Adaptive Rowing at Arran Coastal Rowing Club

To make changes or adaptions to the way we row, the equipment we use and the assistance we offer to our fellow rowers.

1. Our Aims 8. The crew
2. Adaptive rowing sessions 9. What you might see
3. Where we are located 10. Getting out of the skiff
4. About ACRC 11. Facilities at the pier
5. When you arrive 12. Food and refreshments
6. Safety 13. Testimonial
7. Access to skiffs 14. In summary

Audio Version of this page

Our Aims

All the members of our club love to row and enjoy getting out on the water. We are keen to make it possible for you to join us in one of our skiffs and experience that enjoyment too.

Adaptive rowing sessions

Adapted chair

Adjustable footrests

At the moment we can offer a large beanbag which provides a very comfortable seat in the bow if you are unable to row but would still like to experience to joy of sitting at water level and ‘just getting out there’. We also have a plastic seat which we can strap to the thwarts if you need a little more support. Or you can share a seat with one of our rowers and row together. Our foot rests have a large amount of adjustment and can easily adjusted to suit most rowers. If you have your own specialist kit that you use bring it along, both our skiffs are built to the St Ayles specification so any adaptations that you have should fit into our skiffs.

As our adaptive rowing experience increases we hope to be able to offer more specialised equipment. We will learn from all our guests what we need to make your experience with us easier, more accessible and more enjoyable. So, bear with us and help us to develop.

Where we are located

Approach and turn off A841

Approach to pier area

Arran Coastal Rowing Club is based at the Arran Yacht club on the Isle of Arran KA27 8JN. To get there from Brodick take the A841 south, in about 3 miles you will drop down into Lamlash where the road bends right along the sea front. Turn left at the Pier Café and pass the RNLI boat house on the right, this area can get quite busy at holiday times and please be aware that at anytime this road may be temporally closed if the lifeboat is called out. These closures are controlled by lifeboat personnel and only last a few minutes.

At the top of the slipway turn left and you will be on the hardstanding leading to the yacht club. There is no Blue badge parking anywhere in this area, but you will be met by an ACRC member, by prior arrangement, and you will be shown to a parking point close to the boat shed.

Area in front of RNLI boat shed

Approach to yacht club

Hardstanding outside boat shed

About Arran Yacht Club

Wheelchair accessible side door,

…toilet, shower & changing room

The yacht club is a RYA accredited Training Centre. The club house and boat shed were rebuilt in 2015 providing excellent facilities for those using the premises. We share the site with the yacht club and the kayak club. There are male and female toilets, showers and changing rooms. An instructor changing room and a dedicated wheelchair accessible toilet with shower and changing space. Access to all of these is via the boat shed or accessible side door. You are welcome to use whichever meets your needs the best.

When you arrive

When you arrive you will be met at the yacht club by one of the team. We are all volunteers and are here to assist you and answer any question you may have.


We will carry out a dynamic risk assessment based on your specific needs. We will ask you to put on a manually inflating life jacket and give you instructions how to use it, or an auto inflation life jacket. It is best that you wear layers of warm clothing that you don’t mind getting wet, a hat, wind/waterproof jacket and loose trousers are ideal. Old trainers or wetsuit boots for your feet are preferable. You can get hot when rowing and cool down quickly as you stop.

Access to the skiffs

Main slipway

Main slipway

The slipway is approx. 75 metres away from the changing area and is flat concrete. At certain times during the winter following a high tide and rough seas this area can have a build-up of sand and pebbles, but these conditions don’t hinder our launching. We are fortunate in that we have two concrete slipways one of which runs directly next to the pier. We can position the skiff on the launch trolley at any point alongside the pier, giving us choices of how high or low the skiff needs to be to afford you the best access and egress. We can then launch the skiff with you already in position if this would assist you.

