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Crosshaven

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Overview





Situated on the south coast of Ireland, within Cork’s extensive natural harbour, Crosshaven is a national centre for Irish sailing activity. It offers a choice of marinas and moorings alongside a village with good access to Cork, Ireland’s second largest city.

Being both inside the harbour and up-river Crosshaven offers complete protection from all conditions. Safe access is assured in all reasonable conditions by Cork Harbour, one of the most easily approached, well-marked and safest natural harbours in the world.
Please note

Although very well marked for night navigation, owing to Cobh’s lights and the vast amount of markers in the lower harbour area, first time visitors should prefer a day entry as at night it may prove challenging. A visitor should also be alert on the helm during berthing to deal with the river tidal flow alongside the density of boats and moorings in the area. The narrows at the upper end of the entrance can be unexpectedly rough in strong southerly conditions on an ebb tide.




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Keyfacts for Crosshaven
Berthing  +353 21 4831161      cby@eircom.net      Ch.M
Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.


Considerations
Note: harbour fees may be charged


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationMarina or pontoon berthing facilitiesAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableDiesel fuel available alongsidePetrol available alongsideGas availableShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaTrolley or cart available for unloading and loadingHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBoatyard with hard-standing available here; covered or uncoveredScrubbing posts or a place where a vessel can dry out for a scrub below the waterlineMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaSail making or sail repair servicesBus service available in the areaTrain or tram service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresBicycle hire available in the areaCar hire available in the areaTourist Information office availableShore based family recreation in the area

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Now Force

Summary

A completely protected location with safe access.

LWS draught

4 metres (13.12 feet).

Today's tide estimates

LW 02:18 (0.7m) HW 08:09 (4m)
LW 14:32 (0.8m) HW 20:22 (3.9m)
Now approaching Neaps

Swell today




Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.


Considerations
Note: harbour fees may be charged


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationMarina or pontoon berthing facilitiesAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableDiesel fuel available alongsidePetrol available alongsideGas availableShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaTrolley or cart available for unloading and loadingHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBoatyard with hard-standing available here; covered or uncoveredScrubbing posts or a place where a vessel can dry out for a scrub below the waterlineMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaSail making or sail repair servicesBus service available in the areaTrain or tram service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresBicycle hire available in the areaCar hire available in the areaTourist Information office availableShore based family recreation in the area

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 48.321' N, 008° 17.988' W

The northeastern most berth of Royal Cork Yacht Club marina.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore and approach details are available in the westbound Rosslare to Cork Harbour Route location or eastbound Mizen Head to Cork Harbour Route location sequence.


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 Crosshaven for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Drake’s Pool - 0.8 miles W
  2. White Bay - 1.1 miles E
  3. Spike Island - 1.2 miles N
  4. Ringabella Bay - 1.3 miles S
  5. Cobh - 1.6 miles N
  6. Cork Harbour Marina - 1.6 miles NNW
  7. Cuskinny - 1.9 miles NNE
  8. Glenbrook - 2.1 miles NNW
  9. Robert's Cove - 2.4 miles S
  10. Aghada - 2.6 miles NE
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Drake’s Pool - 0.8 miles W
  2. White Bay - 1.1 miles E
  3. Spike Island - 1.2 miles N
  4. Ringabella Bay - 1.3 miles S
  5. Cobh - 1.6 miles N
  6. Cork Harbour Marina - 1.6 miles NNW
  7. Cuskinny - 1.9 miles NNE
  8. Glenbrook - 2.1 miles NNW
  9. Robert's Cove - 2.4 miles S
  10. Aghada - 2.6 miles NE
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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Crosshaven is a village in set on a hillside overlooking the mouth of the Owenboy River, also spelled 'Owenabue', just inside and on the western side of the entrance to Cork Harbour. The village boasts many clubs and marina berths. It is most famous for its Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) which has had its headquarters in the village since 1966. The club was established at the Cove of Cork, now Cobh, in 1720 and holds the title of the oldest sailing club in the world. The biannual Regatta of Cork Week is one of the most famous in the world, drawing huge crowds of competitors and spectators to the village.

Owners wishing to stay overnight in Crosshaven will find a choice of three marinas that offer visitor berths plus moorings. It is advisable to make berthing arrangements in advance, by telephone during working hours. All the marinas use Ch. M, but VHF radio cannot be relied upon in Crosshaven as the surrounding hills tend to block the signal.



