Sweden [legacy]

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The Swedes seem to act in concert with their Danish cousins and save electricity by switching off navigational lights during daytime hours regardless of visibility conditions. Swedish buoyage ranged from German level to Danish, it seemed routes commercial shipping used in Öresund rank large buoys while routes only used by yachts don’t. A certain disappointment is that even the safe water buoys marking the entrance to major harbours like Karlskrona are small and only visible from short distances. We used a combination of Swedish sports charts and the German sports charts, we found the Swedish sports charts to be quite good.

Marinas offered either domestic Swedish electrical connections or the standard marine electrical connections found in most other northern European countries (e.g. Belgium, Britain, Holland, Germany). Converter cables were available to convert from the domestic to the marine connectors – in general it was the small harbours that would supply electricity using the domestic connectors. Trollehätta Canal A commercial canal linking Lake Vänern with the west coast and the city of Göteberg, the Trollehätta Canal has only 5 locks which are in the middle section of the Göta River (Göta Älv). The locks are much bigger than the Göta Canal and are operated by the Swedish Coast guard (Sjöfartsverket). The countryside is much hillier than the Göta Canal and the locks take you down a long ways but are properly designed so the water enter and leaves through louvres in the floor of the lock giving a very smooth operation. Fees are paid at the lock in Trollehätta. When we went through lock shut down the canal and as the large ships stay in the locks during fog yachts can’t move either. There is a museum in Trollehätta which covers the history of the lock system and nearby three generations of locks can be seen. Göteberg The Lilla Bomen marina is on the south side of the Göta River, between the four masted sailing ship Viking and the Opera House. Mooring is by stern line from the floating pontoons, electricity is available. The marina is ideally located with a covered walkway over the highway to a major shopping facility which has banks, food stores, post office and much more. Beyond that the center of the city lies. The marina is the most expensive we encountered in Sweden (in fact the most expensive of the whole trip) and doesn’t offer much excepting the excellent location. No diesel was available and the various staff were unable to even locate where diesel could be purchased other than walking to a normal gas station. They keep no records of who has paid and so are constantly checking if you have paid or not. The showers are only available from 9 AM until 8 PM which is annoying and rather stupid as they are operated by card key anyway. No weather reports are available for those heading out to sea (the staff suggest you buy a Swedish language newspaper if you want to know about the weather). On top of all this the marina has no security and all sorts of people are trouping around looking at your boat and what ever else they want. The marina is also noisy, both from the major highway 5 meters away and from the corporate entertainment on the large sailing ship next door which goes on until midnight with very loud dance music.

Göteberg offers all services and a tourist information kiosk is located in the centre of the Nordstan shopping centre across the road from the marina.

Returning to the topic of diesel fuel, we were told that the local Göteberg government has purchased all the franchises for fuels sales at marina. It seems that they have then put a 10% tax on the fuel rate (making the price 9.12 kroner per litre in summer 2000). To get around this ridiculous situation we found fuel available at: Björlanda Kile (8.10 kroner per litre) on the north side of the Hisingen Island which is the north side of Göteberg City); Björkö on the island of the same name north of Göteberg (8.73 kroner per litre) and Möllösunds on the southwest peninsula of the island of Orust which is further north again (5.57 kroner per litre, 3.75 for boats over 40 foot in length).

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