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Holm Bay

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Overview





Holm Bay is located on Strangford Lough’s western shore close north of Killyleagh, on the northeast coast of Ireland. It is an open bay to the south of Taggart Island where it is possible to anchor or pick up visitor moorings.

Holm Bay is a good anchorage with westerlies or north-westerlies but it is uncomfortable in anything from the south round through east to north-east. The enclosed stretch of water provides shelter sailing in all weather, all tides and has ample marks to make daylight navigation straightforward.



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Keyfacts for Holm Bay
Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
6 metres (19.69 feet).

Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
July 18th 2018

Summary

A good location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 24.460' N, 005° 38.200' W

300 metres offshore in a depth of around six metres.

What are the initial fixes?

The following waypoints will set up a final approach:

(i) Holm Bay Initial Fix

54° 24.110' N, 005° 37.400' W

In the middle of the 600 metre gap between Barrel and Long Rocks that leads into Holm Bay. It is located in a 12 metres contour and less than 2 miles away from the entrance to the inner Lough.

(ii) Killyleagh Initial Fix

54° 23.573' N, 005° 37.537' W

Between Barrel and Skate Rocks that are marked by perches. It is set upon the useful transit marked on the Admiralty chart keeping Portaferry pier open upon Chapel Island.
Please note

Initial fixes only set up their listed targets. Do not plan to sail directly between initial fixes as a routing sequence.




What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details for vessels approaching Strangford Lough from the north are available in the northeast Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Malin Head to Strangford Lough Route location. Details for vessels approaching from the south are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location. Details of the approaches, tidal timings and the run up the Narrows to about a ½ mile below Strangford are covered in the Entering and exiting the Strangford Narrows Route location.


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 Holm Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. East Down Yacht Club - 0.3 miles NNW
  2. Don O’Neill Island - 0.4 miles ENE
  3. Killyleagh - 0.4 miles SSW
  4. Simmy Island - 0.7 miles N
  5. West of Jackdaw Island - 1.1 miles SSE
  6. Brandy Bay - 1.1 miles SSW
  7. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 1.1 miles SE
  8. Moore’s Point - 1.2 miles SSW
  9. South of Salt Island - 1.2 miles S
  10. Pawle Island - 1.3 miles N
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. East Down Yacht Club - 0.3 miles NNW
  2. Don O’Neill Island - 0.4 miles ENE
  3. Killyleagh - 0.4 miles SSW
  4. Simmy Island - 0.7 miles N
  5. West of Jackdaw Island - 1.1 miles SSE
  6. Brandy Bay - 1.1 miles SSW
  7. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 1.1 miles SE
  8. Moore’s Point - 1.2 miles SSW
  9. South of Salt Island - 1.2 miles S
  10. Pawle Island - 1.3 miles N
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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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?


Convergance Point Details of the approaches, tidal timings and the run up the Narrows to about a ½ below Strangford are covered in the Entering and exiting the Strangford Narrows Route location route description.

Having entered Strangford Lough there are two approaches to Holm Bay. The first is to use the Holm Bay Initial Fix that is to the north of Barrel Rock or, alternatively, come south of Barrel Rock to the Killyleagh Initial Fix and enter Holm Bay from the south and then approach the inner pool.

The first approach is the most direct route, a distance of just under 2 miles from the Lough’s entrance, and it is an approach into Holm Bay between Barrel and Long Rocks. Barrel Rock, uncovers at low water and is marked by a perch and normally has racing Mark 4 close by. This route is most likely to take a vessel directly over McLaughlin Rock that has a chart Datum of 2.7 metres and is unlikely to be an issue to most cruising vessels – nevertheless please take note of this on the chart and make special note of an outcropping to the south-west of Long Rocks.

Southern Approach The southern approach to Holm Bay is described by the Killyleagh Initial Fix between Barrel and Skate Rocks that are both marked by perches. Skate Rock, to the south of Barrel, uncovers at four hours of ebb and normally has a racing mark K close by. This approach has a useful transit to help pass between the Barrel and Skate rocks. Look astern on approach and keep Portaferry pier open upon Chapel Island and you will find the Killyleagh Initial Fix is on this transit as indicated on the Admiralty chart between the rocks. Once Barrel rock is passed (stay well clear) turn for Holm Bay – please note the position of Mill Rock with a marker beacon off the shore.

Haven location Once in Holm Bay (locally pronounced Home Bay) there are three clearly marked visitors’ moorings or one can choose to anchor.


Why visit here?
Holm Bay is another quiet location in a Lough that offers endless anchoring opportunities in an area of outstanding beauty. Holm Bay, locally pronounced Home Bay, is largely used to await the latter half of the flood tide to enter East Down Yacht Club.

Somewhat of local interest, you may notice a house that is called "Fools Penny" located to the south above a double boathouse. It is so named as a caveat to drinkers generosity. The Lady who built it was a publican and she built the house on the tips she received.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities in Holm Bay save for the moorings. ‘East Down Yacht Club’ (EDYC) located inside Taggart Island, half a mile away, has good facilities for both cruising and racing boats with a nine acre site, which includes a modern clubhouse, a caravan and camping park, car parking, a boat-park and slipway. Fresh water is available on the pontoon but no power.

A mile to the south is Killyleagh, the largest town on Strangford Lough with a population of almost two and half thousand. The town has good shopping plus a basic chandlery, garage, bank, taxis and buses. It is situated on the A22 road to Downpatrick which is a sizeable town that serves as a commercial and administrative centre for the locality.


Any security concerns?
Never a problem known to have occurred at Holm Bay.


With thanks to:
Brian Crawford, local Strangford Lough boatman of many decades. Photography with thanks to Eric Jones, Albert Bridge and Rossographer.


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Please zoom out to see the 'initial fixes' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.









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Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.