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Volvo Cork Week 2024 entries have been steadily climbing with a huge variety of boats and sailors from Ireland and all over the world expected to be competing at the Royal Cork’s famous regatta from 15-19 July.

The championship fleet boasts a fine array of race boats, including high performance carbon-fibre flyers to Quarter-Tonners.

Racing in sportsboats at Volvo Cork Week will be the 1720 class for the European Championship, the phenomenal Cape 31 class and, new this year, the RS21 keelboat class with boats available for charter.

For those new to racing, or for cruising boats that don’t want to bring a massive crew, the non-spinnaker/White Sail class offers an ideal programme to enjoy. For a unique experience, the Beaufort Cup provides offshore and inshore racing as an inter-services regatta within Volvo Cork Week.

The championship fleets are always a big feature of Volvo Cork Week, with a several well-known names and boats already entered for 2024. Quarter-Tonners already entered include Anchor Challenge, Panic and Diamond. Half-Tonners already entered include 2 Farr, with reigning ICRA Boat Of The Year Swuzzlebubble planning to enter soon.

Visiting boats such as Raptor, Flyover, Meridian, Allig8r and Valentina will have to get the better of local boats such as Ellida, Magnet and North Star if they are to lift the trophies.

There has been particular interest from the Welsh fleet, some of whom will also compete in the Kingstown to Queenstown race as part of the ISORA series. Entries include Impetuous, Faenol and Mojito — the former El Gran Senor. Several entries from Portishead have been received, including ScrumpyJ, Assassin and Ctrl-J.

The level of interest in non-spinnaker/White Sail classes is high, with many skippers keen to experience racing at Volvo Cork Week for the first time. Visiting boats will include Dreamcatcher, Apache, Hansemer and Calero. They will battle local boats including Sweet Dreams, Indulgence, Loch Greine, Morning After and Rosmarina for the silverware.

The RS21 keelboat class is set to make a splash at Volvo Cork Week 2024The RS21 keelboat class is set to make a splash at Volvo Cork Week 2024


Notable entries for the 1720 European Championship include local boats Zing, Dark Side and Mini Apple, as well as visitors Mo and After Midnight.

The Cape 31 class previously attended Volvo Cork Week as a relatively new keelboat but is now firmly established as the most exciting one-design class in these waters. Volvo Cork Week is now part of the global Cape 31 2024 events circuit. The strong Irish fleet are expecting international competition from all over the world.

The RS21s will be keen to make a mark, as this is the first time the keelboat class will be part of the event. A unique element of this fleet is the availability of charter boats in ready to race condition for the week. These boats will be supplied by the class and managed at the event by Kenny Rumball of the INSS, making this a very attractive package for those that can’t bring their own boats to Cork. Contact [email protected] for more details.

Beaufort Cup

The Notice of Race for the Beaufort Cup has recently been published on the Volvo Cork Week website. The Beaufort Cup is a unique inter-services regatta, hosted by the Irish Defence Forces in conjunction with the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

A number of veteran teams from the USA have expressed interest in joining the competition, along with uniformed service teams from across Ireland and the UK. Any boat owner interested in chartering a suitable boat to one of the teams is encouraged to make contact by sending an email to [email protected].

Accommodation update

Additional local accommodation has been secured and more details are available on the Volvo Cork Week website. Competitors bringing campervans will be accommodated at the Crosshaven Rugby Club, which is provides appropriate facilities and is located around 1km from the Royal Cork Yacht Club. A regular bus service runs from Carrigaline and Cork City which stops directly outside the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Social update

Daily entertainment will be provided at the Royal Cork Yacht Club for all competitors after racing, along with various promotional events and sponsor activities. The Ladies Gala Lunch, which will be hosted in aid of the RNLI, is planned for Wednesday 17 July.

For more information including race documents, marina Facilities, accommodation and the superb social programme, visit

Published in Cork Week
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The early bird entry for the Waterman Kelly Irish Sailing Youth Nationals 2024 is closing later this week at midnight on Friday 15 March.

This year’s event will be hosted by the the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven from Thursday 4 to Sunday 7 April.

The Youth Nationals is the premier event for Irish youth sailors in the Optimist, Topper, 420, 29er, ILCA 4 and ILCA 6 classes, and attracts sailors aged in their early to late teens.

