Thursday, January 08, 2009

Nairn Marina

Ayeright has been busy again...

Nairn harbour is a popular place with boaters and tourists alike. Like many harbours on the east coast is was developed as a commercial harbour for fishing boats. With the fishing industry in decline commercial boats have been replaced by leisure craft in recent years.Over the years the river has silted, and if you look out to sea when the tide is low you will see huge sand banks making navigation in and out of the harbour difficult.Most boats can only get in and out of the harbour a couple of hours either side of high tide, with some of the larger vessels being restricted to needing high water springs due to their depth.Nairn harbour has always been known as just that - Nairn harbour, but now to many folks amusement it has been elevated to the status of a marina by a boating magazine (Practical boat owner).The sight of Nairn boat owners clambering down the steel ladders, wobbling along the old pontoons, is maybe a million miles away from the vision of sunshine, super yachts, and smart white trousers and blazers which is normally associated with marinas. Marinas also usually come complete with facilities. Water and electric on the pontoons (Pontoons that don’t sink!), toilets, showers, washing machines etc. Nairn harbour users do have public toilets on Harbour Street but that is it!The good news for Nairn marina users is that their marina is the 2nd cheapest in Scotland, but the trawl of harbours/marinas in the magazine is hardly extensive.So with the new found status of marina can we expect to see boat owners supping pimms, and adjusting their cravats this coming year? I doubt it, but it might take a little while for them to adjust their image for the new marina!


Anonymous said...

Nairn Harbour falls somewhere in between a harbour, and a marina.

The pontoons are a great improvement on what used to be there. Power is available from distribution units on the quayside, though you do need an extension lead to reach your boat ( which isn't normally amongst the inventory, in my experience of cruising yachtsmen) & water is available , though hidden from view beneath a manhole cover.

The access problems regarding silitng up of the mouth have been happening for years, and are just a natural part of the longshore drift seen here , at Whiteness Head, and elsewhere, such as Blakeney Point in Norfolk.

The way around it is easy. Simply don't buy a boat with a deep fin keel. For years a lot of the cruisers in the harbour had bilge, or twin keels, now lifting keels are more common, and , in my experience, no restriction to either having fun, or racing competitively.

The harbour users are looking forward to the new pontoons planned for installation before the end of March. Access to the boats will be via 'ramps' rather than ladders, and the scheme includes installing one to the first pontoon, which was replaced last year. This will make access much easier for anyone less able, or frightened of ladders!

Nairn Harbour/Marina, call it what you will.......but it's a great place, and makes sailing/ boating affordable in a sector of the leisure industry normally way beyond the reach of folks like me :)

Graisg said...

Any worries that the Highland Council might pump up the fees given the new investment?

Anonymous said...

Does this mean we should call Alec T Marina birthing director from now on?

Anonymous said...

There is a fair chance they will bump up the berthing fees but even with a 50% increase it would still only cost me 40% of the amount we would pay to moor in Inverness.

Daft as it sounds , it would cost us twice as much to keep our boat out of the water over Winter at Findhorn Boatyard as it does to keep it in the water, for twelve months in Nairn.

Admittedly the access due to tides can be limiting but , overall, for price, location and convenience, Nairn harbour takes some beating.

Graisg said...

Good evening Spurtle, glad you could drop by, at this rate Nairn will be needing a seperate blog for Nairn Marina/Harbour :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't think a harbour blog would catch on. After drinking so much Pimms it can be difficult to see straight, never mind navigate your way around a keyboard :)

Anonymous said...

Marina - wasn't she the cool chick on Stingray?

Anonymous said...

She was the cool chick from Stingray ; Aqua-Marina. Never spoke a word either.

I believe the word to describe such circumstances would be "quality"

Just picked up my copy of PBO and , while Nairn harbour is the second cheapest in Scotland and fifth cheapest in the UK, the way they have calculated the costs makes Nairn look more expensive than it is, for many of the boats anyway.

Our little tub costs us the equivalent of £40 per metre, potentially making Nairn the second cheapest marina in the UK, and we would have been first, all but for the sake of a miserable £1!

To put this into perspective, we pay £245 a year for our berth. Should we take our boat to Salterns Marina in Poole, it would cost us £5352 a year, which is more than the boat is worth.

A reason to be cheerful :)

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Spurtle has been practicing with the Pimms ready for the marina.
His will be the boat going around in circles then!?

Anonymous said...

Aniram - didn't she belong to an old fisher family,that once lived in the area,before it was poached by the sailors.

Anonymous said...

Was that the Salmon family? They were always getting poached.
I also heard Mr & Mrs Egg also suffered as well