Saturday, 27 June 2020


27th June 2020

CUSTOMERS from further afield will now be able to visit and stay overnight on their boats once again following this week’s surprise announcement by the Scottish Government that travel restrictions for leisure purposes in Scotland are being eased from Friday 3rd July. 

The use of second homes and self-catering accommodation without shared facilities will also be permitted in Scotland from 3rd July, which indicates boat owners will now be able to stay overnight on their vessels at last.

At Ardfern we welcomed the statement from RYA Scotland regarding the sudden easing of ‘the stay local’ restrictions on travel in Scotland:-

RYA Scotland, chief executive officer, James Allan said this was ‘really good news for the boating community’.

“We have patiently waited for the moment we will be able to travel to our clubs, marinas, moorings or lochs and now we can see this is just around the corner. I don’t think anyone was expecting this but sometimes the surprises are nice ones,” said Mr Allan. 
“For all of us this is a huge relief. There are many boat owners concerned about missing essential annual maintenance who can now look forward to going to their boats on 3rd July to start this process. For others it is the opportunity to get back to their favourite boating locations and get on the water again.
“Our advice remains the same, to be considerate of others and conservative in the risks we take in going afloat. Covid-19 has not gone away and we do need to remain mindful of the impact of our presence in remote coastal and island communities when the opportunity to cruise more widely becomes available,” he added.

Cleaning procedures across the site at Ardfern have been increased and we remind all customers to adhere to the current Government recommended social distancing guidelines and our AYC Covid-19 Customer Protocol at all times.

We very much look forward to welcoming all our customers back to the Yacht Centre from the end of next week and wish you all an enjoyable time afloat for the remainder of the season.

Andrew and Joanna Ashton and all the team at Ardfern.

Scottish Marinas
Ardfern Yacht Centre ready for easing of lockdown

Saturday, 20 June 2020


20th June 2020

AS current coronavirus lockdown restrictions now move into ‘phase 2’ of the route-map out of the crisis in Scotland we are pleased to announce that the chandlery will fully re-open on Monday 29th June.

Until then we will continue with the ‘call and collect’ system we already have in place, so if there are any boating hardware items you need please don’t hesitate to give us a ring on 01852 500247.

In preparation for fully opening the chandlery we have installed protective screens around the counters for the safety of our staff and customers, while hand sanitiser is also available at the door. In addition there are 2-metre floor markings now in place together with a one-way system to follow around the shop.

The current Scottish Government advice announced this week under phase 2 is to still ‘stay in your local area’ in regards to leisure and recreation, while the move into this phase sadly does also not permit overnight stays on boats yet.

We are, however, hopeful that following Scottish tourism minister, Fergus Ewing’s announcement last week that stated that the ‘tourism and leisure sector in Scotland should prepare to open by Wednesday 15th July’, will allow customers from further afield to be reunited once again with their boats and be able to stay onboard overnight at last in mid July, so long as the number of coronavirus cases in Scotland continues to decline.

In the boat yard, cleaning, polishing, antifouling and launching is progressing well during what has been a mostly settled spell of weather for the yard team to press on with getting jobs completed and we are pleased to report that we are now a good way through our launch schedule, with thanks going very much to all the staff involved.

For now we thank all of our customers that are further afield for their continued patience with what is a frustrating situation for us all, as we look forward to resuming boating properly again in Scotland in mid July. 

Andrew and Joanna Ashton and all the team at Ardfern.

West coast boating
Chandlery ready to open with social distancing measures in place

Friday, 12 June 2020

Hopefully everyone can be back on the water from 15th July.....

Ready for all Customers to Return by mid July

FOLLOWING the welcome announcement by the Scottish Government that the hospitality and leisure sectors should be able to resume from the 15th July, as long as the number of Coronavirus cases in Scotland continues to decline, we expect to see all customers being able to return to their boats to stay aboard and make the most of the remaining season from mid July onwards.

In the meantime over the last few weeks we have been busy preparing the Yacht Centre to ensure the safety of our staff and customers, with social distancing measures now in place throughout the chandlery, on the pontoons, in the facilities block and in the workshop areas. 

The yard team have also been working hard on cleaning, polishing and antifouling boats, along with catching up on the launch and rigging schedule ready for when all boat owners can return to their vessels. 

Scottish Marinas
Stepping masts ready for customers
Back to business
Ready for customers to return

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Boat Launching Resumes at Ardfern

4th June 2020

Scottish marinas
Restarting boat launching at Ardfern Yacht Centre
BOAT launching has now resumed at Ardfern in line with the Scottish Government’s guidelines to move to ‘phase 1’ of the easing of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

We are very pleased to say that the ‘phase 1’ guidelines in Scotland now enable us to resume ‘outdoor working’ and as such our boatyard launching and marina operations restarted on Monday 1st June, with the additional relevant risk assessments now in place to cover working at a safe social distance.

