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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Dublin Bay Sailing and Boating News
Vanessa O’Connell as its new Development Project Director for the Dublin Array offshore wind farm
RWE Renewables Ireland has appointed Vanessa O’Connell as its new Development Project Director for the Dublin Array offshore wind farm. Dublin Array is a proposed 824MW offshore wind farm, which will be located about 10 kilometres from the coast of…
A shopfront in Ringsend pays tribute to local legend Ken Cunningham, who died on Tuesday 30 January
Ringsend residents lined the streets of the south Dublin village to pay respects to the late Ken Cunningham following his funeral Mass on Saturday (3 February). For many years Ken ran the passenger ferry, Licence No 1877, from Coliemore Harbour…
At sea level, the majestic granite construction of Dun Laoghaire Harbour blends so well with the many of the older buildings on the town's waterfront and its coastal surroundings that, after 200 years and more of its existence, many folk…
The Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire has the world’s oldest original purpose-designed complete clubhouse, with its classical premises dating from 1850. Yet while this has been meticulously preserved, the harbour and marina have conveniently re-arranged themselves round it to provide a unique combination of living history and modern facilities
The latest news on the Dun Laoghaire waterfront is that the J/109 Europeans 2024 will be part of this year’s intense series of cruiser/racer regattas at the Royal Irish YC in late August and early September. It’s an organisational breakthrough…
A lone canoeist finds perfection in Sutton Creek on Dublin Bay at 16.20hrs, 17-01-24
Once upon a time, as Sutton Creek developed in the northerly corner of Dublin Bay, some bright spark councillor suggested the new and very tidal waterway should be called the Blue Lagoon. The idea of such a name was aired…
David Lawlor with oysters at Dun Laoghaire Marina. Lawlor is starting what may be a 15 to 20-year project with a pilot, cultivating a series of “oyster gardens” in several yacht marinas at Poolbeg, Malahide and Dun Laoghaire in Dublin
Diver, sailor and coffee distributor David Lawlor is not that mad about oysters – he’ll eat them out of politeness – but he is mad about what they can do as keystone species in stabilising marine habitats. That’s why he…
The fascinating and often heart-warming story of Dublin Bay's lifeboats
The indefatigable maritime polymath Cormac Lowth is among the first back into presentation mode in 2024, with the fascinating and often heart-warming story of Dublin Bay's lifeboats told - and very well illustrated - in his renowned inimitable style. The…
Researchers from the School of Natural Sciences and Ryan Institute at the University of Galway have been studying Dublin Bay tides over a seven-year period
Satellite tracking of “pongy” seaweed and algal build up has been developed by University of Galway scientists. As The Irish Times reports, local authorities can receive complaints of seaweed accumulation, particularly from Dublin residents who may confuse it with sewage…
The RNLI Christmas Eve 2022 ceremony at the East Pier, Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay
At noon on Christmas Eve (Sunday, 24 December) Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew will gather at the end of the East Pier to lay wreaths at sea and remember 15 of their lifeboat colleagues who lost their lives…
Is this what it has come to for a once keenly-sailed GP14? Her extremely stationary condition is emphasised by the distant but very live background of Sutton Dinghy Club
Those intrepid spirits who venture westward on the road from the Most Serene Republic of Howth through Sutton Cross, and on into the wilds of nearby Ireland, always used to look forward to the first glimmering glimpse of Sutton Creek…
The existing bus stop on Harbour Road outside Dun Laoghaire DART Station
Plans for additional bus layover spaces at Dun Laoghaire DART Station have have drawn criticism from the harbour’s 800-plus-berth marina. In a letter to berth holders, Dun Laoghaire Marina says the proposed change, which would see a number of car…
The Geoquip Seehorn supply vessel berthed at Dun Laoghaire's Carlise Pier
Dun Laoghaire Harbour saw the arrival of an unusual seaborne visitor this morning with the arrival of the Geoquip Seehorn supply vessel to the Dublin Bay harbour. Sailing under the flag of Cyprus, the integrated geotechnical survey vessel (IGSV) arrived from Liverpool. …
Gear up for Christmas at the Great South Wall! Zane Blount-Ronan (13, left) and Eamon McElroy, Port Engineer at Dublin Port Company, take advantage of the new bike racks at the Great South Wall, which allow walkers a more sustainable point of access to one of the longest sea walls in Europe. The Great South Wall attracts over 300,000 visitors annually
Dublin Port Company (DPC) is pleased to unveil a set of bicycle racks that have been recently installed at the Great South Wall to support the growing number of people who are accessing the popular location by bike. This new…
The Granite Coast: Engineering workers along the south Dublin coastline at Dalkey’s Coliemore Harbour, used a converted container lowered by crane to access the bedrock, where in recent years a slab of rock sheared off the cliff and dropped to the water below. Due to safety concerns, access was impeded temporarily, so to insert rock anchors into the granite cliff face, but now the south pier is accessible for locals and tourists to take in the scenic views.
Engineering works which took place over recent months in Dalkey, Co. Dublin involving the Coliemore Harbour Remedial Repair project have been completed this week, writes Jehan Ashmore. A section of bedrock along the cliff face as Afloat reported in 2020,…
An excerpt from the bluescale map of Dublin Bay
Explore the depths of Dublin Bay, from Killiney to Howth, in remarkable detail thanks to a new addition to INFOMAR’s Bluescale Map Series. As previously reported on, the collection when complete will comprise 18 high-resolution bathymetric maps highlighting the…
September's ICRA National Championships kickstarts three weeks of top-class cruiser racing at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in 2024, with the J Cup Ireland and IRC European Championships also being staged by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour club
In 2024, the Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) in Dun Laoghaire Harbour will host a unique schedule of major sailing championships, promising three weeks of 'premiere keelboat racing', representing a major boost to sailing on the capital's waters.  ICRA Nationals 2024…

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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