Sailing in the Outer Hebrides
- Vessel: Steady
- Where: Ullapool, Scotland
- Duration: 10 days
- Embark: Ullapool - 12 July 2023, 14:00
- Disembark: Oban - 21 July 2023, 10:00
Discover the West coast of Scotland with yacht Steady as she explores Skye, the Shiants and the Outer Hebrides under sail.
Join yacht Steady on the West coast of Scotland for an adventure sailing holiday exploring the Hebrides. Set sail from the port town of Ullapool as you discover the secluded coastline of Skye and the Shiants before finishing in the harbour town of Oban.
Steady will show you the hidden side of Skye and the Shiants with remote anchorages in secluded bays from the water with the chance to explore ashore on foot. Relax in sheltered anchorages and watch picturesque sunsets, and if we are blessed with dark skies, the stargazing from the deck is breathtaking. With little pollution, sailing in the Hebrides has some of the best opportunities for star gazing in the country.
- Skippered sailing
- Remote island exploration
- Private cabins
- Great for couples & solo travellers
- All-inclusive sailing
Your Sailing Area
The exact itinerary is dependent on the wind and tides but our crew know all the hotspots off the beaten track and the best places to anchor under the stars. As you board Steady and get familiar with your floating home for the week, the crew will have a better idea of where you might sail. Sailing from Ullapool, Steady will set the sails South, around the top of Skye exploring the remote Shiant islands along the way. If the wind is in favour, perhaps reach the further Outer Hebridean islands too for some remote coastal exploration.
The exact itinerary is dependent on the wind and tides but our crew know all the hotspots off the beaten track and the best places to anchor under the stars. As you board Steady and get familiar with your floating home for the week, the crew will have a better idea of where you might sail. Some possible anchorages include Eriskay, Barra Head, Mingulay, Vatersay, Taransay, Scarp and the Monach Islands.
Steady will show you the beauty of the islands from the water but you will also have the chance to explore ashore on foot. Relax in sheltered anchorages and watch picturesque sunsets, and if we are blessed with dark skies, the stargazing from the deck is breathtaking. With little pollution, sailing in the Outer Hebrides has some of the best opportunities for star gazing in the country.
If the wind is in your favour, another possible destination are The Shiants (or “enchanted isles” in Scottish Gaelic). A group of uninhabited islands that are known for their remoteness, dramatic coastline and rare seabirds. Home to one of RSPB Scotlands Sea bird Recovery projects, life on these remote islands is truly wild and equally important for our national bird populations. Anchor up and explore these wonders by foot whilst soaking up the rugged coastlines and keeping your eyes peeled at all times for exotic flora, fauna, wildlife and interesting archaeological remains.
Sightings of seabirds such as Black Guillemots can be seen in their hundreds and white-tailed eagles soar along the rugged coastline. Sailing on Steady is often rewarded with widespread sightings of birds of prey like Buzzards, Kestrels, Sparrow hawks and Peregrines and, if you’re lucky, you’ll spot the diminutive Merlin. The sound is magnificently overwhelming, with the call of seabird colonies, Puffins, Guillemots & Razorbills, echoing off the cliffs.
There are frequent encounters with Common, Bottlenose & Whitebeak dolphins on board these trips, and Risso & White-sided dolphins are also occasionally sighted. There are plenty of whales in this part of the world too. Our most common encounters are with Minke – Humpbacks are a less frequent visitor, while the real star of the show is the resident pod of Orca if you’re lucky enough to see them gliding through the water. So keep your eyes peeled and have your binoculars at the ready!
All voyages for Steady
Guest berths: 8 Rig: Staysail Ketch
Join husband and wife team, Jan-Willem and Mariëlle Kerkmeer aboard their 1993 Dutch ketch as they take guests on sailing holidays exploring the wonders of the Hebrides in Scotland.
Steady is true to her name with a sturdy steel hull and was originally built as a charter vessel giving a considered layout below decks. Fitted with all the mod-cons and keeping guests comfort at the forefront, she sleeps eight guests in four comfortable twin cabins sharing two bathrooms with a generous shower. Newly re-fitted for 2022, the galley and saloon area live at the heart of the boat with a peninsula galley and plenty of seating alongside the cosy multi-fuel stove.
On deck level there’s a spacious cockpit with a navigation station and more seating, perfect for breakfast and morning coffee as the sun rises. There’s plenty of room on deck too to take in the surrounding views and learn the ropes alongside Jan-Willem and Mariëlle who love sharing their passion for Scotland and sailing with their guests.
Onboard Steady, most guests like to lend a hand with the sailing of this eye-catching vessel, and Jan-Willem and Mariëlle are excellent guides if you do want to get involved. They cater for all abilities and ages, so if you’d rather sit back and relax with a book, then that’s fine too!
Steady’s voyages explore the islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides and St Kilda; an area of unspoilt wilderness and breathtaking beauty in the Western Isles of Scotland. Her sailing adventures give you access to the most captivating and remote hidden secrets of this incredible and beautiful place. As you sail through this stunning marine landscape you will likely be lucky enough to experience close encounters with rare wildlife and have time to soak up the unique and fascinating history and culture of the Hebrides and St Kilda.
