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Why Sail in Scotland?Thursday, 22nd January 2015
If you’ve been sailing in Scotland before then you will probably already know and understand what I am about to say. It’s a little-known secret up here, but it’s also something which happens to be true: no one ever comes sailing in Scotland just once.
There, of course, are plenty of people who have never been sailing up here, but of the ones that have, it’s remarkable how many of them return time and again, year on year. Here’s the reasons why...
Scotland in general is famous for being a country of outstanding natural beauty, and the coast-line is absolutely a part of that. Cruise between the islands and round the coves and you will notice that the scenery is absolutely stunning. What’s more, Scotland has it all - from rugged cliffs topped with supreme highland castles, to secret and isolated isles and coves, right through to crystal clear water which runs amock with wildlife, dolphins and porpoises.
There is no better place to feel and see the beauty of the world than from a silent yacht, gently drifting along with the wind in its sails. The gentle lapping of the water on the side of the ship, the creaking of the ropes, and the ripple of the sails. The knowledge that the lack of mobile phone reception makes the place feel a million miles away from home, and allows you to delightfully relax from the stresses and strains of modern life and constant communication. And because Scotland is something of a hidden gem when it comes to sailing, you never seem to be too near anyone. Contrast that with the hustle and bustle you’d find in the Mediterranean. Incomparable!
When it comes to friendliness and hospitality, there are few who can match the Scots. Seemingly always jovial, and always happy to lend a hand, they are ideal hosts. And with their fine and hearty food, cracking beers, and a myriad of whiskies to suit literally every palate, it is not hard to understand why. The Tartan army are known around the world for knowing how to have a good time – and are no different in their homeland.
Facilities for Sailors
Rewind a couple of decades and the Scottish coastline would be markedly different than today. Over the past 20 years there has been great investment to turn small fishing village facilities into the sorts of places where visiting yachtsmen can reside with pleasure. There are pontoons galore up and down the coastline, and even brand new marina’s – such as the multi-million development at Portavadie – which have turned the area into something of a millionaires playground. There’s been similar investment in facilities on-shore too, with most marina’s now offering the sort of yacht and leisure facilities that you would expect in more well established cruising grounds. There are usually fine restaurant facilities, and accommodating bars. We’ll drink to that!
Value for money
You’d expect that yachting in Scotland would be expensive – but it’s really not. Boats can be chartered with or without a skipper, and the charter prices are actually slightly less than you’d expect to pay in the Med. Factor in that travelling to and from the boat doesn’t necessarily involve three hours of waiting in an airport and all the rigmarole and searching that that entails, is cheaper, and you can use the same money and same language as at home, and you are on to a winner! Most marina’s cost around £15-30 per boat per night - including water, electrics and wifi – which also means it’s brilliantly priced for exploring all that the local area has to offer!