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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Dublin Bay Sailing and Boating News
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 Port harbourmaster Capt Michael McKenna
“Get your bearings — always think water safety”. That’s what Dublin Port harbourmaster Capt Michael McKenna is urging sailors, anglers, kayakers, windsurfers, kitesurfers, paddleboarders, swimmers and jetski users to remember on the lower reaches of the Liffey and out into Dublin…
Always think Water Safety: Dublin Port’s new Shipping Lanes Map.
Following the launch of its “Always Think Water Safety” awareness campaign earlier this month, Dublin Port Company (DPC) is issuing a reminder to the public to use Dublin Bay in a safe and responsible manner this weekend and for the…
Glen Class OD revelling in Dublin Bay sailing. Dating from 1947, the class now show the signs of successfully emerging from limbo into classic status
The cherished local One-Design classes of Ireland have never been more relevant than they are now, in these crazy times of soaring-graph numbers when local is good. The expectation of staying local, while making do with fairly modest socialising and…
Basking Shark -  scientists believe section 23 of the Wildlife Act should be amended to protect the endangered species
A flotilla is steaming up the river Liffey today in the next stage of a marine wildlife campaign to secure legal protection for basking sharks in these waters. Over 7,000 people have already voiced support for the Save Our Sharks…
Dublin Port’s new Shipping Lanes Map
Dublin Port Company (DPC) has today launched a new water safety awareness campaign supported by Water Safety Ireland (WSI) to help promote the safe, responsible use of Dublin Bay for leisure and recreation this summer. Both Dublin Port Company and…
The Irish hosted SB20 World Championships will be held at the National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour from 5-9 Sept 2022
The countdown is now most definitely on for the SB20 World Championships that have been moved from 2023 to 2022 on Dublin Bay.  The Irish hosted World Championships will be held at the Royal Irish Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour…
The Beneteau 31.7 class will race for championships honours at the National Yacht Club from July 2-4
Although Ireland's biggest regatta was cancelled next month due to the ongoing uncertainty over Covid, some positive news for Dublin Bay sailing is that eight of the 11 regional and national championships that were to run as part of the Volvo…
Interesting visitor at Howth Yacht Club marina
A month ago, Afloat.ie ran a story around the now-defunct but much-mourned Kilbarrack Sailing Club, and how an entire generation of young sailors in Dublin Bay learned their sailing in the Jack Holt-designed 11ft Heron Class dinghies. But then, so…
The Erin's King, which features in James Joyce's in Ulysses. She is shown here in her original manifestation as a Mersey Ferry, Heather Bell. When launched in 1865 she cost £7,500 to construct. She was sold in 1891 for £950 and renamed Erin's King
On the 16th June each year people come from far and wide dressed in Edwardian attire to walk, talk and perform around Dublin in commemoration of James Joyce's famous modernist novel "Ulysses". You see lots of bowler hats, parasols and…
Pictured at the launch of the Dublin Bay Biosphere Award was Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderick O’Gorman helped by Olivia Eaton (age 8) and her sister Sadbh (age 5) on Portmarnock Beach. This new three part programme was developed by Scouting Ireland and the Dublin Bay Biosphere Partnership.
Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderick O’Gorman helped by Olivia Eaton (age 8) and her sister Sadbh (age 5) have launched the new launch Dublin Bay Biosphere Award on Portmarnock Beach. The new three-part programme was developed by Scouting…
From 1897, Droleens used to be regular attendees at the Kingstown Township Regatta (The predecessor of today's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta), and sailed up from Bray across beautiful Killiney Bay in order to compete
The Royal St George Yacht Club have agreed to hold the Irish 12 Foot Championships in 2021. In a remarkable development, The Bray Droleen 12 Foot Class will join the International 12 Foot Dinghies and their sisters the Dublin Bay…
DBSC Committee Boats MacLir and Freebird will be operating next week as the club's AIB summer series begins on June 8th
Dublin Bay Sailing Club Commodore Ann Kirwan rounded off a successful DBSC Race Training Mini-Series yesterday before racing commences after Bank Holiday Monday from next Tuesday, June 8th. The well-attended series, running since May 16th - in line with COVID guidelines…
Ten day wonder – the brightly-restored Westerly Centaur Erisky is lifted out of her refit berth in Clontarf Y & BC's crowded boatyard after fulfilling a project within the RTE Ronseal Big DIY Challenge
When you see the projects which have been featuring on the Big DIY Challenge sponsored by Ronseal and hosted by comedian and Dun Laoghaire lifeboat crewman P J Gallagher on RTE 1 every Thursday at 8.30 pm, you'll have marvelled at…
Diving & snorkelling trips are making a welcome return to Dublin Bay
After a long break due to COVID, recreational diving is back on Dublin Bay and divers were out over the past two weekends at Dalkey Island and other popular bay sites. A class of open water students got back into…
Bindon Blood Stoney was the Executive Engineer at Dublin Port from 1868 until 1898, and was Assistant Engineer before that, a job he took on after a period as Assistant Astronomer at Birr near his family home in Offaly - arguably the most un-maritime of all Irish counties.
This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the inaugural use of Dublin Port's pioneering diving bell, and Thursday 27th May will see the first of three 40-minute online lectures (the other two are on 3rd June and 10th June) organised…

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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