Harbour fee’s see loss of tourist trips

Stonehaven Harbour
Stonehaven Harbour

Stonehaven locals will miss out on boat trips due to the increase in prices at the Stonehaven Harbour.

The increases which affects harbours all around Aberdeenshire have been has been set by the council and not the local harbour masters.

In a post on Facebook Castle Charters revealed that they would have to stop offering tourist boats full time.

It read: “We have a few announcements to make and some very sad news for 2014.

Due to Stonehaven harbour charges increasing by 5 times with the council looking to take 10% of our turnover, it’s with great regret we are unable to operate full time for sea angling and boat trips, these massive increases would see us charge customers double that of last year just to cover these increases.

“We do however plan to run some boat trips and angling trips in June, July & Aug at weekends. 70% of our customers are local and we would like to thank all for your business in the previous years.

“Our aim is to now focus on our commercial workboat side of the business with the arrival of a new dedicated survey catamaran to Stonehaven in March called True North and it is with her we will likely run trips in peak season at weekends.”

Castle Charters owner Ruari McLachan has told the Leader that they are still in discussion with Aberdeenshire Council.

He said: “We’ve been speaking to a local councillor and seniors in the council over the past few months, the increase is for all charter/commercial boats in Aberdeenshire harbours so we have got together with other operators up North to try and negotiate a better deal, which we are still working on.

“Castle Charters would like to thank Harbour Master Jimmy Brown for his continued support.”

Aberdeenshire Council did not respond to a Mearns Leader request for comment before we went to press on Wednesday afternoon.