One of my favourite cruising areas is definitely the west coast of Scotland. If you have ever experienced the delights of cruising from the Firth of Clyde and further north, you will have an insight into the unspoilt lochs, welcoming islands and stunning moorings and anchorages the areas has to offer.
One of the handier bases from which to explore this area is Largs Yacht Haven on the Firth of Clyde. Not only is the marina handy for exploring the West Coast, it is well-placed for both Glasgow and Prestwick airports.
This month, the marina has just completed a major project to deepen the entire marina basin. With boats getting larger and deeper the decision was taken to deepen the 700-berth harbour to three metres below chart datum, and remove some of the high spots which had been in evidence for several years. The work was carried out by Humber Workboats Ltd from Grimsby over a 10-week period working 24-hour shifts through three named storms and the wettest winter since 1910 and was completed on schedule. Whilst the contractors were dredging the marina staff worked seven days each week keeping ahead with boat moving to allow the dredger to access every berth.
“It has been a mammoth task, not helped at all by the terrible winter weather,” explains Carolyn Elder, Yacht Haven director. “Both our contractors and staff are to be congratulated for battling the weather to complete the project ahead of boats being returned to the water for Easter, thus minimising the disruption to our customers. The marina basin does not have a siltation problem and so this work will not need to be done again for many years to come.”
In addition, the car park area at Gate 2 has been surfaced and now provides first class parking for 130 cars, in September further work will provide an additional tarmac surface for car and RIB parking and for winter storage ashore.
Largs claims to be "Scotland’s Finest Marina", it was the first marina in Scotland to be awarded TYHA 5 Gold Anchors in 2010 and these improvements certainly add weight to its claim and put it among the best marinas in the UK.
For more inspiring destinations, see 8 of the best UK estuaries for cruising, UK boating destinations: 10 of the best and Seven special British boating pubs.