Month: April 2021

Crew Feedback

Crew Feedback

Feedback from our all customers is very important to Lochaber Watersports.
Although it’s good when people say nice things about us, we also very much welcome constructive criticism.

Had a great week with excellent easy-going instructions – also thank you very much for helping with how to get a camping permit for our next trip. Have now become Scotland’s best fed Day Skipper.
Charlie – Aberdeen


Great fun sailing in Scottish weather with good food, good boat and good Instructor.
Andy – Stoke


Had a wonderful week – Skipper Mike’s tuition and seamanship only bettered by his fry-ups!
Celia – Penicuik


Excellent 5 days. Mike is a great Instructor with lots of patience. Experience of a lifetime.
Julie – Liverpool


Excellent – scenery, sailing, teaching, culinary ingenuity, seals and dolphins!
Sarah – Essex


Fantastic holiday! Great teacher and cook in Mike. Great boat. Learned a great deal and thoroughly enjoyed it. Every success to Lochaber Watersports!
Ian – Yarmouth


West Highland Week – 8th overall. Superb fun, great company. Everyone loved FIGMENT – one of the better party boats!
Mike – Essex


Thanks! Set me on course for a new “journey” in my life.
Nancy – Kinloss


A great week – work on the jokes for next time, Mike!
Mary – Dornoch

RYA Training

RYA Training

Lochaber Watersports is a RYA Recognised Training Centre for offshore yachting, powerboat and shorebased theory courses

Yachting Courses

We are pleased to offer the entire range of courses from Competent Crew through to Yachtmaster Preparation. Our Courses usually run from Easter through to September and all start from our Centre adjacent to The Isles of Glencoe Hotel around 2000 on a Sunday evening and finish back at Ballachulish the following Friday afternoon around 1600. All candidates have the complimentary use of the Hotel’s Leisure Centre including swimming pool, sauna, gym etc before and after the Course.

Sailing is meant to be fun and this is the basic philosophy behind all our RYA courses and our Instructors and Skippers are picked with this in mind. Every course is different but we would usually expect to visit Oban, Tobermory, Coll etc as well as several quiet anchorages during the cruise.

Our fee for a 5 day course is currently £325. This fee includes all food on board, instruction, safety gear etc. The only extra would be if we decide to eat – or drink – ashore, then that cost is down to you!

You will need to bring – Sleeping bag, waterproofs, soft shoes, sea boots – if you have them – clothes appropriate to the weather – shorts and tee shirt or jeans and jersey – washing kit, personal items etc. Pack everything in a soft sailing bag and please do not bring excess kit as space is obviously limited.

Berths can be confirmed with a deposit of £75 each along with a completed booking form which can be downloaded from this page. We are happy to accept payment by cheque or most credit cards. Detailed joining instructions and a final invoice will be issued about 6 weeks prior to the course start.

To see if there are berths available on our yachts for your chosen dates, please click on Boat Availability 2007

Then click here to open our Booking Form as a Word document, complete it and return it to us with your deposit.

Powerboat Training

In the UK the RYA are the national governing body for this exciting activity and in conjunction with the Department of Transport and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency control the qualification of powerboat drivers. Lochaber Watersports are one of the few RYA Recognised Training Centres in Scotland and as such only use qualified Instructors and suitable craft which are regularly inspected.

The Level II syllabus covers basic boat handling in some detail and theoretical chartwork, meteorology, collision regulations, emergency procedures etc. The Intermediate and Advanced syllabi also cover high speed navigation, night work and SAR procedures etc. A commercial endorsement can be added to either a Level II or Advanced (subject to external assessment) if appropriate. We also run Safety Boat courses which are particularly aimed at Safety Boat drivers

The cost of all 2 day non-residential powerboat courses is £180 per person and there are significant discounts available if more than one candidate is involved. You will need warm clothes, drysuit or good waterproofs, boots etc. We supply automatic lifejackets, helmets with visors and a light lunch each day. The 6.1 metre RIB we use is fitted with a Tohatsu 90 hp engine which cruises around 35 knots as well as being highly manoeuvrable for pontoon work.

All our course are based at our Activity Centre in the grounds of the Isles of Glencoe Hotel at Ballachulish where our candidates have the complimentary use of the Hotel’s Leisure Centre including swimming pool, sauna, gym etc which can be most welcome after an arduous day on the water. Local accommodation is available to suit all budgets and a list can be provided on request.

Places can be confirmed with a deposit of £50 each along with a completed booking form which can be downloaded from this page. We are happy to accept payment by cheque or most credit cards. Detailed joining instructions and a final invoice will be issued about 6 weeks prior to the course start.

Theory Courses

Lochaber Watersports is also a RYA Recognised Teaching Establishment for shorebased theory courses at Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper/Yacht Master level. These are intensive 5 Day Courses which are held, subject to demand, throughout the year.

YachtMaster Theory Courses

YachtMaster Theory at Lochaber College, Fort William – 3 weekends 10/11, 17/18 and 24/25th March 2007

Day Skipper Theory Courses

We will be holding Day Skipper Theory course in Ballachulish on 19 – 23rd February 2007. Please get in touch to find out more – cost £325 per person.

Day Skipper Theory at Lochaber College, Fort William – 3 weekends 10/11, 17/18 and 25/25th February 2007 – Cost approx £260

The Courses held at our Centre at Ballachulish qualify you for a fantastic Dinner, Bed & Breakfast deal at the 4 star Isles of Glencoe Hotel & Leisure Centre.

St Kilda Cruise

As you are probably aware, St Kilda lies in the Atlantic Ocean about 50 miles west of the Outer Hebrides. The island was populated until 1930 when increasing hardships caused the entire population to be evacuated to the mainland. The Ministry of Defence set up a Tracking Station which is now largely manned by civilian staff. The other inhabitants are representatives of the National Trust and Scottish National Heritage who are responsible for protecting the wildlife and the fragile environment.

Please ask us for details of our next trip – our outline passage plan is, of course, entirely weather dependent and will involve an early departure from Ballachulish – crew members are welcome to arrive on the previous evening.

Our first day’s cruise will hopefully take us to Arinagour on Coll where we shall moor overnight. The following morning we will initially head south to transit the narrow channel between Coll and Tiree before heading north west to cross the Sea of the Hebrides to arrive at Castlebay on Barra. Continuing westward we shall pass to the south of Barra before entering the Atlantic Ocean for the 60 mile voyage to the archipelago of St Kilda and its main island of Hirta where we shall anchor in Village Bay. You can find more information about the islands at www.kilda.org.uk Or for photos of the 2005 cruise click here.

We would plan to spend a couple of days in St Kilda before making an evening departure for Castlebay. We would expect our return to be more leisurely spending more time at Barra, Coll and Mull with a scheduled arrival back at Ballachulish on a late morning.

We will take three yachts which will sail in company –

Sailing Boat
FIGMENT (LOA 10.3 m) our Catalina 320 is brand new in 2006. She is fully equipped with wheel steering, roller reefing, hot and cold water, Eberspacher heating, autohelm, refrigeration and like all our yachts, all the appropriate safety equipment.
FREEDOM (LOA 9.8 m) is our Westerly Fulmar. In 2003 she came third in the sailing sections of the Magellan Three Peaks Race from Barmouth to Fort William and was third in the Tilman Trophy in the 2004 Race. She is similarly equipped to FIGMENT but with tiller steering and cold water. Sailing Boat

FANTOM (LOA 9.7 m) is our lovely 1980 Sadler 32. Built to a classic design she sails really well. Comfortably and spaciously fitted out below with lots of traditional wood and plenty of storage and hanging space she has berths for 8 but is actually coded for 6 crew.