you are correct, using the water and launching at the slip from a monetary point of view is free (for the moment).
The point I was trying to make was the FREEdom had been lost because of the restrictions.
As just one example;
Water skiing has been a major attraction on the Loch since the sports birth, 32 squ miles made it unlikely you were going to have an issue in relation to another boat / skier. skiers always look for offshore breezes so It's one shore or another.
Now because of the restrictions, ski zones have been created, putting a lot of fast boats and people in the water together in a relatively small area.....it's a no brainer.
Unfortunately the world would be a better place without police, but we need them, I just don't think we need them on the loch.
As for numbers,well the place hasn't changed, it's still a lovely place to visit and people are accepting, however, I think the banning of sking down in the lake district might have a bearing.
Yep,the ranger have always been courteous, over the years I've got to know one or two but thats a bonus it dosen't put me off going I just don't all the controls were needed or thought through properly .
new rules etc, yesterday? realistically, how long before it's fishermen and yachts only? I wonder how many of the relevant commitee members fish, compared to water ski?
Originally Posted by Polwart
IBWET - I am not sure I understand your point (and for the purposes of clarification of anyone intending to use the Loch it would be good to clarify).
The loch is FREE OF CHARGE to use (although there is a small fee for the provision of the required registration plate - unless you provide your own).
The slipway is FREE OF CHARGE to use.
There are speed restrictions on the loch. There are also speed restriction in plenty of areas of coastline in Wales and the south coast - so its misleading to suggest this phenomenon is unique to the loch.
The speed restrictions apply in general as a maximum upper speed limit over the whole loch - which at ~49 knots - is unlikely to interfere with most ribsters.
There is also a speed limit within 150m of most of the shore line, which is set at about 6 knots.
Then there is the new restriction in certain areas of the loch which came into effect yesterday... this extends the 6 knot limit to an area around the islands - and some of the east of the loch. Given the navigation hazards and the moored boats, swimmers etc in some of these areas - this is no different from you would find in many large, busy harbours on the south coast.
There is no requirement to wear lifejackets - but there is a requirement to carry them.
There is a requirement that power driven vessels are registerred and display a registration number. Other than the mechanical issue of attaching a number - I don't see an issue.
You may be right that the reason for the excellent facilities was to discourage use of the old slipways so that the LLATNPA could better monitor the display of registration numbers etc. If they start charging for the facility or impliment real charges for using the loch then I can see the complaint - but given that usage of the loch hasn't fallen since it was introduced (in fact appears to rise) - perhaps its not so negative.
With one exception I have always found the Park Rangers to be courteous, polite, helpful, and welcoming.