Oban to Greenock

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Craig9903
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Oban to Greenock

Postby Craig9903 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:11 pm

Hi There,

Looking for some advice & Tips for an upcoming trip, I have just purchased a Colvic Traveler and will be sailing it from Oban to Greenock next month, I have never sailed from Oban before, Would anyone be kind enough to give me some advice for sail down from Oban to the Crinan Canal, I checked the distance & its about 23nm from Oban to the start of the Crinan, for a more direct route i was thinking of coming down through the Sound or Clachan but from what I'm reading it can be somewhat tricky, but i did see that they were able to get a Severn class lifeboat though. Any advice is more than welcome.

Thanks

Craig

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Nick
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Re: Oban to Greenock

Postby Nick » Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:39 pm

..

Hi Craig,

Don't even think about Clachan Sound - it is almost impossible without local knowledge and very dependent on tide - and it will save little or no time. Best to make use of the strong tides down the Sound of Luing and across to the Dorus Mor. Assuming you can make at least five knots just make sure you leave Oban with at least four hours of the ebb left and you should be fine. The flood tide against you at the Dorus Mor starts a couple of hours before LW Oban, so ideally leave at HW Oban go be sure of a fair tide all the way.

The passage is straightforward, and buoyed at the entrance to the Sound of Luing. Just make sure you have the necessary pilot book and charts.

You can anchor off the sea lock at Crinan, but it is only suitable for an overnight in calm weather or with an offshore wind. In a Westerly or North-Westerly there is quite a fetch. Otherwise you may be able to get a mooring at Crinan overnight.

Please don't hesitate to ask for any further advice. These are my local waters and well-known to most of the regulars on this forum.
- Nick 8)

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Fingal
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Re: Oban to Greenock

Postby Fingal » Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:44 pm

Hello Craig, welcome. You might be able to make it through Clachan Sound but ther would be a good chance that things would go wrong. If you leave Oban around HW you should carry the south going tide through the Sound of Luing and the Dorus Mor on a calm-ish day. It's a fairly straightforward passage in good conditions.
Ken
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marisca
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Re: Oban to Greenock

Postby marisca » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:16 pm

And another welcome from me. Blasting through the Clachan Sound at HW could be fun - don't omit to stop at the "Troosers" for a pint but I suspect Nick is right about local knowledge. Most of this forum have sticks and dangling bits of lead and think in terms of 5 or 6 kts. At planing speeds you may find having wind with tide through the Sound of Luing and the Dorus Mor is more comfortable - us raggies need the tide to make any progress in these places. It can get a bit bumpy between Sheep Island and Fladda but you will be choosing your weather. Enjoy the trip.

Craig9903
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Re: Oban to Greenock

Postby Craig9903 » Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:10 am

Hi Folks,

Thank you all for the reply's & Warm welcomes, I will take all your comments "onboard" and avoid the Clachan Sound, I have charts for the area & Navionics installed on my iPad, The boat also comes with a chart plotter with Charts for this area. This journey will be undertaken in good weather as the current owner is sailing it from Barra to Oban for me and he will be waiting for good weather. If I leave Oban at HW and can make 8knts how long before i make the Crinal canal? with the tidal speeds up there? I am hoping to leave Oban early and be able to complete part of the Crinan before it closes for the Day & the the following morning hopefully complete the Journey to Greenock. It's a journey that i am really looking forward to, I have never really sailed outwith the Clyde.

Thanks

Craig

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wully
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Re: Oban to Greenock

Postby wully » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:16 am

For a swift and easy trip through the canal, get a pilot. He will speed you through and you won't need to leave the boat.

The canal office will give you their contact details.

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Fingal
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Re: Oban to Greenock

Postby Fingal » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:45 pm

Craig9903 wrote:Hi Folks,

Thank you all for the reply's & Warm welcomes, I will take all your comments "onboard" and avoid the Clachan Sound, I have charts for the area & Navionics installed on my iPad, The boat also comes with a chart plotter with Charts for this area. This journey will be undertaken in good weather as the current owner is sailing it from Barra to Oban for me and he will be waiting for good weather. If I leave Oban at HW and can make 8knts how long before i make the Crinal canal? with the tidal speeds up there? I am hoping to leave Oban early and be able to complete part of the Crinan before it closes for the Day & the the following morning hopefully complete the Journey to Greenock. It's a journey that i am really looking forward to, I have never really sailed outwith the Clyde.

