Oban set to become Marine Tourism Hub - Gael Force Engineering awarded contract to build new berthing facility

"As a sailor who lived in the area for many years I firmly believe the new facilities will be a great asset to the town." - John Offord, Gael Force Engineering MD.

Gael Force Engineering have been awarded the contract to build Oban’s new transit berthing facility, employing Gareloch Support Services and Oban-based, North West Marine as their main subcontractors.

The project will also see the construction of a visitor facility which includes a harbourmaster’s office, toilets, showers, lockers and a changing area, as well as commercial space for rent. The visitor facility will be built by Mull-based firm TSL Contractors Ltd.

The berthing facility, designed by Gael Force will see the creation of 36 finger-berth pontoons and a concrete floating breakwater, providing flexible short-stay capacity for vessels of various sizes. Gael Force will also supply all the mooring requirements.

Commenting on the contract, Gael Force Engineering managing director John Offord said, “We’re delighted to be involved in this very exciting and prestigious project. As a sailor who lived in the area for many years I firmly believe the new facilities will be a great asset to the town and will be welcomed by the yachting and wider marine community.”

With around 15 ships a year visiting Oban and passengers having to tender ashore, the creation of better facilities will make it easier for people to access the town. The first class visitor facility will cater not only for cruise passengers but other marine traffic such as kayakers, yachts, tour operators and sea-life enthusiasts.

With major public sector investment of over £3million in these two projects making it easier for marine visitors to come to Oban, the prediction is that this will bring even more cruise ships in the years to come. The expectation is to increase visitor numbers with an estimated benefit of around £20million to the area over the next 25 years.