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Copelands Marina

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Overview





Copeland Marina is located on the northeast coast of Ireland, close outside the southern entrance to Belfast Lough and immediately south of Donaghadee Harbour. It is a small very tight marina that sets aside half a dozen visitor berths in the sailing season.

The marina offers complete protection behind high surrounding walls and a tide gate which can be fully raised in the event of strong onshore winds. Careful navigation is required for the final length of the approach, that although well marked, is tightly bounded by rocks and the entrance itself is very narrow. Access is also only available at the top end of the tide to clear a sill at the entrance.
Please note

Berths are scarce and it is best to confirm availability in advance. The marina should not be approached in strong winds or at night.




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Keyfacts for Copelands Marina
Facilities
Water available via tapDiesel fuel available alongsideShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaHaul-out capabilities via arrangementMarine engineering services available in the areaBus service available in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesQuick and easy access from open waterUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large city

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 3 or more from NNE, NE, ENE, E, ESE, SE and SSE.Restriction: may only reasonably accommodate vessels less than a specific lengthNote: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periodsNote: harbour fees may be chargedEntered over a sill at high water

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
2 metres (6.56 feet).

Approaches
2 stars: Careful navigation; good visibility and conditions with dangers that require careful navigation.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
July 18th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A completely protected location with careful navigation required for access.

Facilities
Water available via tapDiesel fuel available alongsideShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaHaul-out capabilities via arrangementMarine engineering services available in the areaBus service available in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesQuick and easy access from open waterUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large city

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 3 or more from NNE, NE, ENE, E, ESE, SE and SSE.Restriction: may only reasonably accommodate vessels less than a specific lengthNote: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periodsNote: harbour fees may be chargedEntered over a sill at high water



 +44 28 9188 2184/2377      Ch.16, 11 & 80
Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 38.437' N, 005° 31.750' W

At the entrance to the marina.

What is the initial fix?

The following Copelands Marina Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 38.440' N, 005° 31.420' W
400 metres out from the entrance on the 276° preferred line of approach. Tracking in on this bearing should take you to where you may see the orange triangle leading marks in-line 276°.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in the northeast Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Malin Head to Strangford Lough Route location.

  • From the south and east pass Mew and Copeland Islands well clear to starboard.

  • From the north or Belfast Lough, with a favourable tide, pass between the south side of Copeland Island and the mainland coast in the well-marked fairway channel.

  • Make certain that a berth is available and there is sufficient depth over the entrance sill before an approach is attempted.

  • Find the marina and track in on its two leading transits marks in line 276° T made up of red triangles on poles with the front close to the entrance and the rear is higher up on the shore behind.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Copelands Marina for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Donaghadee Harbour - 0.2 miles NNW
  2. Chapel Bay - 1.2 miles N
  3. Port Dandy - 1.4 miles NNW
  4. Groomsport - 2.3 miles NW
  5. Ballyholme Bay - 2.8 miles WNW
  6. Bangor Harbour & Marina - 3.2 miles WNW
  7. Ballywalter - 3.7 miles SSE
  8. Helen’s Bay - 4.6 miles WNW
  9. Kircubbin - 5.6 miles S
  10. Whitehead - 5.7 miles NW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Donaghadee Harbour - 0.2 miles NNW
  2. Chapel Bay - 1.2 miles N
  3. Port Dandy - 1.4 miles NNW
  4. Groomsport - 2.3 miles NW
  5. Ballyholme Bay - 2.8 miles WNW
  6. Bangor Harbour & Marina - 3.2 miles WNW
  7. Ballywalter - 3.7 miles SSE
  8. Helen’s Bay - 4.6 miles WNW
  9. Kircubbin - 5.6 miles S
  10. Whitehead - 5.7 miles NW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try our resources search

Chart
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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How to get in?
Copelands Marina is a small marina enclosed in a former quarry cut into the rocky foreshore of Meetinghouse Point. At the entrance to the marina, there is a sill to clear and the entrance is also very narrow and rocky.

