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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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Old 07 January 2008, 07:52   #11
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I was looking in September and saw no reference to free slipways.. nearest I could find was Puffin divers ... but ended up in Craobh Marina...
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Old 07 January 2008, 12:13   #12
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There is a good concrete slip with limited parking at Port beag within the harbour, council owned and free. Usable at all states of the tide except Low springs. This is the one I use.
There is also another at Ganavan just out of town with fantastic parking but this is only really useable at mid tide and above as the bottom is shallow sand. This is also council owned and free.
Puffin divers is free if you use their facilities but is really aimed at divers so unless you want fuel or compressed air fills then you may be charged.
Shifting the two lismore ferries around actually makes a lot of sense, the residents have been arguing for it for years fro good reason.
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Old 07 January 2008, 12:40   #13
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So where are these free slips? More info please!!!!
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?
Ah! Now you see how the council works. They may or may not want to swap the ferries. What they really want to do is to widen the road by stealth. They know the residents would object, so they increase the heavy traffic and the road gets wider all on its own. After a while a council vehicle comes along and blows tarmac into all the holes on the verge, and there you go. Job done. They used buses on the Ardfern road.
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Old 07 January 2008, 13:18   #14
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Pontoons for Oban

This is the first time I have used this forum, and I have read with great interest your views on the proposed pontoon development.
I am a director on the board of Oban Bay Marine, the group that has been working on this for the past year and I think it is a fantastic project,living on the Island of Kerrera as i have done most of my life, I have seen this area missing out on so much because of its lack of facilities for the marine sector.
I am very confident that this will go ahead, it is a community driven project which will be run by the community for the community in exactly the same way as the Tobermory one is, we only need to look at how succesful that one has turned out to be. We actually have a public meeting organised for the 18th of Jan to be held in the Argyllshire Gathering Hall at 6 oclock which will be chaired by Jim Mathers MP, please feel free to come along and find out all about it.
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Old 07 January 2008, 13:39   #15
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Visited Oban in Aug 06 during West Highland week, was shocked at the facalities for tying up.We tied up outside a yacht, would have happily stayed the night there, we were completly out of shelter, and tied up outside someone, so we left Oban in the dark, tro the Cuan Sound and on to Craobh for the night.
Oban is a good spot, but no where to tie up.
Have since been back again from Ireland by car, would definately visit again
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Old 07 January 2008, 14:16   #16
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This is the first time I have used this forum, and I have read with great interest your views on the proposed pontoon development.
I am a director on the board of Oban Bay Marine, the group that has been working on this for the past year and I think it is a fantastic project,living on the Island of Kerrera as i have done most of my life, I have seen this area missing out on so much because of its lack of facilities for the marine sector.
I am very confident that this will go ahead, it is a community driven project which will be run by the community for the community in exactly the same way as the Tobermory one is, we only need to look at how succesful that one has turned out to be. We actually have a public meeting organised for the 18th of Jan to be held in the Argyllshire Gathering Hall at 6 oclock which will be chaired by Jim Mathers MP, please feel free to come along and find out all about it.
Its a small town and I am surprised to find I don't know you or your boat, where it moored and what colour?
Anyway nobody has objected to better facilities in Oban, just questioned its actually happening due to the various schemes being bandied around for years with no result. In fact I am fairly sure there is a yet another scheme in addition to this one being considered for pontoons off the North pier as we speak.
Personally I would prefer this location anyway as I consider the proposed one too far outside town to be of much use for anything other than refueling.
As I have stated before I would prefer the council to undertake this project despite them being the council.
Comparing it to Tobermory is also not completely fair, they have a completely sheltered harbour plus there are also next to no facilities at Tobe whereas Oban has excellent faciilities, just not in Oban itself.
I think there are three completely different needs here anyway-
A need for tour boats to pick up/drop off in town
A pontoon for boats to visit for a few hours in town
A fuel and watering place for visiting large RIBs and yachts which already exists across the bay on Kerrera,Puffin divers at Gallanach and Dunstaffnage marine.
Personally a pontoon near the North pier would seem to me to be the better bet then unless there is some facility being considered that I haven't thought of? In fact my preferred solution would be a pontoon off the slip North of the North pier for the first two needs although any pontoon within the bay would probably be a summer only operation as the first storm is likely to "take it out"
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Old 07 January 2008, 15:44   #17
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Pontoons

I am the one that used to do Kerrerasea Adventures with the blue yellow and white rib which i am actually selling at the moment,I am down sizing to concentrate on doing power boat training through Sea Skills. The project we are looking at is actually for a pontoon system running off the North pier at the slip way and running out toward the railway steps with a floating breakwater to the west of it which should hopefully address some of the weather issues, not all of them granted, but most of them. The original plan was for the old borrow boats sight, but as happens alot, these things go off in a direction you had no idea it could go in when you started.
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Old 07 January 2008, 16:09   #18
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Ah, that explains the North pier scheme then. The scheme I had heard of for the OBM company was at Borro boats and involved fueling and watering facilities but no launching for boats. This is also the one most yachting folk in the area know as the planned scheme.
I am sure this is the scheme mentioned on the website although I could be wrong......
The North Pier slipway is much more useful and of greater utility to more folk IMO. How are you going to put in a breakwater? The water gets fairly deep quickly there onto a soft bottom so I assume it is some sort of floating one?
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Old 07 January 2008, 17:05   #19
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We sailed straight on by Oban

Hi to Roddy and all.
We were up there this summer and did 580Nm on the West Coast. We found Tobermoray very welcoming with good pontoons, work is well underway also with a 'captainary' with showers laundry room etc. Same good mooring at
port Ellen and Stornoway.

Twice we went right on past Oban, and logged it and
kerrera Island as magical - but no where to stop. Generally we were not sleeping on the boat and were using B&B and pubs/restaurants every night.
May I wish the community project good luck. If the self sufficient sailers aren't the target market, motor boaters/ribs could well be.
Paul
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Old 07 January 2008, 18:25   #20
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This is the first time I have used this forum, and I have read with great interest your views on the proposed pontoon development.
I am a director on the board of Oban Bay Marine, the group that has been working on this for the past year and I think it is a fantastic project,living on the Island of Kerrera as i have done most of my life, I have seen this area missing out on so much because of its lack of facilities for the marine sector.
I am very confident that this will go ahead, it is a community driven project which will be run by the community for the community in exactly the same way as the Tobermory one is, we only need to look at how succesful that one has turned out to be. We actually have a public meeting organised for the 18th of Jan to be held in the Argyllshire Gathering Hall at 6 oclock which will be chaired by Jim Mathers MP, please feel free to come along and find out all about it.
Roddy,

I wish your scheme every success. It will make such a difference to the town if you can pull it off. Will the charter boats be able to use it during their turnrounds? When I was running my sailing holidays I would have liked to have turned round in Oban occasionally, it would have given us access to a wider cruising range. How Dougie and Mary coped with it for all those years I'll never know.

Good luck. Tony
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