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Old 23 February 2009, 08:10   #1
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Ullapool - end July

Am thinking of spending a week or two near Ullapool at the end of July and trailering the boat there from Poole (unfortunately, can't make early July to tie in with the cruise already proposed). The launch booklet that I've got, however, indicates that the slipway in Ullapool is only suitable for boats up to 5.5m. Boatlaunch makes no mention of this but it seems rather a long way to trailer a 7.5m boat if its going to be unlaunchable or difficult to launch at the end of the journey.

Given that there are no pontoons and no water taxi service in the harbour, launch/recovery will be required each time which could be a pain in the neck if its difficult.

Anybody got any local information?
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Old 23 February 2009, 11:37   #2
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The slipway itself is only suitable for dinghys. The beach beside it is the launch point for RIBs. I would be very wary of launching a very large RIB there, its hard gravel but fairly rough. You definitely need a largish 4x4, forget anything of a car persuasion.
Its also fairly shallow angle and restricted in room to manouver down to the beach, will try and find a pic as I am going from memory. It is a bit tight getting down off the road as you need to block the main road and reverse into a tight gate onto a ramp parallel to the road which is fairly narrow.
I am not sure 5.5m is the limit (I sincerely hope not as I have a 5.8m) and I am fairly sure I can just about get that in with the Cherokee although the last time I launched it was a 5.3m.
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Old 23 February 2009, 11:44   #3
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Thanks Bruce. A picture would be very helpful, but it's not looking good since although my car is AWD and powerful (300bhp) it is a low slung estate. There don't seem to be any other nearby alternative launch sites. Am I right?
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Old 23 February 2009, 11:50   #4
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The nearest I am aware of that isn't a beach launch is Achiltibuie, there is a very tidal but good concrete slip there. There may be something in Little Loch Broom but I don't have any personal knowledge of one.
Other than that Kylesku or Lochinver is your best bet, good slips at both places just miles away.

I really wouldn't recommend a car of any sort without good ground clearance at Ullapool unfortunately.....

I have had a look through my photo folder and don't have anything of the launching point but since its just a gravel beach its hardly suprising!
Google earth has some pics and you can see the beach if not the actual ramp down. The concrete slip is the bit in the left background and the launch point is the other side of this. As you can see the beach is gravel and large rocks and is pretty uneven (its worse than it looks in the pic as well!)
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Old 23 February 2009, 16:58   #5
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Hi,

Launched a 6m humber down the slip last year so ok for ribs but it dries at low water so you need to check your time it can shorten a weekend by quite a bit (or make it a lot longer!).
The slip would be very tight for a twin wheel trailer as you have to reverse down from the road as Bruce says then turn 90 degrees on to the slipway, I don't think I would have made it with my last boat 7.3 Northcraft. Their is a slip at the caravan site a couple of miles north of Ullapool it's a straight run from main road but didn't look to good (Bruce?)

On the plus side the slip at Ullapool is free
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Old 23 February 2009, 17:06   #6
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I don't know of the caravan slip, thats a new one to me.
Have they repaired the concrete slip? the bottom end was pretty knackered a couple of years ago and I would dare putting the little 5.3m Assault I had at the time down it as it was so broken up and so narrow?
I launched each time off the beach beside it.
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Old 23 February 2009, 17:17   #7
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Hi Bruce,

The slip at the harbour/boat club is ok thats the one we used narrow yes just don't step back when you go along side the boat! concrete ok, just the tight turn at the top.

Alan
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Old 23 February 2009, 17:54   #8
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I'll have my tractor on the beach doing my launching at this very time if its of any help (across the water though) 25-40 minutes from Ullapool depending on conditions and horsepower
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Old 24 February 2009, 07:45   #9
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Thanks guys: that's very useful information, although it doesn't solve my problem of where to launch. It seems probable that there is no answer other than to drive about an hour to either Kylesku (how is that pronounced? Kilescew or Killescue?) or Lochinver both of which look to be good destinations in their own right.

Since it may help the cruise, I have found two pictures of the Ullapool slipway which bear out previous posts.

http://www.fotolibra.com/gallery/180...-photographer/

http://www.fotolibra.com/gallery/180...ay-loch-broom/
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Old 24 February 2009, 11:47   #10
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I found the wheels of my trailer were just about on the edges and there are some nice sharp metal spikes sticking up from each side in places. Its just too narrow for comfort for me.
I found it easier just to reverse onto the beach on the left of the slip and launch there.
From previous experience it should be possible with the new larger boat, just! I reckon it would probably just about be possible for your boat but you would need a largish 4x4 and possible isn't the same as practicable...........
As I said before there is a good concrete slip at Achiltibiue at the north end of the loch but it dries out at LW.
Kylesku is pronounced just as it sounds AFAIK, nobody has ever corrected me so far and I have spent loads of time up that way...........
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