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The village itself is the terminal for the Uig to North Uist Calmac ferry and has just majorly improved its facilities for yachts. They’ve fitted pontoons to the West of the ferry terminal which can take boats up to 3 metres draft on the outside and a little less on the inside. The pontoons are exposed from the East to the South West (Yes, the SW, it funnels across North Uist) when winds can make the manoeuvring of large yachts a tad awkward. The whole facility is now completed (May 2019). The shower/toilet portacabin is all but complete and they have plans for a diesel tank in the very near future (certainly by the 2016 season). The village, though small has quite a lot to offer within a very small walk.
We have given a way point out in the middle of the entrance to the loch.....
..... but in practice most yachts will be approaching from either Stornoway or from the South and the corners can be cut.
From the South, give Macach Mort a reasonable offing (but it is quite steep to) and then turn along the coast to pass between Ardmaddy Point light and Glas Eilean Mor. Both these have prominent perches and are lit accordingly at night. (Note that the deeper water is on the South side of this channel). Ahead on the starboard bow there will appear two islands and the area around the pier and pontoons is not immediately visible – just continue westerly leaving the islands to starboard passing through the middle of the gap between the Southerly island and the shore and the pier will open from behind the island. The most Southerly of that cluster of islets is lit but give it a sensible berth due to the rocks outwith it. From there it is simple and there is plenty of room to have a wander up, have a look round and choose a pontoon and then retreat for a little sea room to clear up to go alongside (there isn’t really any need to douse the sails until the pier comes into sight as there is plenty of room to drift about whilst doing this.
From the North, you can cut round Weavers Point, inside Madadh Bead and make for the PHM to the North West of Faihore Islet or, if you prefer you can take the Southern entrance round Ruith Leag.
If you are coming in at High Water, be aware that many of the small lumps have substantial skirts of submerged rock so give them a sensible offing.
As mentioned above the Loch is exposed to winds from the........East to the SW so you need to choose your spot with the forecast in mind.
The pontoon facility is in the little inlet to the West of the Calmac Ferry terminal and there is a basic layout of that in our navigation image gallery. The spot is very exposed to SE to SW winds so you need to pick your pontoon carefully remembering that you could have trouble getting away from your chosen spot if you are being blown on. If you have picked a pontoon where you are being blown off then you need your thickest warps and double them up. Snubbers are a very good addition to your inventory for this location.
In 2015 they were charging £2.00 a metre (which includes all services) for a pontoon berth.
There is shore power and water on all the berths. There are also showers, toilets and a laundrette. Petrol and diesel are available. Gas, Gaz and propane are for sale at the pontoons but at very high prices when compared to the mainland.
Wifi is available at the hotel and café ashore and is being provided to the marina when it is sorted out. Mobile connection is a bit iffy for some providers, with EE coming out on top here – others may have to wander around ashore to get a connection
The Lochmaddy Hotel does food
There is also a café which does good short order food, has Wifi and is opened from 10am to 5pm seven days a week.
The village shop is at the far end, collocated with the petrol pumps. It’s fairly well stocked but closed on Sundays.