The largest flotilla in the Clyde's history

– we did it!

“A lasting image of the Commonwealth Games will be the flotilla of hundreds of ships which sailed into Glasgow at the weekend.” STV

We all did it. We created history on the 26th July 2014 with the largest flotilla of boats ever to head up the Clyde. It was a special sight, became the top story UK wide on the BBC for a large part of the day and STV got it right, it has become an enduring image of the XXth Commonwealth Games.

We wanted the event to be a spectacle. The aim was also to kick off a conversation about the waters that surround us, and the fact they are not used as much as they could or should be. It seems to have had some effect already. There is talk of revisiting the development of the Clyde to ensure the waterway can be more than just a backdrop to the fantastic city of Glasgow.

The event was the beginning of our longer term big project with a big aim - to see all of our waters around Scotland used more often. They belong to us all and should be used by us all. To achieve this we need your help. Please talk about the sailing and boating you do with as many people as you can and share your stories and pictures with us. Tell us about any events you are getting involved with. Let's work together to draw attention to the excitement and opportunity being on the water brings and champion our amazing watersports. Join in the conversation on twitter (@RYAScotland), Facebook (search RYA Scotland) and on our web pages (

Who took part?

250 boats and over 1,900 people took part in the RYA Scotland Commonwealth Flotilla and it truly was an amazing and beautiful spectacle to see them gathered in James Watt Dock Marina on the Friday night. Amidst participant registrations, last minute preparations and numerous live TV and radio broadcasts, it was starting to dawn on the event team just how big an event this really was.

Nothing quite prepared us for what was in store on the Saturday during the Commonwealth Flotilla itself. Official spectator points were full to capacity at 11,000 people with tens of thousands more lining the route. Flags were fluttering, people were waving and banners of ‘Hello boats’ welcomed the flotilla as it journeyed along the Clyde. The atmosphere in Pacific Quay was electric. Participants, volunteers and event staff were proud and delighted at the effect the flotilla had on already buzzing city enveloped in the Commonwealth Games.

Watch the excitement on our video…

A number of smaller events fed into the Commonwealth Flotilla which you can read about below. We also tracked 10 of the boats taking part in the event and you can see the event maps to view their journey and read their stories. There is also a full list of the boats that took part.

What’s next?

Keep in touch and spread the word

If you have been following this website or the Commonwealth Flotilla Facebook page or Twitter account, then we encourage you to keep following RYA Scotland and join our conversations about boating in Scotland. Check out to find out what we are up to, register for the RYA Scotland monthly enewsletter, like our RYA Scotland Facebook Page and follow us on the @RYAScotland Twitter and Instagram accounts. Use any of these ways to share your fantastic stories with us. Claire, RYA Scotland Communication and Marketing Manager, is always on the hunt for news and interesting stories from people getting out on the water so do drop her an email with yours – 

RYA Membership

At RYA Scotland we would like to encourage you to join as a member. Without the support of members in Scotland we wouldn’t be able to run events such as the Commonwealth Flotilla. Membership brings fantastic benefits that will save you money, you can receive great advice from the RYA team on the end of the phone when you need it, and you will be helping us to support boating in Scotland and the UK. Adult membership is as little as £43 for a WHOLE YEAR of membership. Join today by visiting the RYA website.

Forth Bridges Festival

After the huge success of the RYA Scotland Commonwealth Flotilla on the Clyde, the Forth Bridges Festival is organising a Flotilla on the Forth. It takes place on 7 September 2014 so don’t delay, get your registration done ASAP. Not got a boat? Don’t worry, there are opportunities for you to purchase tickets to get on the water and enjoy the event from the heart of the flotilla.

For more information and to register for the Forth Bridges Festival Flotilla go to 

Scotland’s Boat Show, Kip Marina, 10-12 October 2014

We'll see you there. RYA Scotland are proud to be one of the main sponsors again for this event and it would be great to see everyone at the RYA Scotland stand. Last year we had a fantastic time, which was full of laughs and sunshine, offering free dinghy taster sessions for kids, sailing experiences on Drum, as well as talks and workshops on the shore. We will announce our action packed programme of activities for this year soon so check our website closer to the event.


Commonwealth Flotilla

Saturday 26th July 2014

The Commonwealth Flotilla provides people with an unforgettable way to journey to and participate in the XXth Commonwealth Games 2014 celebration. Through this event we have drawn communities together, with the common cause of celebrating Scotland and the Commonwealth.

RYA Scotland encourage everyone, from the young to the slightly more weathered, to have fun on the water. We are surrounded by water – it is a natural resource we have plenty of and boating is an increasingly popular pastime in Scotland. Get involved. Follow the boats in the Commonwealth Flotilla to see how much fun it is.

Commonwealth Flotilla Event Page

Cruise in Company

18th to 25th July 2014

This Cruise in Company navigates the beauties of Scotland’s west coast, through Argyll and the Isles. Boats will gather in Tobermory, travelling through the Crinan Canal, exploring the Kyles of Bute before reaching the Clyde ready for the Commonwealth Flotilla.

Characterised by some of the best sailing in Argyll, some of the wildest scenery and tranquil and remote anchorages, this cruise will be a challenge and joy to all who take part – track the yachts as they progress from Tobermory to Greenock.

Cruise in Company Event Page

Homecoming Musters

26th June – 25th July 2014

People have travelled from far and wide to take part in the Commonwealth Flotilla, from the home nations, Ireland and beyond.

Follow Steel Pulse, a Van de Stadt 37ft Forna with a red, steel hull as she makes her way from Northern Ireland, Levingtonlass sailing from north Wales or White Wing, a clinker built “Baldie” fishing boat, from Anstruther through the Forth-Clyde Canal to Greenock.

Homecoming Musters Event Page

ASTO Commonwealth Small Ships Race

20th – 25th July 2014

After the opening party there will be many sporting events for ships' crews to take part in, including a race from Greenock down around Arran and up to Portavadie, joining a reception which celebrates the opening of the Commonwealth Games on 23 July.

The Small Ships Race boats will cruise in company with other boats through the Kyles of Bute finishing in Greenock on Friday 25 July with a party and prize giving. 

Small Ships Race Event Page

Argyll Sea Kayak Trail

21st – 25th July 2014

The Argyll & the Isles coastline is a sea kayaking paradise, with crystal clear clean waters and a myriad of natural and cultural wonders to explore.

Starting at Ganavan Beach to the north of Oban, the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail runs for 150km to the waterfront at Helensburgh. The trail has just been created and to mark the official launch the first ever kayak relay will take place between 21 and 25 July to then link up with the Commonwealth Flotilla on the Saturday. 

Argyll Sea Kayak Trail Event Page

Have you seen these boats? Be part of the conversation.
Hashtag #Flotilla2014, or tweet us your selfie from the event #FlotillaSelfie

Hashtag #Flotilla2014, or tweet us your selfie from the event #FlotillaSelfie