Welcome to the UKWA Home Page Forums Cruising Launch points on Skye

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
  • #3954

    Just wondering if anyone can offer any recommendations/advice re launch sites on Skye to add to the info in the Boatlaunch guide.

    Particularly interested in the west side. Elgol is a possibility (not listed on Boatlaunch though) but is pretty exposed and open to swell. I recall Glenbrittle is mentioned as a stopover point in Dave Barker’s excellent ‘Some Men in 3 Boats’ write up – was that a possibility for launching? Harlosh is mentioned in the guide but doesn’t sound overly inviting.

    As always, any info much appreciated.


    Bob Harland

    We found Loch Dunvegan very picturesque, the village has good shops and the campsite is also pretty decent.
    We viewed the lochs on the west side of Skye from the road and found them less enticing.
    Assuming you have accommodation on Skye then I think a recce would yield several options for launching – there seem to be small boats at the head of most of the lochs.
    I think for starting a cruise Plockton or Arisaig have big advantages over Skye


    Thanks, we are hoping to get up there in August and have look round to see what we can find – Plockton is definitely on our list. Will report back if we find any other good options.


    Dave Barker


    Thanks for the comment about my write-up 😳

    The only reason I didn’t reply before is that I have only visited Loch Brittle by sea, so I have no direct knowledge of the road access etc. (I can vouch for the midges, but that’s another matter).

    As I recall the beach is of fine, soft sand, and of course faces approx. SW, so could be subject to quite a swell, with surf.

    Sorry I can’t be of more help.



    I have never launched from Glenbrittle but having camped there on several climbing trips I can tell you the road in is long, very tortuous, steep in places and single track. I cannot recall any specific prohibitions on use of the beach but I do vaguely recall something. I would advise contacting Glenbrittle campsite before attempting to go down there.



    Thanks for your reply. I too recall the road down to Glenbrittle from climbing trips in the Cuillins, I think the idea of contacting the campsite for more info is the best option. All set now for a week near Plockton, a week in Broadford and then Ullswater on the way home. Looking forward to it lots, just need some light winds and clear sunny days … not asking for too much …



    Hi Jonathan
    We have sailed out of Skye a few times as well as sailing up both coasts. We have always launched at Millivaig near Glendale which has the most amazing cafe/cakeshop (keeps the crew happy). I’m almost positive you would be able to launch at Broadford and now that the ferry no longer runs the slip at Kyleleakin would be brilliant as well as giving a very sheltered harbour. I also recall a usable slip/ beach at Isle Ornsay down the Sleat penisular. I don’t know about Elgol but most of the little sheltered places on the coast have some kind of access of Wayfarer size boats. Soay just off Elgol has a really well sheltered harbour and well worth the visit, even if it is just to see the solar powered telephone exchange!! From the Broadford side The Crowlins are well worth a visit but I would only plan to sail through them on a spring tide and following wind. You could also get to them from Plockton although a bit longer sail. Plockton is really well sheltered and an easy launch/recovery but the village is very restrictive on leaving cars/trailer especially at the tourist season.
    Hope this is of some use
    Iain Mc Robbie


    Iain, thanks for your reply – teashop recommendations are always particularly welcome! We didn’t get to Glendale this time but will add that to our list for next time.

    In case anyone’s interested or for future referrence –

    We did launch at Kyle of Lochalsh on the old ferry slip which was excellent. Enjoyed a great day sail under the Skye bridge, up to the Crowlin Islands where we anchored for lunch in Crowlin Harbour and then back via Pabay.

    Also launched at Broadford, again a good option available whole of tide, for a circumnavigation of Pabay and lunch on the beach at the south end. Anyone venturing near Pabay should proceed with caution, seriously shallow and rocky as you approach.

    We did check out Glenbrittle and Elgol for future trips. There is access from the carpark onto the beach at Glenbrittle and given a flat sea launching at high tide might just be possible but it isn’t really a serious option. Elgol was a better prospect than I had recalled. There is access onto the small beach next to the jetty which is pretty firm sand and is apparently ok for launching at all states of the tide.

    I’ve posted some photos including some of Ullswater meet



    Dave Barker

    Hi Jonathan,

    Interesting feedback. Thank you.

    I tried to view your photos, but they seemed to be locked. I don’t know if this was because of my browser settings or your gallery settings…


    Dave, thanks for letting me know – I think it was my mistake for not setting as a shared album. Perhaps you could let me know if it works now.



    Hi Jonathan

    can’t believe I didn’t chat to you more about this at Ullswater…. My parents and sister & brother-out-law live in Sleat in the south of Skye so obviously know it reasonably well. I didn’t have a login before to answer your question.
    Anyway I think people have covered most of the points but some small additions for the record:

    * Isleornsay – Iain (McRobbie) is right about Isleornsay although parking can get busy around the hotel if you were wanting to leave car and trailer for any length of time. Very sheltered anchorage, popular with yachts. (And the hotel has a good bar with good beer, food and live music.)

    * Ord (west coast of Sleat) – quiet beautiful little bay and there is a rough old slip which leads down to a sandy beach with a natural little harbour between rocks at North side of bay. Quite shelted on Loch Eishort given the rocks. Slip involves a 90 degree turn from track and very rough so not great and might only be suited to hand. Would need to have another look. Otherwise worth mentioning and remembering for sea access. Pretty much all tides with the sand I think….
    It’s a wee bit of a drive along a single track but a lovely remote spot and great for anyone with kids. Always used to go and play there when I was wee and now take my kids when we’re up….
    I’ll try to go and check this one out further when I’m back up next (end of Sept.)

    * also, has anyone been to Drumfearn (head of Loch Eishort)? will also try and go and check it out… I know a guy who runs shellfish boats out of here… but not sure if there’s even a slip and if so how suitable it is for Ws.


    Dave Barker

    Jonathan – It’s now working, and I have enjoyed looking at the pictures. Thank you!


    Yeah, some really good shots of the views and family…
    #3 is that the channel between the Crowlins? Did you manage to get through the low water at the S end?
    #6-8 i presume is the beach and pier at Corry at the NW side of Broadford bay? Nice one of Adam helming… will show my kids to inspire them!



    Sorry not had time to add any descriptions but yes two pictures of the channel between the Crowlins, one as we motored in and one at anchor at the south end of Crowlin Harbour. We didn’t exit through the south end as we were on a falling tide and there was a lot of weed floating on the surface so we didn’t want to chance it. The beach picture is actually the south end of Pabay taken on our way back from the Crowlins, the same beach we stopped on the following day when we took the families out. Yes the next one is the slipway at Corry Pier, Broadford.



    Further to Jonathans post, here are a few of my pictures of the same trip around and onto Pabay

    The slipway at Broadford

    My eldest Son Ross aged 7 happily steering the boat under outboard power

    Pictures of the beach we landed on on Pabay

    My Wayfarer tied up to the main “jetty” on Pabay – narrow but absolutely fine with a Wayfarer

    The postbox on Pabay which despite only having one holiday home on it still gets a daily collection!

    I second Jon’s comments regarding being careful with the rocks, there are many reefs mainly populated by seals

    Richard W3165 – “Dumyat”

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.