People planning over charts

Plan Your Passage

Heading over the seas to Scotland for the first time can be a bit of a daunting idea, however this page will hopefully help to restore confidence on about how to go about it.

The greatest principle of any sailing trip is planning one’s passage. Being prepared for any eventuality ensures that you and your boat will arrive safely at your destination. 

Weather

Before even starting to think about hitting the sea, check the weather. This is an absolute must as you don’t want to end up getting caught out in a storm where you could be risking yours and others lives.

The wind is an area to consider and can influence your selected destination – it is easier to sail with the wind rather than against it!

Also remember you need to get back, so have a thought about timeframes and plan for time to compensate for any unforeseen weather influences.

Timing

You need to plan out what time you want to set off and arrive and whether you are comfortable sailing in the dark.

Use the average speed of your boat and the distance from your set off point to your destination to plan your timing. Also keep in mind that some places have tidal gates, you’ll need to plan ahead for this to ensure you do not get stuck outside waiting for the tide to roll back in.

Tides

Scotland has many strong tidal flows which you can learn about from online or local sources, you will need to work out a strategy based on the amount of time your thinking of taking.

Pilotage

Before setting off for your destination research the entry to port and how the buoyage system works and if you are arriving at night it would be wise to note down how the lighting system works as well as knowing what radio frequency that the port uses.


After all that planning you can go on to the second most important rule - enjoy the scenery and the experience of sailing in Scotland!