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Helvick

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Overview





Helvick is situated on Ireland’s south coast beneath Helvick Head, on the farthest southeast point of Dungarvan Bay in Co. Waterford. It is a small artificial fishing harbour protected by a breakwater that offers an anchorage with the possibility to come alongside the harbour wall when less busy.

This is a good anchorage from anything south round to southwest. Depending upon the vessels draft, a berth alongside the fishing pier may also be available that offers protection from all quadrants except for north-westerlies that make it choppy inside. In these circumstances it is best to head across the bay to Dungarvan. Access is straightforward at any state of the tide night or day, but the bay should be entirely avoided in easterlies.
Please note

Seasonal visitor moorings were available in the past in Helvick but have been removed. There is a limited amount of deep water quayside available in the harbour and many fishing vessels require this section. If an alongside berth has been secured be prepared to move if it is required by a fishing vessel.




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Keyfacts for Helvick
Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.


Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Water available via tapSlipway availableMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Now Force

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with straightforward access.

LWS draught

3 metres (9.84 feet).

Today's tide estimates

LW 01:23 (0.9m) HW 07:58 (4m)
LW 14:14 (1m) HW 20:14 (3.9m)
Now approaching Neaps

Swell today




Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.


Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Water available via tapSlipway availableMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 3.314' N, 007° 32.763' W

At the head of Helvick Harbour’s pier where the west facing entrance will be found.

What is the initial fix?

The following Helvick initial fix will set up a final approach:
52° 3.530' N, 007° 31.860' W
This is quarter of a mile east by southeast of the Helvick East Cardinal marker. It is set on the Ballynacourty Point Lighthouse’s 325°(T) westernmost red sector edge (covering Carrickapane). A course of 250°(T) for just over half a mile from here will lead into the harbour.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in the westbound Route location or eastbound Route location sequenced 'Rosslare to Cork' coastal description; southern approaches may use either description.


Not what you need?
Try our Advanced Havens Search tool to find locations with the specific attributes you need, or click the 'Next', coastal clockwise, or 'Previous', coastal anti-clockwise, buttons to progress through neighbouring havens. Below are the ten nearest havens to Helvick for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Ballynacourty (The Pool) - 1.3 miles NNW
  2. Dungarvan Town Quay - 2.1 miles NW
  3. Stradbally Cove - 3.1 miles NE
  4. Ardmore Bay - 5.5 miles SW
  5. Dunabrattin (Boatstrand) - 6.4 miles ENE
  6. Youghal - 7.8 miles WSW
  7. Knockadoon Harbour - 9.6 miles SW
  8. Port of Waterford - 12.6 miles NE
  9. Little Island - 13.1 miles ENE
  10. Dunmore East - 13.2 miles ENE
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Ballynacourty (The Pool) - 1.3 miles NNW
  2. Dungarvan Town Quay - 2.1 miles NW
  3. Stradbally Cove - 3.1 miles NE
  4. Ardmore Bay - 5.5 miles SW
  5. Dunabrattin (Boatstrand) - 6.4 miles ENE
  6. Youghal - 7.8 miles WSW
  7. Knockadoon Harbour - 9.6 miles SW
  8. Port of Waterford - 12.6 miles NE
  9. Little Island - 13.1 miles ENE
  10. Dunmore East - 13.2 miles ENE
Alternatively the above can be ordered by compass direction or coastal sequence


How to get in?
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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Helvick Pier is a small fishing harbour situated in the south part of Dungarvan Bay and on the north side of Helvick Head. The harbour is located about 600 metres west of Helvick Head and protected by a breakwater with a west facing entrance.

Dungarvan Bay is entered between the high bold promontory of Helvick Head on the south and Ballynacourty Point and its outlying rocks to the north, made conspicuous by the white tower of Ballynacourty Point Lighthouse.

Ballynacourty Point Lighthouse - Fl (2) WRG 10s position: 52° 04.688’N, 007° 33.182’W


Viewed at high water, the bay presents a large expanse of which the greater part uncovers and the remainder is shallow. Helvick is situated on the southern side beneath Helvick Head.


Southern Approach Vessels approaching from the south should keep at least 400 metres off Helvick Head, or 200 metres off its outlying rocks, preferably rounding the headland along the 15 metre contour.

Eastern Approach Vessels approaching from the east will find no impediments to a direct approach to the initial fix.





Northern Approach Vessels approaching from Dungarvan, in the north, should exit via the buoyed channel and, when south of Ballynacourty Point lighthouse, turn for Helvick’s east cardinal mark located about a mile away.





Do not let the eastern bearing on Ballynacourty Point lighthouse drift below 325° T to keep clear of Carrickapane's westerly outliers. Round the cardinal on the starboard and proceed as from the east.

Initial fix locationFrom this initial fix come in directly to the harbour on a bearing of 250° T standing off the inner headland at least two hundred metres to keep clear of close lying obstructions.

