This section and page of our site will provide you with useful local information for boating in Scotland with specific emphasis on the Clyde and surrounding areas.
Clyde Estuary Marina List
Ardrossan Marina: This is a fairly basic marina and there are ferries going in and out of it so you might need to wait until they have exited/entered. The train station is right next door so it is a perfect marina for those who might want a socialise after a day out. Tel: 01294 607077
Bowling Harbour: This smallish harbour is based 2 minutes from the Erskine bridge and is the start of the canal that runs to Edinburgh vie the Falkirk wheel. Access is through a sea loch and then 2 further lochs give access to the canal. Marine facilities here are limited but it has nice laid back community feel that makes it feel like a home from home hence the number of house boats.
Girvan Marina: This comes across as bit commercial and a lot smaller than others listed here, however with Ailsa Craig not far away, which incidentally is a good fishing spot and a good access point to the west coast it is well worth a look. Tel: 01465 713648
Holy Loch Marina: This is great to sail into as it is located in Dunoon but is a long drive by road from Glasgow for those of you towing. Having said that the marina has good services and we have always found that everyone is very willing to help others here, hence has more of a community feel than any other marina in the area. Note this marina also sells petrol as well as diesel so handy for power boat users. It is also the base for Swordfish marine who are a inboard and outboard specialist repair centre Tel: 01369 701800
Inverkip Marina: A great marina, excellent facilities, good food, and a perfect location if staying in Glasgow. The slip is difficult at low tide but not unmanageable. We would also add that the staff that we have met could not be more helpful. The Scottish Boat Show is also held here which should also be on on your ‘to do’ list, from mid October for 3 days. Tel: 01475 521485
Largs Marina: Good facilities and well worth a visit. Like Troon there is a wide variety of boats in here. Though the Marina is large (room for over 700 boats) it is very well laid out and visitors will find that on arrival the short stay visitor pontoon is very easy to find, as its located near the entrance on your port side . Tel: 01475 675333
Port Bannatyne Marina: Located on Bute this marina oozes charm and is highly recommended. It has all the basics either at the marina or close by but it is recommended to book in advance but the staff will go out of their way to help and fit you in somewhere . If you are looking to stock up and need more than basic supplies (found at the post office / grocers shop) then a bus is available running every 30 minutes that will take you to Rothesay. Tel: 01700 503116
Rhu Marina: Stunning location just before the narrows that has good facilities and very knowledgeable staff. For visitors to the Clyde this is a great option as like Inverkip and Largs everything is on site or just a short walk away. It also has a great RYA centre ( You and Sea ) who are the best training centre we have used Tel: 01436 820238
Troon Marina: Great slip (maybe the best on the Ayrshire coast), good location, can be bumpy leaving the marina due to the currents, food on site is good and the local pubs are friendly and offer some of the best pub food in the area and are a short walk away. Boats in here are very mixed due to it being equally good for sailors, RIBS and pleasure fishing boats. Tel: 01292 315553
We have excluded sailing / boat clubs on the above list but many of these have visitor pontoons and though they may not be ideal for a long stay they are well worth a visit. Please note that though many will happily accept visitors not all of them permit you to stay overnight.
Our Top 3 places to stay
The west coast also is home to some amazing marinas that are within a days sailing (subject to weather and type of boat!) hence we have listed our top three. All of these are very strongly recommended by us at Ashton Marine Services and are based on our experience and preferences:
For those of you who have been to Portavadie Marina, it will not be a shock that we have listed one of the best marinas in Europe let alone the UK. The spa is simply the icing on the cake – this place has it all. Good sheltered slip, very deep and perfectly kept pontoons, great food, great service and amazing views over the loch. We simply cannot speak highly enough of the best marina we have been to in the UK.
More information can be found on the website at http://www.portavadie.com/
This is not really even a harbour but it does have moorings and a pontoon etc. and it can be busy but we simply had to list this chocolate box location. The local restaurant is also stunning and is simply called the Tayvallich Inn.
More information can be found on the website at http://www.tayvallich.com/sailing/visiting-yachts
It is hard to put into words how perfect this marina is. The location is perfect, the staff are the nicest you will ever meet, the facilities are good. This place simply has it all. It doesn’t have the glamour or bling of Portavadie Marina but it does offer a very homely feel in the heart of the most scenic boating area in the world ( as stated by the RYA) and one that you will want to come back to again and again.
Note: The local pub does great seafood (walk right out of the marina and its a 1 minute walk!) but the catch of the day will sell out quickly so if you want anything from the sea we would suggest getting there as early as you can.
More information can be found on the website at : http://www.craobhmarina.co.uk/
We hope this page has been useful and if you have any comments would you please contact us so we can make this the best guide to the Clyde Estuary and Ayrshire coast.