Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Galway Bay and Harbour News
Bill King suited on deck of his yacht
A new exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of the global circumnavigation by yacht by the late Commander Bill King opens in Galway City Museum this week. A display of objects and memorabilia relating to his voyage, loaned by his family…
Friday before the post-Storm Debi clean-up at Galway Bay Sailing Club
Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) has shared with photos of before and after its clean-up operation following the devastation caused by Storm Debi last week. As previously reported on, some 20 boats and dinghies parked at the club…
The Port of Galway reported a record year for 2022, and this year is expected likewise, due to a boom in importing wind-turbine components that has kept the western port busy. Above a port caller, Jaguar carries such cargo and is operated by Amasus Shipping B.V. Delfzijl in the Netherlands.
The Port of Galway which gave a presentation held at the City Hall this week, has outlined the port’s strong bounce-back following COVID-19. Currently the port has a single dock, however as The Connacht Tribune writes, there are plans in the…
Some of the damage suffered at Galway Bay Sailing Club last night during storm Debi
Some 20 boats and dinghies parked at Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) have been seriously damaged or destroyed during Storm Debi. Some of the damage (above and below) suffered at Galway Bay Sailing Club last night during storm Debi Minister…
Blackrock Diving Tower in Galway’s Salthill
Blackrock Diving Tower in Galway’s Salthill has been closed due to damage wrought by Storm Debi. Galway City Council says it will remain closed “until damage is assessed and repairs are complete”. Galway city and county sustained both flooding, power…
File image of a dunlin in shallow water
The Marine Institute recently hosted a Birdwatch Ireland training workshop for the winter Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS). The event was attended by 65 people and was used as a mechanism to introduce attendees to I-WeBS with a view to…
Attendees at the Association of Marine Pilots Ireland conference in Galway were (left to right) Donal Keaney,Patrick Galvin, Padraig Condon, Arie Palmers, Aileen Van Raemdonck, John Conlon, Capt Brian Sheridan, Andy Nattras
Overall standards of pilotage in Europe remain “very high” but standards seem to be dropping in some ports, the Association of Marine Pilots Ireland (AMPI) conference heard. Capt John Conlon of Arklow Shipping made the point at the recent AMPI…
Some of the organisers and volunteers pictured in the Claddagh Hall during the Galway Docklands Festival were, back row, from left: Phil McArdle, Ewa Pilarska, Colm O'Maille, Michael Flanagan (Ability West) and Loretta Croake. Middle row: left to right: Gina Gardiner and Clodagh Durkan. Front row: left to right: Collette Furey, Anna Oliver, Mary Cunningham and Maria Buckley
Galway Docklands Festival has become an established event on the west coast maritime calendar, after a successful event last weekend. Restoration work on various vessels, knot-making, and walking tours of the Claddagh area were among the themes of the three-day…
The Importance of Regulation and Best Practice is the theme of the European Marine Pilots Conference in Galway
What to expect when “the unexpected” happens and other issues facing marine pilots will be discussed at the Association of Marine Pilots in Ireland (AMPI) conference in Galway today. “The Importance of Regulation and Best Practice” is the theme, and…
Today, the supermoon is causing an exceptionally high tide throughout Ireland
A very high tide is anticipated around the island today due to the supermoon. In Galway, the evening high tide of 5.64m is only 10cm below highest astronomical tide for Galway, according to the port’s harbourmaster, Capt Brian Sheridan. The…
Coastal Watch aims to highlight suspicious or unusual activity and detect and prevent importation of illegal drugs along the west coast of Ireland
A “Coastal Watch” to detect and prevent importation of illegal drugs has been revitalised by the Galway Garda division and Revenue Customs Service. Communities living along 500 km of coastline in the west, along with maritime businesses and those working…
Galway RNLI volunteer crew with their long-service awards outside the lifeboat station
In recognition of their dedication and commitment of time, energy and skills, seven members of the Galway RNLI crew were presented with long-service awards for achieving 50, 100, 150 and 200 services. Each time the crew members respond to their…
The late Mick Hunt working on the restoration of the Galway hooker An Lady Mor in 1985

Mick Hunt RIP

18th September 2023 Galway Hookers regret to record the death at the age of 83 of Mick Hunt of Howth and Connacht, who was best known for his restorations and sailing of traditional craft, but was equally adept at bringing new life to old…
Boatbuilders working on restoring Galway’s maritime heritage are part of the upcoming Galway Docklands Festival
The heart of Galway's maritime heritage comes to life with the much-anticipated Galway Docklands Festival, taking place from September 29th to October 1st, 2023. As Afloat reported earlier, the three-day festival promises an unforgettable experience celebrating Galway's rich marine industry,…
The heart of Galway's maritime heritage will come to life at the end of the month in the three-day Galway Docklands Festival, which will be held from September 29 to October 1. It will be “an unforgettable experience celebrating Galway's…
Kate Barry and Eilí McMahon of GBSC who were third 420 and third in mixed fleet at Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil (CSS)  regatta, with Commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle
Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) swept the boards at the annual Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil (CSS) regatta at the weekend. Conditions proved promising for the event off An Spidéil, Co Galway, with light winds for the Oppie fleet picking up…

Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020