You could, of course, access the skiff when it’s in the water directly from the slip if that is a better option for you. We can launch from either slipway depending on wind and tide direction. The main Lifeboat slipway is our preferred option. In summer, and at holiday times, this area can be busy with people launching various craft and the small (passengers only) Holy Isle ferry departs and arrives from here. There is also the chance that the lifeboat could be called out. We always work around whatever is going on at the pier and we have never had any problems.

The main slipway extends into the water for a good distance and it’s only when our launch time coincides with a spring tide that we might have to walk the skiff into deeper water and off the sand bank. We can manage this without any problem even if it means we have to retire for coffee and cake till the water level rises a bit.

Secondary slipway

Launch trolley with skiff on parked next to the pier

The skiff level with the pier top

The crew

The cox is in charge of the boat and following a private discussion with you about your needs and expectations will then tell you where to sit and give you instruction as to how to row if needed. You will be rowing as part of a team in a crew of four rowers and one cox.
Most sessions last about an hour and can be adjusted to suit the individual

What you might see

Dolphins herding fish off Holy Isle

Cormorants on the South Marker Buoy. Turn right here to go to Whiting Bay, turn left to go around Holy Isle

Lamlash is the largest village, by population, on Arran with a sheltered bay looking out to the Buddhist retreat of Holy Isle. When out on the water the full expanse of the village can be seen with Goatfell visible between the hills that drop down into Lamlash. Basking sharks and dolphins are occasionally seen in the bay along with more regular sightings of Porpoise and, more often than not, inquisitive seals which pop up to see what we are up to. Birds are in abundance with gannets diving whenever there are fish around.

Lamlash Bay is home to C.O.A.S.T, the Community of Arran Seabed Trust, which has pioneered marine conservation for the last two decades with the establishment in 2008 of the first no take zone in Scotland right here in the bay. Lamlash Bay is a good natural harbour offering very good shelter. The bay is deep and during the war was consider to be a safe and sheltered place where It accommodated the Royal Navy Home Fleet and Atlantic Fleet.

Getting out of the skiff

The cox will give instruction as to when you get out of the boat and you will be assisted by the adaptive rowing team.

Facilities at the pier

Accessible public toilet

25 meters away from the top of the slip there is a spacious but older, unisex wheelchair accessible toilet. This is owned and run by the local community, it’s due for demolition and will be rebuilt at some time in the future but, at the moment, it’s kept clean and it’s functional.

Food and refreshments

The Pier Café where we have our coffee and cake

As you turned in from the main road you will have passed the Pier Café on your right. This is our regular coffee and cake stop. They do fantastic homemade food, have great coffee and local ice cream. ACRC are always made welcome here and we can move chairs around to accommodate us all but in those holiday periods it can be very busy and even ACRC can’t always get in. Food and drinks can be “bought to go” in these instances. There are several pubs in Lamlash all providing good food and drink. At the end of the village there is a well-stocked Co-op.


Julie and David

My name is Julie and I would like to tell you about my experience on the ACRC Skiff.
“I have Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis with a high level of mobility problems in walking and prolonged standing.
When I arrived at ACRC I was met by lots of friendly volunteers who assisted me to put on a life jacket and gave advice on how to inflate it. As you can see from the photograph, I had plenty of layers on including a waterproof jacket as it can be cold and wet from splashes.

It was such a pleasure being out on the water

The team found a suitable place to park my wheelchair along the pier right beside the Skiff. Someone was holding the chair steady, and another rower was stood inside the boat.
They asked me to remain in the seated position and then I was seamlessly transferred from my chair into the skiff. I was then lifted on to the seat in the middle of the boat then made comfortable. The boat was then launched into the water with me already seated in it!
The volunteers knew exactly what they were doing, and I felt very safe. Everyone then got into the boat and off we went at the call of the cox!”
   — Julie 2019


In summary

We put a lot of emphasis in being a welcoming and relaxed club that enjoys a chat, a cup of tea and cake at the end of a rowing session.

All our rowing sessions are risk assessed on an individual basis and are all weather and sea condition dependant.

If you would like to know more or discuss how we can work together, please contact Dave Ingham

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