For those of you who have been complaining about the mooring costs on Coll, here's a reply from Neil who operates them.
I've been away and a bit busy. Always sorry to get complaints Nick. The moorings are checked and maintained in the spring EVERY year without fail and I can produce the paperwork to prove it. The charge is Ã‚Â£15 and if you believe a profit can be made wth only seven moorings and a three-month season I would like to see the figures.
I am a keen sailor and when I came to live on Coll the moorings had been abandoned By Argyll and Bute Council but were still in place. Nobody in the Council was responsible for their upkeep. I bought them, hauled and repaired them and paid the Crown Estate annually for the associated seabed. I began by charging Ã‚Â£10 per night but found this did not cover the cost.
The main beneficiaries are visiting yachtsmen and the hotel where they spend on average a good deal more than Ã‚Â£15. However, for those who find the charge prohibitive I suggest they learn how to anchor on what is excellent holding ground, as many do. By the way, the honesty box, situated prominently on the landing jetty, is honoured by fewer than a third of crews, necessitating an early visit to collect fees before yachts make off without paying.
Tobermory moorings turn over around Ã‚Â£500,000 annually, a completely different situation. If you think I should cease to offer moorings on Coll, please let me know.
So there you have it. Learn to anchor if you don't like the charge. Neil didn't respond to the report that Angus had collected Ã‚Â£25 off one yacht, but otherwise I have to say I thought this was a very reasonable response.