A new marine pontoon for the Argyll village of Strachur on the shores of Loch Fyne looks set to bring significant benefits to the community by attracting visiting yachts and other leisure craft to the area. It is anticipated that the 90m long pontoon will also encourage youngsters and other members of the local community to develop an interest in marine leisure activities such as sailing and angling.
The pontoon for the Strachur Bay Moorings Association (SBMA) on the Cowal Peninsula is the latest in a series of floating jetties manufactured by Oban based outdoor equipment specialist Fusion Marine for coastal communities across the West Highlands. Manufactured from tough polyethylene and recycled plastic, the landing pontoon for SBMA provides easy and convenient round-the-clock access for small leisure boats and other craft.
The flexible nature of these individually designed pontoons enables them to be sited on shelving beaches and other coastal locations. As the tide drops the pontoon follows the sloping contours of the foreshore, offering access to the sea and providing a suitable freeboard at all states of the tide.
Ian Arnold of the Strachur Bay Moorings Association said: “We had identified the need for a jetty or pontoon several years ago and ideally where marine access was possible at all states of the tide. We are delighted that we opted for the Fusion Marine design of pontoon because it has delivered the versatility that we require. Coupled with the availability of visitors’ moorings, the pontoon will encourage yachts and other leisure craft to visit the area and explore Loch Fyne. It also provides an important facility that will encourage a new generation in our community to take an interest in boating and other marine activities.”
The unique polyethylene design of the Strachur pontoon features decking made from recycled plastic. It is secured to the shore by a concrete bridgehead and delivers a minimum of 2m depth on the two outer end side berths at low water (Springs).
Iain Forbes of Fusion Marine said: “This type of pontoon is very versatile and they are already widely used at a number of coastal and freshwater locations by businesses and organisations that include hotels, estates, adventure centres, tourist operators and community associations. There is also the option to increase the available berthing space by utilising a hammerhead arrangement at the end.”
He added: “I would like to thank The Scottish Salmon Company for their help in this installation, who in a gesture of real community spirit generously donated space at their nearby support base in Cairndow for the assembly and launch of the pontoon.”
The project was funded under the ‘Sail West’ project, part financed by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVA Cross-Border Programme. Highlands and Islands Enterprise assisted in the delivery of the project.
The new pontoon was officially opened by Fergus Ewing, Scottish Tourism Minister, on 18 March 2013. After the opening, Mr Ewing said: “This pontoon is a great example of a community working together with public sector funding in order to create shared tourism infrastructure.”