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                                        OPERATING GUIDE TO NORTH PIER PONTOONS

Welcome to the North Pier Pontoons, Oban (NPP).   

We are delighted you have chosen to visit NPP.  Please note that this is a non bookable  short-stay facility with a maximum stay of 3 days. We encourage you to enjoy the amenities of Oban, but please move on as soon as you are ready to allow other users to access the pontoon spaces. There are other long-stay marinas within easy reach of Oban.

By berthing your boat at these pontoons you agree to abide by the conditions outlined in the Terms of Business shown under “Berthing Charges”.


The NPP office can be contacted on 07388 808061 and on VHF Ch 12.


The office is manned 7 days a week between 1st Apr – 30 Sept from 0800 – 2000.  During the winter months the office will be open 0800-1600, Monday to Friday only.  The NPP office is situated on the ground floor of the Harbour Office building.


The finger pontoons have 39 fully serviced berths for boats up to 12m in length, however at busy times, and in suitable weather conditions, this can be expanded by rafting up boats and using the breakwater. The breakwater pontoons can accommodate boats of up to 30m in length/ 127GT depending on their specifications.  Access to the pontoons is through a secure gate.

The NPP facility can be subject to strong winds and waves especially from the West and South West. In the first year of operating in 2017 adverse weather conditions were well contained by the attenuating breakwater, however skippers must act responsibly and, if necessary, remove their boat from the facility in the event of adverse conditions.


The Harbour Master has the authority to close the NPP facility and request all vessels find alternative berths in severe weather conditions.

Pontoons and walkways can be slippery when wet or in cold weather so please take care when accessing these facilities.



No fueling can be carried out on the pontoons themselves. Diesel fuel and gas is available from Kerrera Marina (across the bay on Kerrera, 01631565333)  or from Tommy Barbour (Railway Pier Fuel Supplies, 01631 562849). 


No car parking is provided for NPP, although there is plenty of paid for council parking in town.


Toilets and showers for the sole use of visiting vessels are available in the Harbour Office building.  Access to these facilities is controlled by key-pad – the access code, which is the same for the pontoons access gate, is provided when vessels check-in at the NPP office. 


There are also public toilets on the North Pier.  These are open 0800-2000 during the summer, 0800-1800 during winter months.


Lockers are available, at a small charge, within the Harbour Office building, please see office staff for keys.


240V is available on the pontoons (16 & 32A). This is subject to a fair use policy and we ask users to be mindful of this.  Please be mindful of safety and ensure cables do not cause a tripping hazard.



Water is available on the pontoons. Please do not drop the end of the hose into the water or leave the water running unnecessarily. Please remove hoses when filling is completed.


4 domestic waste bins are situated at the pier head, and recycling is available for plastic and paper/cardboard in the port waste compound on the north side of the North Pier.


Free Oban town WiFi (BIDS 4 Oban) is available in town and will be extended to include the NPP in the near future. 


No packages/mail will be received/accepted by north pier pontoon staff unless agreed and conditions met 



NPP do not taking bookings for berths, the facility is operated on a first come, first served basis.

Fees include the use of the pontoons, toilets, showers, electricity and water on the pontoons.

No anchoring is permitted within the NPP facility or within a 200-metre area around the seaward perimeter of the pontoons. 


Shallow draft boats should berth inshore. Larger boats, over 20m should phone the Harbour Master to get permission to berth.  Pre-booking of finger berths will not be taken, however allocation of a section of the breakwater pontoons may be required when cruise ship tenders are operating from there.  A chartlet showing the general layout of the pontoons is shown below.

Please keep noise to a minimum after 10pm until 6am the next morning.  Owners should be aware of the need to minimise noise by ensuring that halyards, flags, banners and other are secured and generators, lights etc. are used with consideration for other users.


NPP staff are happy to take payment by either in cash, card or by cheque at the pontoon office, during office hours.  For out-of-hours payment, there is an on-line facility, once payment is made using this facility the system will email the gates codes etc to your nominated email address.  Please note the NPP facility is monitored 24hrs a day by CCTV.


