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Sandbank (Scottish Gaelic: an Oitir or Taigh a' Chladaich) is a village on the Cowal Peninsula in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, 2.5 miles north of Dunoon on the coastal A815 or the inland A885. It sits on the southern shore of the Holy Loch, branching off the Firth of Clyde.
Alexander Robertson started repairing boats in a small workshop at Sandbank in 1876, and Alexander Robertson and Sons Ltd (Yachtbuilders) went on to become one of the foremost wooden boat builders on Scotland's River Clyde. The 'golden years' of Robertson's yard were in the early 1900s when they started building classic 12 & 15 Metre racing yachts. Robertsons was well known for the quality of its workmanship and was chosen to build the first 15-Metre yacht designed by the legendary William Fife (Shimna, 1907). More than 55 boats were built by Robertsons in preparation for the First World War and the yard remained busy even during the Great Depression in the 1930s, as many wealthy businessmen developed a real passion for yacht racing on the Clyde. During World War II the yard was devoted to Admiralty work, producing a wide range of large high speed Fairmile Marine Motor Boats. After the war the yard built the successful one-class Loch Longs and two David Boyd designed 12-Metre challengers for the America's Cup: Sceptre (1958) and Sovereign (1964). Due to difficult business conditions the Robertson family sold the yard in 1965, and it was turned over to GRP production work until it closed in 1980. During its 104 year history, Robertson's Yard built 500 boats, many of which are still sailing today. The yard ceased trading in the early 1980s and the site was levelled soon after. The site has since been consumed by residential building and the new Holy Loch Marina development.
Sandbank was the site of the shore facilities of the US Navy submarine base in the Holy Loch from 1961 to 1992. It was, for 30 years, until the end of the cold war, the home port of US Navy SUBRON-14 (Submarine Squadron-14). Nowadays, a part of the old navy complex that was the former location of Morris & Lorimer's boat building yard, is a timber loading berth and marina.
Sandbank is now the location of The Holy Loch Marina, a successful development with over 200 berths (and growing) available. There is a chandlers, brokerage and fuelling facilities onsite.
The ongoing expansion of the Holy Loch marina in 2007 has caused a few problems within the village. This development is expected to take anything up to 12 years to complete. Using mainly dredged seabed to form an infill, which will eventually be the site of car parks, restaurant, offices and retail outlets. It is also going to be situated next to a large timber port which many of the residents object to as well as the disruption to their view of a naturally beautiful Loch. Much of the wildlife that visit the area has been displaced or moved to other areas due to the construction.