West Coast Munros trip

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Whammers
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:30 pm

West Coast Munros trip

Post by Whammers » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:00 pm

Greetings Scottish Shetlanders..

Looking a long way ahead ( if you look at my 535 refurb thread you'll see why I say that) I have a big Scottish plan for little Meggy Moo. This will involve a tour up the west coast with the aim of climbing some fantastic mountains.

The route will take me to the following places:
Loch Long (Arrochar)
Crinan Canal
Loch Scridain (Mull)
Loch Etive
Loch Leven
Loch Slapin (Skye)
Loch Brittle (Skye)
Loch Nevis
Loch Hourn
Loch Torridon

If anyone has any experience or info to impart about these places I'd be very grateful.

We'd be aiming to find a mooring each night but to tackle some of the hills we will need to anchor in some cases (I think beaching is a no no on Scottish terrain)!

The logistics of fuel etc will be challenging but there's plenty of time to plan this as the proposed date is May 2017.

Oh, and it will all depend on the weather!! :) :?

Any comments or info welcomed.

Andy W

rbmatthews
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Location: Northeast Scotland
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Re: West Coast Munros trip

Post by rbmatthews » Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:13 am

Hi Whammers

Sounds like a great trip. We have done many of the places you have mentioned in our F4, not in one trip but on and off over the last 9 years or so. The west coast of Scotland never ceases to fascinate us. There are usually plenty of sheltered places to anchor for the night, but I would suggest you need an inflatable dinghy to get ashore - as you say, beaching is not always possible. Also, make sure that you have a VHF radio and some sort of GPS/chartplotter. An echo sounder is also essential for knowing how much water you have under you.

Getting fuel has never been a problem - we carry 80 litres and just top up whenever we get a chance. We have never run out yet, touch wood.

There are write ups of each trip on our website at https://shetlandf4.wordpress.com/ under the Trips menu if you are interested.

Good luck,
Rob.
Swannanoa, 1989 Shetland Family Four
http://shetlandf4.wordpress.com

Whammers
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: West Coast Munros trip

Post by Whammers » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:01 pm

Many thanks for the link Rob. Your website looks great! I will read and absorb. :)

80 litres of fuel.. blimey, I was hoping to manage with about 44litres. Maybe I'll need to have a rethink. :shock:

Whammers
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: West Coast Munros trip

Post by Whammers » Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:10 pm

Rob, your website is an inspiration, and a terrific resource for me!

I'm not sure about an inflatable; for a start, I can't row having only one arm (I can row in circles.. ) :D I'm also reluctant to have something so bulky to store on such a small boat. I'd prefer to bring the boat close to shore and wade whenever possible, but you will know better than I how practical that is in some Scottish locations! :oops:
Last edited by Whammers on Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rbmatthews
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Re: West Coast Munros trip

Post by rbmatthews » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:37 pm

Thanks, Andy. Glad it is of use.

Petrol: It depends more on your range rather than the litres per se, so your engine will be important. With our Mariner 75, we can average 2 NM/litre, sometimes even up to 3 NM/litre, giving us 160-240 NM range. That is a pretty long way. Most larger villages and towns on the west coast will have petrol, the only thing is that you might have to carry it up to half a mile or so if the petrol station is not close by. But in our experience, that is rare.

Dinghy: Wow, you are brave! You might be able to make do without a dinghy if you choose your overnighting spots carefully, but bear in mind marinas are far and few between, and that rocky shorelines and often steeply shelving beaches would make it difficult to anchor then walk ashore. Thinking over the places we have overnighted in over the last few years, many would not have been possible, or at least so enjoyable, without the dinghy. Many harbours will have visitor mooring buoys, but are not keen on boats being tied up to jetties or piers for any length of time, whereas no-one cares about an inflatable.

There was a thread on the ybw forums recently on whether dinghies are necessary on the West Coast: http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.ph ... ting-Gigha.

An option rather than rowing a dinghy would be to have a small engine - we have a Toshiba 3.5 hp, which is brilliant, being very light and manageable. It certainly makes life easier in a strong wind or current.

With ours (which is an F4 and therefore the same size as your 535), normally we stow the dinghy under the helm seat, where it fits quite comfortably until we need it, then we take it out and inflate it. Once that is done, however, we rarely deflate it and restow it again, so it ends up being towed behind at displacement speeds, or we can put it across the rear of the boat above the engine when we want to plane. So far, it has worked very well, although this winter I have some work to do on it - the slats have broken and the painter has snapped, all after eight years.

R.
Swannanoa, 1989 Shetland Family Four
http://shetlandf4.wordpress.com

Whammers
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: West Coast Munros trip

Post by Whammers » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:36 pm

Once again Rob, thanks. You are adding to my education no end!

That's an interesting thead on ybw, though it drifts off the subject somewhat! I get the impression that most contributors are yacht folk, with deep keels, which means no dinghy = pontoons only. In our little Shetlands, with their very shallow draft that isn't quite the case. I'm sure there are plenty of places which are ruled out but equally there must be plenty that are "landable" with no dinghy.

A few years ago I was walking on the cliff path above Ardmair Bay and watched a small cuddy cabin, probably similar in size to a 535/F4 (though undoubtedly a bit lighter) heading straight for the beach at full chat. The skipper cut the engine a few yards from shore and the boat just beached (I did wince a bit). Three people then jumped out and took a line well up the beach and knocked in a stake. It seemed a no-nonsense - if brutal - way to get ashore. I wouldn't subject Meggy to that kind of abuse but it shows that there are ways of getting ashore without a dinghy!

I'm thinking of having an auxiliary engine of 6hp to be sure it can get me to safety even in a current or headwind. Obviously that's too big an engine for a dinghy and I don't want to be lugging a third engine around! :D

rbmatthews
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Re: West Coast Munros trip

Post by rbmatthews » Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:15 am

Hi Andy

Yes, I am sure there is a way in many cases.

The other thing to think about is the tides. If you run her up on the beach on a falling tide, you may have to wait up to twelve hours before you can float her off again, depending on the state of the tide. If a rising tide, and you go off somewhere, you might come back to find her some distance offshore.

But where there is a will, and with good planning, there is a way. Are you proposing to go alone, or will you be with someone?

R.
Swannanoa, 1989 Shetland Family Four
http://shetlandf4.wordpress.com

Whammers
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: West Coast Munros trip

Post by Whammers » Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:21 pm

I'll be with my wife Gill (the first mate as you'd call her) :D

She's enthused about getting the boat ready and in the water - though I haven't let her in on the Munros idea yet. :oops:

My mad scheme is to bag all the 'Maritime Munros' - all those within 2NM of the high water mark. A purely arbitrary invention of mine.

I'm getting ahead of myself I know but a long period of planning and info gathering is always a good (and enjoyable) thing. In 2016 I'm planning to go up there with the camper van to recce the landing/mooring places that can be reached by road (or easily on foot). That should be an enjoyable trip in itself.

Whammers
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: West Coast Munros trip

Post by Whammers » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:57 pm

I've now let Gill in on my secret planning and she has come out firmly in the pro-dinghy camp... :roll:

I've been reading all I can find on this subject, including an article by someone who was of the same mind as me but came round to the dinghy after experiencing some of the practical problems!

http://100magicmiles.com/anchoring-a-sm ... g-onshore/

Perhaps a very small dinghy with a teeny weeny electric trolling motor...?

I can see I shall have to design storage and and a suitable on-board charging system. :?

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