Watch this short video of Steady sailing around Oban.
Steady Deck Plan
Deck planMore about Steady
Life on board
Steady has been sailed in Scotland by Dutch husband and wife team Jan-Willem and Marielle for over 10 years. Their love for Scotland, sailing and the natural world are clear for guests to see and they are well versed in all the secret hot spots.
Steady is true to her name with her simple rig and winch system easy to navigate, providing a great base for guests to learn the ropes. Jan-Willem and Marielle can sail Steady comfortably on their own but they invite and encourage guests to take part in all aspects of sailing. From taking the helm, sorting and setting the sails, basic navigation and rope work, Jan-Willem and Marielle provide a safe and supported environment for guests.
A Typical Day
Set the sails after a hearty breakfast with the aim (depending on the weather of course!) to sail for 4-7 hours before finding a secluded anchorage away from the tourist hustle and bustle to settle down for the night. Lunch will either be served under sail or on anchor, made by Jan-Willem and Marielle in the spacious galley.
Spend a few hours exploring ashore in the afternoon before sharing a delicious freshly prepared meal aboard while sharing sea-faring tales and star-gazing on deck.
Sleeping and Relaxation
The main deck is well designed with plenty of open spaces and a cockpit for alfresco dining. The undercover deckhouse has 360degree windows so is great for morning coffee while watching the sunrise or some shelter if the Scottish weather takes a turn!
Below decks gives way for a beautifully appointed galley kitchen and generous, comfortable saloon which has been recently re-fitted to a really high standard. The fore leads along a small corridor where there are four well-considered twin bunk cabins with a toilet and separate shower for guests. The crew quarters are situated in the stern so have their own facilities.
As with all Steady’s sailing holidays, your ticket price includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and hot drinks. Soft drinks and alcohol can be purchased on board. Single occupancy is available with a 50% surcharge. All cabins have bedding and towels provided. There is a suggested age limit on Steady’s trips so if you are over 75 years old and are interested in sailing with Steady, please give us a call in the office.
- All meals* are included in the price (Breakfast, lunch, dinner and hot drinks) *On a 7 day trip, there will be one dinner ashore at your own expense. On a 10-12 day trip, there will be two dinners ashore at your own expense
- All bedding (pillow, sheets & duvet) and wash towel
- Full crew plus tuition
- Marina and fuel fees
- All tender trips to and fro the boat
- Musto sailing waterproofs whilst on the boat
What’s not included
- Alcohol and soft drinks
- *On a 7 day trip, there will be one dinner ashore at your own expense. On a 10-12 day trip, there will be two dinners ashore at your own expense
- Any flights
- Transit hotels
- Travel to and from the boat on the day of joining/leaving
- Travel insurance
- Sailing Insurance (Please read our Sailing Insurance page for more information)
- Crew tips
- Personal expenses
What COVID policies are in place for sailing with Steady?
There are currently no Test & Sail policies in place for the 2022 season.
Are all meals included in the price?
Yes - meals* are included in the price (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Hot Drinks) Please note that Alcohol/soft drinks are not included. *On a 7 day trip, there will be one dinner ashore at your own expense. On a 10-12 day trip, there will be two dinners ashore at your own expense.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
A vegan diet cannot be catered for, but lactose-free and gluten-free diets are catered for.
What language is spoken on board?
Jan-Willem and Mariëlle are Dutch, however they are fluent in English & Mariëlle can speak German.
Do I need to tip the crew?
Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew!
What are the sleeping arrangements?
4x twin bunk bed cabins.
Are bedding and towels provided?
All bedding and shower towels are provided but please bring Swimming towels if you wish to swim in the sea!
Is there an age limit for Steady's guests?
Yes, her maximum age limit is 75 years. Please check if you have any under 18's.
How many bathrooms/showers does she have?
Steady has a separate toilet and shower.
Is there WIFI aboard?
No, but you should reach 3/4G from the shore.
Are there Life Jackets provided?
Are there Waterproofs available?
Yes, Steady has sailing jackets for each guest in average sizing while sailing.
Do I need sailing experience?
No, absolutely not! Just a love for adventure.
Will I be seasick?
Everyone reacts differently but if you are unsure we recommend you take seasick tablets 24hours before you board.
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.
Garve is Ullapool’s closest station. Trains run 1 – 4 times a day from Inverness to Garve. Inverness has good rail and air links from the rest of the UK.
Inverness Airport is about 1 hour 30 minutes to Ullapool by taxi. There are direct flights to Inverness from the major London airports.
STAY IN ULLAPOOL:
There are plenty of places to stay in Ullapool. Try Creagan Guesthouse, Rosslyn Cottage or Harbour House.
Oban station is a 5-10 minute walk from North Pier. Trains run 6 times a day to Glasgow Queen Street Station where there are good travel links to the rest of the UK.
Glasgow and Edinburgh Airport both require taking a train from Oban which takes approximately 2-3 hours. Flights go direct to Stansted Airport.