Inside there are berths for up to 90 craft on pontoons piles. The marina normally sets aside six berths for visiting boats but it is a popular location so it is highly advisable to make berthing arrangements in advance. The Copelands Marina Manager, Gerald Nicholas, can be reached on P: +44 2891 992184 M: +44 7802 36 3382 VHF: 16, 11, 80.


Convergance Point Use Donaghadee Harbour's Click to view haven approach directions to the marina is located 400 metres south of the harbour with its conspicuous tower.

As the marina's access path and entrance are very tight it is advisable to temporarily come into Donaghadee town harbour and stroll down to seek local knowledge and survey the marina approaches personally.
Please note

Those dropping into the old harbour, to assess the layout in advance, should not be tempted to come round the head of the South Pier and steer directly along the coast to approach the marina. The entire area between Donaghadee Harbour and Copeland Marina is occupied by outlying coastal rocks that cover at high water. It is therefore essential to head out to sea and come back into the marina from seaward.



Careful pilotage is required for the approach and good offshore conditions, but it is very well marked. Marina access is HW +/- 3 hours depending upon draft. Expect about 1.1 metres of water over the sill at half-tide, making it advisable for moderate to deep vessels to seek advice on how to clear the sill from the Marina Manager on the day of approach.
Please note

The marina is very tight and there is little or no manoeuvrability. It is advisable to have shorelines at the ready and fenders out on both sides before the approach is made.






Initial fix location From the initial fix the marina entrance will be visible about 400 metres away. The marina’s seawall has a large painted sign that indicates the position of the entrance. Stay outside the 10-metre contour, about 300 – 400 metres out, until the leading marks are positively identified. These are two conspicuous red triangles on poles with the front close to the entrance on the northern edge of the channel, and the rear which is higher up on the shore behind; marks in line 276° T.


Once identified track in steadily keeping the leading marks on transit. The latter inshore half of that distance will be between drying rocks, and the final stretch is particularly narrow. Keep the orange triangular marks in line in the entrance channel, and once the marina entrance and sill opens turn sharp to port. Then follow the concrete wall on the edge of the channel that leads into the marina.


Haven location The marina is enclosed inside a former quarry. The original high quarry walls provide the marina with significant protection. Berth on pontoon piles in accordance with the earlier arrangements.


Why visit here?
Set in the heart of the separately covered town of Donaghadee Click to view haven Copeland Marina takes its name from the island it faces.

The construction of the massive walls and lighthouse of Donaghadee Harbour required an enormous amount of rock. The harbour’s beautiful inner faces were made from limestone taken from the Moelfre quarries of Angelsey, in north Wales, and it is this 'Anglesea marble' with the finest ashlar dressing that has made the handsome piers a lasting triumph.

However, the outer walls and back slopes were all made from the local dark ‘greywacke’ stone. This local stone was blasted from the seabed within the harbour area and from what was then called the ‘Quarry Hole’ at Meetinghouse Point. The original ‘Quarry Hole’ has today become the site of what is now Copeland Marina.

From a boating point of view, Copelands Marina is within a day's sail, and sometimes in sight of the Scottish coast and the Isle of Man. It is an ideal destination to enjoy the historic town of Donaghadee and the Ard’s Peninsula, and is completely protected behind the marina’s high sided walls and tidal gate should strong easterlies develop.


What facilities are available?
Marina berths have water, electricity, toilets, and showers; and a 20 tonnes capacity crane and some repair work are available locally. Donaghadee is very convenient as shops, pubs and restaurants which serve the local population in excess of six thousand, are easily reached within a small area local to the harbour. Donaghadee Sailing Club welcomes visitors and is open Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

The harbour is about 29 km (18 miles) from Belfast and about 13 km (8 miles) northeast of Newtownards. A bus service is available to Belfast that offers connections to any location in Ireland. Likewise flights to domestic and international destinations operate from Belfast City and Belfast International Airports. There are frequent ferry crossings from Belfast and Larne.


Any security concerns?
The marina is a secured area.


With thanks to:
Charlie Kavanagh - ISA/RYA Yachtmaster Instructor/Examiner. Photography with thanks to Harvey Milligan and Albert bridge.


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