While the event is open to all, it is expected that all competitors entering will be competent in sailing in a sustained fresh breeze and will have experienced competing in regional or national events for their chosen dinghy class within the last nine months.

The Irish Sailing Youth National Championships 2024 may form part of the selection trials for the 2024 World Sailing Youth Worlds, national squads, IODAI team selection and are an indicator, among other events, for the Irish Sailing Academy.

Places are limited and so all competitors are encouraged to enter early. All relevant details including Notice of Race, accommodation and lunch orders can be found on the Royal Cork website.

Published in Youth Sailing
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The Royal Cork Yacht Club have welcomed the appointment of club member Stephen O’Shaughnessy as racing manager at Irish Sailing.

The Cork city native has extensive sailing experience, from the Mirror dinghies of his youth to the the ILCA7 team racing in the Firefly, not to mention keelboat racing both inshore in Dublin Bay and offshore.

Today he’s a fixture of the National 18 dinghy fleet in Cork Harbour and still regularly sails keelboats.

In his new role, O’Shaughnessy will support all aspects of competitive racing across Ireland — local, national and international.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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The Royal Cork Yacht Club is bringing back mixed dinghy racing on Wednesdays this September.

Following the return of the mixed dinghy fleet earlier this year, as previously reported on, the club is now looking to expand further beyond the 29ers, 420s and National 18s to welcome any mixed dinghy boat — raced by competent helms and crews — to join the PY racing format for the new September league coordinated by Andy Jenkins.

Royal Cork’s Read Admiral for dinghies, Maurice Collins tells that the initiative is part of his overall strategy to reinvigorate double-handed sailing at the club.

Racers of double-handed boats such as Topaz, Mirror, RS200, Magno, RS400 and Fireball are actively encouraged to join — and single-handers are more than welcome too.

For more details see the RCYC website HERE.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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After the high winds of Saturday’s opening day of the Royal Cork Yacht Club 'At Home' in Crosshaven, the second day made for a welcome change, with a flat sea and less wind.

Between cruisers and dinghies, the RCYC had 80 boats racing over the weekend in their annual ‘At Home’ regatta in Cork Harbour.

Saturday’s high winds and choppy waters made a testing day for cruisers and dinghies. Cruisers raced between the outer and inner harbours, registering up to 22 knots of wind gusts.

In the two races on Saturday, some boats reefed mainsails to manage the conditions. Others flew spinnakers, with a few challenging incidents.

In the cruiser classes, IRC Spin Division was won by Fiona Young’s ‘North Star.’

The IRC Spinnaker Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' was won by Fiona Young’s Albin Express ‘North Star' Photo: Bob BatemanThe IRC Spinnaker Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' was won by Fiona Young’s Albin Express ‘North Star' Photo: Bob Bateman

Michael McCann’s ‘Don’t Dilly Dally’ second. David Dwyer’s ‘Swuzzlebubble’ third.

Michael McCann’s Etchells 22 ‘Don’t Dilly Dally’ competing in the IRC Spinnaker Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob BatemanMichael McCann’s Etchells 22 ‘Don’t Dilly Dally’ competing in the IRC Spinnaker Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob Bateman

Ria Lyden’s ‘Ellida’ won ECHO Spin with North Star second and ‘T Bone’ (Tom Durcan/Clive O’Shea) third.

Ria Lyden’s X332 ‘Ellida’ won the ECHO Spinnaker Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob BatemanRia Lyden’s X332 ‘Ellida’ won the ECHO Spinnaker Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob Bateman

Whitesail Division 1 IRC winner was Ian Hickey’s ‘Cavatina.’ Kieran O’Brien’s ‘Magnet’ second. ‘BigMc’ (McGrath Family) third. ‘Cavatina’ also won the ECHO handicap, with Mike Ryder’s ‘Freya’ second and ‘BigMc’ third.

Kieran O’Brien’s ‘Magnet’ was second in Whitesail Division 1 IRC of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob BatemanKieran O’Brien’s ‘Magnet’ was second in Whitesail Division 1 IRC of Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob Bateman

Whitesail Division 2 winner in both IRC and ECHO was the MacSweeney Family’s ‘Scribbler’. Second in the ECHO handicap was Rob Foster’s ‘Clodagh’ and third was Eugene O’Loughlin’s ‘Kerensa’.