Cork Harbour’s entrance is deep, sheltered, three quarters of a nautical mile wide and highly visible upon approach. The first mark will be the Cork Sea Buoy that lies five miles south of the entrance.

Cork Sea Buoy – LFl 10s position: 51°42.935'N, 008°15.601'W

Initial fix location The harbours principal features that first present themselves from the initial fix are the high bluffs of Dogsnose on the east side of the entrance, plus Ram’s Head, situated about 0.6 of a mile north of Weaver’s Point, on the entrance’s western side. On the summit of the Dogsnose, Fort Davis, previously called Fort Carlisle, will be seen with its notable enclosing double wall immediately to its east running down the face of the hill to the sea. On the opposite side of the harbour entrance Fort Meagher, previously named Fort Camden, will also be seen facing Fort Davis from the summit of Ram’s Head. One mile south southwest of Fort Meagher the ruined Templebreedy Abbey, with a spire, stands out conspicuously on high land plus a notable water tower with radio mast will also be seen close north of the Abbey.

On a closer approach, Roche’s Point’s distinctive white Roche’s Point Lighthouse and sectored light, will be seen on the eastern side. A disused signal tower and Roche’s Tower, standing about 410 metre to the east, also comes into view.

Roche’s Point - Fl WR 3s position: 51° 47.586'N, 008° 15.287'W

Roche’s Point light sectors are as follows: (Red. Vis.) Red shore-292°. White 292°-016° (84°).Red 016°-033° (17°). White (unintensified) 033°-159° (126°). Red 159°- shore.



At this time Weaver’s Point on the western shore will be discernible with 50 metres of high ground standing behind it. The surrounding land on each side of the entrance is relatively low. Once all these points come into view the entrance to the harbour that is situated 0.8 of a mile south of the forts, between Roche’s Point and Weaver’s Point, will be apparent.

Entry to Cork Harbour is straightforward in any weather, on any tide, night or day as there are no particular dangers for leisure craft. Simply pass between Roche's Point and Weaver’s Point, taking either the western or eastern shipping approach channels. These channels are marked for the benefit of large ships to assist them to pass a central shallow area called Harbour Rock that is situated in the middle of the entrance. Once past this area take a mid-channel route up the entrance and between the two forts into the lower harbour.

However it could not be said that the harbour has no dangers. The east side of the entrance has a pair of important rocks that vessels approaching the entrance from this side, particularly at high water, should make particular note of. These are the Cow Rock and Calf Rock that are situated beneath Roche’s Point and the rocks extend out about 200 metres to the south of the lighthouse. The conning tower like shape of the inner Cow Rock always shows but not so the outer Calf Rock. This is the real danger here as it is the outer of the two rocks and it covers; only drying to 1.4 metres at LWS. As such it is critically important not to cut into the entrance when approaching from the east as this runs the danger of colliding with Calf Rock. Although very difficult to pick out, the alignment 329.5°(T) of Christ Church spire, 4 miles within the harbour at Rushbrooke, and the east extremity of Fort Meagher on Ram's Head, as best seen on Admiralty Chart 1777, leads clear of Cow and Calf Rocks.

Likewise if entering Cork Harbour during strong southerly condition over an ebb tide the area between Fort Meagher and Fort Davis, approximately one mile in from the harbour entrance, can get surprisingly rough. The channel narrows here to half a nautical mile concentrating the run of the ebb and heightening a wind on tide condition.

On rounding Roche’s Point the entrance to the harbour opens, and the three buoys marking Harbour Rock, a port, a starboard, and a north cardinal plus the corresponding marks off the eastern and western shorelines come into view. These mark the approach channels that exist on either side of the Harbour Rock that lies in the middle of the entrance, just within Roche’s Point.

Harbour Rock is an extensive rocky shoal with depths varying between 10.7 to 4.4 metres, with the shallowest part being a rocky pinnacle near its northeast elbow. Although nearly in the middle of the entrance, and much in the way of large ships working in or out of the harbour, in reasonable conditions the shallow area that is Harbour Rock does not present an obstacle to leisure craft. But in extreme southerly conditions the sea can break on the rock on a LW spring tide. At such times the deep clear passages on either side should be used. These are supported by leading lights and light buoys.

Beyond Harbour Rock take a central channel approach up The Sound. The next marks encountered are similarly targeted at assisting commercial shipping. Most of the dangers marked have more than five metres of cover with plenty of depth close to the mark.



