FAQ : Frequently Asked Questions (and the answers)

Yachts at anchor in Ardvasar Bay on the Isle of Skye



  1. Which charts are supplied with the boat?
    Admiralty charts are aboard at all times for the Standard Cruising Area which runs from the South of Mull to the Shiants and the East Coast of the Outer Hebrides. See map on the “Destination” page of the website. If you want to go outwith the Standard Cruising area advance notification is required as the Insurers may need to be advised. To extend North and West (including St Kilda) there is a £25 per week charge which includes the extra charts required for West of the Outer Hebrides. Some of the yachts now also carry Ipads with both general and large-scale navigation charts and Marine related Apps.
  2. What other navigational equipment is there?
    All boats have GPS receivers connected to Chart Plotters. The Clyde Cruising Club Pilot Books; “Kintyre to Ardnamurchan”, “Ardnamurchan to Cape Wrath” and the “Outer Hebrides” and an Almanac and plotting equipment including parallel rules, dividers and a Bretton Plotter are also on board. All boats have a “Ship’s Manual” which will fill you in on the boats operating procedures. Ask us for a copy to be emailed to you for familiarisation prior to your trip if required. Instruction manuals are available on board for most items of equipment.
  3. Are there binoculars?
  4. Does the boat have a fridge?
    Yes, however, do remember that normal practice is to only operate an electric fridge when the engine is running so the Skipper and Cook may have different priorities!
  5. Is linen supplied?
    Pillows and clean pillowcases are supplied at the rate of one per berth on the boat. Tea towels are also provided. Please bring any other bedding and towels you require with you. Alternatively, we can provide hired sleeping bags - £15 each per hire.
  6. Waterproofs?
    It doesn’t rain in Scotland…, but if you want to guarantee a week of sunshine, we have a selection of “coastal” weight waterproof suits (Jacket & Trousers) available for hire- £28 per week. If you would like to hire waterproof items please order in advance.
  7. On Board Entertainment?
    All the yachts have a Radio Receiver /Music System which can generally be connected to your own device by cable or Bluetooth.
  8. What about galley equipment?
    All boats have a generous selection of cooking utensils and crockery. If you have any particular loves such as a pressure cooker, you might like to bring one along.
  9. Is there a compulsory charge for “end of charter” cleaning?
    No – but we do require that the yacht is returned in a neat and tidy state with basic cleaning done to help speed up changeovers. If there are four of you in the party this probably means about 20 minutes cleaning per person so it shouldn’t be too onerous. In case you are not sure what is required,suggestions will be found in the Ship’s Book on board the yacht. Where yachts are returned dirty a cleaning surcharge of £30/cleaning-hour will be made.
  10. Any cleaning materials?
    Basic cleaning materials are provided – a general galley and heads spray cleaner and toilet duck. These should be quite adequate to clean the yacht to a reasonable standard and our cleaning staff will add the finishing touches with specialist materials where necessary. To assist with keeping the place tidy we also supply; clothes pegs, “J” cloths, pan scrubs, bin liners and a supply of rubbish bags.
  11. What about Rubbish and recycling?
    Additional rubbish bags in a different colour will be provided for recycling of paper, tins and plastic in addition to general waste. Please also keep glass in a separate container.  Rubbish skips can be found at most of the larger harbours and if you are ashore mid-trip it would be useful to dump accumulated general rubbish.
  12. If we are coming by ferry with a car/s should we book in advance?
    The ferry timetable is complex and it is essential that all vehicles are pre-booked. Contact Calmac on 01471 250090 Option 2 or During Spring Tides, the timetable varies daily so please ensure that you check the timetable carefully for your specific days of arrival and departure.
  13.  What time can we board the yacht?
    The usual boarding time is 15.30 unless stated otherwise in your joining instructions. If you arrive before that time, please wait for instructions before taking your car(s) down on the Private Pier. On the other hand if you are running more than an hour late then please phone to let us know. We do appreciate that delays can occur en-route for unforeseen reasons but please remember that it will take about 1½-2 hours from your arriving at the Pier to being on board, fully briefed and ready to set off. Please plan your journey realistically to be here well before the staff officially finish at 17.30 and to allow you time to go somewhere on your first evening!
  14. How long will it take me to get to Skye?
    If you are travelling by road then you need to allow 4¾ hours from Glasgow Airport or 2 ½ hours from Inverness Airport - this will give you time for a comfort stop only, not a meal or shopping break. Details of public transport options and more information can be found on the Location page of the website Please discuss with us before booking travel if you are going to arrive out with our normal operating hours.
  1. If we come by ferry do we have to bring our car?
    If you prefer to come on the ferry from Mallaig as foot passengers you can do so and our launch will pick you up directly from the ferry pier. Please let us know in advance that you intend to arrive in this way. Most parties find it worthwhile to bring at least one car over with all the luggage and shopping. Remember vehicles must be pre-booked on your selected ferry.
  2. Are there plenty of car parking spaces?
    A Parking area is provided at the top of the drive to the Private Pier. However, if all the fleet are out then car parking space is limited. Where possible, please try and restrict the number of vehicles to 1 car per 3 crew members. To maximise the usable space,vehicles in the same party will be parked so as to block each other in. Parking is free but at the owner’s risk.
  3. Catching the ferry home
    If you are on a Bareboat or Skippered charter it usually ends at 0900 on the last morning, which is a convenient time for catching the ferry to Mallaig at 10.40 (vehicle check in 20min before). If you need to be on the first ferry sailing at 0840 then you should check the procedure for handback and getting ashore in the ship’s manual.
  4. Will our mobile phone work? The O2, EE and Vodafone systems all work at Armadale. The coverage is improving all the time, although it is still patchy with about 75% coverage of the area you are likely to be sailing in. 4g Data service is gradually improving but is generally better while out at sea than when you are anchored in a bay surrounded by mountains.
    All the boats have USB charging sockets/or adaptors and an Inverter to recharge LOW wattage (phone, tablet, and laptop) appliances at 240V.
  5. How and when do we pay you?
    The booking deposit is due when you return the charter agreement. Your booking is not confirmed until this is received. We will send out your final invoice about 7 weeks before your trip and this should be paid by no later than the 28th day before your holiday starts. Payment can be made by Credit or Debit card or Bank Transfer; our account details are on your invoice. This should be a single remittance traceable to the charterers’ account, this being a requirement of the insurance cover.
  6. Insurance
    The yacht is fully insured against all normal maritime and 3rd party risks, but there is no provision for cover for personal loss or injury. A standard travel policy will provide this and also cancellation protection which is strongly recommended as we cannot refund your deposit/charter fee in the event of you cancelling.
  7. What is the Security (Sailing) Deposit for?
    Its main purpose is to cover the excess on the insurance policy and it is not possible to take a waiver on this. In practice, we deduct from it, a charge for consumables used during the trip; i.e. fuel based on litres used and cooking gas (usually one cylinder). If you have lost or broken any bits of the yacht’s equipment e.g. boat hook these will be charged at replacement price. The fuel tank is full when you leave and we will refill on your return and charge at the current retail rate with a 60/40 tax split. Most crews end up paying between £60-£90 per week for diesel and gas depending on the weather, itinerary and size of boat. The £1000 deposit will be taken by Credit Card Pre-Authorisation at the time of handover.

