Heading west

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Clyde_Wanderer
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Heading west

Postby Clyde_Wanderer » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:45 pm

Myself and the gang are having a meeting on tuesday eve to discus our plans for out intended trip to Tobermoray via Crinnan this season.
Is there any advice or knowledgable passage recomendations (that any of you folk who sail about that neck of the woods) would like to make/give/
Is it reasonable to assume that the passage from Crinnan to Tobermoray can be easily completed in one day, considering the smallest boat is a Corribee, and the biggest one has a novice skipper?
Any useful info other than the charts guides etc, would be greatly appreciated.
C_W

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Re: Heading west

Postby Silkie » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:59 pm

It's certainly doable in a day with the right wind and tide, but these are not always guaranteed of course. :)

Ideally you want the wind between S and E (more than a wee bit W of S or N of E will give some beating) and the start of the flood in the morning. You can carry up to 8 hours of fair tide on this passage but I'd still want to leave Crinan against the last of the ebb in a Corribee (or H22) to catch the Dorus as early as possible.

Don't have charts to hand but I guess it's about 45 miles.

All IMO, of course.
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Re: Heading west

Postby aquaplane » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:51 pm

I have done more or less the same thing but the other way, Oban to Tayvallich, in one tide, definitely need to have the tide under you though. At one point we were doing 10.5Kts SOG and 6 through the water.

The more the merrier for getting through the Crinnan Canal, 2 per boat and another 4, two sorting the lock you are heading for and 2 sorting the lock you are leaving. Two can do the locks but it's easier with 2 in each party.
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Cheers Bob.

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Re: Heading west

Postby Clyde_Wanderer » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:44 pm

Thanks guys.
If we could make as far as loch Aline on the first day out from Crinnan we would be happy.
We had thought about rafting one of the smaller boats to mine in the cannal locks, which would free up two more men for the gates, is this allowed in the cannel?
It is a maybe that there could be 5 boats in all, so if we were to raft two of the smaller to two of the bigger, we would have loads of gaters, as there will be two on each of the boats.
Cheers, C_W

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Re: Heading west

Postby sahona » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:54 pm

point 1, what beam is your fleet? When we had the Shipman, we only needed to open one lock-gate, that was a real bonus.
Point 2, your destination from Crinan will surely depend on the time of day you clear the canal. We quite often just go to Ardfern if it's late.
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Re: Heading west

Postby aquaplane » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:01 am

The scheme I was on about is to make a quick and fairly painless transit. If there are 3 folk on one boat the one working the locks ends up knackered and the folk on the boat have to help too to keep things moving.

It's doable with 2 folk on one boat, but it's slower and there is a lot of tooing and froing getting locks ready and leaving them closed for the next folk.

Also, locking out of the sea lock, you have to wait for the man. No point having a good tide at 06:00 if they won't let you out untill 08:30. They finish about 17:00 too you can't bank on getting out and anchoring for the night before setting off at the crack of sparrows.
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Re: Heading west

Postby Clyde_Wanderer » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:42 am

That's a point about the beam, mine is 9' 3" I dont know if the other bigger boat is wider.
We are hoping to be at the Crinnan sea lock by the end of the day and try to get out with the fishing boats early doors, "or gates in this case"
Will my beam get through one gate bill?
That would put paid to having them rafted up then.
Is one person not enough to control the lines on each boat, or would it be better to have two on the bigger boats anyway?
How many men is required to operate the gates?
Thanks C_W

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Re: Heading west

Postby Telo » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:16 am

Clyde_Wanderer wrote:How many men is required to operate the gates?
Thanks C_W


None. The slight Mme Sgeir manages on her own while I do the masterful stuff on board.

We've normally gone through with other boats - great way to make friends and lighten the load, but there has never been more than the two of us on any Crinan transit. It is within the capacity of two people to bring a boat through without any assistance or in the company of other boats, and we've done that for at least part of the way on one passage.

You really only need one person on board for the ropes if you plan ahead and arrange your warps so that they both come back to the cockpit. We run the bow warp through a block and thence back over the deck to the winch in the cockpit. I can then manage both bow and stern lines, as well as making any manoeuvres with the rudder or engine.

