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Lochinver

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign

Waypoint

0058° 09.0N 005° 19.0W OR 58° 08.36N 005° 18.8 W

Charts

AC 2504-0 Lochinver and Approaches; AC 2504-1 Lochinver; Imray C67 (with harbour plan of Lochinver) There is no Admiralty Leisure Folio covering this area.

Rules & Regulations

Call the harbour on VHF#12

Hazards

The island of A’Chleit is dead on track between the headland at Rubha Còigeach and Loch Inver.

Glas Leac (with a sector light) in the middle of the approach. Reefs to the NE of Soyea Island

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Lochinver is 5 mins before HW Ullapool. MHWS 5.0m MHWN 3.9m MLWN 2.1m MLWS 0.8m   (links)

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General Description

Contacts
Harbour Master   VHF #12, tel 01571 844247 mob 07787 151498

Lochinver harbour and marina is at the East end of Loch Inver protected by a single breakwater. The original pontoons were laid in the 90s and extended over the years to give us the lay out of today.  This layout is not yet reflected in the Admiralty Charts as there is an extra arm added extending the East/West pontoon Westwards.(See our gallery, mainly used by small angling boats)  When we visited in 2015 there was plenty of room for everyone.

The harbour developed as a fishing village in the 17th and 18th centuries and today the harbour’s main purpose is still for the landing of fish; trawlers can be expected to at any time, night or day, to land their catches which are transferred to lorries.  There was a huge fish shed built in the 1990s to the same design as is to be found at Kinlochbervie and at the east end of it is the Harbour Office. There was extensive blasting undertaken to accommodate this shed and this extends back into the cliff face behind it. This was presumably to make room for future development but this has not happened and that area behind the fish shed is derelict and given over to the long term storage and refurbishment of various boats and yachts.

There is a Leisure centre behind the boatyards which provides showers for about £2.50.  At the end of the commercial port is a large hotel and bar and, just beyond that, Peet's restaurant.  Further along there is a side road leading to the Lochinver Mission and the Chandlery.

Further around the bay to the North West is the village proper as a ribbon development along the shore.

The harbour website is at http://www.highland.gov.uk/info/1/business_and_trade/102/harbours/6

Approach

It is a requirement of the Port that you call them on #12 before entering harbour.

We have given two waypoints for the approach into this harbour depending on your direction of approach; entrance to the north or south Soyea Island is acceptable for yachts.

From the North around Point of Stoer and Stoerhead you may encounter quite strong sea conditions even in light winds from the North West.

If coming in from the South note that the island of A’Chleit is not lit at night and is almost in a direct line between Loch Inver and Rubha Còigeach.

Coming from either direction for the first time it can be difficult to sort out which lump of land is which until one is quite close. 

From the North be careful of the reefs extending NE from Soyea island. If the 5.3 metre reef in the middle of that channel worries you, you can always go around to the South of the island but that is probably only of interest to deep sea trawlers.

As you pass north or south of Glas Leac you will be able to see the yacht masts in the marina above the breakwater so will have no problems seeing where you are heading for.  Be aware that the breakwater is quite long and gives ample shelter even in Westerlies; you should be able to clear up for entry in to the harbour once inside the breakwater (even short handed) so leave the battle with the sails and fenders until in that sheltered water.

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

In 2015, even in foul weather, there were plenty of spaces for....

.... visiting yachts on the pontoons and generally plenty of folk around to give you a hand getting in. At night there is quite a lot of “light pollution” provided by the fish docks so you shouldn’t have too much trouble in the dark.  You will have been allocated a berth on #12 during the approach and may even have the duty HM meet you (due to the commercial traffic here there is some one on watch 24/7) In general yachts are tied up on the Eastern arm of the pontoons.

There are several places to anchor in the small lochs outside the harbour but they are not recommended in strong Westerlies. Having said that, the very small cove, Loch an Shanish, would give shelter to shallow draft yachts in Westerlies as long as it didn’t swing round North of West when you would be in severe trouble.






This is a Highland Council Harbour (in fact it’s the headquarters of the HCH organisation) and the charges are in line with those published on their website 

https://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/536/harbour_dues_-_main_2019

You'll find detailed charges for leisure boats on page 7 of that document but basically, in 2019,  it's nearly £24 for a 10 metre boat

 Note that one day’s payment entitles you to two days stay (the second day here or somewhere else) and there is a 15 day rover ticket which entitles you to moorings in Highland Council Harbours, Kinlochbervie, Lochinver, Gairloch, Portree, Kyleakin (not Kyle of Lochalsh) and Uig (on Skye) 

Facilities

Bear in mind that Highland Council harbours office is located here and that this is their "showpiece" Marina - draw your own conclusions from that re the other harbours under their governance

On the pontoons you will find water and shore power but may have to get the HM to unlock the connection point nearest to you (they issue a key and, at the beginning of the season, you will find all those not in use padlocked, but later on in the season some padlocks do go missing) There is a separate charge for the shore power.

Diesel is available at the end of the Finger Pier and petrol can be obtained at the garage in the village (One of the harbour employees will come and give you a lift if you need it – it’s a long way to carry petrol cans!)

There are toilets a collocated with the Harbour Office at the far end of the Fish Sheds (note that this is a good quarter of a mile from the pontoon so don’t leave it too late!!) As has been said you can get a shower in the Leisure Centre where there is also a small charity shop where you can exchange paperbacks.

There is a chandlery near the harbour but he is more interested in the fishing trawlers than us yachtsmen. He does do Calor and Camping Gaz but the Camping Gaz is charged at the usual extortionate prices in this region. (we did find Camping Gaz at ”normal” prices at the garage on the shore in Ullapool)

They have a 20 ton boat lift and a slip.

For shops you will need to take a shopping trolley or several crewmen to carry the goods back as the main village shops are at the head of the Loch quite a walk away.

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

The nearest bar is in the hotel adjacent to the harbour but we would not recommend its restaurant; if you want an evening meal go to Pete’s next door; the only problem is that it’s so popular you will need to book and will probably find it full if you drop in at the last moment. (If you are arriving late afternoon we’d recommend you call from your mobile en route - if you can get a connection that is!)

Peet’s restaurant     01571 844085

There are some nice café’s in the village round the bay.

You will not fail to notice the Inver Lodge Hotel on the hill overlooking the Loch. It is five star and has an internationally renowned chef; their set menu costs about £50 per head

Links

Your Ratings & Comments

2 comments
Update Spring 2019
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 24th May 2019
These notes were reviewed in May 2019. Nothing has been done to improve the situation re toilets and showers here. Prices have gone up, you still have to pay for a shower in the Leisure centre and the toilets are at the far end of the Fish Market.
UPDATE APRIL 2017
Written by Don Thomson | 12th Apr 2017
I reviewed these notes in April 2017. The prices have gone up 10% otherwise. The showers which were at the Harbour office but were broken are now completely un-serviceable and the only place for a shower is the Leisure Centre.
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