Tidal and Weather

The general topography of Loch Kishorn, the Inner Sound, Sound of Raasay and adjoining lochs provide a significant degree of shelter from the prevailing south westerly and westerly winds. Both the Inner Sound and the Sound of Raasay are exposed to the North with a long fetch through the North Minch. The Isle of Skye and the smaller islands of Scalpay, Raasay and Rona collectively limit the fetch of waves from all westerly directions. The effective fetch at Kishorn varies from less than 3 miles to the south to a maximum of 12 miles to the south west thus limiting the effect of waves on port operations in all but the strongest of wind speeds. Sheltered anchorages are available.

Kishorn Port and the offshore mooring areas are almost completely sheltered from the north and east. The prevailing south westerly wind direction occurs more consistently in the winter months with variability in direction most common in early summer.

Swell – Kishorn Port and Loch Kishorn rarely experience any swell waves. Ocean swell conditions are only felt in the Inner Sound and then only when northerly and north-north easterly swells are predominating. The height of such swell waves rarely exceed 4 m even in the northern approaches to the Inner Sound.

Fog – fog is relatively uncommon with less than 2% incidence per month throughout the year in marked contrast to the east coast of Scotland and the west coast of Ireland where the incidence ranges from 5% to 10% in the summer months in particular.

Lightning – according to the Admiralty Sailing Directions NP66 (UKHO, 2011), over a 15 year period, no lightning was recorded at the nearest meteorological station (Skye). This is relevant to crane operations and wind turbine assembly.

Pilotage and Logistics – Port entry is currently recommended in daylight unless the Master is familiar with the port or a Pilot is engaged. The eastern approach to the East Quay is restricted by lesser depths of 1.5 m immediately to the east. In addition there are well charted obstructions of Kishorn Island and the Garra Islands to the south west. There are no local pilotage byelaws and pilotage is not compulsory, however experienced marine staff with local knowledge are available.

The site is located within open tidal water. Tidal information is as follows (based on Plockton and Applecross):

  • Highest Astronomical Tide (HAT) = +6.2 m CD
  • Mean High Water Springs (MHWS) = +5.5 m CD
  • Mean High Water Neaps (MHWN) = +4.2 m CD
  • Mean Sea Level (MSL) = +3.4 m CD
  • Mean Low Water Neaps (MLWN) = +2.4 m CD
  • Mean Low Water Springs (MLWS) = +0.9 m CD
  • Lowest Astronomical Tide (LAT) = +0.1 m CD
  • Chart Datum (CD) at Kishorn is approximately 3.10 m below Ordnance Datum (OD)

Conditions for vessel transit and logistics will be determined using the following variables at Kishorn Port:

  • Tidal range at port and any associated delays with tidal conditions or pilotage
  • Air draught restrictions – the only air draught restriction in the approach to Loch Kishorn is the 29 m limit at the Skye Bridge over a navigable width of 80 m. This passage provides a route south for small shallower draft vessels which is approximately 105 miles shorter than the route around the north of Skye
  • Deepest draught at working berths on Chart Datum
  • Maximum LOA (length overall) of quayside
  • Maximum ground loadings on quayside
  • Height of water on Chart Datum (CD) at port and/or transit route
  • Data is gathered via direct contact with the Kishorn Port authority and harbourmaster. The laden draft information will be used for the tidal conditions and delays assessment and pilotage considerations

Navigation – All deep sea traffic departing from Kishorn Port will pass north through the deep waters of the Inner Sound but small vessels heading south can transit through Kyle Akin under the Skye Bridge and onward through Kyle Rhea where a saving of approximately 105 nm can be achieved over the deep water route around the north of Skye.

Our skilled staff, industry expertise and unrivaled environmental conditions make Kishorn Port and Dry Dock an ideal setting for marine, oil & gas, wind, wave and tidal projects.

For more information, or to find out about our competitive rates, contact Kishorn Port & Dry Dock.