Progressing out from the north end of The Sound into this expanse of water, between Ram Head’s Fort Meagher and the corresponding Fort Davis on the opposite eastern shore, the lower harbour at once unfolds itself. This has the separate ports of Cork, Cobh, Whitegate and Ringaskiddy, within its confines and its principal features are Spike Island, Haulbowline Island, and the town of Cove.

Crosshaven opens up to port, just beyond Fort Meagher, and is situated in the Owenboy River that joins the harbour on the west side.
Please note

Vessels should keep a distance of 400 metres off when rounding Ram’s Head.





The entrance itself is not readily apparent being obscured behind Ram’s Head and the green undeveloped Currabinny Peninsula that is located on the northern bank of the river. The approach channel is made readily apparent by a pair of lit lateral buoys, situated in about 2.5 metres of water and at a distance of 250 metres north of Ram’s Head. Once located they commence a sequence of paired, lit, port and starboard lateral buoys that take mean heading of about 250°. This leads past a shallow patch off the Fort Meagher shore, called the Rams Head Bank, and then through the river entrance to Crosshaven.



Once the last port hand marker has been passed it takes a south by south-westerly direction to pass between a lit port hand marker and a flashing red on the town Quay.

Town Quay - 2F R(Vert)s position: 51° 48.277'N, 008° 17.905'W

On the opposite bank to the quay there is a starboard hand mark that marks a shallow area extending from the Currabinny Peninsula on the starboard side inside the entrance. Immediately upriver the high density of moored craft, encroaching and narrowing the river fairway, serve as starboard marks.
Please note

It is best advised to anchor outside at night as these confining boats and moorings are not lit nor are the marinas typically manned before 0900.



Haven location The three marinas and town quay are located on the south side of the river just inside the entrance. In line with approach, the first will be Crosshaven Boatyard Marina, then the Town Pier and the Salve Marine. The Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) Marina is immediately upriver of the Salve Marine, pass between the outermost Salve Marina pontoon and the moored craft on the north side of the river. There are also a host of RCYC moorings available upriver of their pontoons.

With three marinas having plenty of visitors berths to choose from, a place to come alongside is normally easily available. Vessels taking moorings should land where they see other yachts' tenders taken ashore. Short stay berths are possible on the Town Quay pontoon if space is available and vessels come alongside at the harbour master's discretion. The quay is marked by a CY buoy close by.
Please note

A visitor should prepare for careful helming to deal with the ebb and flood tidal flows which are strong in the narrow fairway outside the marinas and there are a lot of boats and moorings in the area.




What's the story here?
Crosshaven, in Irish Bun an Tábhairne which means "the low-land of the tavern" or "Ale-House hollow", is a picturesque village nestled on the hillside at the mouth of the Owenboy River and overlooking the wooded headland of Currabinny.

Originally a fishing village, it was described in Lewis's 1837 Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, Crosshaven "comprises about 100 houses, which are small, but well built; and is one of the eight coast-guard stations in the district of Cobh. In the creek a vessel may ride in 10 or 12 feet of water. Crosshaven House, the residence of T. Hayes, Esq.; Camden Fort and several handsome villas and lodges, the summer residences of those who visit the coast for sea-bathing, closely adjoin the village. An extensive fishery was formerly carried on, but it has so much declined that only five small vessels remain". Apart from the impact of leisure sailing, Crosshaven has changed very little over the centuries and preserves a wonderful sense of quiet repose.

This quiet demeanour makes Crosshaven an unexpected location to host the oldest sailing club in the world. The Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) holds the title of the world’s oldest sailing club as noted in the Guinness Book of World Records. The club was first established on Haulbowline Island in 1720. Its original activities had little to do with racing and socialising however. Haulbowline Island, was then a bustling Royal Navy base and this tradition continues to this day where it is the HQ of the Irish Naval Service. The island’s name, Haulbowline, is even derived from a large ship manoeuvre, the order to 'Haul bow lines' was issued prior to a square rigger going about. As such the clubs inception was all about 'war games' as directed by Admiralty flag signals. In 1806 the club moved to the Cove of Cork, now Cobh, and took on the name of the Cork Harbour Yacht Club. This was later shortened to the Cork Yacht Club until in 1831 King William IV bequeathed the 'Royal' prefix to the club. In 1966 the RCYC merged with the Royal Munster Yacht Club and made the Royal Munster's Crosshaven club house its new headquarters. Today the clubhouse is less than prepossessing from the outside but has been meticulously refitted inside. It welcomes visitors to its very good restaurant where the famous RCYC hospitality is assured.

