Thursday, 11 May 2017

'Cayambe' Finds A New Home in Belgium

Its been a busy start to 2017 in our Brokerage with lots of high quality cruising yachts finding new homes around the globe.

With favourable exchange rates against the pound we have been working with an international clientele during the later part of 2016 and early part of 2017 as Euro and Dollar based buyers swoop in to grab some great boats at very favourable prices. During the last 6 months we have found new homes for Najad's, Finngulf's and most recently the Rustler 36 'Cayambe' in Europe and the Americas.

A shakedown cruise to Belgium

Rustler 36 Loch Linnhe
'Fair Isle' (Ex 'Cayambe') Under full sail in Loch Linnhe heading for the Caledonian Canal
After just 6 weeks over the festive period listed on our Brokerage and interest from several different parties we concluded the sale of the Rustler 36 'Cayambe' to Mr. Willaert from Belgium. During the spring our workshops worked through Mr. Willaerts list of required works, upgrading some of the onboard electronics and undertaking works on the engine and sterngear to make her ready for her North Sea shakedown. Having now completed the delivery trip Mr. Willaert provided a summary of his experiences buying a boat through the Ardfern Yacht Centre Brokerage service.

'We sailed off from Ardfern with fair weather and took all the daunting (so I had read in many a pilot books) obstacles without problems. We thought to spin around in the Dorus Mor, to shipwreck in a sucking Corryvreckan and to be smashed in pieces in the Fladda Narrows. Although I respect highly this tough waters I was greatful we could pass through with peace. The other day the very sympathetic Scottish weathergods gave us a good westerly breeze to sail from Oban up Loch Linnhe to Corpach where we had immediate acces to the Caledonian Canal. On our approach to Fort William we encountered only one sailboat, another Rustler 36 from Ardfern, Pickle.
The passage of the Caledonian Canal was a true delight. All alone in the middle of this impressive landscape. A unique experience for the nature lovers we are. Chased by energetic weather forecasts at the east coast we flew over the Lochs to Inverness to get asap on the track south before the april gales could catch us. It was with a mixture of astonishment and sadness we saw the beautiful coastline passing by.
We crossed the Firth of Forth with forty knots northwesterly winds on a sturdy eight ton long keeler with speeds up to ten knots. (three reefs and a staysail) I never expected a Rustler 36 to surf.
We made one overnight stop in Hartlepool to stretch the legs. (the pub was a three minute walk) After nine adventurous days of true maritime delight we saw the concrete Belgian coastline appear at the horizon.
I wish to thank all the people at Ardfern Yacht Centre who prepared 'Fair Isle' (former SY Cayambe) in a way I could cross oceans with her.
I don't know all of them by name but I'm convinced they all execute their job with passion. Special thanks to the engine strippers, the riggers, Andy, the electronic magician and of course to Mr. Cameron with whom it's a pleasure to do business.

If I would ever plan to buy another boat... my love says it won't happen...
it would be somewhere in Loch Craignish.'

#LegendarySailing Rustler 36
Paul Willaert and crew making their way through the Caledonian Canal
While its always sad to see a boat like 'Cayambe'; been based in Ardfern since she was launched, leave Scottish waters we are sure she is in good hands in her new cruising grounds under her new name 'Fair Isle'. Hopefully Mr. Willaert enjoys fair winds for his first season. 

Buyers Waiting

We have a list of buyers looking for well presented cruising boats. If your thinking about changing you boat why not give Mark a call and discuss your requirements, see the latest listings on our new Brokerage Webpage.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Iconic Sailing Events in May

With the Scottish sailing season now in full swing May sees two iconic Scottish sailing events taking place with the Scottish Islands Peaks Race and The Silvers Marine Scottish Series.

Scottish Islands Peak Race - Oban start line.

Scottish Islands Peaks Race

A brutal start to the competitive sailing season on Scotland's West coast the SIPR appeals to a special breed of skipper and crew looking to push themselves to the limits of endurance. Starting in Oban this year on Friday 19th May the event sees crew and runners battle their way around the coast line of Argyll scaling the summits of Ben More on the Isle of Mull, all 3 peaks of the Paps of Jura and finally Goatfell on the Isle of Arran before a dash to the finish line in Troon. 

We are big fans of this event which has braced modern technology allowing you to track teams in real time as they battle the weather at sea and on the mountains over the weekend. Find out more on the event website or follow our live commentary on Facebook for a lighter take on events!

Marc Turner Scottish Series Clyde Cruising Club #legendarysailing
Silvers Marine Scottish Series - IRC Start line

 Silvers Marine Scottish Series 

Scotland's premier regatta Clyde Cruising Clubs Scottish Series has crews from all over the UK making the annual Pilgrimage to Tarbert and the testing waters of Loch Fyne. Building on a successful 2016 event a there have been a number of changes to the event format for this year all aimed at increasing numbers on the start line. 

The IRC classes will be taking part in the Scottish IRC Championships which for the first time are embedded in the event. The all new RC35 class, an iniative born out of a desire to improve racing in IRC class 2 makes it debut and should ensure for some close racing. White sail classes continue to grow in popularity and offer the cruising sailor a chance to enjoy the great atmosphere of the event.

Highlights from the 2016 Scottish Series

 Just two of the events making the best of Scotland's legendary sailing waters in 2017

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Lobster Pots and Small Craft Safety

A Petition has been launched calling on the UK Government to review the guidance on how static fishing gear is marked around the UK coastline.

Lobster Buoy Rescue
RNLI Pot Buoy Rescue
Photo courtesy of Practical Boat Owner Magazine
Sponsored by the Cruising Association the petition calls on DEFRA to improve the way in which all static fishing gear is marked for the safety of all small craft. Currently the guidance in place is voluntary and viewed to be inadequate with the number of times the RNLI and Coastguard are called out to small craft with fouled sterngear highlighting the scale of the problem.

To sign the petition click here to be directed to the UK Government website.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

New Brokerage Website Goes Live

After 3 years of steady growth for our on-site Yacht Brokerage Service we are pleased to announce our new Brokerage Page is now live. 

Yacht Brokerage Scotland
All new Brokerage Home Page
Working with our own web developers and the UK based online boat sales portal the brand new page is packed with custom features suited to the needs of those perusing online adverts for the boat of their dreams. In the last 12 months the number of visitors to the brokerage page within our website neared 20,000 and illustrated the value of this shop window for our brokerage service. 'The new page brings our own website up to date displaying the listing details in a crisp clear format and creates a platform around which we can expand our partnership activity with other brokerages' commented Mark Cameron, General Manager and in-house ABYA Yacht Broker.

Regina 43 Deck Saloon For Sale in Scotland
Detailed boat page

New Functionality

The new page displays all current listings in an easily readable format allowing users to quickly scroll through listings before opening up selected listings to see full details of the boat. Information is displayed clearly in a format which shows off key features while retaining high levels of detail buyers find useful when viewing a boat from afar. From the webpage full details of each listing can be printed or even shared to your selected social media platforms to show friends.

New Listings Sought

Activity across the Brokerage has been strong since the end of last season with many well presented high value blue water cruising boats finding new owners after only a few months on the market. In the last 12 months we have worked with buyers from Northern Europe, USA and Canada to successfully sell and export boats ranging from 33' to 46'. We have some interesting new listings coming onto the books in the next few weeks however with active buyers on our books looking for good quality cruising yachts we are always keen to discuss new listings.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Scotland's Marine Tourism Conference Goes Digital

Delegates learn about making the most of digital for their marine tourism business.

#SMTC2017 Gavin McDonagh Opening Speech
Sail Scotland Chairman Gavin McDonagh opens the day.
As the national marine tourism event on the program of Scottish Tourism Week the Sail Scotland Marine Tourism Conference; held in Greenock on March 23rd firmly put Scotland's booming Marine Tourism sector on the digital map. Themed around the benefits of digital engagement for businesses of all sizes delegates heard from a wide range of world class speakers on everything from tips and tricks to save you time online, making websites shine across the Google platform and why you should make time to write a blog!

Speakers for the day included

Stuart McMillan MSP - As Convener of the Cross Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism delivered the opening address to delegates.  

Marc Crothall - CEO of Scottish Tourism Alliance and Chair of the Scottish Marine Tourism Development Group outlined the importance of the tourism economy to Scotland and shared some of the new technologies being used to market different businesses including Virtual Reality tours

Stephen Whitelaw - Digital Tourism Scotland delivered a very engaging presentation on the future of the web. During the afternoon session Stephen also lead one of the workshops providing an insight into the importance of Search Engine Optimisation.

Mark Johnstone - Google Digital Garage highlighted the services provided by the Digital Garage service and the importance of telling your story online.

Thea Newcombe - Delivered the second of the afternoon workshops 'Blogging for Business' providing an insight into the importance of blogging and tips on how to make sure time is used effectively.

Conrad Colman - Vendee Globe Skipper.

Conrad Colman & his Vendee Globe tale.
Conrad Colman tells his tale of the 2016/17 Vendee Globe

Arguably the speaker who stole the show however was the 'Crazy Kiwi' Conrad Colman, just freshly back from an epic Vendee Globe campaign. At just 33 years old Conrad Colman only crossed the finish line of his first Vendee Globe at the end of February in a very respectable 16th place. His race wasn't your standard ocean race and he kept delegates enthralled with his tales of finding himself overboard while racing solo, battling an onboard fire, loosing a mast, making a jury rig and completing the race under his lashed together rig while surviving on the ration packs from his liferaft.

Delegates left the conference thanking Daniel Steel of Sail Scotland for a great conference which provided valuable insights for all on how to maximise the benefits of digital this coming season. With 2020 recently announced as Scotland's Year of Coast & Water's there is a lot to look forward to.

2020 Scotland's year of Coast & Waters Marc Crothall STA
Marc Crothall announces 2020 Year of Scotland's Coast & Waters

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Round Mull Race 2017 - Open For Entries

RMR16 - Class 1 Fleet Leaving Oban Bay

Entries are now invited for this years Oban Sailing Club Round Mull Race. This long established event is one of the highlights of the sailing calendar on the west coast with the perfect mix of great sailing, stunning scenery and a fantastic social program. The 2017 event runs over the weekend of Friday July 7th - Sunday July 9th, visit the Oban Sailing Club website or down load the Race Instructions for more details.

As one of the events making up the Skye Sailing Clubs newly established, season long West Highland Offshore Series you automatically enter this unique event with great prizes including our very own 'Esprit de Parcour' trophy.

Saturday, 7 January 2017



Tales of the Corryvreckan

As a new year has begun and thoughts will be turning to the cruising itinerary for 2017, we thought it would be a good time to share just a wee glimpse of the events on offer to those enjoying the waters of Scotland's West Coast in 2017.  

The Mendelssohn on Mull Concert

Mull Music Festival

Start: Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April
The Mull Music Festival is a weekend of Scottish music featuring folk-rock bands, traditional fiddle & accordion dance and ceilidh bands, and Gaelic singers. It takes place largely in Mull's public houses spread around the island, plenty of variety is offered within Tobermory which has excellent facilities for those arriving by sea.  The events aren't ticketed, and most are very crowded!
Piping the runners ashore.

Scottish Islands Peak Race

Start: Friday 19th May (Finish entirely down to weather and crew!)
This adventure race is for teams of Sailors and Fell Runners (both adult and teenage) and is held annually on and around the most beautiful parts of the West Coast of Bonny Scotland.
The Race starts in Oban with a short hill run, then a sail to Salen on Mull, run over Ben More, sail to Craighouse on Jura, run the Paps, sail to Arran, run Goat Fell, then sail to Troon. The Race takes 3 to 4 Days and caters for Multihulls, Racers and Cruisers.
Each team consists of 5 (usually 2 runners and 3 sailors), there is also an all-rounders class for sailors that can run and a class for young people (with the assistance of a few adults).

