On Your Own Boat
Scotland has famous marinas and pontoon facilities which have increased in parallel with the country’s popularity as a cruising destination. It is now possible to completely circumnavigate the country using only marinas or pontoons for overnight stops, with the longest passage being less than 70 nm along the north coast between Kinlochbervie and Orkney. These modern and well equipped facilities cater for all tastes and boat types, and have opened up the coast to all types of sailors. An increasing amount of English sailors are choosing to berth their boats in Scotland – cheap flights combined with more cost effective berthing make this an attractive option for those who really enjoy their sailing.
East coast facilities have significantly increased in recent years. There are now some eight marinas forming an effective chain along the coastline, supported by a variety of pontoon facilities at some of the fishing harbours. Come on and try them out!
The Firth of Clyde has ten large marinas with capacity for thousands of boats, together with numerous boatyards and pontoon facilities. The larger facilities often provide a destination in their own right, with bars, restaurants, shops and other services all provided on site or in the immediate locale, whilst the smaller boatyards and pontoon facilities contribute to the network to further enhance your trip.
Argyll's west coast is one of the heartlands of Scottish cruising, and has five major marinas on the mainland coast together with many smaller boatyards and pontoon facilities. These facilities are being expanded on a continual basis, and recent years have seen the addition of more new pontoon and mooring facilities. North of Ardnamurchan there are few purpose built marinas, but several pontoon facilities have been installed and a new marina was opened at Stornoway in 2014.
Orkney and Shetland have seen perhaps the most significant increase in visitor facilities in recent years around the whole of the UK coastline. Orkney now boasts three marinas whilst Shetland has four plus a further seventeen recently constructed small marinas or pontoon facilities. These combine to make the area a destination in its own right, particularly for visitors arriving from Scandinavia or northern Europe.