Re your beam, I don't know how wide the lock gates are, but the chances are you'll be going through with other boats.

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Re: Heading west

Postby Nick » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:42 am

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It is within the capacity of two people to bring a boat through without any assistance or in the company of other boats

SWMBO and I did that the third day we were ever on a boat with just the two of us.

Mind you, we also did it on the fourth day and part of the fifth day - it was not a swift transit . . .

I've been through a few times since in various boats and the last time with just myself and a friend on a Folkboat we got through in about 6 hours with no other boats around . . . it is much easier when you have had a bit of practice. We only opened one gate each time.

Two main things are plenty of fenders and take the bow line back to the spare winch so one guy in the cockpit can easily control the boat while the other one does all the legwork, gates etc. Have a bit of patience as well and don't try to open the gate until pressure is completely equalised.
- Nick 8)

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Re: Heading west

Postby sahona » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:14 pm

I'm not sure what the actual one-gate-gap is Eamonn, I just remember we had no problem in the Shipman (beam 8'6") with extra fenders, plank and carpet dangling overboard. It takes (literally) 1/2 the man/woman hours per lock!
We're going through in Sahona this May, all being well, but I suggest that may be a slow 2-gate transit.
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Re: Heading west

Postby So_Sage_of_Lorne » Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:27 pm

Eamonn,

I hope to be resident not a million miles from the canal quite soon, if you let me know when you are going through, I would be more than happy to assist with the shore side of things if required. I need to purchase a mountain bike, negotiations with the purse holder are inhand! :)
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Re: Heading west

Postby Clyde_Wanderer » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:37 pm

Thanks everyone for all the useful advice and reassurance.
It could happen we may run into you Bill, as we are, at this point, planning our trip for may.
Thanks, S_S_O_L, we could probably meet up for a pint, if we are not pushing to do it in a day.
Shard, I would have thought you could have lifted your boat across the gates :lol: :lol:
Does anyone know if the latest version of Scottish Islands by H H Smith is out yet? what is the isbn No?
I bought Island Oddesy only to find it wasent the book I wanted, but they took it back, and couldent tell me about the aforementioned book nor dident have it.
Is it really worth buying it, in respect of its directions value?
Thanks, C_W

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Re: Heading west

Postby Nick » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:48 pm

.
Click the picture to go to Amazon to buy it.

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The only publication to give anchoring / going ashore details for every island. Not a substitute for a pilot, but essential if you want to explore the lesser-known islands.
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Re: Heading west

Postby Ocklepoint » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:33 pm

I don't know how flexible you can be with your dates but distance travelled in a day from Crinan depends on

What time you get out of the sealock....................fairly predictable
What time the tide starts to run north..................predictable
Wind speed and direction.....................................well, who knows?
Hull speed..........................................................predictable

If you manage to choose a date when the start of the flood is about 30 minutes after locking out, and given acceptable weather probably from the SW/W/NW then you should make the 45nms in a day. It won't get dark until late and the bars stay open long into the night

There is a rumour around that if you are very clever with tides you can catch the last of the flood up the sound of Mull to somewhere south of Tob then the first of the ebb for the rest of the way. Never figured out how to do it myself but maybe one day.

The Corribee might have a bouncy half hour as you pass between Mull and the Ladys Rock, quite a big area of "funny water"

Enjoy it

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Re: Heading west

Postby So_Sage_of_Lorne » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:10 pm

Clyde_Wanderer wrote:.
Thanks, S_S_O_L, we could probably meet up for a pint, if we are not pushing to do it in a day., C_W


The idea of a pint whilst attractive initself, was not the basis of the offer. Having done the transit a few times, the addition of a shore party with mountain bike to prepare the next lock and take shore lines ensures a speedy passage however, the Crinan can be frought with unexpected hazards such as drone ships. It is said that it is best to ensure that the helm has "been" should the skipper wish to disembark for a brief period.

The problem I have is mathmatical, I have the followwing equasion to contemplate:-

a+b+c+d+e=???

Mountain Bike = a

Canal tow path = b

succesful transit =c

pint = d

Clyde Wanderer and the inevitable poteen =e
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