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Dunmore East

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Overview





Dunmore East is located on the southeast coast of Ireland on the western entrance to Waterford Harbour. It is a busy and picturesque fishing port that offers the possibility of coming alongside a seasonal visitor pontoon in the harbour or anchoring off in a sandy cove near the lower town.

The harbour offers good shelter except in southeast gales where there is considerable swell within the harbour area at high water, somewhat decreasing as the tide falls. The outer anchorages offer a tolerable berth in settled conditions. Southwesterly driven waves tend to roll around the headland striking a weathercocking vessel beam on. This can make a vessel roll and makes a good night sleep a challenge. Access is straightforward night or day and at any stage of the tide.
Please note

In the past fishing vessels were given absolute priority over leisure craft. A new harbour master now welcomes visiting craft to a new pontoon. A potential race can develop at the entrance to Waterford Harbour when the estuary tide collides with rough sea conditions. Prepare for a turbulent time on the entry if there is a strong southerly condition blowing into an ebb tide. In extreme conditions, such as a southeasterly Force 8 on an ebb tide, it is best avoided until the tide turns.




2 comments
Keyfacts for Dunmore East
Facilities
Water available via tapDiesel fuel available alongsideGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShowers 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 locationPleasant family beach in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaHaul-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 waterlineBus service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementQuick and easy access from open waterSailing Club baseScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periodsNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

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

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.



Last modified
May 4th 2018

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water available via tapDiesel fuel available alongsideGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShowers 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 locationPleasant family beach in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaHaul-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 waterlineBus service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementQuick and easy access from open waterSailing Club baseScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periodsNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



HM  +353 51 383166      Ch.16
Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 8.984' N, 006° 59.390' W

This is the position of the extremity of the ‘East Pier Breakwater’ extension where a light stands Lt Fl R 2s 6m 4M

What is the initial fix?

The following Dunmore East initial fix will set up a final approach:
52° 8.966' N, 006° 58.900' W
This is 600 metres east of the East Pier Breakwater extension. A course of west by northwest from here leads a vessel over the mouth of the harbour.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southeastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour Route location. Seaward approaches, along with the run up the harbour, are covered in the Port of Waterford Click to view haven entry.


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 Dunmore East for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Creadan Head - 1.5 miles NE
  2. Slade - 1.9 miles ESE
  3. Lumsdin's Bay - 2 miles E
  4. Templetown Bay - 2.2 miles ENE
  5. Dollar Bay - 2.4 miles NE
  6. Duncannon - 2.9 miles NNE
  7. Passage East - 3.4 miles N
  8. Arthurstown - 3.5 miles NNE
  9. Ballyhack - 3.6 miles N
  10. Seedes Bank - 3.9 miles N
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Creadan Head - 1.5 miles NE
  2. Slade - 1.9 miles ESE
  3. Lumsdin's Bay - 2 miles E
  4. Templetown Bay - 2.2 miles ENE
  5. Dollar Bay - 2.4 miles NE
  6. Duncannon - 2.9 miles NNE
  7. Passage East - 3.4 miles N
  8. Arthurstown - 3.5 miles NNE
  9. Ballyhack - 3.6 miles N
  10. Seedes Bank - 3.9 miles N
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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Dunmore East Harbour
Image: Projectdrone


Dunmore East Harbour is situated immediately inside the western side of the Waterford Harbour entrance, about two miles northeast of Swines Head. It is a busy fishing port and one of the five designated National Fishery Harbours of which Dunmore East has the second highest figure for fish landings after Killybegs. In the summer months, it is popular with visiting yachts which have a designated pontoon.


Dunmore East harbour’s East Pier Lighthouse
Image: Tourism Ireland


Convergance Point Use the Port of Waterford Click to view haven for details of seaward approaches, entry to Waterford Harbour and the run up the estuary.

The Harbour is made conspicuous by Dunmore East harbour’s East Pier Lighthouse. This is a 16-metre high white lantern, set on a grey granite tower, standing at the head of the main part of East Pier harbour wall.

Dunmore East – Lighthouse Fl WR 8s position: 52° 08.935' N 006° 59.337' W

Dunmore East Harbour will be clearly identifiable for some distance on the west side of the entrance situated at the south end of Dunmore Bay.



Initial fix location The initial fix is set 600 metres
east of the East Pier Breakwater extension and in the white sector of the harbour’s sectored lighthouse. Track in west-northwest into Dunmore Bay passing to the north of the East Pier Breakwater extension. This has an additional light set on its northern extremity Fl R 2s 6m 4M.

The harbour entrance faces north by north-west and is located between East Pier breakwater extension and West Wharf, both marked by lights.