NPP aims to make the facility as user friendly as possible to people with disabilities. Users with disabilities are asked to bring any issues to the attention of the staff on site. At low tide the access ramp can be very steep and may not be suitable for those with mobility issues or for wheelchair access. Accessible toilets and showers are available in the Harbour Office building.



The Code of Practice for Oban Bay, North Channel & Sound of Kerrera should be followed by all vessels in and around Oban Bay. Refer to the Oban harbour web site at for more details.  The following basic requirements should be met:

  • Do comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS).

  • Do keep below 10 Knots in the outer part of Oban Bay and the sound of Kerrera.

  • Do keep below 6 knots in Oban Harbour

  • Do keep a good lookout and act with due consideration to others.

  • Do give way to all vessels over 20 metres in length and vessels constrained by draught that are using the large vessel channel, e.g. ferries, cruise liners, fishing vessels, large yachts, etc.

  • Do have your engine(s) running and ready for use when entering / leaving Oban Bay if your sailing vessel is fitted with engine(s).

  • Do secure properly to your mooring or berth and use adequate fendering.

  • Do follow the Slipway Safety and RNLI Safety at Sea Guidance displayed on the slipway.

  • Do report safety incidents to the Oban Bay Harbour Manager, using the incidents reporting page on this website.

  • Do not loiter in the North Channel, especially in the large vessel channel.

  • Do not linger off the slipways or moorings.

  • Do not water-ski, jet-ski, wind surf or kite-surf in Oban Bay or Harbour.

  • Do not dive in the Harbour except with the permission of the Harbour Master.

  • Do not exceed the stated speed limits.

    Further information about Oban harbour is available at: 

Code for Safe Navigation in and Around Oban Bay

Vessels should proceed with caution throughout the harbour.

The local speed limit in is 6 Knots however we ask vessels to observe a no wake speed within the breakwater.



Everything is dangerous if you are intoxicated by drink or drugs. Enjoy yourself but please act responsibly around the water. The Council reserves the right to require the Owner, or any of their party, to leave the facility if they act in a reckless, dangerous or unreasonable way.

Please familiarise yourself with the location of lifesaving and firefighting equipment.

All children and non-swimmers should wear life-jackets at all times whilst using the NPP facilities.

The bridge, walkways and fingers are to be kept clear at all times and trollies returned to their stalls as soon as they are finished with.

Repairs for any damage to the pontoon will be charged to the responsible Owner.



All users are to use the toilet facilities ashore and vessels are prohibited from discharging to sea whilst within the pontoons facility. 

Be aware of wildlife and do not disturb it. Do not feed the seagulls.

The area around the Vessel must be kept clean and tidy; it is the Owners responsibility to remove waste in a safe and appropriate way. Do not place hazardous waste including oil, paint, batteries and electrical items, into the general waste bin.  Ask the Harbour Master for assistance with these items.

Do not discharge waste liquids including cooking oil or bilge water into the sea.

There is a busy road at the top of the pier head. Keep dogs on leads and children under close supervision at all times.

Do not move or go around barriers or guards.

Fishing, diving and swimming are not permitted around the NPP facility.

For more information about how to be environmentally responsible when on the water see


Should your Vessel require emergency repairs these may be commissioned whilst at NPP but as soon as possible the Vessel should be moved to a more suitable facility. In normal circumstances no work is to be conducted at NPP except for minor running repairs or minor maintenance.


Call 999 for FIRE, AMBULANCE, POLICE or the COASTGUARD, and inform the Harbour Master by the quickest means available.

In case of fire, raise the alarm as widely as possible and evacuate the affected Vessel and vessels nearby. Tackle the fire only if it is clearly safe to do so.


Call for help, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard, then try to assist the casualty without putting yourself in danger. There are life rings and ladders on all the walkways. Yellow upright handrails at the end of certain finger pontoons show the location of safety ladders that can used to assist in recovery of a person from the water.  Alternatively, use a swim ladder on the back of a nearby boat if necessary.​

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