Oban Bay and Approaches

Anchorage Information

General Information

Oban is a key hub for CalMac ferries serving Mull, Colonsay, Coll, Tiree, Barra and Lismore from the Railway Pier. There are frequent ferry movements throughout the year, particularly in the summer. Other large commercial and fishing vessels use the North and South Piers. From April to October a large number of leisure vessels use Oban including the start of a number a major yacht races. There are fish farms in the Sound of Kerrera.

Oban Bay and the north end of the Sound of Kerrera are often busy and, at times, congested areas. As a result vessels wishing to anchor should seek advice from Oban Harbourmaster on VHF channel 12 or using the contact information here.

Cruise liners

The recognised anchorages are shown on the plan. They are:-

3. Dunollie light bearing 302°T x 8.9 cables 56° 25’92N 005° 30’37W

Position 3 - Used in May 2015 by Queen Mary 2 (loa 345 metres & draught 10.1 metres)

4. Dunollie light bearing 225°T x 4.25 cable in position 56° 25’.07N 005° 29’.56W

Position 4 - This is the only recommended anchorage for large cruise ships in Oban Bay. Northern Lighthouse Board’s Pharos (loa 84.3m draught 4.3m) and fish farm servicing vessels such as Norholm (loa 33m draught 6m) also use this area for anchoring. Large cruise ships have anchored between anchorage position 4 and the Sgeir Ratheid Reef whilst visiting. This is acceptable if the depth is not too great for your vessel.

Click on the image to enlarge

Click on the image to enlarge

Vessels up to 24m

1. Sgeir Rathaid North cardinal buoy bearing 090°T x 1 cable in position 56° 24’.92N 005° 29’04W

Position 1 Is not recommended for any vessel because it blocks ferry traffic to Railway Pier No. 1 link span which is used hourly. 

2. Dunollie light bearing 230°T x 3.1 cables in position 56° 25’.19N 005° 29’.47W

Position 2 is recommended for vessels up to 24m anchoring closer to Rubh a Chruidh.

Please note anchoring is no longer permitted between North Pier and the Corran Ledge moorings.

Alternatively, use can be made of the visitor moorings provided by:-