In the dinghy fleets, the Laser ‘passage race’ from Blackrock to Crosshaven on Saturday was a tough challenge for the single-handers. The ILCA 6 winner was Joe O’Sullivan, with Robert Jeffreys second and Eve McCarthy third. Laser 4 fleet winner was Craig O’Neill, with Liam Duggan second and Tommy Hiras third. The ILCA 7 winner was Richard McGlade. Liam Duggan won ILCA 4 in Sunday's racing, with Craig O’Neill second and Eve McCarthy third.

Fast sailing in a 29er dinghy during Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' was won by Fiona Young’s Albin Express ‘North Star' Photo: Bob BatemanFast sailing in a 29er dinghy during Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob Bateman

Fevas raced from Monkstown to Crosshaven on Sunday, won by Cathal and Ruadhan Jackson, second Harry Coole and Chris Granby, and third Aifric Barry and Florence Dennehy.

Racing on the Curlane Bank, the Toppers winner was Lucy Moynan, second Kate Dean and third Ruby Foley. Optimists Class winner was Hugh O’Neill, second Charlie McKibben and third Ayda Bruen.

The crew of the National 18 Ball 'n' Chain is hit by a gust going downwind during Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' was won by Fiona Young’s Albin Express ‘North Star' Photo: Bob BatemanThe crew of the National 18 Ball 'n' Chain is hit by a gust going downwind during Royal Cork Yacht Club's 'At Home Regatta' Photo: Bob Bateman

National 18s Class was won by Charles Dwyer and crew sailing ‘Nacho Boat’. Second ‘ Aquadisiacs,’ Colin Chapman and crew. Third ‘Peaky Blinders,’ Ronan Walsh and crew.

Bob Bateman's RCYC 'At Home 2023' Photo Gallery (Day One)

Published in Royal Cork YC

Breezy conditions which had a strong northwesterly at times tested the fleets in action in the first day of this weekend’s Royal Cork Yacht Club ‘At Home’ regatta on Saturday (26 August).

Our own Bob Bateman reports that the proposed format change that would have seen some fleets racing from Blackrock did not happen, with ILCAs and Toppers spotted returning to the club.

The National 18 class had a sprint series which consisted of three races on the Curlane Bank, where they were joined by mixed dinghies, two 29ers, a few 420s and an RS 200.

Clear leader on the day was Nacho Boat, helmed by Charles Dwyer, with three bullets. Second and third on the leaderboard respectively are Aquadisiacs (helmed by Colin Chapman) and Peaky Blinders (Ronan Walsh), both on 10 nett points.

Bob Bateman's RCYC 'At Home' 2023 Photo Gallery 

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Due to the poor weather on the South Coast at present, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has cancelled this evening’s (Thursday 6 July) opening race in the Thursday night July League for cruisers.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Royal Cork Yacht Club members Christian Zugel and wife Sonia Rohan took line honours in Cowes on Saturday (1 July) in this year’s Round the Island Race.

RCYC’s former Olympian Tom McWilliam also featured among the crew of their Volvo 70, Tschüss 2, which was the first monohull to finish in Saturday’s race — and was awarded the Gold Roman Bowl for first place under IRC.

The performance only adds to the pedigree of the boat, which won the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race as Wizard and the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 as Groupama.

The weather conditions could not have been better for Tschüss 2 — a strong breeze throughout the day and from the west enabling a spinnaker run from just before the Needles right the way to Bembridge.

Tschüss 2’s crew celebrate their line honours and award of the Gold Roman Bowl on arrival in Cowes | Credit: Royal Cork Yacht Club/FacebookTschüss 2’s crew celebrate their line honours and award of the Gold Roman Bowl on arrival in Cowes | Credit: Royal Cork Yacht Club/Facebook

Tschüss 2 completed the course in four hours, 11 minutes and 18 seconds with the mini maxi Notorious crossing the line in second place finishing in four hours, 19 minutes and four seconds.

Christian Zugel, owner and skipper of Tschüss 2 said: “We are delighted with our race performance today and securing line honours is fantastic — what better way to start a new programme on our new boat! Great sailing, great competition and a fantastic welcome from the Island Sailing Club.”

Tschüss 2 had been training for more than a week on the Solent and a practice race around the Isle of Wight but they did it clockwise — like the original America’s Cup route in 1851.

