Originally Posted by Donuts
Heading to Loch Lomond and then maybe Loch Fyne for a bit of a shake down & to get used to the boat after using it a bit on rivers around York. Aim is to be able to build skills and then take on a bit of coastal stuff and do a bit of fishing.
just to be 100% clear - you do realise Loch Fyne is coastal?
Looks like as a first timer to Loch Lomond and as staying down the road a bit that the best bet is to register for Loch Lomond and then use the Duncan whatsit slipway first time out. Boat, engine & stuff in car/box trailer so can get to a few different places to launch.
Your ONLY option as a member of the public coming from the south is Duncan Mills slipway. At the very north there is Ardlui marina. Any other slipways are (AFAIK) private for use only be caravan residents etc.
Couple of things to beware of:
1. Loch Lomond is really busy (at least by Scottish standards) - its particularly busy with people who don't really know what they are doing but think its a loch so its ok to get on a paddleboard and make it up as they go.
2. Its not cheap to launch on Loch Lomond
3. The Loch itself is bloody cold
4. There are speed restrictions on the loch (mostly well-intentioned and with good reason - see point 1) but because you can only launch in one sensible place now you spend the first 15-20 minutes plodding up the loch, and then when you reach the less restricted bit its busy with people driving fast.
5. The wind funnels down the valley. It whips up quite a chop. I've been on the loch on days where we decided to turn round and go home because of the waves and friends on the clyde were happily water skiing.
I would question if it is worth driving all the way from Yorkshire to Loch Lomond - or if you could divert to somewhere like Largs and launch for free on the public slipway. If you don't think you are ready for the sea - do a course.