Okay then. How long do you think I should allow to sail from Anglesey to Oban I make it about 250 NM roughly.
I’m re-locating Gigi (lift-keel version) from North wales to the Moray Firth, but the key bit is getting to Oban.
Am I bonkers even attempting this?
It’ll be a nice sail so long as you are sensible regarding a couple of the tidal decisions at Calf of Man, Mulls of Galloway and Kintyre. Five day hops would make it a very enjoyable week, you can do it in less if you have a reasonable crew and are prepared for very early starts and some night sailing………….I’d personally go for 5 days and enjoy the stops on the way!
When I co-owned Frank (GBR8025N) in the early 1990’s we sailed her all over the Irish Sea and on one occasion sailed her back from the Scottish Series at Tarbert to her home port which was Port Dinorwic on the Menai Straits….we’d borrowed a trailer to get her up there and then couldn’t be bothered waiting for the owner to make it available again! An unexpected bonus was stopping at the Isle of Man to find that the TT was on so we sat on a wall with ice creams, then beer, watching idiots at incredible speeds!!
Beaumaris to Port St Mary is a 10-12 hour sail, overnight in a lovely harbour then up to Portpatrick say 8-12 hours the next day to an even nicer very small harbour where there is always room for a Snotty. Next day the prefered stop would be to sail west of the Mull of Kintyre up to Gigha which is another good day sail……but if the wind / tide combination is bad then it isn’t a place for any yacht and a Sonata is small! A fourth day will see you have a number of choices for overnight stops, either off Crinan on a mooring or anchor or up to Craobh Haven and there are other anchorages…..its just too far really to do Gigha to Oban in one day in a Sonata unless you really go for the early start / late finish or even an overnight. The fifth day will then be an easy sail up to Oban.
An alternative to rounding the Mull of Kintyre, particularly if the conditions are poor is to go east of the Mull of Kintyre, past Tarbert to Ardrishaig and use the Crinan canal……..which is a great day’s trip with good pubs in the middle and at Crinan. It would however put a 6th day to the trip.
Just a thought, if you are trying to get to the Moray Firth there is an alternative. Get to Portpatrick and then enter the Firth of Clyde and then the Clyde, passing Gourock and getting to Bowling Basin. You drop your mast at that point (free crane) and then pass through the locks into the Forth Canal, which re-opened about 4 years ago and connects the Clyde and Forth. Razamattaz, a Dalegety Bay SC based Sonata used this route to get back from the Scottish Series to her mooring on the Firth of Forth. Raz’ was a fin keeler and made it through with a few touchs in soft mud……..as you are a lifting keeler then you have no issues! Benefit of this route is that it avoids the tricky bit around the Mull of Kintyre where you really do need good weather.
So…..you are not mad so long as you chose the weather window,get the tidal gates right and take sensible decisions about leg lengths having taken consideration of your crew numbers and experience.
Notwithstanding the above I have found that a number of boat transport companies offer quite heavily discounted boat delivery provided you are willing to be patient and be the “return load” for a full price trip someone else has paid………might be worth a few enquiries as I was surprised how little they actually wanted to move a 42 footer from Burnham (Essex) to Troon (Scotland) so long as I didn’t specify any dates. I was quoted just £1000 for that trip, which was about a third of the initial quote from a number of firms. You might be very lucky if you are indifferent wheher the boat ends up in Troon, Oban, Edinburgh etc!!
Good call moving to Scotland……long days for summer sailing and at least you will be midge free(er)on the East coast!
Thanks for the re-assurance and passage lengths.
I’ve been reading the pilots, the Mull of Kintyre in particular had me in fear but the more I re-read its all about suitable timing and yes that illusive good weather, but Campbelltown Loch and or Sanday could make a decent stop off if it packs up, and I’m more confident now than I was. Good to know its been done before by a Snotty. And I’m with you on linking up a series of day sails.
I’ve ruled out Crinan, due to time constaints like you say its an extra day. I’ve already bought most of the charts based on a West coast passgae so I’m ruling out the Forth Canal and an east coast trip – the scenary’s better on the West too, but yes it would be an option fpr some to take.
Incidentally, I know there was a Sonata called Frank in Port Dinorwic last year (hull painted red).
I’ve spent too much already getting her seaworthy, so road transport isn’t an option for me at this point in time. Hoping to go in two weeks time, and allowing 9 days.
Now to press some crew…
Frank in Port Dinorwic marina is the boat I used to own with Andy Long.
Sanday is a beautiful anchorage providing the wind is in the south….Good luck with the trip!
Just to let folks know that I did complete this trip, due to weather, technical issues and work commitments it got done over an extended timeframe. Now safely tucked up at Inverness for the time being.
Beaumaris – Port Erin – Peel – Portpatrick – Stranraer – Troon (via Lamlash)- Portavadie – Ardrishaig – Crinan – Oban – Corpach – Inverness
Also had the unexpected pleasure coincidental of meeting Mark Taylor at Ardrishaig, though it wasn’t his Sonata he was taking through the canal (small world).