The tactician onboard, Neal McDonald said: “I’ve competed in the race a number of times and can say it was perfect conditions for Tschüss 2 today. It’s such an iconic race in a wonderful setting.”

Published in Royal Cork YC

The Winter League for cruisers at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour will be for White Sails.

There will be six races, starting on Sunday, November 6 and concluding on Sunday, December 11, according to the Notice of Race issued by the club.

“All-in White Sail, results under IRC and ECHO, with the overall trophy awarded under IRC. One race scheduled each day, weather dependent,” the Notice says. “Daily prizes for 1st and 2nd only. Series prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

The League will be sponsored by O’Leary Insurances and is an open event, to include visiting boats.

Entry forms must be completed and are available on the RCYC website

Published in Royal Cork YC

The Royal Cork Yacht Club will host an evening of fine dining on Saturday 19 November with all proceeds going to support the club’s Paris 2024 Olympic 49er campaigners Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan.

Enjoy a six-course meal prepared by renowned chefs including Victor Franca, head chef at Nua Asador; Nascimento Nunes, head chef at Paladar Restaurant and recently The Barn Restaurant; Shauan Murphy, pastry chef at the Michelin-star The Oak Room at Adare Manor; and Leticia Miranda, chef at the Michelin-star Mae Restaurant.

Dinner is at 8pm on the night with a drinks reception from 7pm. The dress code is smart. Places at €300 per person can be booked on the Royal Cork YC website HERE.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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General Information on using Waterways Ireland inland navigations

Safety on the Water

All users of the navigations are strongly recommended to make themselves aware of safety on the water for whatever activity they are involved in and to read the advice offered by the various governing bodies and by:

The Dept. of Transport, Ireland: and The Maritime and Coastguard Agency, UK, The RNLI – Water Safety Ireland for information in terms of drowning prevention and water safety.

Registration of Vessels

All vessels using the Shannon Navigation, which includes the Shannon-Erne Waterways and the Erne System must be registered with Waterways Ireland. Only open undecked boats with an engine of 15 horsepower or less on the Shannon Navigation, and vessels of 10 horsepower or less on the Erne System, are exempt. Registration is free of charge.

Craft registration should be completed online at:

Permits for use of the Grand and Royal Canals and the Barrow Navigation

All vessels using the Grand and Royal Canals and the Barrow Navigation must display appropriate valid Permit(s) i.e A Combined Mooring and Passage Permit (€126) and if not intending to move every five days, an Extended Mooring Permit (€152).

Permit applications should be completed online at:

Passage on the Royal and Grand Canals – Dublin Area

For boat passage through the locks east of Lock 12 into / out of Dublin on either the Royal or Grand Canals, Masters are requested to contact the Waterways Ireland Eastern Regional Office (M-F 9.30am-4.30pm) on tel: +353(0)1 868 0148 or email [email protected] prior to making passage in order to plan the necessary lock-keeping assistance arrangements.

On the Grand Canal a minimum of two days notice prior to the planned passage should be given, masters should note that with the exception of pre-arranged events, a maximum of 2 boats per day will be taken through the locks, travelling either east or west.

Movements in or out of the city will be organised by prior arrangement to take place as a single movement in one day. Boaters will be facilitated to travel the system if their passage is considered to be safe by Waterways Ireland and they have the valid permit(s) for mooring and passage.

Newcomen Lifting Bridge

On the Royal Canal two weeks’ notice of bridge passage (Newcomen Lifting Bridge) is required for the pre-set lift date, and lock assistance will then also be arranged. A minimum of 2 boats is required for a bridge lift to go ahead.

Waterways Ireland Eastern Regional Office (Tel: +353(0)1 868 0148 or [email protected] ) is the point of contact for the bridge lift.

A maximum number of boats passing will be implemented to keep to the times given above for the planned lifts (16 for the Sat / Sun lifts & 8 for the weekday lifts). Priority will be given on a first come first served basis.

On day of lift, boaters and passengers must follow guidance from Waterways Ireland staff about sequence of passage under bridge & through Lock 1, and must remain within signed and designated areas.

Events Held on the Waterways

All organised events taking place on the waterways must have the prior approval of Waterways Ireland. This is a twelve week process and application forms must be accompanied with the appropriate insurance, signed indemnity and risk assessment. The application should be completed on the Waterways Ireland events page at :

Time Limits on Mooring in Public Harbours

On the Shannon Navigation and the Shannon-Erne Waterway craft may berth in public harbours for five consecutive days or a total of seven days in any one month.