This passes to the south of the Helvick Buoy plus the Helvick Rock and The Gainers that it marks.

Helvick – East cardinal Q (3) 10s position: 52° 03.611’N, 007° 32.251’W

Helvick Rock, situated 400 metres to the west of the marker, has 1.4 metres of water. The Gainers, situated about half a mile to the northwest of Helvick Rock and 700 metres off the shore, is a rocky shoal that uncovers at low water. To the west of these rocks the bay is entirely choked with sandbanks.

Continue past Helvick Harbour keeping well off the northern breakwater to avoid the shallows that extend out from it.

Haven location The anchorage is approximately 200 metres northwest of the harbour entrance in 3 metres with sand and shale. Land on the slip within the harbour. At high water it is also possible to land at the old drying Ballynagaul pier about a mile west of Helvick Harbour.



Yachts may also berth alongside the inner side of the breakwater if unoccupied by fishing vessels. Shelter inside is excellent except in north-westerlies. Vessels entering the harbour will find the entrance faces westward with depths in the entrance itself of about 1.5 metres chart datum. There is a small 0.5 metres patch off the north pier so keep at least 30 metres off the wall before rounding and coming in the entrance.


The deepest water is on the southern east-to-west breakwater at the entrance. This section of the pier is busy due to a limited amount of deep water quayside berths being available. Some dredging has been carried out to give 2 metres along the length of the pier but it is always subject to silting and you cannot rely upon it at any given time.
Please note

Be prepared to move for a working boat and be careful at low water; there is scarcely room to turn around inside the harbour as a large section of the shore side of the harbour dries.




What's the story here?
Helvick derives its name from the Irish Ce Heilbhic the meaning of which is unknown; it is almost certainly not Irish and is generally considered to be Scandinavian. It is a small picturesque and tranquil harbour overlooked by a row of charming fisherman’s cottages. The harbour dates back to the middle of the 19th century when it was built by the principal landowner in the district Lord Stuart de Decies.

The harbour is a keystone of the Gaelic speaking ‘Coastal Gaeltacht’ district of the ‘Ring’, or in Irish An Rinn. The Irish name An Rinn is thought to be derived from the long sandy dune spit guarding the inner bay known locally as ‘The Cunnigar’, or in Irish An Coinig. This Gaeltacht district is the smallest coastal area and second most easterly Irish-speaking area in Ireland and its development has been bolstered by the Irish Language College in the village of Ring Colaiste Na Rinne that was founded in 1909. The language plays an important role here with the community conducting all their business in Gaelic. It makes for a unique visitor experience, as the love of Irish music, song and dance, together with the language is very special. Reputedly the famous Irish folk singing group ‘The Clanceys’ first made their musical name in the Ring district.

The imposing promontory of Helvick Head is a place of great beauty that has been designated an Area of Special Protection. The impressive mainly sandstone cliffs rise to 70 metres above sea level and make an ideal nesting area for various species of seabirds. Those who enjoy a good hike will find the 7 km ‘Helvick Head Walking Trail’ the best way to experience the headland. The trail takes the hiker along heathland, close to the shoreline, and then onwards up to the summit that offers fabulous views over Dungarvan Bay with the surrounding mountains in the backdrop. The official beginning and ending points of this trail, somewhat ideally for many, are to be found by Mooney’s Pub on the R674 road.

For those who enjoy a more challenging activity Helvick Head is also a noted rock climbing location. ‘The Gainers’, locally known as Goat Islands, are also a good location for those inclined towards climbing. The group of fragmented rocks can really be considered an extension of Helvick Head itself, and they may be reached by landing in or about the gap separating it from the mainland or upon sheltered rocks. The largest grass topped inner island is reachable on foot at LW springs. Climbers will find the outer rocks pleasant to explore for their gaps, passages and small cliffs.

From a boating perspective this is an excellent and quickly accessible location on this coast to avoid some weather or wait out a tide. There are no obstructions coming from the east or from the sea so it is very easy to drop in and out and be on your way very quickly. It is a useful tide wait location for Dungarvan or indeed a good quiet alternative to that bustling harbour. Although the harbour may be crowded when the fishing fleet is in, it is equally quiet when they are at sea. It also makes an ideal passage destination for a UK boat heading west from the Bristol Channel and looking for a daylight arrival point as far west as possible.


What facilities are available?
Helvick is a small remote location with few facilities except for the infrastructure of the quay and its slipway. Fresh water is available on a domestic tap, there are toilets close to the pier and a local pub overlooks the anchoring area. Ballynagaul, about a mile to the west and also available by dinghy, has a few more offerings including a restaurant and a grocery. Dungarvan on the north side of the bay offers better provisioning potential.


Any security concerns?
You would be unlikely to experience any issues on anchor or moorings at this location.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford & Austin Flynn Commodore of Dungarvan Yacht Club. Photographs Michael Harpur.


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