Thanks

Craig

At that speed about 3 hours, possibly less.
Ken
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Silkie
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Re: Oban to Greenock

Postby Silkie » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:25 am

Avoid Clachan Sound +1

and

Pick your weather +1

Just because the vendor had good weather yesterday (and the day before?) doesn't mean you'll have good weather tomorrow.
different colours made of tears

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Re: Oban to Greenock

Postby Old Troll » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:47 pm

For your information we have caught the ebb tide by leaving from South of Oban at about 0700 hrs in the morning and arrived Crinan and through to the Ardrishaig Basin to exit at 1700 just as the canal closes. This has been acheived by us the last two seasons when returning to the Clyde. Speeds of up to 11 knots were obtained with the tide to enable a fast journey. We are a 27ft boat with a 10hp engine. Within the canal we made use of the most excellent assisted passage which I understand is not on offer this coming season, stopping for about an hour midway through to have lunch. I expect it is all about timing. If the HW Oban tide is not until say after about 0900 then you are not going to make it through on the same day. :oldtroll:
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Craig9903
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Re: Oban to Greenock

Postby Craig9903 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:13 am

Thanks very much for all your Replys, anymore info will be welcomed.

Craig9903
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Re: Oban to Greenock

Postby Craig9903 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:19 am

Old Troll wrote:For your information we have caught the ebb tide by leaving from South of Oban at about 0700 hrs in the morning and arrived Crinan and through to the Ardrishaig Basin to exit at 1700 just as the canal closes. This has been acheived by us the last two seasons when returning to the Clyde. Speeds of up to 11 knots were obtained with the tide to enable a fast journey. We are a 27ft boat with a 10hp engine. Within the canal we made use of the most excellent assisted passage which I understand is not on offer this coming season, stopping for about an hour midway through to have lunch. I expect it is all about timing. If the HW Oban tide is not until say after about 0900 then you are not going to make it through on the same day. :oldtroll:


Thanks very much for your reply, I do intend to depart Oban just before HW, but its going to be very much a suck it & see exercise, as i do not have any confirmed dates for the transit, I will be given 12/24hrs notice. I think a wee night on the Canal would be nice, can you recommend anywhere to stop? with a wee pub of course. WHere in the Clyde do you take you boat? How long does it take once you exit the Canal? What's this assisted passage that you are referring to? I have never operated locks before, are they easy enough to get the hang of? apologies for all the questions.

Thanks
Craig

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mm5aho
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Re: Oban to Greenock

Postby mm5aho » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:09 am

Assisted passage
There used to be canal employees that would go with a boat to assist with lock door opening, sluice gate operation, taking tie up ropes etc, but apprently that isn't availabe this summer. (was free)
But there have always been a few others in the area available for (paid) assistance. Experienced in helping those that have never used canal locks, they warn/advise about things that aren't immediately obvious, such as not making fast a rope on a downward lock to prevent getting "hung up" on the side of the lock wall. (as water level drops its necessary to let out rope to lengthen the warp)

Lock operation
There's a good explanation of how to operate these in a brochure ("Skippers Guide") that is available at the lock keepers office at each end. Its also available here...http://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/media/356903/crinan%20sg%202012%20web%20version.pdf

I think its just a matter of thinking through what you're doing. Its possible to try filling a lock, but having forgotten to close the lower sluices the water can just flow through and the lock never fills, for example.
Things to watch for / find out about, include. Sill position and where to keep clear of them; not opening filling sluices too far too fast; warp tension and angle; (greater angle means less adjustment on the rise or fall); times of sea locks (which are operated by the lock keepers);

Places to stop...
http://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/our-canals/crinan-canal
There's a chart of facilities at each lock / stop in the "Skippers Guide"
Geoff.
"Contender" Rival 32: Roseneath in winter, Mooring off Gourock in summer.

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Bodach na mara
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Re: Oban to Greenock

Postby Bodach na mara » Sat May 17, 2014 9:19 pm

[quote="Craig9903Thanks very much for your reply, I do intend to depart Oban just before HW, but its going to be very much a suck it & see exercise, as i do not have any confirmed dates for the transit, I will be given 12/24hrs notice. I think a wee night on the Canal would be nice, can you recommend anywhere to stop? with a wee pub of course. WHere in the Clyde do you take you boat? How long does it take once you exit the Canal? What's this assisted passage that you are referring to? I have never operated locks before, are they easy enough to get the hang of? apologies for all the questions.

Thanks
Craig[/quote]

There are at least three places on the canal with a bub within easy reach to stop for overnight. Crinan basin or above lock 14, Cairnbaan or at the east end of the summit reach and near Oakfield bridge. There are also pubs at Ardrishaig.

On the Clyde side, there are lots of places to stop between Ardrishaig and Greenock, Tarbert, Kames, Tighnabruiach, Colintraive, Port Bannatyne, Rothesay for starters.

At 8 knots, Ardrishaig to Greenock should take about 7 hours.

Locks on the Crinan can be a pig. Winding the sluice handle is harder work than it looks, on several locks, one gate will not move unless the other is started first (and you will push the wrong one for ages before someone that knows tells you why) and after you have left a lock, you need to close it up again and close all sluices, which usually involves walking back from the next lock.

That is why we usually contact a pilot, or more correctly get the lock keeper at Crinan to call him for us. Because mobile phones do not work in the Crinan area.
Ken


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