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Carne is situated close north of Carnsore Point, at the southeast corner of Ireland. It offers a small open harbour with a drying pier outside of which vessels may anchor or come alongside to dry out on sand behind the pier.

The harbour provides good anchorage in conditions from northwest round to south where it is highly comfortable. It is however completely exposed to anything from north round east to south. Access is straightforward as the bay has a clear approach from the sea albeit between two unmarked outliers that lie well north and south of the approach path.
Please note

A watchful eye should be maintained at all times for lobster pot markers as they are prolific in this sailing area.

Keyfacts for Carne
Shop with basic provisions availableShore based toilet facilitiesPublic house or wine bar in the area

No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: Traffic Separation Scheme nearby

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 feet).

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

Last modified
May 3rd 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with straightforward access.

Shop with basic provisions availableShore based toilet facilitiesPublic house or wine bar in the area

No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: Traffic Separation Scheme nearby

Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 12.030' N, 006° 20.663' W

This is the anchoring area off the pier.

What is the initial fix?

The following Carne initial fix will set up a final approach:
52° 11.910' N, 006° 18.980' W
This is 1.2 miles east of the pier and on the outskirts of Saint Margaret's Bay. It is set on a line between the Splaugh and Fundale markers that take a coasting vessel just inside and to the west of The Bailies, and close outside to the east of Whilkeen and Collough rocks. A course of due west leads into the anchoring area from here.

What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Dublin Bay to Rosslare Harbour Route location. Details for vessels approaching from the southwest are available in soutwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour Route location.

  • Vessels approaching from the north should keep outside the Splaugh Rock Buoy.

  • Vessels approaching from the south should keep outside the Fundale Rock Buoy.

  • Pass to the south of Whilkeen Rock to approach the harbour.

  • Do not cut inside Whilkeen Rock as it is foul to the shore.

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 Carne for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Ballytrent - 0.5 miles NNE
  2. Rosslare Bay (or South Bay) - 2 miles N
  3. Rosslare Europort (Rosslare Harbour) - 2 miles N
  4. Kilmore Quay - 5.6 miles WSW
  5. Wexford Harbour - 5.8 miles NNW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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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?

Carne is a small open harbour that is located in Saint Margret’s Bay on the southeast corner of County Wexford, three miles south of Rosslare harbour and two miles north of Carnsore Point.
Please note

A sharp lookout should always be kept for lobster pots in and around the Carne area.

The harbour lies inshore of an irregular bank of rocks and coarse ground called ‘The Bailies’ that are situated approximately midway between the Tuskar and the shore. At its shallowest, the bank has just over 9 metres of cover which presents little danger but its rocky pinnacles are subject to heavy overfalls. It is therefore advisable that leisure vessels avoid The Bailies, particularly in the full strength of the tidal streams when the overfalls occur, and approach Carne from the north or south between the mainland and The Bailies.

Northern Approach Vessels approaching from the north should entirely avoid Greenore Point and the surrounding area to the southeast of Rosslare Harbour and Splaugh Rock where there are very strong currents that could lead to difficulties. It is recommended that the passage around Greenore Point should be taken by passing out through and between The South Long and the Splaugh port hand marker and then steer a direct path to pass immediately east of the Fundale port hand marker Buoy, just over 4 miles 208° T along the coast.

This path between the marks intersects the initial fix and takes a vessel along the inshore edge of The Bailies, and close outside, to the east, of Whilkeen and Collough rocks, where deeper waters are to be found between the shoal and the Wexford shoreline.
Please note

It is essential that a watch is maintained for large and fast moving commercial shipping in and out of Rosslare Harbour. Do not under any circumstance impede these shipping movements as vessels will be restrained by draft in the channels and have limited capability to alter course.

Once the Whilkeen Rock is sited pass it to starboard and prepare to pass south and around it on the starboard side for the approach to Carne.
Please note

It is essential to round and pass to the south of Whilkeen Rock to approach Carne. It is foul from Whilkeen Rock to the shore and it is not possible to pass inshore of the rock for a northern approach nor to take a shortcut directly from Carne to Balllytrent Bay.

Southern Approach Vessels approaching from the south should plan for very strong currents off Carnsore Point the southeast extremity of Ireland. It is located about 8.5 miles east of Crossfarnage Point, known locally as Forlorn Point near Kilmore Quay, and is 16 metres high and rocky.

Its location is well signalled by a host of turbines that make up Nethertown Wind Farm that cover most of point. The south coast on the approach to the point is low and fronted by a host offshore dangers but Carnsore Point itself is clear of outliers and an offing of 250 metres clears all dangers.

Once around Carnsore Point lay off a course to pass immediately east of the Fundale port hand marker buoy.

Fundale - Red Can Buoy Fl (2) R 10s position: 51° 10.655’N, 006° 20.299’W

The buoy marks Fundale Rock situated a mile northeast of Carnsore Point. The rock uncovers at half-tide and dries to 1.2 metres. Its marker buoy is moored ½ mile east by northeast of the position of the rock. From Fundale continue to the initial fix outside of Collough although it is possible to cut into Carne pier inside the danger.

Initial fix location From the initial fix track in due west to the pier area between the two rock groups that exist in the vicinity of Carne harbour. These are the Whilkeen Rocks that situated to the north and Collough Rock situated to the south.

Awash at high-water springs and drying to about 2.5 metres Whilkeen Rock is situated 800 metres out from the shore. It forms the extremity of a reef that partially uncovers at low water with foul ground extending ashore for a distance of 400 metres to the northeast and east of it.