On the Erne System, revised Bye Laws state that: No master or owner shall permit a vessel, boat or any floating or sunken object to remain moored at or in the vicinity of any public mooring, including mooring at any other public mooring within 3 kilometres of that location, for more than 3 consecutive days and shall not moor at that same mooring or any other public mooring within 3 kilometres of that location within the following 3 consecutive days without prior permission by an authorised official.

Winter Mooring on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon Erne Waterway

Winter mooring may be availed of by owners during the period 1 Nov to 31 Mar by prior arrangement and payment of a charge of €63.50 per craft. Craft not availing of Winter Mooring must continue to comply with the “5 Day Rule”. Winter Mooring applications should be completed online at :

Owners should be aware that electricity supply and water supply to public moorings is disconnected for the winter months. This is to protect against frost damage, to reduce running costs and to minimise maintenance requirements during the winter months.

Vessel owners are advised that advance purchasing of electricity on the power bollards leading up to the disconnection date should be minimal. Electricity credit existing on the bollards will not be recoverable after the winter decommissioning date. Both services will be reinstated prior to the commencement of the next boating season.

Smart Cards

Waterways Ireland smart cards are used to operate locks on the Shannon Erne Waterway, to access the service blocks, to use the pump-outs along the navigations, to avail of electrical power at Waterways Ireland jetties.

Berthing in Public Harbours

Masters are reminded of the following:

  • Equip their vessel with mooring lines of appropriate length and strength and only secure their craft to mooring bollards and cleats provided for this purpose.
  • Ensure the available berth is suitable to the length of your vessel, do not overhang the mooring especially on finger moorings on floating pontoon moorings.
  • Ensure mooring lines, electric cables and fresh water hoses do not create a trip hazard on public jetties for others users.
  • Carry sufficient fenders to prevent damage to your own vessel, other vessels and WI property.
  • Allow sufficient space between your vessel and the vessel ahead /astern (c.1m) for fire safety purposes and /or to recover somebody from the water.
  • Do not berth more than two vessels side by side and ensure there is safe access/egress at all times between vessels and onto the harbour itself.
  • Do not berth in such a way to prevent use of harbour safety ladders, slipways or pump-outs.
  • Do not allow the bow of your vessel to overhang the walkway of a floating mooring thus creating a hazard for others with an overhanging anchor or bow fendering.
  • Animals are not allowed to be loose or stray at any time.
  • Harbour and jetty infrastructure such as railings, power pedestals, fresh water taps, electric light poles, safety bollards, ladders etc are not designed for the purpose of mooring craft , they will not bear the strain of a vessel and will be damaged.
  • At Carrybridge on the Erne System, Masters of vessels are not permitted to use stern on mooring. Masters of vessels must use the mooring fingers for mooring of vessels and for embarkation / disembarkation from vessels.

Passenger Vessel Berths

Masters of vessels should not berth on passenger vessel berths where it is indicated that an arrival is imminent. Passenger vessels plying the navigations generally only occupy the berths to embark and disembark passengers and rarely remain on the berths for extended periods or overnight.

Lock Lead-in Jetties

Lead-in jetties adjacent to the upstream and downstream gates at lock chambers are solely for the purpose of craft waiting to use the lock and should not be used for long term berthing.

Vessel Wake

Vessel wake, that is, the wave generated by the passage of the boat through the water, can sometimes be large, powerful and destructive depending on the hull shape and engine power of the vessel. This wake can be detrimental to other users of the navigation when it strikes their craft or inundates the shoreline or riverbank. Masters are requested to frequently look behind and check the effect of their wake / wash particularly when passing moored vessels, on entering harbours and approaching jetties and to be aware of people pursuing other activities such as fishing on the riverbank.

Speed Restriction

A vessel or boat shall not be navigated on the Shannon Navigation at a speed in excess of 5 kph when within 200 metres of a bridge, quay, jetty or wharf, when in a harbour or canal or when passing within 100 metres of a moored vessel or boat.

Vessels navigating the Shannon-Erne Waterway should observe the general 5 kph speed limit which applies along the waterway. This is necessary in order to prevent damage to the banks caused by excessive wash from vessels.

