Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Irish Lights Vessel

The Muglins light off Dalkey which marks the southern approaches of Dublin Bay has recently been inspected and recieved routine maintenance, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to the Commissioners of Irish Lights, the light is an effective and conspicuous aids to navigation (AtoN) for the approaches to Dublin Bay from the south, both during the day and at night.

ILV Granauile, the Irish Lights aids to navigation tender which visits The Muglins (p.13) on an annual basis this year took an anchorage closer to Lamb Island. This is the largest of several smaller islands that form a protective chain leading off Dalkey Island which is closer to the mainland (300 metres) compared to The Muglins which is more exposed been some 500m north-east and situated further out in Dublin Bay.

As part of the Irish Lights' annual planned maintenance programme, work on The Muglins began last Tuesday. This involved a range of checks on the light, the solar panel system (see photo: at top of light) as well as the structure of the tower and the boat landing where Afloat observed a tender from ILV Granuaile transfer personnel and equipment onto the rockey islet.

In addition at The Muglins a risk assessment took place and checks were completed for the station which sports a distinctive white and red band scheme. Noting the inclusion of the central red band was adopted in 1883, three years after the light then designated a beacon (a 30ft stone built structure and conical in shape) was erected according to Bill Long author of 'Bright Light, White Water'. It was between the 9th to 18th centuries where Dublin was far from ideal to conduct itself as a port from which to conduct foreign trade.

Access to Dublin was dangerous due to constantly shifting sandbanks and so Dalkey, two miles south-east of Dun Loaghaire, saw during the Middle Ages for the most part ships instead of using the Port of Dublin took an alternative in Dalkey Sound which afforded relative shelter when at anchorage. This enabled transferring cargoes by lighters ashore to Dalkey's seven fortified town houses/castles built to store the goods which were off-loaded in Dalkey in the Middle Ages, when Dalkey acted as the port for Dublin. 

The Muglins forms part of the Dublin Bay aids to navigation group and it is at the islet where for a long time posed a dangerous hazard to mariners and caused many ships to flounder in these waters. This led to the harbourmaster of Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire), Captain William Hutchison in 1873 to plea for a light to be sited on 'these siren rocks'.

Despite a subesquent list of vessels numbering 12 that Captain Hutchison furnished to the respective authorities at that time, there was indecision between Trinity House, The Board of Trade and the Commissioners of Irish Lights on the plea to erect a light for seafarers. All was too change when a 13th wreck was added by the Captain which ultimately raised the issue again and saw plans to commission the light which was eventually completed in 1880.

In addition to the recent works at The Muglins, ILV Granuaile then proceeded to neighbouring Killiney Bay. Following an overnight anchorage operations took place in a central area closer to the open sea where the coastal shipping lane for Dublin Port is busy with traffic.

The work in Killiney Bay involved ILV Granuaile at an outfall buoy which was contract work that Irish Lights carry out on behalf of Irish Water and where the Shangannagh /Bray Wastewater Treatment Plant (page 3) is located on the shore of the bay near Shankill. The plant close to the Co. Wicklow border was upgraded in 2011 and is capable of treating 43,700m³ of wastewater a day and according to Water Technology is estimated to serve a population of 248,000 people.

The infrastructure upgrade at the plant was carried out by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in association with Wicklow County Council and Bray Town Council. The aim of the upgrade on the existing facility was to ensure the plant be in accordance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive and associated Irish Regulations. In addition it allowed the new facility to comply with other EU directives and national regulations meant for environment protection.

Published in Lighthouses

A light westerly breeze of eight to ten knots arrived in time for the start of Baltimore regatta on Bank holiday Monday. Race Officer Neil Prendeville sent the various fleets on a course through the Gascanane Sound and around the Calve Islands. The inclusion of the Amelia Buoy as a windward mark caused the race officers some anxious moments when the Irish Lights vessel 'Granuaile' lifted the mark during a routine maintenance operation just as the fleet appeared south of the Calves. However, the slow progress of the racing yachts allowed enough time to complete the operation, and the resulting spinnaker run back to Baltimore created a spectacular colourful background in Roaring Water Bay.

In Class Zero IRC Northern Ireland entry 'Crackerjack' scored her first victory of the regatta when owner L.J. Mc Mahon claimed the Regatta Cup. In Echo a fully crewed 'Loco' gave Schull Commodore Morgan O' Donovan the first local win of the regatta..

In Class One IRC Simon Coveney's 'Wavetrain' had a comprehensive victory over Ian Nagle's 'Jelly Baby'while in Echo Donal O'Leary's 'D Tox' took the spoils.

In Class Two IRC Conor Ronan's Corby 26 'Ruthless' had thirteen seconds to spare over Bad Company, while in Echo the Dann/Murphy duo in 'Val Kriss' had an equally narrow victory over the Appelbe family in 'Cochise'.

In Class Three IRC David Keneficks 'Tiger'held off a strong challenge from Cove sailing Clubs 'Bedlam',while in Echo victory went to long time event supporter Padraig O'Donovan of KYC sailing 'Chameleon'.

In Class Four the Hanley brothers in 'Saoirse' claimed victory in both divisions ahead of "Chinook" in IRC and Tete-A-Tete in Echo.

In a highly competitive White Sail One class Frank Whelans 'Blow Wind Blow' had a comfortable win over Donal Heffernans 'Aisling', while in White Sail Two the trophies went to local boats with Kieran Dwyer's 'Brazen Huzie' snatching victory from Dave Waters' 'Genevieve'.

Victory in the large 1720 class went to 'Smile'n Wave' ahead of 'Malarky' and Two to Tango.

Published in Calves Week

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

Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2021?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote: