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The picturesque village of Kippford is set close to the mouth of the River Urr downstream from Dalbeattie, on the eastern shore of the estuary. It was once a significant coastal packet port, and sloops and other vessels were built on the narrow shore. In early days they had to be launched sideways on, a difficult and often perilous procedure. By the 1920s shipbuilding had declined, and in the years since Kippford has become a popular yachting centre, its harbour and channel busy with visiting boats in the summer months.