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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Dublin Bay Sailing and Boating News
Emer O’Neill, broadcaster, author & activist is pictured at Dublin Port Company at the launch of the 16th annual Aware Harbour2Harbour Walk which takes place on St. Patrick’s Day, Friday 17th March with Stephen Butterly, Head of Fundraising & Business Development at Aware (left) and Barry O’Connell, Chief Executive at Dublin Port Company
Broadcaster, author and activist Emer O’Neill today launched the 16th annual Aware Harbour2Harbour Walk which will take place on St. Patrick’s Day, Friday 17th March from 10.30 am. Over 2,000 enthusiastic walkers are expected to take on the 26km challenge,…
Poster advertising public meeting on Dun Laoghaire Baths and access for all at the National Maritime Museum at 7pm on Thursday 23 February 2023
A public meeting to demand a public pool and improved accessibility at the newly reopened Dun Laoghaire Baths will take place this Thursday 23 February from 7pm at the National Maritime Museum. It follows complaints highlighted last month over access…
The “Línte na Farraige” (Lines of the Sea) project - The art installation at the Martello tower in Blackrock Park on Dublin bay consists of a solar-powered horizontal LED line of light
The Martello Tower in Dublin’s Blackrock is to be wrapped with a solar-powered “line of light”, showing possible future sea levels as part of a series around the Irish coast. The “Línte na Farraige” (Lines of the Sea) project, which…
A file photograph of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI inshore lifeboat ‘Joval
The volunteer inshore lifeboat crew at Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI have had a busy weekend with two callouts. The first call came on Saturday (11 February) at 12.30 pm for a man and his dog, who had become cut off…
The painting of the Southern Cross is quite typical of John Ryan's output. He took a lot of care to get the nautical details correct. The pre-Dacron mainsail is multi-panelled. A female crew on the foredeck is attending to the spinnaker. The sky is well-painted and dramatic. There is a yacht in the middle distance beating to windward
Pete Hogan on receiving a painting by John Ryan that depicts Ryan's boat from the artist's book "A Wave of the Sea"  A friend recently arrived at my place and presented me with a nice picture of a sailing boat.…
St Bridget emerges onto the Liffey from Dublin's Grand Canal Dock basin's Buckingham Lock, following a winter-layover. The 96 passenger Dublin Bay Cruises vessel departed Dublin Port to Dun Laoghaire Harbour from where it is based for the forthcoming season. In the background Naomh Éanna (blue cover on wheelhouse) a former Aran Islands freight/ferry which recently became partially submerged in a graving dry-dock that was built more than 200 years ago.
Dublin Bay Cruises St. Bridget which departed the capital and headed across the scenic bay to neighbouring Dun Laoghaire Harbour from where it is based, is preparing for another busy season, writes Jehan Ashmore. The 96 passenger vessel (spelt St.…
The volunteer Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI crew launched the inshore lifeboat within 10 minutes of receiving the call and arrived at the scene at Sandymount by 3.20 pm
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI lifeboat rescued a woman and her dog who became cut off from the shore by the incoming tide on Sunday afternoon (29 January) at Sandymount Strand on Dublin Bay. The volunteer crew were alerted shortly after…
Dun Laoghaire Harbour's all-weather lifeboat
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI lifeboat performed a medical evacuation in Dublin Bay last night after a man took ill onboard a ship. The all-weather lifeboat was requested to launch at 8.50 pm by the Irish Coast Guard. The lifeboat launched…
Aerial view of Dun Laoghaire Baths
Wheelchair users have highlighted accessibility issues at the newly reopened Dun Laoghaire Baths — with the current temporary ramps deemed as too steep. As The Journal reports, one accessibility advocate described the ramps to the lower-level amphitheatre as “disgraceful”. “They…
A moored start for a Royal Cork Yacht Club race in 1852. Nicholas Parker’s successful 10-ton cutter Gem would have been similar in size and appearance to the little boat on the right
Looking back on the season of 2022, it has to be said that the East Coast keelboats had the edge on the Cork Harbour fleet in terms of national overall success in the majors, what with taking the best place…
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI  inshore rushed to Dollymount to rescue the stranded kitesurfer
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a kite surfer who had drifted offshore and become entangled in the kite's lines. The rescue occurred off Dollymount Strand, one mile northeast of Bull Island, this afternoon (Sunday, 1 January). The Irish Coast Guard…
Dun Laoghaire RNLI and Howth Coast Guard rescuing a kitesurfer blown offshore from Dollymount Strand on Bull Island on New Year’s Day
It was a swift start to the New Year this afternoon (Sunday 1 January) for the team at Howth’s Irish Coast Guard unit as they were tasked to a kitesurfer who was blown offshore after the wind dropped near Dollymount…
The late Padraig O'Cearbhaill
It was a sad start to the Christmas break for Sutton Dinghy Club on Dublin Bay to hear former Commodore Padraig O'Cearbhaill passed away a few days ago, aged 96. Padraig was Commodore in 1972-1973, having served on the Committee…
Dun Laoghaire RNLI crew pass a wreath to be laid at sea during the annual Christmas Eve Lifeboat Tragedy commemoration at the East Pier
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI lifeboat crew gathered today (Christmas Eve) to lay wreaths on Dublin Bay and remember 15 of their lifeboat colleagues who were lost while on service in gale force conditions to the SS Palme that had run…
Water Safety Ireland is urging those planning festive charity dips to be mindful of the effect of a new moon on Dec 23rd which will lead to higher tides throughout the weekend. Higher tides can hide unfamiliar depths and hazards…
The Dun Laoghaire RNLI and local Coastguard reunite the labrador dog with her owners at the steps of the new Roger Casement Pier at Dun Laoghaire baths
The Coast Guard requested the Dun Laoghaire Harbour lifeboat crew to assist in the rescue of the Labrador who had slipped into the sea while out on a walk with her owners. The crew were alerted shortly before 9 pm after…

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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