Tuesday, 8 May 2018

2018 Crinan Canal Pilots


YACHTSMEN looking to transit the Crinan Canal this season can still hire assistance for their 9-mile journey from a number of recommended local private pilots.

Crinan canal
Transiting the Crinan canal
“With Yotspot no longer providing their assisted passage service this year, any short-handed sailors requiring assistance to transit can now do so from a number of our recommended private pilots,” said Donna Mallan, Customer Operations Manager at Scottish Canals.
Scottish Canals will aid boats to transit as much as possible from one lock to the next, however if boats are single handed, never transited the canal before or are looking for a speedy transit, Scottish Canals recommend contacting one of the pilots and making arrangements with them, in advance of a journey through the canal.

“The pilots on the list are all experienced, either having worked for us on the canal or having taken many boats through over many years,” she added.

Additionally, the 2018 edition of Welcome Anchorages contains a 5% discount voucher on page 5, for a transit, return or two-week licence on the Crinan or Caledonian Canals.

2018 Pilot List

Crinan canal pilots 2018
Crinan Canal Pilot list

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Spring 2018 Newsletter - Staff Changes


AFTER 16-years with the business, general manager, Mark Cameron, will be leaving Ardfern on 30th June and will be replaced by managing director, Andrew Ashton.
Andrew will continue to work closely alongside the existing workshop, boatyard, chandlery and office teams, together with dealing with the general business side of the company.

As a family owned business now in its 39th year we remain committed to Ardfern along with the customers and the skilled staff, without whom, the business would not operate in the way that it does.

With the majority of boats now launched for the forthcoming season Bob, Fraser and the workshop team continue to be as busy as ever completing the final stages of some larger jobs, along with spring re-commissioning, varnishing and work on customer special orders.

Over the winter, along with the standard annual maintenance programme conducted by North West Marine, all of the pontoon decking received a spring clean, while the purchase of a batch of new boat stands in the yard has proved invaluable for boat movements, with the plan being to purchase more of these for this coming winter.

We have also been working hard at solving the connectivity issues with BT regarding the installation of superfast fibre broadband to the business. Once this is up and running and stable, it is our aim to install WIFI poles around the pontoon network in order to get the best possible speed for customers to access. In the meantime we are pleased to say that the local telecoms masts have been upgraded over the winter and there is now a reasonable 4G signal covering the marina for 02, EE and Vodafone.

The chandlery continues to be well stocked and a new larger storage container was put in place behind the chandlery building over the winter, which gives us a much better space for storing the wide range of products we offer.

In the office we welcomed Bel Hawson to the team as company bookkeeper in the accounts department in mid January and Grant Lees continues with the role of marina co-ordinator alongside chandlery manager, Guy Neville, chandlery administrator Larrissa Madden and chandlery assistant, Willie Young. This summer we also have Rachel Fraser returning for a second season in the chandlery, along with keen yachtsman, James Hoad who will also assist in the chandlery and with visitor berthing/mooring allocation.


The brokerage service run by Ardfern Yacht Centre Ltd will, however, cease as from 30th June 2018, as Andrew and the team at Ardfern focus on running the marina, boatyard, workshop and chandlery that is our core business, while Mark will continue to focus on his brokerage work under his own name.

Going forward, Mark, who completed 7 years in the workshop office and 9 years as general manager at Ardfern, will now offer an independent brokerage service under the name ‘Mark Cameron Yachts’, which will cover the West Coast of Scotland and beyond.
Over recent years the brokerage section run by Mark at Ardfern has become extremely busy and the directors of Ardfern and Mark now feel that customers will benefit further from this new arrangement. We will continue to work closely with Mark in the future, in what we are all sure will be an amicable and customer enhancing experience going forward. 


Lastly, from 25th May 2018 the personal data laws are changing under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in the UK. If you would like to receive any future updates from Ardfern Yacht Centre Ltd please reply to this email with the statement ‘YES’ in the subject line to confirm you would like to keep hearing from us when we send out occasional news updates by email. If we don’t hear from you we will remove you from our mailing list for all future mailshots or newsletters later this month.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark for all his hard work and leadership at Ardfern over many years and to wish him every success in his new enterprise, while also wishing you all an enjoyable cruising season over the next few months.

Joanna Ashton & Nick Baker
Ardfern Yacht Centre Ltd

Monday, 12 March 2018

Guy Lifts The Silverware

Guy Neville & Crew - Sonata Inland Champions 2018

Guy Neville - Sonata
Guy and Crew collect the silverware after a challenging weekend
It may be early in the season however last weekend Guy escaped to compete in the 2018 Sonata Inland Championships. Despite a last minute crew change and the almost a year passing since they last sailed together Guy and the team battled through challenging conditions end the weekend in top spot.

Congratulations to Guy and the rest of the Crew.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Festive Opening Hours

We would like to thank all our customers for their business during 2017 and wish you all the best for 2018. We are open through the festive fortnight details below.

Opening Hours December 24th - January 3rd

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Whats on the Christmas cards this year?

Craignish Primary School Pupils Design The 2017 Christmas Cards.

For this years Christmas cards we returned to Craignish Primary School in the village and ran a small competition for pupils to design this years Ardfern Yacht Centre Christmas cards. As always the standard of entries was extremely hard and the judges struggled to decide on the winning three designs.

We would like to thank all the pupils of Craignish Primary for their efforts.

First Place - Roise Day, aged 11

Second Place - Lily Walsh, aged 10

Third Place - Beth Gregory, aged 9

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

It's Time For Scotland's Boatshow

2017 Kip Boat Show

With the 2017 The Yacht Market.com Southampton Boat Show now a faint memory Scotland's Boat Show gets underway this Friday at Kip Marina. The weekend promises to be action packed with lots to see and captivate the imagination of those not interested in boats. Some highlights from the schedule for this years event include the Pelle-P fashion show, the infamous Lewmar Grinding Rig Challenge and Nick Nairn's live cookery demonstrations. No boat show however is complete without BOATS.... and around the Clyde from Troon  to Greenock there will be boats galore to see both new and used. 

If the bustle of the boat shows doesn't appeal or you have walked the crowed pontoons and failed to find that boat that's just right for you don't forget to look at what's for sale away from the Clyde with independent brokers such as ourselves. After a frantic summer which saw unprecedented levels of sales activity for our brokerage service our resident ABYA broker and General Manager Mark Cameron has been busy working with vendors around the west coast bring some fantastic new listings onto the market. We have picked a few highlights below, find the full current list on our dedicated Brokerage Page on the website.

Grand Banks 46 - 'Rega of Ardfern'

Grand Banks 46 Classic for sale
 Grand Banks motor yachts are found in all corners of the world. The unmistakable silhouette having gained a loyal following of owners and admirers who appreciate the fine craftsmanship and top quality materials used to create these excellent cruisers. 
Commissioned by a serial Grand Banks owner REGA was built with no expense spared and the focus on creating a comfortable coastal cruiser capable of looking after her crew no matter the conditions. Loaded with unique features including long range fuel tanks, Trac stabilsier system, hydraulic bow thruster, electro/hydraulic tender crane; she is a magnificent example of the class and a boat not to be missed. Lying here at Ardfern, afloat and in commission.

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379 - 'Eureka IV'

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379 for sale
A striking modern cruising yacht the Marc Lombard designed hull with its distinct chine aft,wide stern, sleek sheerline, narrow heavily tinted portlights and plumb bow leaves the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379 standing out from the crowd. Winner of the Cruising World 2012 'Cruising Yacht of the Year' Award the Jeanneau Sun Odyessy 379 has proved to be a very capable and popular cruising yacht. Widely regarded as a better sailing boat than her big sisters the SO379 is easily sailed short handed and capable of making quick, comfortable offshore passages.
EUREKA IV is a rare single owner, two cabin version of the class benefiting from a huge heads compartment and extra on deck storage. Upgraded from the standard specification to suit the owners requirements she has an extensive inventory including additional freshwater tankage, full cockpit tent and the single deep spade rudder. Lying afloat and in commission in Tarbert, Argyll we highly recommend early viewing to avoid disappointment.

Nauticat 331 - 'Ailona'

Nauticat 331 for sale
Presented in sail away condition AILONA is a rarely found in the UK live aboard example of the popular Nauticat 331 motorsailer. Based on the old Nauticat 33 the design of the 331 has been changed very little during the last 45 years of production. Some tweaks below the waterline have improved boat handling and sailing performance for the better while below decks the finish has been refined to an exceptional standard as you would expect from a premium Scandinavian boat builder. Accommodation is provided below decks for a total of 4 crew in comfort with a single large heads forward and the elevated wheelhouse providing panoramic views from the saloon table. Benefiting from over £20k of upgrades and re-fitting since 2015 the boat really is ready to sail, offered with a full inventory. Lying afloat and incommission on the pontoons here at Ardfern.

