Pages/Home.aspx   For clubs in the areas you are visiting, then look at their websites, for what is on, if there is something available then contact the club..

Note, if you are flying in you'd probably have to bring in your sailing winter gear.. are you prepared for the weight that is in your on board luggage?

You are basically trampling on much of my childhood, having lived and gone to School in the Outer Hebridies, and Inverness. Part of the family from Glasgow, Lived near Edinburgh, Dad worked at the castle, so I got in free(and parked for free) But it's £25 per person to get in now.  Central Edinburgh is a tourist trap, parking is expensive. if you are just visiting, use one of the park and rides  a £4:80 ticket gives you unlimited transport on the buses and trams all day. The Scottish National Gallery is interesting, one sister is a guide there. 

As they say above once outside the central belt of Scotland and off the major roads, many become single track with passing places, sheep wander around as they please.. if a car comes up behind  in a hurry flashing it's lights at you, pull into a layby and let it past. It may be the district nurse, doctor  or a fireman trying to get to the fire station.. (it also may be a speeding  idiot, but there's not a lot you can do about that).

 

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I remember seeing some beer can racing while in Portree (Skye). Oban will have some as well as Troon, but that's a bit far off your track (Troon). 

Driving in Skye was the best part of my trip. Get a nice peppy MT car if you're doing the driving. 

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On 8/25/2019 at 1:14 AM, blunderfull said:

Most excellent.

  We speak of his ‘Keep Turning Left’ series of course.

Thanks a lot guys!! I'll try to get to Oban since that seems to be mentioned here a lot. I am getting a rental car but have yet to work that out.

Now who the fuk is Dylan?? I wanna watch his videos now!! 

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and on there is this https://www.keepturningleft.co.uk/sailing-around-britain/ktl-3-alde-southwold-and-the-broads/keepturningleft-season-3-part-6-the-three-rivers-race/ 

Which is an event run by my sailing club the bloke with the pipe in his mouth is a club member, he, his wife and her brother are all  good sailors.. IIRC i@m in shot for a fraction of a second somewhere..

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4 hours ago, The Q said:

and on there is this https://www.keepturningleft.co.uk/sailing-around-britain/ktl-3-alde-southwold-and-the-broads/keepturningleft-season-3-part-6-the-three-rivers-race/ 

Which is an event run by my sailing club the bloke with the pipe in his mouth is a club member, he, his wife and her brother are all  good sailors.. IIRC i@m in shot for a fraction of a second somewhere..

Wow.... nice boats!! Lots of wood and old school boats!! The wooden 2 man type thistle is nimble. The 3 man Punts are a super nice light air machine!! But what a tack fest that must be for over 50 miles. I do a race here on Austin on Lake Travis that's 30 miles long each way and it turns into a tack fest as well since the lake is and was a river. That's probably why I don't do the race every year. I thought that was a good video though!!

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There's p robably some late-season racing on the Clyde estuary. I know my Piper peeps will likely have pulled their boats out of the water by late October, but you could check around Gourock, Helensburgh, and Sandbank.  The dinghy folks will probably still be at it.

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1 hour ago, European Bloke said:

The kids race all year round.  They ship them out to live on a little island just past Largs at the weekend during the winter to keep them on their toes.  I think the grown ups go to the bar.

Lovely spot, but possibly a little late in the year.

No longer. Closing this autumn.   To be fair, though, it's only the top few in each class that get this particular opportunity. Most of the (open) training sessions are spread across the various clubs in the central belt (and occasionally further north) that have the capability to host them through the winter. 

 I wish I could offer better advice to the OP.  Many boats will be out of the water at the end of September, though a few will stay in. Keelboat sailing tends to be seized opportunities for these boats when the weather provides the opportunity.

