Our Base and Surroundings – You & Sea Powerboating is an RYA centre based on the Gareloch, on the west coast of Scotland where the scenery and the boating is arguably unsurpassed in the world.
Conditions: Loch Long, the Holy Loch and the upper reaches of the River Clyde are all within easy reach, with Bute, Arran, the Cumbraes, the Kyles of Bute and Loch Fyne not much further afield. With such a wide choice of training ground, there is always somewhere ideal to run every level of water-based course, no matter what the weather conditions, so our courses run all year round. On our doorstep we have everything from very sheltered waters for beginners to more challenging conditions for those wishing to raise their boat handling skills to a higher level.
Challenges: The technical challenges of handling a powerboat in these waters can be made as straightforward or as challenging as required. There are a wide variety of buoys and fixed navigation lights, and plenty of opportunities to practise using the collision regulations in real situations. The wreck of the Sugar Boat is visible on the sandbank opposite Greenock at all states of the tide and presents a graphic warning of what can go wrong!
← Aerial view of Gareloch
Traffic: We are located in one of the largest areas of sheltered deep water in Britain and a very busy area for marine traffic. Large cruise liners sail into Greenock almost daily in the summer months; ferries run several times a day to and from Kilcreggan, Gourock, Dunoon, Hunter's Quay, Wemyss Bay and Rothesay; tugs, tankers and container ships are constantly coming and going; leisure craft, sail and power abound; and PS Waverley, the last seagoing-passenger-carrying paddle steamer in the world, passes by several times a week in the summer. With HM Naval Base at Faslane just a few miles away at the top of the Gareloch, submarines are a regular sight, and naval vessels such as warships, minesweepers, destroyers and even aircraft carriers regularly motor past.
Nature: As you might expect, there is an abundance of wildlife - seals, porpoises, the occasional basking shark, eider ducks with their very distinctive call, gannets, cormorants, terns, and a range of other sea birds.
There is always plenty of activity in this magnificent setting, whether you are just out for an enjoyable day on the water or focused on improving your skills or completing a qualification.