It should also be mentioned that the adjacent Crosshaven Boatyard has its place in sailing history. For it was here that Sir Francis Chichester's yacht Gypsy Moth IV was built and likewise Tim Severin’s St. Brendan. The boatyard is still run by the same family that constructed both these very different craft.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) has not only made Crosshaven world famous for its sailing past but it has also contributed to making it a venue for world-class championship sailing events. The most significant amongst these is the biannual Regatta of Cork Week, held in July on alternate (even-numbered) years. Formerly known as Ford Cork Week due to the sponsorship of the Ford Motor Company, this has become an internationally famous sailing success. The first Cork Week took place off Cork Harbour in 1978 with 50 boats. From this small beginning the event prospered, largely as a result of the voluntary enthusiasm of club members, and now attracts up to 10,000 competitors and spectators. The secret of Cork Week’s success is attributed to its eclectic mix of classes, competitors, good courses, good company, the team of dedicated volunteers, and the inclination for fun and good will of its participants. It is rated as one of the most enjoyable regattas in the world.

Outside of Cork Week the village of Crosshaven remains a very attractive sailing destination as a result of its resources and natural beauty. There are four colour coded walking routes in the immediate locality that never stray far from the village itself, and which incorporate beautiful views and historical landmarks. For people prepared to stride out, a network of roads lead from the village to a series of small bays with bathing nooks and fine coastal scenery, and which offer beautiful walks with sea, river and land views. Myrtleville, which has a particularly family friendly sandy beach, scenic Church Bay at Weaver's Point, Fennell's Bay, and Fountainstown are all well worth visiting. Most of these are reasonably close, but can be subject to steep hills that make for a challenging walk or cycle.

A highly rewarding walk is up to Fort Meagher, still referred to by some as Fort Camden, that is passed when entering the harbour. Fort Meagher corresponds with Fort Davis, formally Fort Carlisle, on the other side of the entrance that was one of the earliest bastioned forts in the country. Both these impressive structures are internationally recognised as some of the world's finest examples of classical coastal artillery forts. The Fort Meagher site dates from about 1550 and both were handed over to the Irish Army in 1938. In 1989 Cork County Council acquired ownership and there are plans for Fort Camden to include a Military Heritage Centre and general tourist attractions, including accommodation, craft shops and a restaurant. The walk up to Fort Meagher is worth it for the spectacular panorama it offers across the inner harbour. The view ranges from the striking spire of St Colman's Cathedral in Cobh to the refinery at Whitegate.



What facilities are available?
Crosshaven is a major Irish yachting centre and as such almost all sailing needs are accommodated, if not at Crosshaven, certainly in Cork City or in the harbour area. A host of sailing services have grown up around the three marinas, boatyards including riggers and sailmakers, plus diesel and water are on tap and electricity is available on all pontoons. The small village has a medium sized supermarket, a butcher and several other good smaller shops, pubs and restaurants. There is no bank in the village, but there is a Bank of Ireland ATM in the Centra store. A frequent bus service is available Monday-Friday: No. 222 to Cork City that takes forty minutes. A limited service is also available on Sundays. There are a several Taxi firms operating in the area.

Ireland’s second largest city has excellent onward transport connections. Iarnrod Eireann, Ireland's national train company operates from Cork's Kent Train station and is located on the Lower Glanmire Road, north of the River Lee. Less than 10 minutes’ walk from it is the city bus station. Bus Eireann provides a regular national service including an Air Coach bus service from Cork's Parnell Place Bus Station to Cork Airport throughout the week. Cork Airport is conveniently located just 8 kilometres from Cork City Centre.


Any security concerns?
All marinas have excellent security and boats on anchor or moored are not interfered with.


With thanks to:
Anthony McCarthy, local yachtsman.
Photographs with thanks to Brian Clayton, Mark Murray, Adrianna Acediscovery Paul Leonard, Mozzercork, Gerard Ahern, Enda O’Flaherty and Chris Murray.


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This very useful aerial overview of the Cork Harbour area will help visitors familiarise themselves with the harbour as a whole:




This video provides views of Crosshaven:





This video provides an overview of Fort Meagher or Camden Fort.







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