Vessels navigating the Erne System should observe the statutory 5kt / 6mph / 10kph speed limit areas.

A craft on the Royal and Grand canals shall not be navigated at a speed in excess of 6km per hour.

A craft on the Barrow Navigation shall not be navigated at a speed in excess of 11km per hour except as necessary for safe navigation in conditions of fast flow.

Bank Erosion

Narrow sections of all the navigations are particularly prone to bank erosion due to the large wash generated by some craft. Masters are requested to be vigilant and to slow down to a speed sufficient to maintain steerage when they observe the wash of their craft inundating the river banks.

Unusual Waterborne Activity

Unusual waterborne vessels may be encountered from time to time, such as, hovercraft or amphibious aircraft / seaplanes. Masters of such craft are reminded to apply the normal “Rule of the Road” when they meet conventional craft on the water and to allow extra room to manoeuvre in the interest of safety.

Sailing Activity

Mariners will encounter large numbers of sailing dinghies from late June to August in the vicinity of Lough Derg, Lough Ree and Lower Lough Erne. Sailing courses are marked by yellow buoys to suit weather conditions on the day. Vessels should proceed at slow speed and with due caution and observe the rules of navigation when passing these fleets, as many of the participants are junior sailors under training.


Mariners should expect to meet canoes and vessels under oars on any part of the navigations, but more so in the vicinity of Athlone, Carrick-on-Shannon, Coleraine, Enniskillen and Limerick. Masters are reminded to proceed at slow speed and especially to reduce their wash to a minimum when passing these craft as they can be easily upset and swamped due to their very low freeboard and always be prepared to give way in any given traffic situation.


Canoeing is an adventure sport and participants are strongly recommended to seek the advice of the sport’s governing bodies i.e Canoeing Ireland and the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland, before venturing onto the navigations.

Persons in charge of canoes are reminded of the inherent danger to these craft associated with operating close to weirs, sluice gates, locks and other infrastructure particularly when rivers are in flood and large volumes of water are moving through the navigations due to general flood conditions or very heavy localised precipitation e.g. turbulent and broken water, stopper waves. Shooting weirs is prohibited without prior permission of Waterways Ireland.

Canoeists should check with lockkeepers prior entering a lock to ensure passage is done in a safe manner. Portage is required at all unmanned locks.

Canoe Trail Network – "Blueways"

Masters of powered craft are reminded that a canoe trail network is being developed across all navigations and to expect more organised canoeing along these trails necessitating slow speed and minimum wash when encountering canoeists, rowing boats etc

Rockingham and Drummans Island Canals – Lough Key

It is expected that work on Rockingham and Drummans Island Canals on Lough Key will be completed in 2021. Access to these canals will be for non-powered craft only, eg canoes, kayaks, rowing boats.

Fast Powerboats and Personal Watercraft (Jet Skis)

Masters of Fast Powerboats (speed greater than 17kts) and Personal Watercraft (i.e.Jet Skis) are reminded of the inherent dangers associated with high speed on the water and especially in the confines of small bays and narrow sections of the navigations. Keeping a proper look-out, making early alterations to course and /or reducing speed will avoid conflict with slower vessels using the navigation. Personal Watercraft are not permitted to be used on the canals.

Towing Waterskiers, Wakeboarders, Doughnuts etc

Masters of vessels engaged in any of these activities are reminded of the manoeuvring constraints imposed upon their vessel by the tow and of the added responsibilities that they have to the person(s) being towed. These activities should be conducted in areas which are clear of conflicting traffic. It is highly recommended that a person additional to the master be carried to act as a “look-out” to keep the tow under observation at all times.

Prohibition on Swimming

Swimming in the navigable channel, particularly at bridges, is dangerous and is prohibited due to the risk of being run over by a vessel underway in the navigation.

Age Restrictions on operating of powered craft

In the Republic of Ireland, Statutory Instrument 921 of 2005 provides the legal requirements regarding the minimum age for operating of powered craft. The Statutory Instrument contains the following requirements:

- The master or owner of a personal watercraft or a fast power craft shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person who has not attained the age of 16 years does not operate or control the craft

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft powered by an engine with a rating of more than 5 horse power or 3.7 kilowatts shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person who has not attained the age of 12 years does not operate or control the craft.

