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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Dublin Bay Sailing and Boating News
Starting at the Fastnet (above) off the Co. Cork coast, one of the world’s finest lighthouses, Great Lighthouses of Ireland, series two, programme one airs on Sunday, May 8th, RTÉ One
The hugely popular* Great Lighthouses of Ireland is back for a second series with more stories about the lighthouses around Ireland’s coast and the extraordinary men and women who lived and worked in them, including the lightship keepers whose working…
The MSC Magnifica arrives at Roches Point in Cork Harbour on Tuesday, April 19th, the second cruise-liner of the season into the Munster Port. The MSC Magnifica is expected into Dun Laoghaire on the Irish east coast on Wednesday, April 20th where she will anchor in Dublin Bay and tender passengers ashore
Dun Laoghaire Harbour has published a schedule of its cruise liner calls this year with many of the liners anchoring on Dublin Bay and tendering passengers ashore.  A ‘cap’ on the number of cruise calls to Dublin Port since 01 January 2020…
The Uniform shoulder of Captain Halpin will be on display at the National Maritime Museum in Dun Laoghaire
The National Maritime Museum of Ireland, at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, has opened a revamped exhibition on Wicklowman Captain Robert Halpin and his adventures and achievements at sea. The exhibition has three strands: Captain Halpin himself and his recently restored naval…
The new Dublin Port Pilot boat 'Dodder' was accompanied on its journey home up the Liffey by its sister ship, the DPC Tolka and flanked by tug boats Beaufort and Shackleton
Dublin Port Company has taken delivery of a new Pilot Boat named DPC Dodder. The state-of-the-art vessel represents a significant investment to support the critical service performed by the pilots and pilot boat crews on the River Liffey and Dublin…
Peter Taaffe (left) and Jimmy Murray (right) present David Ashmore with his powerboat certificate as part of the Irish Nautical Trust's 14-week community based comprehensive Maritime Training Course. The course will cover all aspects of the maritime sector, from piloting a boat to boat maintenance, maritime administration and much more.
"The only proven way young people will get to know their job and environment is learning while doing". That's the verdict of the Irish Nautical Trust's Jimmy Murray, who has launched a new River Liffey-based maritime training course on the…
For one hundred years, from 1818 until 1919, there was a large fleet of sailing trawlers based in Ringsend.
Maritime historian Cormac Lowth will present the final talk in The National Maritime Museum's winter series when he discusses the Sailing Trawlers of Ringsend on Thursday, 24th March at 7.30 pm. For one hundred years, from 1818 until 1919, there was a…
The Irish Underwater Search and Recovery team receiving their cheque with Irishtown/Ringsend Lord Mayor Derek Buckley, and Philip Smith and Dave Cox of St. Patrick’s Rowing Club
The “All in a Row” team which smashed a 1,000 km target in eight hours on the Liffey late last year has presented €20,000 to two leading marine rescue charities. The RNLI’s Howth station and the Irish Underwater Search and…
Crew and helm - Ruan O'Tiarnaigh (left) with Tony Cleary in Palma in 2018
It was with great sadness that we heard of the passing of Tony Clery, One of Sutton Dinghy Club's most active, progressive and colourful Commodores writes Andy Johnston As remembered by a close family friend and former Commodore Muriel O'Tiarnaigh,…
Every shape and size, and having good sport too at the Sam Beckett Bridge – some of the varied fleet of 40 oar-driven vessels which took part in the All In Row charity event on Dublin’s River Liffey in December, which is now confirmed to have raised €18,000
One of the most entertaining events of the constrained pre-Christmas season was the All In A Row charity event for all-comers - provided they were oar-driven – in Dublin’s River Liffey on Saturday, December 11th 2021. It mustered an exceptionally…
Facing both ways…..the push-me-pull-you Dublin Bay excursion paddle steamer Erin’s King at the Customs House Quay in 1895. For 25 years, she’d been the Mersey Ferry Heather Belle
In recent years we’ve become accustomed to the handsome blue mini-cruise-liner St Bridget plying her day-excursion trade along the coasts around Dublin Bay between Dublin Port, Howth and Dun Laoghaire. She’s now a welcome and integral part of the summer…
Aware CEO Dominic Layden with Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland and Dublin Port CEO Eamonn O’Reilly at the launch of the mental health charity’s Harbour2Harbour walk, sponsored by Dublin Port
Aware, the national charity supporting people impacted by depression and bipolar disorder, has announced the live return of its annual Harbour2Harbour Walk. A popular and successful fundraising event for over 15 years, the walk takes place on St. Patrick’s Day…
Mark Sweetman's nesting dinghy under spritsail
In the latest Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Zoom talk Mark Sweetman will recount his search for a nesting dinghy design to suit his needs and how he ended up building one himself. For a long time, Mark wanted a hard tender…
The late Peter Gray of Dun Laoghaire (left) as President of the Irish Sailing Association in 1988, with Paddy O’Neill of Malahide, one of his Vice Presidents and a subsequent successor as President
The death of Peter Gray of Dun Laoghaire at the age of 86 has taken from among us a remarkable and multi-talented man who, in many ways, was the personification of maritime Dun Laoghaire and its interaction with Dublin Bay…
The now-modified 1948 Australian-built Dublin Bay 24 Wathara sailing in Sydney Harbour
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Dublin Bay sailors can walk very tall indeed. Their selections over the years of various One Design concepts have spread worldwide among discerning owners, who appreciated that the Dublin Bay sailors’…
The lifeboat launched at 10.10 ams to go to the assistance of a crew of five on a First 310 type yacht dismasted three-quarters of a mile east of Bulloch harbour.
In strong and gusty winds, Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI Lifeboat was called out to a dismasted yacht on Dublin Bay this morning.  The lifeboat launched at 10.10 am to go to the assistance of a crew of five on a First…
Part of the wall underneath the walkway fell into the sea at Dalkey's Coliemore Harbour in 2020
A Dun Laoghaire Senator has described this week's €35m Brexit Infrastructure Fund as an 'opportunity' for improvement of crumbling Dublin Bay Harbours. Senator Barry Ward tweeted that both Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours in Dalkey County Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Harbour were…

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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