Scottish Series 2016 Winners: Dara O'Malley and Seaward from
Port Edgar Yacht Club. (

Scottish Series

Start: Friday 26th – Monday 29th May
Ever thought of taking part in Scotland’s biggest regatta?
It’s not all about the race boats with the black sails and experienced race crews. Many people take part just for craic of it. The event in Tarbert Loch Fyne is open to all and for some can just be a great weekend away with you friends relaxing with passage sailing in between the parties. Come and see what you are missing!

FyneFest Festival

Start: Friday 2nd  - Sunday 4th June
Over the past few years Fynefest's reputation as one of the most popular beer festivals in Scotland has been spreading far and wide. From small beginnings in the brewery courtyard to a big marquee in one field, camping in another the festival has just got bigger & better. Filled with quality craft beer, locally sourced food and excellent music in beautiful Argyll. All this to enjoy at your leisure over the full weekend based around the Fyne Ales Brewery at the head of Loch Fyne, next to Loch Fyne Oysters.

Round Mull Race 2016

Round Mull Race 

Start: Friday 7th - Sunday 9th July
We are proud to support this event as joint headline sponsors with Owen Sails of Benderloch. The Round Mull Race has acquired a loyal following over the last 25 years with many of the boats making up the fleet of approximately 50 boats having made the annual pilgrimage round the island of Mull many times. Every year the event stalwarts are joined by boats and crews from all over the UK who have come to experience this unique event; offering great sailing in some of the west coasts most picturesque waters around the coast of Mull.
The event see the fleet enjoying the hospitality of Oban Sailing Club on the Thursday evening with the opening buffet. Racing commences on the Friday morning with start line being positioned off Oban Sailing club, the fleet races from Oban to Tobermory on Mull via the Sound of Mull. Saturday see the fleet start at the entrance to Tobermory Bay before heading westward to the open waters of Mulls west coast before heading South for the finish line at Bunessan. Spending the night at anchor the local community offer a buffet and ceilidh on the Saturday evening in the village hall, a short walk along the road from the pier. The final leg of the race on the Sunday takes the fleet west again through the Sound of Iona before heading east along the south coast of Mull and toward the finish at Frank Lockwoods Island.
Described previously as competitive cruising rather than racing the event offers something for everyone with a white sail class and two handed class. 
Sun, Sand & Sea at the Tiree Music Festival

Tiree Music Festival  

Start: Friday 14th - Sunday 16th July
Think picture-perfect white sands. World-famous surf. Deserted roads lined with lush greenery and wild flowers. Not forgetting more sunshine than practically anywhere else in the UK. It’s little wonder that the tiny Hebridean island of Tiree is nicknamed the ‘Hawaii of the North’.
This is the unique location of Tiree Music Festival, or TMF as it is known by many who have been part of the incredible journey of this small event….
For years, Tiree local and musician with the band Skerryvore Daniel Gillespie found himself performing at festivals around the world thinking how great it would be to have a similar event back home. Until one day, he and fellow Tiree local Stewart MacLennan decided to create exactly that.Their early vision was one of a music festival capable of sharing the magic and beauty of Tiree with visitors from far and wide, and in doing so delivering a welcome boost to the economy and community of this remote island.
Since its formation TMF has also gone on to win 9 national awards including Best Small Event at the Scottish Event Awards (2012, 2013 & 2016), Best Cultural Event at both the Highland & Island Tourism Awards (2013 & 2015) & Scottish Thistle Awards (2013). Event of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards (2013) and also thenits first UK award by being crowned the Best Small Event at the UK Event Awards in 2014. Evidence, if ever it was needed, that small can indeed be beautiful!
So whether you’re joining us from the mainland, are island hopping from somewhere nearby or are local to Tiree, we look forward to welcoming you to TMF and the ‘Hawaii of the North’

