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Old 13 January 2019, 16:24   #1
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Launch sites for Firth of Forth

Iíve had my RIB at Port Edgar for last couple of seasons....with a couple of trips to west coast. Am keen to explore more down around N Berwick and Dunbar down to Eyemouth this year (not for a couple of months though!)

Any advice on where are good harbours/beaches to launch from in that area? I have a 5.85m Ribcraft and done a few beach launches from the trailer.
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Old 13 January 2019, 16:40   #2
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Dunbar Harbour
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Old 13 January 2019, 21:07   #3
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You can launch at North Berwick but it's down the sand beach, it takes a vehicle weight without a problem and is fairly sheltered. Nevertheless, it is still a beach launch with all that may entail.

Most harbours on the Forth are tide limited because they dry at low tide so you are limited wherever you launch. There's a number of slips at various harbours but by the time you've trailed there you'd likely be just a quick travelling by boat from Port Edgar. If you venture down to Dunbar, you're way out of the Forth and pretty much doing east coast boating; not that that is a problem - just saying...

North Berwick is ok if your boat is nippy, you can get out to the Bass Rock (plenty gannets in season) then along to Dunbar, if you've time Coldingham and Eyemouth are within range. Alternatively, Bass Rock, Isle of May, Crail and St Andrews are all doable. Or across to Elie, have a meal in the pub and home again between tides.
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Old 14 January 2019, 04:46   #4
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<<<.........you'd likely be just a quick travelling by boat from Port Edgar. If you venture down to Dunbar, you're way out of the Forth and pretty much doing east coast boating; not that that is a problem - just saying...>>
+1

Ran out that way (Isle of May) from Port Edgar during the summer....only 30 or 40nm from memory.
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Old 14 January 2019, 14:47   #5
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. Or across to Elie, have a meal in the pub and home again between tides.

You can launch at Elie too which will let you do the same in reverse.
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Old 14 January 2019, 16:37   #6
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Many thanks to you all for replies. I did a run down to Anstruther last summer and then came back via Bass Rock and N Berwick and returned to Port E along south shore of Forth, great trip..... but was looking to save the mooring fees at Port E this summer and just launch when needed. Dunbar sounds like a good option.
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Old 16 January 2019, 05:46   #7
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Another alternative would be to launch from the excellent concrete slipway in the free car park by the leisure centre at Burntisland, however the down side is it's only usable 2-3 hours either side of high tide.
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Old 18 January 2019, 07:39   #8
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Can't help you with a launch site but I was up that way between Christmas and the New Year to get some fresh air before a full on Hogmanay on 31st in Edinburgh and it was wonderful. I badly regretted not having my boat with me, flat calm water and blue skies in St Andrews and the surrounding areas.

Lovely people too, the guy in charge of the Anstruther Lifeboat Station came out especially on a Sunday morning to open up and took me and the family around the station and the boat (we had been there on the Saturday for the famous (overrated) Fish and Chips when we were sad to see that the Station was closed but rang his mobile which was posted in a noticeboard outside "for any enquiries" and he offered to come down the next day.

Thoroughly recommended!
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Old 18 January 2019, 08:18   #9
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Can't help you with a launch site but I was up that way between Christmas and the New Year to get some fresh air before a full on Hogmanay on 31st in Edinburgh and it was wonderful. I badly regretted not having my boat with me, flat calm water and blue skies in St Andrews and the surrounding areas.

Lovely people too, the guy in charge of the Anstruther Lifeboat Station came out especially on a Sunday morning to open up and took me and the family around the station and the boat (we had been there on the Saturday for the famous (overrated) Fish and Chips when we were sad to see that the Station was closed but rang his mobile which was posted in a noticeboard outside "for any enquiries" and he offered to come down the next day.

Thoroughly recommended!
I agree with your comment re Anstruther Fish Bar, which isn't as good as its previous reputation since it changed hands a few years ago. There are two other fish bars along the shore in Anstruther which are reckoned to be just as good, without the long queues. However, when you come up again then there are two better ones in St Andrews: the best is Tail End in Market Street near the Tesco store; also worth trying is Cromer's on the corner of Union Street at the far end of Market Street.

To come back on topic, the Harbour Master at Anstruther will charge you at least £15 launch fee even to launch a SIB from one of the beaches, as they are still within his jurisdiction. There is however a free public ramp by the golf course, although it's cobbled so not easy to use.

There's a new slipway further along at East Wemyss, free use and parking although again it's subject to tide times.

Google map link:
https://tinyurl.com/yakk98s2

Similarly at Kirkcaldy on the newly redeveloped esplanade there are two free public slipways, the western one is closest to free parking which also has longer spaces marked and reserved for lorries overnight but ideal to use in the daytime if you have a trailer.

Google map link:
https://tinyurl.com/y9l79s9e

Hope this helps.
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Old 18 January 2019, 10:45   #10
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To come back on topic, the Harbour Master at Anstruther will charge you at least £15 launch fee even to launch a SIB from one of the beaches, as they are still within his jurisdiction. .
Anstruther harbour have been a grumpy lot for years. My impression is that they don't want leisure boaters there.
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