Lifejackets and Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

Lifejackets and PFD’s are the single most important items of personal protective equipment to be used on a vessel and should be worn especially when the vessel is being manoeuvred such as entering / departing a lock, anchoring, coming alongside or departing a jetty or quayside.

In the Republic of Ireland, Statutory Instrument 921 of 2005 provides the legal requirements regarding the wearing of Personal Flotation Devices. The Statutory Instrument contains the following requirements:

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft) shall ensure, that there are, at all times on board the craft, sufficient suitable personal flotation devices for each person on board.

- A person on a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft) of less than 7 metres length overall shall wear a suitable personal flotation device while on board an open craft or while on the deck of decked craft, other than when the craft is made fast to the shore or at anchor.

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft) shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person who has not attained the age of 16 years complies with paragraph above.

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft), shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person who has not attained the age of 16 years wears a suitable personal flotation device while on board an open craft or while on the deck of a decked craft other than when it is made fast to the shore or at anchor.

- The master or owner of a pleasure craft (other than a personal watercraft) shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person wears a suitable personal flotation device, at all times while – (a) being towed by the craft, (b) on board a vessel or object of any kind which is being towed by the craft.

Further information is available at:

Firing Range Danger Area – Lough Ree

The attention of mariners is drawn to the Irish Defence Forces Firing Range situated in the vicinity of buoys No’s 2 and 3, on Lough Ree on the Shannon Navigation. This range is used regularly for live firing exercises, throughout the year, all boats and vessels should stay clear of the area marked with yellow buoys showing a yellow "X" topmark and displaying the word "Danger".

Shannon Navigation, Portumna Swing Bridge Tolls

No attempt should be made by Masters’ of vessels to pay the bridge toll while making way through the bridge opening. Payment will only be taken by the Collector from Masters when they are secured alongside the jetties north and south of the bridge.

Navigating from Killaloe to Limerick on the Shannon Navigation

The navigation from Killaloe to Limerick involves passage through Ardnacrusha locks, the associated headrace and tailrace and the Abbey River into Limerick City. Careful passage planning is required to undertake this voyage. Considerations include: lock passage at Ardnacrusha, water flow in the navigation, airdraft under bridges on Abbey River in Limerick, state of tide in Limerick

Users are advised to contact the ESB Ardnacrusha hydroelectric power station (00353 (0)87 9970131) 48 hours in advance of commencing their journey to book passage through the locks at Ardnacrusha. It is NOT advised to undertake a voyage if more than one turbine is operating (20MW), due to the increased velocity of flow in the navigation channel, which can be dangerous. To ascertain automatically in real time how many turbines are running, users can phone +353 (0)87 6477229.

For safety reasons the ESB has advised that only powered craft with a capacity in excess of 5 knots are allowed to enter Ardnacrusha Headrace and Tailrace Canals.

Passage through Sarsfield Lock should be booked on +353-87-7972998, on the day prior to travel and it should be noted also that transit is not possible two hours either side of low water.

A Hydrographic survey in 2020 of the navigation channel revealed that the approach from Shannon Bridge to Sarsfield Lock and the Dock area has silted up. Masters of vessels and water users are advised to navigate to the Lock from Shannon bridge on a rising tide one or two hours before High Tide.

Lower Bann Navigation

The attention of all users is drawn to the “Users Code for the Lower Bann”, in particular to that section covering “Flow in the River” outlining the dangers for users both on the banks and in the navigation, associated with high flow rates when the river is in spate. Canoeists should consult and carry a copy of the “Lower Bann Canoe Trail” guide issued by the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland. Users should also contact the DfI Rivers Coleraine, who is responsible for regulating the flow rates on the river, for advisory information on the flow rates to be expected on any given day.

DfI Rivers Coleraine. Tel: 0044 28 7034 2357 Email: [email protected]

Lower Bann Navigation – Newferry – No wake zone

A No Wake Zone exists on the Lower Bann Navigation at Newferry. Masters of vessels are requested to proceed at a slow speed and create no wake while passing the jetties and slipways at Newferry.

Overhead Power Lines (OHPL) and Air draft

All Masters must be aware of the dangers associated with overhead power lines, in particular sailing vessels and workboats with cranes or large air drafts. Voyage planning is a necessity in order to identify the location of overhead lines crossing the navigation.