WHYW Fleet running under spinnakers

West Highland Week

Start: Saturday 29th July - Friday 4th August
The historic and unique sailing regatta is now in its 70th anniversary year. It has evolved into the West Coast's biggest sailing event taking in 3 venues, Craobh, Oban and Tobermory. 1000+ competitors from around the world enjoy national and local media coverage. The event has evolved a distinctive blend of competitive racing combined with a varied and full programme of family social events.
Winners in the 2015 Round Shuna Race collect their trophies
(Picture - Tom Allen)

Round Shuna Race & Feeder Races

Dates to be announced 
Run by the Clyde Corithian Yacht Club the Shuna race weekend is a fun filled weekend after the Scottish Schools return from the summer break. The weekend starts with feeder races from Oban and Ardfern to Craobh where boats muster for the next days round Shuna race. Unusual in its format the race around Shuna is a pursuit race with a prolonged start sequence seeing the slowest boat setting off first and the fastest last; to add to the fun its entirely the skipper's (or perhaps willful crew) decision which way round the island is circumnavigated.
Keep an eye on the blog for further updates

Craignish Arts Festival - People sculptures by Claire McNiven

Craignish Arts Festival

Dates to be announced (normally mid August)
Primarily a visual arts festival in the West Highland community of Craignish, Ardfern, the festival also encompasses a variety of live music nights at our local pub The Galley of Lorne Inn and The Lords of the Isles in Craobh Haven, storytelling sessions, markets, sporting competitions, guided walks and family events, in particular a range of arts workshops and the incredibly popular Pirate Parade.

The Time Frequency at Mull of Kintyre Music Festival 2016

Mull of Kintyre Music Festival

Start: Wednesday 17th - Sunday 21rd August
Enjoy the best in traditional and contemporary Celtic music and this popular annual music festival held in the scenic area immortalised in Paul McCartney’s 1977 hit song Mull of Kintyre.
Established in 1992 in the west coast town of Campbeltown, the Mull of Kintyre Music Festival showcases the finest talent in Scottish and Irish traditional music with a fantastic programme of concerts, ceilidhs, jam sessions, workshops, free outdoor events. This is accompanied by other exciting events which range from children’s entertainment to heritage and cultural tours and parades. Watch excellent local ceilidh bands, Gaelic choirs, pipe bands, brass bands Highland dancers perform alongside acclaimed international acts which in recent years have included Altan, Davy Spillane, Four men and a Dog, the Tannahill Weavers, Jerry Holland and Dave McIsaac, Dougie McLean, the Micahel McGoldrick Band, the Full Moon Ensemble, Arty McGlynn and Nollaig Cassidy. This family-friendly event is held every August across a range of venues and is a must for all lovers of traditional and contemporary Celtic music.

Best of the West Festival

Start: Saturday 9th- Sunday 10th September
Set in the stunning venue of the ground of  Inveraray Castle, this family friendly festival highlights the best in food, drink, crafts, music and entertainments from the West of Scotland. From fine crafts to fine food and from local pipe bands to world famous headline music acts, the programme offers something for everyone, including a range of children's activities, horse riding, archery and survival skills to tire the kids out. 

Live music in the Isle of Jura Cooperage

Jura Music Festival 

Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th September 
The Jura Music Festival is a firm favourite on the festival calendar. It's a fantastic weekend of traditional Scottish Music in a beautiful, remote island setting. 
As well as a great line-up of musicians, there are also workshops and sessions to encourage up-and-coming talent. From the Friday night ceilidh right through to the Sunday night concert in the distillery cooperage, this is a foot-stomping weekend for music lovers, easily reachable under sail from Ardfern.

These are only a highlight of the many events happening around Scotland's west coast during 2017. If your looking for more information on events to be enjoyed afloat the CYCA 2017 Event Calander is an vital resource, even if its only to avoid being in the same anchorage as a race fleet! Locally the Ardfern community is very active and during the year there are many events going on within the Craignish area open to all, the Craignish Village Hall website and the Craignish Info website have details of events going on within the hall.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2017!