There is obviously a considerable backlog to the launch and lifting schedule, but rest assured we will be pressing on to get all boats that need launching ready and in the water for when their owners can resume boating. If you require any additional boatyard services please contact the office.

At the same time we also welcomed the confirmation from RYA Scotland that the extension to the daily exercise guidelines included in ‘phase 1’ does specifically include sailing and the use of motorboats, which allows local boat owners to return to the water. However, customers are reminded of the following guidelines that still apply under the ‘phase 1’ conditions in Scotland regarding water activities:-

1) You are currently advised to stay in your local area near to your primary 
     residence when partaking in leisure activities.
2) You should not stay overnight on your boat at this stage, so only day trips 
     are currently permitted.
3) All boating must only take place with members of your immediate 
    household at the moment.
4) If you or anyone in your household are displaying coronavirus symptoms 
    do not travel to Ardfern and isolate at home as per Government guidelines. 

For those local customers able to return to their vessels we urge you to check all on board machinery and fuel systems along with safety gear before venturing out for the day, especially now that it has been quite a while since many boats have been moved.

The chandlery at Ardfern is available for hardware sales only on a ‘call and collect’ basis if you do need anything. Please either call in at the office in person or ring us on 01852 500247 if you would like to order any items for collection, which we can then place outside for you.

In the office/chandlery reception area, protective screens have been installed around the counters, 2-metre floor markings are now in place and a hand sanitiser is available at the door.

Diesel and gas will also be available. Please contact the office if either services are required, wear disposable gloves when handling the diesel nozzle or gas bottles and please remember to keep 2-metres apart from staff members serving you.

The facilities block will be open between 9am and 5pm only and will be limited to one male and one female toilet only, with the showers and laundry facilities remaining closed for the time being. An extra outdoor sink has also been installed next to the laundry building to provide an additional hand washing facility.

On the pontoons we ask customers to use the finger pontoons when passing others in order to adhere to the 2-metre distancing rules and to give priority to people leaving the pontoons. Please also wait on the pier if others are on the pontoon bridge.

We have increased cleaning procedures across the site and ask all customers to adhere to the social distancing guidelines and our AYC Covid-19 Customer Protocol at all times.

We thank all of our valued customers for their patience and understanding of the current situation and we very much hope that it won’t be too long until we are welcoming our customers from further afield back to Ardfern to enjoy their boats and the beautiful waters of Argyll once further restrictions are lifted in Scotland.

Andrew and Joanna Ashton and all the team at Ardfern.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Customer Update 14th May 2020

Lochdown 2020
Ardfern Yacht Centre under Lockdown

AS you are aware the marina, chandlery, workshop and all facilities at Ardfern have been closed for almost 8 weeks, with the majority of staff having been placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from late March. This still remains the case at the current time, in line with Scottish Government guidelines to ‘stay at home’.

Since the lockdown we have been busy ensuring boats in the yard and on the pontoons and moorings are safe, with checks having been carried out on a regular basis. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if there is anything in particular that you would like checking on your vessel, whether that be checking batteries or de-humidifiers or switching electrical connections on or off etc.

Along with complying with Government guidelines we have also been liaising with the UK marine industry and taking advice from organisations such as our industry body, the British Marine Federation and our local Mid Argyll Chamber of Commerce, regarding lockdown restrictions and how we may begin to get back to work safely.

We are now putting measures in place to allow a small number of staff to return to work in the yard to launch boats and step masts, once the Scottish Government permits ‘outdoor working’ to proceed, which we hope will be in the not too distant future.

Our company Health and Safety risk assessments are being reviewed in order to put additional Covid-19 safety measures in place, firstly for the staff and then for customers in preparation for when the business can reopen fully again with safe social distancing measures in place.

We very much look forward to welcoming you all back to Ardfern and seeing you out on the water once restrictions in Scotland are lifted.

Andrew & Joanna Ashton and all the team at Ardfern.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020



Following on from last night’s announcement by the Government, we have taken the decision to close the workshop, slip and boatyard. This now means that the whole of the yacht centre is closed for the protection of our staff, customers and the local community.

There will be a small team on site to ensure the safety of boats, both ashore and afloat, and to keep an eye on everything. Please be assured that your boat remains safe in our care.

During office hours we can be contacted by phone on 01852 500247 or by email

We thank all of our loyal customers for your continued support through these challenging times and look forward to welcoming you back to Ardfern once the restrictions are lifted.

Andrew and Joanna Ashton and all the team at Ardfern.

Monday, 23 March 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE 23-03-2020



Following today’s Scottish Government advice regarding the closure of all non-essential retail outlets, the chandlery and office at Ardfern is now closed to customers.

Although the doors to the shop and office will be locked, office staff can be contacted for any customer enquiries and essential gas sales on 01852 500247 during normal office hours.

We also urge customers to follow the Government advice regarding staying in your primary residence and not making unnecessary journeys at this terrible time for the country.

We look forward to seeing you all once these restrictions are lifted and we wish you all well through this challenging time.

Andrew and Joanna Ashton and all the team at Ardfern.