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Malts Cruise FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum size of boat and crew? There is no minimum size, and all types of boat are welcome.  Boats must be ‘sea-going’ and capable of handling the conditions on the west coast of Scotland.  Every boat must have at least two people on board.

When does the cruise start and finish?   The cruise offices opens in Oban on Friday 15 July 2016, and the departure is on Sunday 17 July. The last event is on Thursday 28 July. 

What safety equipment or training do I need?  There are no mandatory safety requirements for the Malts Cruise, but we strongly recommend that you check that your boat, crew and equipment are suitable for the west coast of Scotland. 

I have never sailed in Scotland before, how do I prepare?  It is a good idea to buy up-to-date pilot books and cruising guides (as well as charts), as these will help you plan your itinerary for the ‘free cruising’.  These books will also have tips on local facilities, navigation and anchoring.  Some suggestions:

Cruising Scotland by Mike Balmforth & Edward Mason - Clyde Cruising Club/Imray ISBN 9781846236976

Yachtsman’s Pilot: Skye & Northwest Scotland by Martin Lawrence - Imray ISBN 9781846231780 

Clyde Cruising Club Sailing Directions:
Firth of Clyde ISBN 9781846233685
Kintyre to Ardnamurchan ISBN 9781846235801
Ardnamurchan to Cape Wrath ISBN 9781846235542

You will be anchoring on a regular basis, so check your ground tackle and windlass. 

Can I charter a boat?  Yes, there are many companies that offer bareboat or skippered charters on a variety of boats.  See for details.  Remember to factor-in enough time to get to Oban, then back to the charter base after the cruise finishes.

What will the weather be like?   The weather is influenced by the passage of depressions over the Atlantic, and is very variable.  Over the two weeks of the cruise, most conditions are likely to be experienced.  The Clyde and Stornoway Coastguards broadcast the shipping area and inshore waters forecast on VHF.  The pre-departure briefing includes a weather forecast.

What facilities are on the route?   This is remote cruising, and you need to be prepared to anchor-off and dinghy ashore. Planning for fuel, water and food is important.

What about flying to Scotland then getting to the cruise?    The closest international airport is Glasgow International (GLA), 140 km (approx 2½ hours).  There is a train to Oban Pier from Glasgow Queen Street and also a bus service from the city centre.

From Tobermory, take the bus to Craignure, then the CalMac ferry ( to Oban.  Both trains and busses go daily from Oban Pier to Glasgow.

What about visas?  Only non-EU nationals may need visas – check with the closest British Embassy or see the UK country information pages on

Can I take my children?  Families with children of all ages are very welcome.

Can I take my pets?  We have no restrictions on the animals you carry on your boat.  Any animals arriving from outside the UK will have to comply with British laws.  See the UK country information on