Inland Water

Loch Lomond

Twenty five miles north of Glasgow, at the base of the Scottish Highlands lies Loch Lomond, renowned for its scenic beauty. The southern end of the loch is dotted with several small islands and makes for interesting cruising on small-craft. The loch is therefore a popular place for water sports enthusiasts, especially during summer months when the water is dotted with yachts, cruise boats, speedboats, water-skiers, jetskis, canoes and windsurfers. viewmap

There are two locations generally used for windsurfing, these being Duck Bay and Milarrochy bay.

Duck Bay

compass ns Situated on the south west corner of the loch just south of Arden, about one mile past the turn off for Balloch on the A82 northbound is Duck Bay Marina which consists off a bar, restaurant and a disco at weekends. A road leads off the A82 down past the marina, along the shore line and rejoins the A82 again about one mile further north. Park your car about two hundred metres north of the marina at the start of a grassy park on your left hand side. You should be next to a small stony beach where you can launch after having rigged in the park on the opposite side of the road.

This spot is good for beginners learning the basics on long boards through to intermediates out for a quick blast. Beginners can sail here in light winds from any direction, but those looking for some speed in planing conditions should consider coming here when the wind blows between 0 and 180 degrees on the compass. During a northerly the wind will blow down the length of the loch and will provide about the best part of a miles worth of sailing directly across to the eastern side of the loch. Wrap up warm though as this wind will be cold, especially during winter months. Winds from the east and south, if strong enough to provide a decent wind inland will also make for some good sailing surrounded by some great scenery. viewmap

Duck Bay Panorama


Millarrochy Bay

compass ssw Millarrochy Bay is about half way up the east side of the loch some one and a half miles north of Balmaha an the B837. A car park is next to the road on the upper part of a stony beach with ample space for rigging. The bay faces west and is an ideal place for beginners to safely potter about at. It's possible to sail across to Inchfad island which lies approximately half a mile west of the shore. When the wind blows from the south west the site becomes suitable for blasting on volumous short boards. A camp site exists at the north end of the bay. viewmap

Millarrochy Bay Panorama

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Lochwinnoch

compass lochwinnoch Lochwinnoch, about fifteen miles west of Glasgow just off the A737 is home to Castle Semple Loch which provides an excellent location for beginners and those who are progressing on to an intermediate level.

The loch is about one and a half miles long and only about two hundred metres wide (if that) and runs in an east/north east to west/south west direction. A car park is located at the north west corner as well as a nature centre. A small launching fee is payable, although it is worth it as you will have access to changing and shower facilities and a rescue boat is provided at certain times of the season.

Sailing is generally from the north to south side of the loch, adjacent to the car park, and back again, and, as the loch is so narrow it only takes a few seconds to complete this journey. No sooner are you planing and in the footstraps and it's time to start planning your gybe. So I would say the loch has limited appeal to those wanting a serious blast.

The west end of the loch is very shallow and on average about chest to shoulder height deep, for the average person and rarely gets deeper than this. This provides security for those who spend a lot of time in the water and ideal for those learning to waterstart.

It's a good place to potter about on in light winds from any direction, but if you want to get planing then winds from south west to north west are required, although expect them to be rather blustery, being situated inland. Good planing conditions can also be had when a brisk easterly exists. viewmap

Lochwinnoch Panorama


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Lochore Meadows

Lochore Meadows, Fife, is a small man made loch just off the M90 immediately south of Loch Leven. As it lies some 90 metres above sea level it is often windier here than it is at the coast. Changing facilities are provided as well as tuition and board hire. Works well in most winds except northerlies, when high ground to the north shelters the loch. Expect to pay a small launching fee if you bring your own gear. I've only visited Lochore and never sailed it, so if you have experience of this spot please mail me and let me know. For 2000 the sailing school has invested in new equipment - Tushingham Storm sails, Tikki wetsuits and wide style boards for beginners. Tuition starts at £25 / 2 hrs, Equipment hire £15 / hr. Call Ali Fenton on 01592 860264. viewmap

lochore meadows


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Loch Ness

Sail over nessie......

(NB There are obviously other places to launch, but this is the most straight forward from Inverness and gets the wind in the prevailing SW direction.)

Dores Beach

Drive on the Foyers road from Inverness on the East side of Loch Ness to Dores. Turn off at the Dores Pub (the only one), very obvious pebble beach. Park on gravel by waterside (through the gate beside the nessie hunters van). Rig on gravel or grass. Launch from near the jetty. You can get some epic wind here as the wind gets accelerated up the 25 mile steep sided stretch of Loch Ness. Also fairly large wind generated swell and shore break in higher winds (great fun.) Sail in bay in front of pebble beach. The wind is cleaner and stronger appox 500 yards from the shore. You can also launch from a layby approx a mile futher down the road, good when the wind is lighter and not bang on SW, best in NW NE winds as far enough away from Dores beach and avoiding the wind shadow from the shore.

That's the main Loch's where folk sail near Inverness. There is another very small loch that we used to go to if it is too wild at Loch Ness, above Loch Ness on the old Fort William road. I have some pics of sailing there which were taken last summer (1999). See link below. viewmap

Report by Iain Anderson.
Photographs


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Loch Morlich

Head towards Cairngorm Ski Area, turn off from Aviemore.

Used to go there quite a lot. Mainly as learning at the time and a nice location. Firstly it is a pritty safe place to go. There are two main launch sites depending on the wind direction etc. Both are off the main road to the Cairngorms. The first is from a carpark at the west end of the loch. I think it's the first car park on the right you come to and is right on the waters edge.

The main place to sail however is at the other end of the Loch, the east end, where there is a fairly large sandy beach/bay. There is also a hire place on the beach, windsurfing, canoes, boats etc.

Lauch site. Either park in carpark and walk through woods to beach. Preferably park on the roadside, gap in the trees about 100 yards before the carpark. Rig in the trees right on the waters edge. Watch for some hidden rocks near the shoreline.

Generally loch type sailing and a bit gusty but a good spot none the less especially for learning. viewmap

Report by Iain Anderson.

Photographs



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Loch Insh

From the south turn off the A9 at Kingussie and head north for a couple of miles on the B9152. There are signs to the loch. From north continue through Aviemore south a few miles on old A9 road and follow sign posts.

Not been here very much (you have to pay) Good friendly place with a good set up. Parking, changing facilities, bar, hire, instructions etc. Rig on the beach. Excellent location for learning, easy launch and can get some good wind here too. Better wind than Loch Morlich works best in a SW. viewmap

Report by Iain Anderson.

Lochinsh Watersports



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Loch Ard

Sailed here in Summer in the search for an E wind location. Nice spot for pottering. Launch from Loch Ard sailing club at the west end of the loch (it's 5 quid for a day ticket, but there's somewhere to change & shower) and struggle upwind into the loch. Then blast around if it's strong enough. Mountains all around so N/S winds will be rubbish, W might be bearable, E will be best. Now if you could launch from the Forest Hills Hotel's boathouse, that would be nice. viewmap

Report by Brian Smith

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