For the purpose of this report the yacht charter area of the Western Isles runs from the Firth of Clyde in the south to the Orkney and Shetland Islands to the the north and includes the great sea lochs of the West Coast and the islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides.
The yacht charter area is a haven for mammals and animals such as Grey Seals, Otters and Red Deer as well as sea-bird colonies that are home to thousands of Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots, Fulmars and Kittiwakes. Golden Eagles are regularly seen along with Manx Shearwaters, Storm Petrels, Gannets, Great Skuas, Divers and many others.
The waters around Scotland are rated the some of the best in Western Europe for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. The species most likely to be sighted include Minke Whale, Harbour Porpoise, Risso's Dolphin, White beaked Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Killer and Northern Bottlenose Whale.
Weekend charter in Scotland | Kip - Rothesay - West Loch Tarbet - Kip
The West Coast of Scotland is one of the most rewarding places to go sailing in the world. The sheer wealth of anchorages, harbours, andm mooring facilities means that no matter where you are, you’re nevermfar from somewhere to stop for lunch or formthe night, and you will nomdoubt have had a fun and challenging time getting there!
A weekend charter from Kip would give you the time to explore a couple of places, however don’t get too adventurous with your wish-list of places to go. Covering 20-25nM per day should be fine for you, and before planning your passages, make sure to take the tide into account, as the tide can be very strong in some areas.
If you’re heading out for a weekend, then Rothesay on the Isle of Bute is a great place to head to for the first night. Rothesay is the main town on the Isle of Bute and there are pontoons for pleasure craft as well as a ferry terminal connecting Bute with the mainland. Rothesay is home to the most extraordinary Victorian washing facilities just next to the harbour. They are an attraction in themselves and well worth a visit. There are a couple of pubs near the harbour and there is also a supermarket and a lovely Victorian Garden to go to too.
Weather permitting on the Saturday, sailing through the Kyles of Bute a special experience however it can get very shallow at low water, so again, keep an eye on the tides. Following Bute down on the Western side, you’ll come out at the Sound of Bute with the majestic Isle of Arran facing you and the long arm of Kintyre opposite.
Another great place to stop for the night is West Loch Tarbet, or if the tide and time are with you, head up to the mouth of Loch Fyne and find any one of the magical anchorages there. West Loch Tarbet has a fantastic bakery at the bottom of the marina - again, there are pontoons here. There are also a couple of welcoming hotels with decent stocks of whiskey.
Sunday and you need to be thinking of heading back to Kip. If you have time, then sail towards the northern tip of Arran to catch a glimpse of Lochranza, and you won’t be disappointed. It is a relatively easy sail back to Kip.
Another alternative to this itinerary would be to head up towards Loch and Holy Loch, home to submarines on exercise. This area is much more built up, with more boats, more ferries, more subs, and more densely populated. A better West Coast experience would be to head a bit further out.
Although sailing in August in most countries would be an opportunity for some bare - foot, T - shirt sailing, this is not necessarily the case. You do need to take full oilskins, a mosquito net for your face and a good pair of gloves. The weather is very changeable on the Clyde, but as long as you are prepared, this is not generally a problem. If you have luggage restrictions then you can hire wet weather gear from Kip, but we need to know this in advance.
Weather for the Yacht Charter Area of the Western Isles of Scotland