Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Dublin Bay Sailing and Boating News
An excerpt from the bluescale map of Dublin Bay
Explore the depths of Dublin Bay, from Killiney to Howth, in remarkable detail thanks to a new addition to INFOMAR’s Bluescale Map Series. As previously reported on, the collection when complete will comprise 18 high-resolution bathymetric maps highlighting the…
September's ICRA National Championships kickstarts three weeks of top-class cruiser racing at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in 2024, with the J Cup Ireland and IRC European Championships also being staged by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour club
In 2024, the Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) in Dun Laoghaire Harbour will host a unique schedule of major sailing championships, promising three weeks of 'premiere keelboat racing', representing a major boost to sailing on the capital's waters.  ICRA Nationals 2024…
There's no better way to embrace the festive spirit than embarking on a Christmas Rib Trip along the River Liffey!
Explore the Winter Lights on the River Liffey Like Never Before with the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School this Christmas! There's no better way to embrace the festive spirit than embarking on a Christmas Rib Trip along the River…
The Battery with its old fortifications next to the famed Forty Foot swimming hole
The storied Battery above the Forty Foot in Sandycove has a new owner, as The Irish Times reports. With a price tag of €3 million, the three-bedroom home created on the site of a former Dublin Bay military installation was…
Peadar Curran has Dalkey Island as a lifelong interest. He tells all with the DBOGA in Poolbeg Y&BC this Thursday night
Size for size, Dalkey, aka Deilginis, must be the most story-covered island in all of Ireland. The ancient Irish monks were here. The Vikings were here. Thanks to Napoleon and Cape Mortella, it has its own MartelloTower. A dinghy cruise-in-company…
Among a trio of work vessels that arrived into Dublin Bay today and bound for the capital port was the floating crane-ship, Lara 1 as seen in the familiar waters of the Mersey with the backdrop of Liverpool. The vessel’s crane with a reach of 250 tonnes, has been to Irish ports before, including Arklow where the Spirit of Rathlin, a rare example of a car-ferry built in Ireland was hoisted from the quayside into the River Avoca.
Three vessels approaching Dublin Bay were observed off Howth Peninsula today as a tug, barge and a self-propelled heavy-lift crane-ship had sailed from Irish and English ports, writes Jehan Ashmore. The tug Chloe May (formerly Afon LLigwy) had astern a…
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI inshore lifeboat Joval launches to the swimmer in difficulty
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a swimmer who got into difficulty at The Forty Foot bathing area yesterday (Sunday 15 October). The volunteer crew were requested to assist the swimmer after she got caught in a current and was drifting…
Swim in Pink- Participants can “dip”,” swim” or “splash”, and will receive a free “Swim in Pink” cap on registering for €25
The National Breast Cancer Research Institute is calling on as many people as possible to “Swim in Pink” during October to help raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research. The institute says that one in seven Irish women will…
Liam Shanahan Senr’s db2s Lightning is officially welcomed back to the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire after winning the 1988 Round Ireland Race
Liam Shanahan Senr was widely known in the sailing community as a determined offshore racing and cruising owner-skipper and a pillar of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, both as a longtime Club Trustee and a racing and sea-going…
RS21 action returns to Dublin Bay this winter with Kenny Rumball's entry into the DBSC Turkey Shoot Series in November
Dublin Bay Sailing Club has issued the advance notice of its popular 'Turkey Shoot' winter sailing series that starts on Sunday, 5th November. Now in its 23rd year, the AIB-sponsored seven-race series will be co-hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire…
Heading out on a boat ride from Dun Laoghaire Harbour. These captivating excursions occur on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. throughout October. It's the perfect opportunity to gather your family and friends for a memorable outing
Are you in search of an exhilarating aquatic adventure this October? Look no further! The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School are thrilled to introduce an exclusive offer that promises to make your weekend unforgettable. October Exclusive Season Finale: Boat…
A mixed fleet of cruiser-racers was headed up by overall winner Pete Smyth's Sunfast 3600 Searcher which had several younger crew members for the fun race to the Kish lighthouse and back 
Pete Smyth's Sunfast 3600 Searcher from the National Yacht Club was the overall handicap winner of Sunday's Leinster Boats-sponsored DMYC Kish Race on Dublin Bay.  Smyth's crew led the 36-boat fleet from Dun Laoghaire Harbour's start to finish line in the last big…
Sean Flood at the helm of Otto Glaser’s McGruer 47 Tritsch-Tratsch II with The Needles astern in the early stages of the 1974 RORC Cowes-Cork Race. Also just visible astern are Denis Doyle’s blue S&S 47 Moonduster, and Clayton Love’s Swan 44 Assiduous – they were still astern at the finish. Line honours and overall winner was Eric Tabarly’s then-new 70ft ketch Pen Duick VI, while Tritsch-Tratsch II was in the frame, and top Irish boat

Sean Flood 1932-2023

30th September 2023 W M Nixon
The life story of Sean Flood, who has died at the age of 91, is in many ways the story of modern Ireland as seen through a sailing and business lens. From a family of traditionally and strongly patriotic outlook,…
The App is very easy to use, and you do not need experience or knowledge of river health or environments. You only need a smartphone, the app, and 15 minutes to observe and complete the survey
The Rivers Trust has launched the inventive Big River Watch app to coincide with the upcoming World Rivers Day on September 24, 2023. This online tool aims to unite individuals, organisations, and communities throughout Ireland to protect and conserve the…
Competitors get ready for the start of the 2022 DMYC Kish Race. The 2023 race starts this Sunday
Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) on Dublin Bay has reported a steady flow of entries for this weekend's highly anticipated Kish Race. In a recent announcement, the club has introduced a new perpetual prize for the first Under 25 Skipper…
A Dublin Bay yacht discovered inside the Great South Wall on Saturday after it had broken its moorings has sunk
A yacht that had been moored in Dublin Bay was discovered on the inside of the Great South Wall on Saturday after it had broken its moorings. The sinking of the vessel has been confirmed by Afloat, however, no further…

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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