When to go?
July is the main holiday season for Swedes, and Bohuslän is pretty crowded. In some of the most popular harbours it is even quite difficult to get a free space. Even the more popular natural harbours could be quite crowded. But one week into August things change quite dramatically. Schools are about to start, and in the second week of august there are less than half the number of boats. Before midsummer there are also considerably less boats around. The temperature in the water is still nice in august, while in June it could still be quite cold. But, this is Scandinavia, and weather is hard to predict.
If Bohuslän is optional to you, but you don’t want to go to the East Coast, Lake Vänern is a another good choice. Not half as crowded even in July, and a very nice area with plenty of natural harbours. You go up the river Göta Älv, pass 6 huge locks, and there you are. Estimate two days upstream , and one downstream. The current in river Göta Älv is considerable, and makes a big difference in time.
Anchoring in natural harbours
First of all, don’t try to anchor with your your stern towards land! You’ll most likely end up with a broken rudder. Swedish cruising association has special charts, use them if possible to find where it is safe. They have during the years been helpful and put iron rods at suitable places, which are marked in the their own charts.
Without that help, you need some iron rods of your own which you hammer in to a suitable crack in the rock. It works, but you need special tools that you can buy in any marine supply shop. “Bergkil” is what you ask for.
Beware of the wind directions! If changes during the night, you might end up on the rocks!
What’s the cost for a night at a harbour?
It varies. Generally one could say that the further north in Bohuslän you get, the more expensive it gets. A 12 meter boat costs from just under 200 Crowns to some 350 per night. Electricity costs around 40, and showers 10 crown if not included. So if you are two persons having a shower, you need electricity, it would cost between 250 and 400 crowns a night. The more expensive are the bigger and more popular ones. The more expensive ones does not offer so much more facilities and quality, but you find more entertainment, shops and restaurants. And more fancy people strolling at the jetty… (A natural harbour is free of charge!)
There is no problem getting fuel along the coast, most of the harbours have a pump. The price is about 16 crowns per litre. Goes for both diesel and petrol.
Unpredictable! Although the summer months normally are fairly good with a fair amount of sun and moderate wind, there is always the gale luring around the corner. Check with the weather forecasts regularly! Particularly if you use natural harbours. You might be stuck there for a number of days extra if the gale comes from the wrong direction.
Water temperature usually is from 17 to 20 degrees, occationally more, which probably is the mean temperature in the air as well.
Wind directions. Predominately SW/W. When low pressure and gale is present, it most likely that the wind comes from W/SW.
There is hardly any tidal difference in Sweden. Along the west coast a mean amplitude is about 20 cm, and at spring tide it could reach 40 cm. So you can neglect it.
What you have to consider though, is that wind and air pressure can change the sea level quite considerably. With a westerly storm it might rise with more than one meter. That is extreme, but even with a moderate gale, one should be cautious when you anchor at a natural harbour.
On the west coast, fishing is free. On the east coast however, there are limitations.
Right of Public Access
In Sweden there is a rather unique right to enter the countryside. But! Do not disturb – do not destroy! It is the general rule in roaming. It does not allow everything!
Read more at Swedish Enviromental Agency