Marina Information

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Craobh Haven Marina

Your Comments: 7 Read or add your comments

Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


None Given


AC 2326 Loch Crinan to Firth of Lorne; Imray C65 Crinan to Mallaig; SC5611.16 Approaches to Loch Melfort; SC5611.27 Seil Sound & The Sound of Insch

Rules & Regulations

None Known


Close in there is a rock close NNW of the west pier marked by a Green unlit buoy and a rock with reef just inside the entrance on the starboard side coming in – marked by a series or spherical red buoys which serve as PHMs

Tidal Data Times & Range

There are no exact figures for Craobh Haven. They are, roughly, an hour before Oban or 15mins before Loch Melfort, for which the Reeds and CCC carry different MHW and LW figures. Even the marina hasn’t got any tide tables!

This site is designed for slower, roaming broadband connections, like you would get at sea, so it needs JavaScript enabled to expand the text.

General Description

Contacts: Craobh Haven Marina (pronounced “Croove”) Marina Office 01852  500222    VHF 80   

The settlement here is of late origins being built late in the twentieth century. It consists of two rows of terraced houses and the Marina with its associated amenities building, office and boat park. The marina is part of the Kip Marina group which also owns Fairlie Quay on the Ayr coast; as such you have to be careful when consulting their web page because some of the links and telephone numbers are for the Clyde, not round here. 

The place lacks history and atmosphere, the village store has closed (it was still up for sale in 2013) and in the meantime the pub “The Lord of the Isles” has opened up collocated premises that carries a small stock of consumables but is not a place for a major restock of the galley.

On the other hand the marina, tucked away behind Eilean an Duin (which is joined to the shore by breakwaters) affords really good shelter and is as well serviced as you would expect of a more accessible facility.  Many people elect to over-winter their boats here though there is fierce competition on this coast as others, of the well heeled variety, keep a “spare” boat in this region as well as a boat in their local harbour for weekend sailing.

It all depends on what you want as there are similar options at Ardfern, Oban, Arisaig, Kilmelford etc and each will have its adherents. Craobh lacks much in the way of shops and entertainment (but that suits many sailors) but it also has severe limits on its accessibility bracketed to both North and South by tidal choke points.

Some make a big deal of these choke points but, to be honest, they exist all along this coast from the Mull of Kintyre to Cape Wrath and are very much part of navigating in British waters, so their existence in this case is very much what you want to make of it; cruising has always meant that, on occasion, one has to set the alarm to catch the tide.

For general notes on cruising in these waters we have compiled an article which you can find on this site at:


From the South you have to leave Eilean Arsa to starboard and keep heading NE until....

.... the entrance to the marina opens and you can see the SHM guarding that rock just outside the entrance.

How you get there is up to you; from Crinan you can leave Eilean an h-Earne to starboard and turn North to pass Reisa an t-Sruith on either side or you can head up to Craignish Point and pass though the narrow  passage between that and Garbh Reisa, continuing up the Craignish Peninsula  between that and the offshore islands/reefs.

For tidal streams you need to disassociate the terms flood and ebb from north and south here because when it is what is essentially the UK “Flood” it is flowing South here and vice versa; you should consult the tidal stream atlas which, fortuitously, you can find on this site at 

From the North you have the choice of the long way around to the West of Luing and thus essentially make an approach to Craobh from the South or you brave it out through Cuan Sound (and if you do that why not go the whole hog and pass through Easedale Sound) Both these sounds are on Antares charts so if you have our Unified Admiralty charts and plotter along with the Antares charts it’s a piece of cake although we did it the first time years ago with the CCC notes and a Mk I eyeball.  (admittedly a bit sphincter clenching) from there you run down, passing between Scoul Eilean and Eilean Gamhna and go whichever side of Eilean Creagach you feel happiest with (there are no leading marks for the narrow northerly passage so if unsure skirt round to the South)

Your problem is that, as you exit Seil Sound and pass between the next two islands, Craobh Haven is completely masked by Eilean Creagach and your picture is just that one of a horizon of overlapping islands none of which look like what you expect!  You shouldn’t forget the good old fashioned compass and ad hoc sight lines to stay on the track you want to.