West Wharf Light - 165° / 246° Fl G 2s 6m 4M position: 52° 08.900’N 006° 59.400’W

When the harbour’s 75 metres wide entrance opens, at night when the East Breakwater extension and West Wharf lights are visible, turn to port. The depth in the entrance is a minimum of 2.6 metres with 2 metres available alongside in the harbour.
Please note

At night the West Wharf Light leads into the entrance from Dunmore Bay.



All boat movements and berthing within the harbour plus the area between the entrance and Creadan Head are controlled by the Harbourmaster P +353 51 383166 or VHF Ch 16. It is recommended that visiting leisure craft should make contact and berthing arrangements prior to arrival.


Dunmore East pontoon
Image: Projectdrone


Haven location In the past most cruising yachts have been put off Dunmore East by its strict prioritisation of fishing vessels over leisure craft plus the level of fishing boat activity in the harbour area. A 2013 change of Harbour Master has transformed this. It's still a working harbour but the new Harbour Master welcomes and positively encourages visiting leisure vessels.

A new 40-metre summer pontoon has been set in place alongside the inner quay, terminating near the old lighthouse. This can accommodate up to a dozen vessels and very much reflects the harbours new direction.




There is an area full of moorings to the north of the West Wharf. This is most likely entirely occupied by the Waterford Harbour Sailing Club (www.whsc.ie), its clubhouse is on the North West Quay, and tends to get overcrowded. However, it would be worth enquiring at the clubhouse if there are any available moorings.
Please note

Waterford Harbour Sailing Club welcomes visitors to its Clubhouse on the West Wharf. Free WiFi is available for visiting yachtsmen.



If the wind is pleasantly between southwest and northwest even touching a northerly quadrant Dunmore Bay as a whole affords a reasonable anchorage. 4 to 6 metres of water will be found here over a muddy bottom but anchor well clear of the fairway and a bright anchor light should be maintained throughout the night.
Please note

Vessels searching for an anchorage or approaching from the north should note, the Laweesh Rock off the north point of the bay. Laweesh Rock uncovers at half ebb and stands out 100 metres from the shore.





The best anchoring position is in the sandy cove off Lower Village. This is situated in a little bay a quarter of a mile north by northwest of the mouth of the harbour and a mile distant from the harbour by road. This anchorage is situated off Lawlor’s and Councillors Strands.

Waypoint for Lawlor’s Strand – position: 52° 09.230’N 006° 59.460’W





The principal danger to be observed here is the section of rock that separates Lawlor’s Strand and the Ladies Cove to the south. It extends out under the water narrowing the anchoring area. The above waypoint is set in the midpoint between this rock and headland to the north where excellent sand holding will be found.
Please note

In strong south-easterly conditions the outer parts of the harbour are extremely exposed. Vessels must not risk being caught here with a south-easterly wind. Be prepared to leave at the first appearance of a change as there are a host of immediately available locations within the Waterford Harbour estuary that offer protection from these quarters.




What's the story here?
Dunmore East, in Irish: An Dún Mór Thoir, derives its name from an old ‘iron age’ promontory fort; Dún Mór meaning the ‘Great Fort’. The fort was situated to the south of the pier on a high promontory called the ‘Black Knob’ where the old pilot station stands today. More commonly called "the Shin-noon" the promontory has the large and easily accessed Merlin’s Cave immediately underneath.

Centuries later the area in which it is located, the ‘barony of Gaultier’, also derived its name from the Irish language. Gaultier, in Irish Gáll Tír meaning "foreigners’ land", referred to the influx of Norman settlers who came to the area but left no fortifications. It was not until the 1640s that another castle was to be constructed here by a large local landowner Lord Power of Curraghmore. This was situated on a cliff overlooking the strand, about two hundred metres from St. Andrew's Church, and in its prime, it would have been a significant building. But it did not stand the test of time and by the middle of the next century, it was a ruin with only a single tower remaining. In 1814 a lasting major project was to entirely transform the nature of Dunmore. This was the construction of its large Breton style artificial pier that makes it a sailing destination today.

The pier was initiated to accommodate a Post Office packet station. This was to be the terminus for ships carrying the Royal Mail from the south of Ireland to Milford Haven in Wales. Alexander Nimmo, the famous Scottish engineer that built Limerick's Sarsfield Bridge, was given the commission. The harbour was completed five years after his death in 1837. Unfortunately, at that stage it was more than five times over budget, was silting badly, and was made obsolete by the arrival of steam that meant the River Suir could be easily negotiated. In the event, the packet station was transferred to Waterford and although the Dunmore packet station was abandoned, the new very well sheltered harbour quickly became the rendezvous point for vessels from Dublin and other ports, when engaged in trawling on the south coast. Soon it found a new direction as a most useful fishing harbour.

