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Dingle Harbour

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Overview





Dingle Harbour is set on Ireland’s southwest coast, on the southern shore of the Dingle Peninsula and the northwest side of the extensive Dingle Bay. The well sheltered natural harbour has a port on its northern shore that hosts a fishing port, a marina, and a shallow draft anchoring area adjacent to the provincial market town.

Dingle Harbour is set on Ireland’s southwest coast, on the southern shore of the Dingle Peninsula and the northwest side of the extensive Dingle Bay. The well sheltered natural harbour has a port on its northern shore that hosts a fishing port, a marina, and a shallow draft anchoring area adjacent to the provincial market town.

Set into a landlocked expanse of water the inner harbour offers complete protection. Except for a couple of outlying rocks west of the entrance, which can easily be avoided day or night, the harbour has safe access. A well buoyed and transit marked channel leads through to the main pier day or night and at any stage of the tide.
Please note

Although the harbour has a little tidal stream, the entrance can attain a spring rate 2.5 knots.




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Keyfacts for Dingle Harbour
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableDiesel fuel available alongsidePetrol available alongsideGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway 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 loadingMarine 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 areaTourist Information office availableHandicapped access supportedShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: harbour fees may be charged

Protected sectors

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

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



Last modified
April 22nd 2022

Summary

A completely protected location with safe access.

Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableDiesel fuel available alongsidePetrol available alongsideGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway 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 loadingMarine 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 areaTourist Information office availableHandicapped access supportedShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: harbour fees may be charged



Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 8.226' N, 010° 16.566' W

This is within the west breakwater’s pierhead and the central pier adjacent to the marina.

What is the initial fix?

The following Dingle Harbour Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
52° 6.000' N, 010° 16.405' W
This is 1¼ miles out from the entrance and on the line of bearing 024°T of the light tower, on the northeast side of the harbour entrance, open southeast of Reenbeg Point. This is the clearing alignment for Crow and Colleen-oge rocks.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Mizen Head to Loop Head Route location.

  • Keep at least a ½ mile off the shore when approaching from the west.

  • The entrance is made unmistakable by a white tower on its northeast side.

  • The clearing line of 024° T, of the white tower just open of Reenbeg Point, avoids Crow Rock which is the outer part of the foul ground extending from the shore to the west of the entrance.

  • Follow the ample lateral marks, transits and sectored light through the shallow landlocked harbour to the port.


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 Dingle Harbour for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Ventry Harbour - 3.5 nautical miles WSW
  2. Smerwick Harbour - 6 nautical miles WNW
  3. Great Blasket Island - 8.9 nautical miles WSW
  4. Brandon Bay - 9 nautical miles NNE
  5. Kells Bay - 9.1 nautical miles SE
  6. Cooncrome Harbour (Cuas Crom) - 10.2 nautical miles S
  7. Cahersiveen - 11.5 nautical miles S
  8. Castlegregory - 12.6 nautical miles NE
  9. Knightstown - 12.7 nautical miles S
  10. Scraggane Bay - 13.7 nautical miles NE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Ventry Harbour - 3.5 miles WSW
  2. Smerwick Harbour - 6 miles WNW
  3. Great Blasket Island - 8.9 miles WSW
  4. Brandon Bay - 9 miles NNE
  5. Kells Bay - 9.1 miles SE
  6. Cooncrome Harbour (Cuas Crom) - 10.2 miles S
  7. Cahersiveen - 11.5 miles S
  8. Castlegregory - 12.6 miles NE
  9. Knightstown - 12.7 miles S
  10. Scraggane Bay - 13.7 miles NE
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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What's the story here?
Dingle Harbour and its entrance as seen from the east
Image: Michael Harpur


Situated on the north side of Dingle Bay, Dingle Harbour is a large natural harbour with a busy fishing port and the principal market town of the Dingle Peninsula. The landlocked inlet is entered between Reenbeg Point and Beenbane Point and, at high water, it presents a magnificent basin, surrounded by lofty hills. But with the falling tide a large portion of it uncovers, and what remains is very shallow. Through these shallow waters, a narrow well buoyed, transited and well-maintained channel leads to the harbour and an extensive marina.

Dingle Marina
Image: Michael Harpur


Dingle Harbour's marina has 100 berths of which 20 are visitor berths that are capable of hosting vessels with drafts of up to 5 metres. The channel to the harbour area has a maintained depth of 2.6 metres LAT. The Marina Superintendent can be contacted on VHF Ch. 80 [Dingle Marina], Mobile+353 (0)87 9254115, Landline+353 (0)66 9151629, E-maildingleharbour@agriculture.gov.ie, Websitewww.dinglemarina.ie. The marina watches Channel 80 continuously so a night approach is welcome.

It is possible to anchor off the southern shore just off the turning point for the dredged channel to the port. Land at the slipway adjacent to the marina. Shallower draft vessels may anchor also south-southwest of the pierhead but seek advice from the harbourmaster.


