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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Dublin Bay Sailing and Boating News
The new Roger Casement Statue is installed at the Dún Laoghaire Baths site that is undergoing refurbishment
The Roger Casement statue has been lifted into place at the end of the new jetty at the Dún Laoghaire Baths project, currently under construction. The statue was commissioned by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and commemorates Casement who was born…
The Dun Laoghaire Baths refurbishment project as photographed from the sea side on September 5th 2022. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council has revised it completion date for the project from December  2021 to late Spring 2022.
Completion of the refurbished Dun Laoghaire Baths that was expected to be completed in December 2021 will not now be ready until the first quarter of next year, say Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. "Due to Covid and other site factors,…
John Ryan's Zero Dark RIB out on Dublin Bay
The arrival of Thunderchild II into Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Friday gave rise to speculation that a Dublin powerboat record attempt might be on the cards this weekend, given the 80–mph Zero Dark RIB was also berthed at the town marina.…
Despite delays, there is significant progress on the refurbishment of Dun Laoghaire Baths
Works at the Dun Laoghaire Baths continue, and though many are asking when will it ever be completed (now some three years and three months duration), there is evidence of progress at the site in the latest shoreward taken photos…
The tan-sailed fishing boats of Ringsend are racing for the Dublin market as they slice through the finish line of an RIYC Regatta on Dublin Bay
One of the photos released in connection with tomorrow (Friday) evening’s Royal Irish YC 190th Anniversary Pursuit Race is a story in itself. For although it looks like a close finish to a Dublin Bay regatta race around 150 years…
The RIYC fleet will be joined by the Dublin Bay 21s which will be helmed for the occasion by the Club’s Flag Officers for the annual pursuit race
The Royal Irish Yacht Club annual pursuit race, tomorrow evening Friday 10th September, will celebrate the 190th anniversary of the historic Club’s foundation in 1831 at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. This, says the Club Commodore Pat Shannon, will be a fitting…
The national cruiser racing fleet returns to Dublin Bay this weekend for the 80-boat ICRA Championships
The National Yacht Club hosts the ICRA Nationals on Friday. 80 boats are entered. As in previous years, Afloat sticks its neck out to predict the top boats and winners in each division at Dun Laoghaire In a typical year, you would have…
Eoin Warner, presenter of TG4's new series, An Cuan
A year-long look at Dublin Bay’s ecosystem is the theme of a new television series on TG4 during the autumn. Presented by Eoin Warner, “An Cuan” focuses on the fact that Dublin is the only city of its type in…
After a win at 60-boat Calves Week in West Cork in August, Frank Whelan's new J122 Kaya from Greystones makes her ICRA debut on Friday on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat
The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships returns to Dublin Bay this weekend (September 3-5th) and brings one of the biggest Division Zero fleets the cruiser-racer body has ever seen. An expected fleet of 13 Zeros is bigger than the…
Royal St. George Yacht Club skipper Stephen Gill sailing Shannagh is the overall Ruffian 23 DBSC Thursday night Champion on Dublin Bay
With the conclusion of Thursday night Dublin Bay Sailing Club racing on the bay, the club has published its overall Thursday night AIB season winners.  A summary is below: DBSC Thursdays Series Winners - All Provisional Cruiser 0 IRC: 1.…
Vincent Farrell's Tsunami from the National Yacht Club was the final race DBSC Cruisers Zero winner on IRC and ECHO
A race win for Vincent Farrell's First 40.7 Tsunami (on IRC and ECHO handicaps) in the last Thursday race of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club AIB summer season also gave the National Yacht Club crew overall ECHO victory in the Cruisers Zero…
John Ryan at the helm of the 85-knot Zero Dark RIB
Royal Cork Yacht Club member John Ryan and his ZeroDark RIB team are underway in a bid to set a new time powerboat record time between Cork and Dublin today. Ryan told Afloat the bid is due to depart Cork Harbour…
Saturday's, albeit brief, storm-style conditions for DBSC racing on Dublin Bay
August's changeable weather has been on everybody's lips, especially among Dublin Bay boaters adding heft to the age-old query about whether the month is, in fact, Summer or Autumn? Take these three pictures from the Bay, and it's hard to…
The Ringsend-built 1925 J B Kearney 38ft yawl Mavis in her prime, winning Skerries Regatta in 1928
The noted Irish yacht designer and builder John B Kearney (1879-1968) was a real grafter. His day job was as shipwright and later superintendent of the workshops of the Dublin Port & Docks board. But when he decided to build…
Competing in the first DBSC Dublin Bay Twenty Footer Race of 2021 at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour were from  (L to R) front row: Winifred McCourt. Fionán de Barra. Dean McElree. (Back row) Article author Ronan Beirne, Alastair Rumball, Hal Sisk, Tim Pearson, Jim Foley and Michael Rothschild
Former National Yacht Club Commodore Ronan Beirne, who welcomed three restored Dublin Bay 21s back to Dun Laoghaire Harbour last Friday, accepted an invitation to join a DB21 crew for the first DBSC race in 35 years last Tuesday evening.…
Dublin’s Diving Bell is illuminated in blue to raise awareness of world drowning prevention day
Dublin Port Company has come on board to support Water Safety Ireland for the first UN “World Drowning Prevention Day” on July 25th by illuminating Dublin’s Diving Bell in blue, one of several landmarks taking part in the global initiative…

Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020

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