Whilkeen Rock – unmarked position: 52° 12.234’N, 006° 20.051’W

Half a mile to the south of Whilkeen, just under a mile north-by-east of the Fundal Buoy, Collough Rock is located 0.6 miles east of Crossfintan Point. Incorrectly marked on British Admiralty charts with the symbol indicating ‘Rock awash at the level of Chart Datum’ Collough Rock is a substantial rock and although mostly covered it dries to 0.9 metres at LWS. It is steep-to but foul ground extends 0.2 mile northeast and east of Collough Rock.

Collough Rock – unmarked position: 52° 11.450’N, 006° 19.803’W

Haven location Continue to approach the pier which has a single flashing red light which is visible for four sea miles. Once 100 metres or so offshore of the pierhead anchor in sand according to draft and conditions. Local fishermen have moorings off the harbour head that they are usually delighted to share, do however ask local boatmen for permission to use them.

Carne pier dries up to three quarters at low water. However, there could be just under a metre at any time, depending on silting and dredging near the outer end of the pier at low water. Many lobster boats use this area of the pier so vessels planning to come alongside should seek the advice of local boatmen.

The extended breakwater has been a recent addition to Carne pier and it has dramatically reduced swell conditions along the wall. This makes drying out on the hard flat sand there a possibility for vessels that can take to the hard. The pier has a slipway that is only available at high water.

Why visit here?
Carne derives its name from the Irish An Carn which is a frequently used title to indicate a cairn, or pile of rocks. Close to Ireland’s low and indistinct southeastern-most headland and overlooked by Tuskar Rock Lighthouse, Carne is a small quiet and tranquil hamlet with a distinct feeling of remoteness about it. It is difficult to imagine that this out of the way and quiet place was, in the 1970’s, a flashpoint for a national environmental outcry.

At the time the area was the proposed site for one, and eventually four, nuclear power stations to be used to produce electricity. The plans were first advanced in 1968 but the Irish Government only began to progress them in earnest after the 1973 energy crisis. A massive anti-power plant campaign took root nationally that also drew in some international support. The anti-nuclear and environmental groups organised a series of rallies that reached their seminal moments in a series of Carnsore Point concerts. These ran each August from 1978 to 1981 and featured the well-known folk singer Christy Moore. The concerts were a massive success and served to bring to public notice the whole question of nuclear power in Ireland. In the face of the national outcry, the government’s nuclear plans were discreetly dropped. In the end, Carnsore Point became home to a number of wind generating stations, run by a subsidiary of the Electricity Supply Board.

Today Carne is a very quiet location where a few lobstermen ply their trade from the pier. The harbour’s safe sandy beach, adjoining St. Margaret’s Strand, brings good custom to the local caravan park. During a sunny summer spell, the beaches can get busy with kite surfers, families paddling and sea kayakers, but come evening time there will only be the odd local dog-walker about.

For those interested in striding out, Our Lady's Island and lake is a five-mile walk, which takes about an hour. This is the site of a monastery dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, on what was formerly a sea inlet. It is an important wildfowl reserve particularly attractive to bird watchers of unique birds that only breed here. The popular Lobster Pot restaurant, about 2 km from the pier, is passed on the way and it may provide an opportunity for those keen to sample some of Carne Pier’s harvest in a nice atmosphere. Carnsore Point is a 4km, or 50 minutes walk.

From a boating perspective, Carne is a handy bolthole to wait out a tide for a few hours and a comfortable berth in a north-westerly to which Rosslare is exposed. Likewise, it is an ideal place to swing on anchor for a few nights in a nice quiet tranquil location. The Carne locals are very welcoming and with a pub plus a shop nearby the cruising necessities are a short stroll up from the pier.

What facilities are available?
Carne is a quiet little anchorage with very little else apart from the pier and a pub. There is a public toilet on the pier itself and the pub is a short stroll to the north of the pier. Continuing beyond the pub there is a small shop that caters to the caravan park in the summertime. Rosslare Harbour with trains and bus services to Dublin is only a 10 to 15 fifteen minutes’ drive from Carne and Wexford town is 30 minutes away.

Any security concerns?
Never known an issue to have occurred in Carne. Unusually for such a small harbour it has 4 x 7 CCTV

With thanks to:
Phil Murphy, Kilmore Quay Harbour Master. Photography with thanks to Burke Corbett and Michael Harpur.

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The above plots are not precise and indicative only.

Carne Pier in wintertime to the soundtrack of Christy Moore

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Add your review or comment:

william wheatley wrote this review on May 23rd 2015:

In the fourth paragraph, below the picture of Carnsore Point wind-farm, it states that Fundale rock is situated 600 mtrs west northwest of Carnsore point. This should be corrected to read 600 mtrs to northeast x north or Carnsore Point. Apart from this minor mistake I think that "Footsteps" is a brilliant tool to use for trip planning around Ireland. Many thanks. William.

Average Rating: Unrated

wrote this review on Mar 9th 2016:

Thanks William Please feel free to mention any detail like this that you see. We love to be told where we have got it wrong so we can quickly get it right. I had corrected it some time back and was wondering if we should add a special corrections process. As it happens we thought the comments field would be the most transparent forum and hence my late response. Thank you for your kind words. You will probably see many new innovations as we look at footsteps every day and ask, one simple question, how can this be better?

Average Rating: Unrated

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