 There will be a couple of winter dinghy racing series running and a few hardy cruisers (see Dylan's winter outings) but generally from September onwards it's minority participation in a minority sport in a small country...  Your best bet to get on the water might be Port Edgar: https://www.peyc.org.uk/   as they run through the year (and I think they have a wnter series for keelboats as well as dinghies), but (IMHO) this isn't the best of Scotland: the Forth is interesting, with the three bridges, the Rosyth naval Dockyard where the aircraft carriers have been being assembled and some islands with varied and pretty colourful history but it lacks the spectacular scenery, variety, scale and general wonderfullness of the west coast.

  Two weeks is, of course, not enough time. Your itinerary certainly includes some of the highlights and I'm very wary of suggesting adding anything: you will struggle for time as it is. Do not underestimate the time it will take to travel: Inverness to Portree is only a hundred miles or so but will take the best part of three hours, unless you are focused on making progress. Similarly, Portree to Glasgow is at least five and a half hours in the car, though there is so much to see along the way that you will likely want to do it in short hops.

 What do you want to see? For maritime history, visiting the Crinan canal and stopping at Inverary?  Castles? Food? Beaches? Fishing villages? Medieval/celtic inscriptions & brochs?   You'll see spectacular scenery all along your route, as long as the weather isn't totally foul(!).  Have you looked into island-hopping on the ferries? You could potentially return from Skye via Armadale/Mallaig, drive through Fort William to Oban, then either drive down through Argyll via Kilmelford Glen ("celtic" pre-history) and take ferries across Loch Fyne & via Bute or take a long ferry down via Jura/Islay to Kennacraig and work northwards. Interesting, and you'll see more coastline, but slow.

Cheers,

               W.

 

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On ‎8‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 7:15 PM, DaveK said:

Wow.... nice boats!! Lots of wood and old school boats!! The wooden 2 man type thistle is nimble. The 3 man Punts are a super nice light air machine!! But what a tack fest that must be for over 50 miles. I do a race here on Austin on Lake Travis that's 30 miles long each way and it turns into a tack fest as well since the lake is and was a river. That's probably why I don't do the race every year. I thought that was a good video though!!

The worst is if you have a northerly, luckily rare at that time of year, Tacking from below Acle bridge to Potter heigham bridge, 8 to 9 miles tacking  every 30 seconds to a minute...

Not all the boats in the race are traditional some like the Yeoman class are fibreglass, which brings me to Sailing In Scotland because there used to be some at Cramond boat club just outside Edinburgh and the one I sail in the winter, in Norfolk, came from Loch Earn SC which is north of Stirling.

 I'm off up there myself on the 27th Sept for week, (Central Scotland) but I doubt I'll be getting any sailing in.. Off to look at A satview of lake travis...

 

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We tried to do a sailing charter in Scotland.  Our plan was to charter in Inverness and sail to Loch Ness.  Sadly, the ability to charter for that doesn't exist.  When thinking of chartering in Scotland, think of NewFoundland and Labrador.  Rugged, beautiful, tidal, stormy, and demanding.  You'll have to work to find charter opportunities.  We did see a boat or two, but they were invariably well-found, and every time we saw one we said "we're glad we're not on that boat in this weather".

We hired a guide to drive us around Scotland. He drove the single-track, knew fascinating local lore and locations and hikes and pubs and distilleries. Highly, highly recommended.

The whiskey stones in our freezer, we pulled out of Loch Ness.  Shhhh.

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Like WG above, I was going to suggest Port Edgar. No doubt there are events around Glasgow too. Try Royal Gourock and Clyde Cruising Club sites. Uni team racing will be starting. Frostbite series at lots of dinghy clubs.

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I think @WGWarburton idea to drive thru those towns to Oban is going to be on out list of go do's for sure. We need to sit down and map it out this weekend. I have spent a lot of time dinghy sailing but it's cold there and I'm not packing a wet suit...... I kinda figured sailing would be a challenge for us since we are kinda late into the year. But I wanna visit some clubs and see as much boat shit while I'm there. Lots of history there and museums would be awesome too.