Overhead power line heights on the River Shannon are maintained at 12.6metres (40 feet) from Normal Summer level for that section of navigation, masters of vessels with a large air draft should proceed with caution and make additional allowances when water levels are high.

If a vessel or its equipment comes into contact with an OHPL the operator should NOT attempt to move the vessel or equipment. The conductor may still be alive or re-energise automatically. Maintain a safe distance and prevent third parties from approaching due to risk of arcing. Contact the emergency services for assistance.

Anglers are also reminded that a minimum ground distance of 30 metres should be maintained from overhead power lines when using a rod and line.

Submarine Cables and Pipes

Masters of vessels are reminded not to anchor their vessels in the vicinity of submarine cables or pipes in case they foul their anchor or damage the cables or pipes. Look to the river banks for signage indicating their presence.

Water Levels - Precautions

Low Water Levels:

When water levels fall below normal summer levels masters should be aware of:


To reduce the risk of grounding masters should navigate on or near the centreline of the channel, avoid short cutting in dog-legged channels and navigating too close to navigation markers.

Proceeding at a slow speed will also reduce “squat” effect i.e. where the vessel tends to sit lower in the water as a consequence of higher speed.


Reduced slipway length available under the water surface and the possibility of launching trailers dropping off the end of the concrete apron.

More slipway surface susceptible to weed growth requiring care while engaged in launching boats, from slipping and sliding on the slope. Note also that launching vehicles may not be able to get sufficient traction on the slipway once the craft is launched to get up the incline.

Bank Erosion

Very dry riverbanks are more susceptible to erosion from vessel wash.

Lock Share

Maximising on the number of vessels in a lock will ensure that the total volume of water moving downstream is decreased. Lock cycles should be used for vessels travelling each way.

High Water Levels:

When water levels rise above normal summer level masters should be aware of:


Navigation marks will have reduced height above the water level or may disappear underwater altogether making the navigable channel difficult to discern.

In narrow sections of the navigations water levels will tend to rise more quickly than in main streams and air draft at bridges will likewise be reduced.

There will also be increased flow rates particularly in the vicinity of navigation infrastructure such as bridges, weirs, locks etc where extra care in manoeuvring vessels will be required.

Harbours and Jetties

Due care is required in harbours and at slipways when levels are at or near the same level as the harbour walkways' as the edge will be difficult to discern especially in reduced light conditions. It is advised that Personal Flotation Devices be worn if tending to craft in a harbour in these conditions.


Slipways should only be used for the purpose of launching and recovering of water craft or other objects from the water. Before using a slipway it should be examined to ensure that the surface has sufficient traction/grip for the intended purpose such as launching a craft from a trailer using a vehicle, that there is sufficient depth of water on the slipway to float the craft off the trailer before the concrete apron ends and that the wheels of the trailer do not drop off the edge of the slipway. That life-saving appliances are available in the vicinity, that the vehicle is roadworthy and capable of coping with the weight of the trailer and boat on the incline. It is recommended that slipway operations are conducted by two persons.

Caution to be Used in Reliance upon Aids to Navigation

The aids to navigation depicted on the navigation guides comprise a system of fixed and floating aids to navigation. Prudent mariners will not rely solely on any single aid to navigation, particularly a floating aid to navigation. With respect to buoys, the buoy symbol is used to indicate the approximate position of the buoy body and the ground tackle which secures it to the lake or river bed. The approximate position is used because of the practical limitations in positioning and maintaining buoys in precise geographical locations. These limitations include, but are not limited to, prevailing atmospheric and lake/river conditions, the slope of and the material making up the lake/river bed, the fact that the buoys are moored to varying lengths of chain, and the fact that the buoy body and/or ground tackle positions are not under continuous surveillance. Due to the forces of nature, the position of the buoy body can be expected to shift inside and outside the charted symbol.

Buoys and perches are also moved out of position or pulled over by those mariners who use them to moor up to instead of anchoring. To this end, mariners should always monitor their passage by relating buoy/perch positions with the published navigation guide. Furthermore, a vessel attempting to pass close by always risks collision with a yawing buoy or with the obstruction that the buoy or beacon/perch marks.

Masters of Vessels are requested to use the most up to date Navigation guides when navigating on the Inland Waterways.

Information taken from Special Marine Notice No 1 of 2023