Moody 38CC - 'Trinity of Rhu'

Moody 38CC for sale
The Bill Dixon designed centre cockpit Moody's of the mid 1990's are highly regarded by cruising yachtsmen around the globe. Offering good performance under sail with a safe comfortable deck layout and spacious practical accommodation below decks its not hard to understand why. The Moody 38CC offers the cruising sailor a great platform to get afloat and explore the coasts of the UK or oceans of the World! 
TRINITY OF RHU is a well presented example of the class having been well looked after throughout her life and continually upgraded. Ideally suited to family cruising with 7 berths over 3 cabins, twin heads and a spacious saloon. Recent upgrades include Raymarine ST70 instruments, upgrading of the fuel system and replacement of the stern gear. Currently lying on the Crinan Canal afloat and in commission ready to sail away. Keep your eye on the website if your a Moody fan we have a very nice example of the smaller Moody 35CC coming soon.

Morgan Giles 35 - 'Tilly III'

Morgan Giles 35' sloop for sale
Some boats just make you smile when you row ashore in the dinghy, TILLY III definitely falls into this category. Designed and built by Morgan Giles in Teignmouth TILLY III was the result of a commission from the then Lord Devonport for a capable offshore racing yacht a role which she proved more than capable of fulfilling. Using then state of the art design and construction principles she was something of benchmark design in the 1950's and although a one-off design many of the elements found there way into subsequent designs. With only her third owners since being built TILLY III was found by the current owners following an extended lay-up and in need of some TLC. Having the skill (being a time served boat builder) the current owner embarked upon a four year hull up restoration of the boat which saw her stripped back to a bare hull and deck structure before being completely rebuilt. Since being relaunched she has completed more than 8000 miles of cruising exploring waters from La Rochelle to the Pentland Firth!
With the asking price just reduced by £10,000 TILLY III is an excellent opportunity to acquire a lovely classic yacht, recently restored to the highest standards and ready to sail away. Call the office to arrange a viewing of the boat in Oban.

Dehler 32 - 'Dealanach'

Dehler 32 for sale
Dehler have an established history of producing visually appealing, slippery hulled performance cruiser which are also popular with club racers. With its impressive design pedigree, coming from the board of Judel/Vorlijk & company, the Dehler 32 has gained a reputation as a rewarding boat to sail, delivering good performance at all points of sail while being well mannered enough for those looking for a quick short handed cruiser. If your looking for performance cruiser which is also a practical cruising yacht without the complications of twin rudders, carbon spars and unattractively wide sterns look no further.
DEALANACH (gaelic for lightning) still with her original owners is a nicely presented one owner example of this 6 berth, two cabin design. Specified from new with the 'Cruiser Pack' from the builder she benefits from Eberspacher diesel heating, 60ltr fridge, holding tank, electric anchor windlass and full Garmin instrument pack including autopilot. Cruised predominately with just two aboard she has proved to be a great fun cruiser capable of making quick passages without tiring her crew. Due to come ashore for winter storage before the end of the month the boats currently lying afloat and in commission in Lochaber.

Full details of all our current brokerage listings can be found on our dedicated Brokerage Page on the website.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

A Season of International Sales for the Ardfern Brokerage

Hallberg-Rassy 37
Fulmar under Swedish flag ready to depart for Sweden

Fulmar heads back to Sweden

To finish a busy year for our brokerage service yesterday saw the immaculate Hallberg-Rassy 37 'Fulmar' depart Ardfern heading back to Sweden with her new owners. Listed for sale following an extended period of lay-up the boat was launched from her long term home at Creran Marine and brought to Ardfern while our workshops worked through a short post-survey snagging list getting her ready for a North Sea crossing later next week.

'Our brokerage business has seen a prolonged period of steady growth for the last 4 years. Vendors based on the west coast of Scotland are now aware that with the developments in online advertising and engaging a pro-active broker it no longer requires the boat to be located on the Clyde as was previously the case to achieve a quick sale. As independent brokers we have been working to establish a network of connections in other independent brokerages around Europe to ensure we can offer the best possible service for clients not only selling their own boats but also those looking for their next boat.

'Fulmar' is a great example of the benefits collaborative approach. This is the second boat this year which we have sold to Swedish buyers through our established connection Tobias and his team at Navark Yacht Brokers in Helsingborg. We achieved a quick sale at the very top end of the price range for the model and were able to use our full service facilities to accommodate the installation of new equipment prior to the boats departure.

The continued weakness of the pound against other currencies will see us continue to look to buyers based overseas to achieve the best possible sales value for our clients

commented Ardfern General Manager and resident ABYA Broker Mark Cameron. 

Thinking of buyer or selling a boat this autumn?

As Boat Show season gets underway with Yachting Festival De Cannes over and The Yacht Market Southampton Boatshow now in full swing we are looking forward to Scotland's Boatshow and the traditionally busy autumn brokerage period. If your thinking about buying or selling your boat this winter find out how we can assist in the Brokerage section of the website