I really appreciate all the idea!! :)

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On 8/23/2019 at 4:03 PM, The Q said:

The above advice is good, I've been many times through Oban, mallaig and Kyle of Loch Alsh before the built the bridge.

It would be dfficult to organise a sailing trip out (Especially with the weather) and it would also depend on what sort of sailing you'd like. Looking up on the RYA  website https://www.rya.org.uk/Pages/Home.aspx   For clubs in the areas you are visiting, then look at their websites, for what is on, if there is something available then contact the club..

Note, if you are flying in you'd probably have to bring in your sailing winter gear.. are you prepared for the weight that is in your on board luggage?

You are basically trampling on much of my childhood, having lived and gone to School in the Outer Hebridies, and Inverness. Part of the family from Glasgow, Lived near Edinburgh, Dad worked at the castle, so I got in free(and parked for free) But it's £25 per person to get in now.  Central Edinburgh is a tourist trap, parking is expensive. if you are just visiting, use one of the park and rides  a £4:80 ticket gives you unlimited transport on the buses and trams all day. The Scottish National Gallery is interesting, one sister is a guide there. 

As they say above once outside the central belt of Scotland and off the major roads, many become single track with passing places, sheep wander around as they please.. if a car comes up behind  in a hurry flashing it's lights at you, pull into a layby and let it past. It may be the district nurse, doctor  or a fireman trying to get to the fire station.. (it also may be a speeding  idiot, but there's not a lot you can do about that).

 

Thank god for written English. I went skiiing in the Cairngorms once. The guy on the ski drag beside me kept saying "stand on the balls of your feet laddie" but it was completely incomprehensible to me coming through the thick glasgwegian accent!

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15 hours ago, DaveK said:

I think @WGWarburton idea to drive thru those towns to Oban is going to be on out list of go do's for sure. We need to sit down and map it out this weekend. I have spent a lot of time dinghy sailing but it's cold there and I'm not packing a wet suit...... I kinda figured sailing would be a challenge for us since we are kinda late into the year. But I wanna visit some clubs and see as much boat shit while I'm there. Lots of history there and museums would be awesome too.

I really appreciate all the idea!! :)

The polar ship Discovery is in Dundee if you find yourself out that way, with a little museum.  Well worth a look if you're passing.

https://www.rrsdiscovery.com/

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/2/2019 at 3:53 AM, knobblyoldjimbo said:

Thank god for written English. I went skiiing in the Cairngorms once. The guy on the ski drag beside me kept saying "stand on the balls of your feet laddie" but it was completely incomprehensible to me coming through the thick glasgwegian accent!

Yep. The wife wanted to see a Highland Cow. Auch, ye mean an "eeland coo?".

Beware, 12 Highlanders and a set of bagpipes, and you've got a rebellion.

Lastly, do you know why they wear kilts?  Because sheep can hear a zipper.

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If you're into wood boats and history you might consider visiting the Gal Gael in Glasgow

https://www.galgael.org/

There are so many small off-the-beach sailing Clubs in Scotland that it's hard to know who is going to be running something, and who isn't.

I have a buddy who sails out of the Invergordon Boating Club, on the Cromarty Firth, not far from Inverness. I don't know if they've got a late Fall series or not.

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Unfortunately their websi

9 minutes ago, Alan H said:

If you're into wood boats and history you might consider visiting the Gal Gael in Glasgow

https://www.galgael.org/

There are so many small off-the-beach sailing Clubs in Scotland that it's hard to know who is going to be running something, and who isn't.

I have a buddy who sails out of the Invergordon Boating Club, on the Cromarty Firth, not far from Inverness. I don't know if they've got a late Fall series or not.

Unfortunately their website http://www.invergordonboatingclub.org.uk/ doesn't appear to be up to date  but they are sailing Bart's Bash this weekend ( as is my club in Norfolk)  https://www.bartsbash.com/

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