Finally, when you pass through the gap between the two breakwaters you will find the pontoons are off to port sitting on the other side of a line of red, spherical mooring buoys none of which have yachts on them and are spaced sufficiently far apart to suggest that you can pass in between them  - Don’t. Those red buoys are Port Hand Marks guarding a shallow reef (there is a single can buoy marked on the Admiralty chart)  Leave them all to Port and, when you have passed the last one, turn back on yourself to make good the pontoons.

The Marina website can be found at

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

Call the office on VHF 80 for instructions and see our gallery for pontoon numbering.

In 2022 they are charging £3.10per metre per night for visitors with a charge of £3.50 per night for shore power.



Good amenities building with free showers (cf. Tobermory where the shore power is free but the showers are coin op!). There is also a coin op laundrette and within that a paperback swap shelf! Diesel on pontoon B but there is no petrol at all for miles.
Winter storage, travel lift, slipway can be found here.

The Marina now boasts Wifi!!

They can do engine and electrical repairs and the chandlery has improved over the years.

There is a bus service to Oban or Lochgilphead but this operates only on school days and is one trip in either direction. On Saturdays or non school days you have to walk a mile to the main road to catch a bus in either direction once midmorning and once midafternoon (NB the buses cross at this point)

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

One pub/restaurant


Your Ratings & Comments

Channel Markers and Marina Upgrades
Written by BlowingOldBoots | 4th Dec 2023
This is the only marina that is sheltered from all weather directions in this area.
Entrance after the moles is marked with red, round fender style buoys. Outside these buoys reefs will be a hazard to most shoal draft vessels.
Starboard hand conical buoy has no reflective strip and can be difficult to spot at night.
Pontoons are being replaced, with B already replaced, including lights and shore power outlets. Sections of A will be replaced winter 23/24.
New toilet shower entry key fob introduced to maintain showers exclusively for marina users.
Works at front of of carpark well underway to tidy up area and remove old gangway landing, with landscaping, new gravel and feature piece decking installed.
Access ramp has been changed with new structure at a new location significantly reducing angle at low tide and much easier to use. New galvanised marina trolleys in place at start of 2023.
If staying for a while, there is an over hill walk to Ardfern for alternative chandlers and other restaurants, access via Lunga Estate.
Marine Electrics on site, drop off shed for Owen Sails, choice of local rigger services. Owen Sails are local and will collect if emergency repairs are needed.
New cell tower added near marina and mobile 4G service is good.
Marina wifi is good but can be patchy near A pontoon, no experience of other pontoons.
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 28th Jul 2022
I reviewed these notes at the end of July 2022 ( astern of Red Fox below). Their price has gone up 20p a metre since last year - but it's always been a tad more expensive here than elsewhere on the coast.
Summer 2022…Very expensive fuel & needing some investment…
Written by Red Fox | 5th Jul 2022
Was charged £1.82/ltr when nearby Ardfern was charging £1.64… fool me once…

Showers etc and some pontoons a bit tired… again new facilities in Ardfern winning out…
Update Early Summer 2021
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 23rd Jun 2021
I reviewed these notes in June 2021. No significant changes apart from a small increase in harbour dues (but still below £3.00 a metre
Update march 2017
Written by Don Thomson | 13th Dec 2017
These notes were reviewed in March /April 2017
June 2015 update
Written by Heretic | 15th Jun 2015
The marina is now up to a high standard with great showers, adequately stocked shop at the pub, good menu, helpful staff ( as ever!), WiFi at pontoons.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 20th Mar 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in March 2015. Prices have gone up to £2.45pm,pd. The shop has remained closed so the pub shop is still the only option. Mobile coverage is a little better here but still patchy but the marina now has Wifi
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