The elegant pier, with its attractive lighthouse at the end, also made it an attractive seaside destination for visitors. In 1824 R.H. Ryland, in his history of the county and city of Waterford, described what he saw as follows:"Nearby at the entrance of [Waterford] Harbour is the village of Dunmore, formally a place of resort for fishermen, but now a delightful and fashionable watering place. The village is situated in a valley, with a gentle slope towards the sea; the houses are built irregularly, without regard to site or uniformity of appearance, except that they all look at the same point - the Hook Lighthouse, on the opposite coast. Most of the cottages are built of clay and are thatched with straw, and generally, let during the summer season from one to three guineas a week. On the hill, which forms the background of the picture, are the ruins of a church"

Today, nearly centuries later, little has changed. The ruined church is most likely Cill Aodha, or Aodh's Church, that has one wall still standing, opposite The Holy Cross Catholic church at the top of Killea Hill – visible on approach about a mile northwest of Black Knob. The mud cottages have been replaced but the unique Irish thatch cottage is still here in abundance. The harbour was extended by the Office of Public Works during the 1960s. The original breakwater was extended out beyond the pier and the concrete apron West Wharf quay was dynamited out of the cliffs and inserted into the sheltered cove within. Again the project was expected to take five years but took the best part of a dozen years to complete.

Dunmore East retains this dual identity of a centre for fishing and with Lower Village 1km north, a well-kept holiday resort. As a fishing harbour, it is one of Ireland’s five designated National Fishery Harbours, and has the fourth highest figure for fish landings, with Killybegs taking in almost the sum of all the others. Dunmore has some notable marine firsts to its credit; the first Irish woman to qualify for a skipper's ticket in fishing, and the first official woman crew member of an RNLI Lifeboat are locals and it also holds the world record for the largest tuna caught on a rod.

It has also got much to offer as a resort with beautiful thatched houses, an EU Blue Flag Beach, striking red sandstone cliffs which host a huge colony of kittiwakes.The fresh Atlantic catches brought ashore here can be sampled at many of the superb local restaurants. During the summer season there is music in the Hotels and Pubs, along with many places of interest to visit, and sporting activities such as golf, tennis etc. also available. The most popular event in Dunmore East is the annual Bluegrass Festival which takes place at the end of August. Over the weekend during this Festival the village hosts a number of bluegrass music groups and almost every bar becomes a music venue from 3 pm until late in the evening.


Dunmore East thatched houses
Image: Tourism Ireland


From a boating perspective, Dunmore is not only an important sheltered harbour for this coast but also a gateway into Waterford Estuary’s cruising grounds of the Suir, Barrow and Nore rivers. With Waterford airport, only 10 – 15 minutes by car, offering regularly scheduled flights to the UK & France, it is an ideal location to change crews. As such it is much visited by ocean-going yachts from Britain and the Continent.


What facilities are available?
Dunmore is a busy commercial port where most maritime products and services will be found locally. Two chandlers are situated in the port and its environs. Fresh water is available at the West Wharf head and likewise diesel from the fishermen's co-operative. The Synchrolift is reserved for fishing vessels but a mobile crane can be arranged for a harbour lift out. Also craft may dry out between tides for a scrub in the southwest corner of the harbour. There is a choice of mini-markets that provide a good range of top up provisions, a pharmacy, post office and ATMs are available.
Waterford Harbour Sailing Club, has its headquarters on the North West Quay and is open during the sailing season. The club welcomes visiting sailors and allows access to its showers. It has an a la carte menu on Friday evenings and a barbecue on Sundays. The area features a choice of excellent seafood restaurants either in the harbour or in Lower Village about a 1km walk apart.
Dunmore East is 16 kilometres from Waterford City and 10 kilometres from Waterford International Airport that hosts regular flights to the UK and continent. A regular bus service operates between Dunmore East and Waterford and there are a choice of taxi operators.


Any security concerns?
No problems known to have occurred on moorings or on anchor at this location. However, lock up securely when rafted up alongside a fishing vessel as a matter of course.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford plus Keith James. Photography with thanks to Paul O'Farrell, Catherine Sparks, Karren and Kerry, Michael Harpur and David Hawgood.


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Overviews of the harbour area



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Add your review or comment:


Nicholas Walsh wrote this review on May 22nd 2014:

Under moorings please change the reference Waterford Boat Club to Waterford Harbour Sailing Club (www.whsc.ie). Please add also Waterford Harbour Sailing Club welcomes visitors to its Clubhouse on the West Wharf. Free WiFi is available for visiting yachtsmen.

Average Rating: Unrated


Michael Harpur wrote this review on May 4th 2018:

Sorted thanks for the update.

Average Rating: Unrated

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