  8. What should I do if any of the boat equipment breaks down during my holiday?
    Should you have any major equipment failure or loss please let us know as soon as possible. We will then discuss with you whether outside assistance is required and, if so, work out the best way of providing it as quickly as possible. If calling outwith office hours, please be prepared to leave a message and full contact details on the answerphone which will be dealt with appropriately.
    It is also useful to know about more minor faults before your return, wherever possible, so that we can have the correct parts and equipment ready on changeover days to service the yacht before her next customers arrive.
  9. Where can we sail to on our holiday?
    It is difficult to answer this question briefly as there is a lifetimes cruising in the area.There are seven suggested itineraries and links to Navionics charts in the Destinations section of the website If you have never cruised from Armadale before and have a reasonably competent crew, your best way to plan is to think about a cruise round Skye with a leg out to the Outer Hebrides. The way this is tackled will depend on the weather forecast! There is a booklet called “Welcome Anchorages” available on the yachts or download from Photos and chat about the area can also be found on the IOSY Facebook page. If you want to plan your passages in advance of your holiday; we suggest you obtain a copy of the Imray chart C66 "Mallaig to Rudha Reidh and Outer Hebrides". This would cover most of the area you could expect to sail in for a week and is at an adequate scale for planning purposes.For bedtime reading we would suggestthe Clyde Cruising Club publication “Cruising Scotland-The Clyde to Cape Wrath” by Mike Balmforth and Edward Mason.

If you have any specific queries please feel free to contact us before your holiday to discuss them.
If we can help in any other way – please do not hesitate to contact us by phone on 01471 844216 or email

Preparing for your holiday : on the quayside and loading provisions on-board your yacht