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Old 05 January 2008, 01:22   #1
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Oban Bay developments

If anyone is a fan of Oban as a place to go ribbing - like me! - you might be interested in this site www.obanbaymarine.org.uk.

They have formed a community company to try and improve facilities for visiting boaters, and they hope to instal pontoons, prvide launching facilities and all the things which would make it so much easier for us to visit this fabulous location.

Worth supporting.
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Old 05 January 2008, 07:32   #2
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This has been talked about for years on end, don't hold your breath for it happening anytime soon.
I would like to see better facilities as well within Oban bay but until the council get behind it I can't see it going anywhere fast.
It is probably being driven in the most part at the moment by the shortage of berthing space created by the new linkspan just put up by Calmac and the plans for expanded services based on the new facilities.
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Old 05 January 2008, 10:24   #3
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This has been talked about for years on end, don't hold your breath for it happening anytime soon.
I would like to see better facilities as well within Oban bay but until the council get behind it I can't see it going anywhere fast.
It is probably being driven in the most part at the moment by the shortage of berthing space created by the new linkspan just put up by Calmac and the plans for expanded services based on the new facilities.
Bruce - your response comes across as a bit dismissive. Council buy in will be driven by a number of things including how well supported the initiative is by the local community/the marine sector/the yachtsmen (and ribsters) who use the area (i.e. you!). I think the people behind this initiative have got to be congratulated for getting up off their asses to try and make an improvement. There is too much sitting around moaning waiting for someone else to take the initiative in this world! So for the massive sum of 1 per year I will be signing up in the hope that they get somewhere and make Oban a slighlty more appealing spot for a visit (my boat is only about 30 minutes away but due to the lack of facilities - its never normally a serious consideration).
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Old 05 January 2008, 10:44   #4
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I am afraid I have heard it so many times I just consider it yet another attempt that will come to nothing. this idea has been kicking around for as long as I can remember and never came to anything.
My take on it is that until the council realises the asset it has for enhanced tourism and puts its muscle behind a scheme putting pontoons on the harbour the proposal will remain just that, a proposal.
I consider that the council needs to put in place a free day pontoon system that will generate additional visitors and give them a place to land with the extra income for the town offsetting the cost over an above any grants that can be "got" from any outside bodies.
Tobermory is being quoted as an example but the parallel isn't very similiar as there are no alternative facilities in that area. Oban has two marinas close by that directly compete with any chargeable facilities and have superior shelter and facilities on site, far more than could be hoped for in any "in harbour" scheme.
There is a good free slip in Oban, two more just outside the town and two free public landing places plus four petrol stations, what more does any RIB want? The lack of facilities are more for visiting keel boats and very large RIBs although there are some moorings within the harbour as well as the harbour wall but these are all chargeable. For visiting RIBs there is little other than parking and maybe a bit of pontoon that is actually needed on top of the present facilities and these are both available close by for a cost.
Don't get me wrong, I am not against it just not sure it will come to anything and a bit concerned that by building big fantastic facilities the free assets we already have will disappear and I will end up having to pay for something I, at the moment, have access to for free which is the normal course these things seem to take when built by folk other than the council.
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Old 06 January 2008, 17:55   #5
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Have to agree with Bruce on this one. To my knowledge this sort of thing has been talked about regularly in the 29 years I've lived in the area. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the local council is in any way forward looking, thinking about the success of the town - except for the bit that they (the councillors) own, or care a jot about what the local people want.

You've only got to see what they've done to the thriving airport since they 'took it over - or back' again. Banana republic comes to mind.

Something might happen, there may be a pontoon for a while - like there was many years ago, but it'll soon disappear like the other one did, or break up in a northwesterly.

The thinking at the time of the 'town fathers' about the other initiative was that yachtsmen were no real asset to the town, after all, they bring their food with them and don't spend anything and all those masts make a dreadful noise in the wind. Better off with coaches full of senior citizens. They spend a fortune in McTavish's.... er. Oh dear, that's closed down. Still, without them the hotels wouldn't be able to serve Christmas dinners in November.

If you're in a boat, Oban's a great place to sail past. There, that feels better. PS As Bruce says, they're thinking about sailing boats and I suppose, so was I really.
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Old 06 January 2008, 18:14   #6
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It really is aimed at visiting keelboats and after talking to one of the Yacht club in the Co-op tonight it seems the main reason is access to fuel and water off a pontoon.
Visiting RIBs have two good slips that are free, one with huge manouvering space (and what a fight it was to have that reopened), that are both council owned and free as they both were gifted to the town. That is something I would like to keep!
A small landing pontoon in the middle of the esplanade would be the icing on the cake but the council never seems to have realised what an asset it would be for both day visitors and the tour boats.
Don't mention the airport, how stupid was it spending millions building a first class airport before talking to anyone about actually using it, and funnily enough none ofthe airlines seems to feel it worth while paying to run a scheduled service from Oban.
The local light aircraft club now has probably the best club airfield in the country!
The only scheduled service from Oban lands on the bay, its a seaplane!
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Old 06 January 2008, 18:21   #7
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how stupid was it spending millions building a first class airport before talking to anyone about actually using it, ... ...The local light aircraft club now has probably the best club airfield in the country!
The officials that decided this don't happen to be members of that club do they?
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Old 06 January 2008, 18:41   #8
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Now thats a question that nobody has probably asked :-)

I reckon it will shut down within two years as a commercial airport and have said that before it was even started, my mate works for the airline that is most likely to fly into Oban and I knew while the works were ongoing that nobody had been approached to use it.
I think the attitude was "if we build it, they will come" :-)
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Old 06 January 2008, 18:50   #9
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My goodness!

What an unlikely bunch of cynics do we find gathered here.

Fancy anyone suggesting that there should be anything even remotely amiss with the well-reasoned and carefully considered opinions and actions of any democratically elected (or appointed) body in this neck of the woods.

For some reason the phrase "parcel of rogues" keeps wandering through my mind...

Oops! Is this getting too political?

(Can I have your pontoons when it all goes pear-shaped? I know this nice bay just around the C.O.A.S.T. )
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Old 07 January 2008, 05:20   #10
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So where are these free slips? More info please!!!!

I've been looking for a sensible (free) launch point in the area for ages - so far the cheapest I could find with a vaguely solid slip (well, that would admit to being open for public use) was at Dunstaffnage marina. Anywhere else I've found I'd have ended up axle deep on the shore!

And whilst we're on the cynical vibe, are the rumours true about shifting the Lismore Vehicle ferry to a new Ro-Ro slip at Port Appin, that sleepy quiet place served by a single track road?
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