How to get in?
Slea Head as seen from Dunmore Head (enclosing Coumeenoole Beach)
Image: John Morton via CC BY SA 4.0


Convergance Point Use Ireland’s coastal overview for Mizen Head to Loop Head Route location for seaward approaches. The entrance to Dingle Harbour is situated 7½ miles eastward of Slea Head. At the foot of the 513 metres high Mount Eagle and forming the northern entrance point of Dingle Bay and the east entrance point of Blasket Sound, Slea Head makes for an unmistakable seamark.


The Eask Tower standing on the ridge Carhoo Hill
Image: Graham Rabbits


On closer approaches, the conspicuous Eask Tower will be seen standing on the ridge Carhoo Hill at an elevation of 195 metres. It is located ¾ of a mile west of Reenbeg Point, the western entry point to the harbour, and its fingerpost points towards the entrance.
Please note

Vessels approaching from the west should not be tempted to cut in along the shore. It is essential to keep at least a ½ mile from the north shore to the west side of the entrance to Dingle Harbour as several rocks run out from the shore to the west of the entrance.




The entrance to Dingle Harbour
Image: Superbass via CC ASA 4.0


Initial fix location From the Initial Fix, 1¼ miles out from the entrance and on the line of bearing 024° T of the light tower, on the northeast side of the harbour entrance, just open of Reenbeg Point, easing off to the east and make towards the entrance.


The 024° T clearing line avoiding Crow Rock and the rocks between it and the
shore

Image: Graham Rabbits



Steering a course of about 035° T will lead in midway between Reenbeg Point and Beenbane Point. Generally the more southerly the approach the easier it is to make out the entrance channel, which commences at the Light Tower.


The light tower makes the entrance to Dingle Harbour unmistakable
Image: Michael Harpur


The clearing line of 024° T avoids the dangerous Crow Rock that is the outer part of the foul ground more than a ¼ of a mile from the shore. It covers on high water springs and dries to 3.7 metres. Colleen-oge Rock, with 1.8 metres of water over it, is situated about halfway between it and the shore to the northeast. There is also a detached head, with 2.4 metres of water over it, situated 100 metres west by southwest of Crow Rock. The general rule is, if you can see the lighthouse, you will miss these rocks.
Please note

Local boats who are familiar with the harbour will be seen using a cut too and from Ventry between ColleenOge Rock and the mainland.




If the light tower is visible the path is clear of Crow Rock
Image: Michael Harpur


The entrance will be initially hard to define for those unfamiliar with the location but the white tower within the entrance and on the northeast side makes its position unmistakable.

White lighthouse – Fl G3s 20m 6M position: 52° 07.306' N, 010° 15.505' W


The inner entrance channel commencing west of the white tower house.
Image: Michael Harpur


Having passed between Reenbeg and Beenbane Points giving the shoreline a berth of 100 metres clears any inshore dangers. The inner entrance channel is a ⅓ of a mile within the outer heads and immediately west of the white lighthouse. It is about 300 metres wide and leads northwest for a distance of about a ½ mile. At night, a corresponding light, Fl(2)5s6m3M, shows on the opposite western side of the entrance to the lighthouse.


Light on the western side of the entrance to Dingle Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


In the inner end of the channel keep slightly to southwest-(port)-of-centre in the channel to avoid the rocky eastern foreshore. Near its northern end a drying rocky reef, marked by Dingle Outer Light-buoy (starboard), extends 150 metres from Black Point, immediately opposite Flaherty Point. Black Point may be easily identified by the square old Lough Tower situated 400 metres northwest of the light.


Black Point with its marker buoy
Image: Michael Harpur


Beyond Flaherty and Black Point the inner harbour opens up but it is very shallow except for the channel to the harbour, which encloses the marina, situated on the north shore. Continue northeast of Flaherty Point and enter the channel between the entrance light buoys (lateral buoys) about 800 metres away.


The old Lough Tower close north of Black Point
Image: Michael Harpur


The 40-metre wide channel is dredged to 2.6 metres LAT all the way to the harbour. It is buoyed, lit and has an alignment mark (rear on the south shore) and sectored light that leads to the breakwaters of the inner harbour. The channel is however very steep-sided and care should be taken to stick to the marks.


The entrance to the marked channel
Image: Michael Harpur


From its entrance the channel initially runs in a north-westerly direction for about 700 metres almost along the south coast of the harbour. Once the southern transits start to draw abeam and come into alignment prepare to turn northward for the harbour. The alignment offers additional assistance as there are ample lateral marks that make the turn point and new track abundantly clear.


The lateral marks at the turning point and alignment mark on the southern shore
(A possible anchoring location off of the shore)

Image: Michael Harpur


The southern transit consists of two poles in the field on the south shore of the harbour. These are situated 100 metres apart with black and white diamonds Oc. White 3s. Once in line keep the alignment astern on 182° T to continue up the final leg of just over a ½ mile to the harbour.
Please note

It is possible to turn south and anchor off just south of the northward turning point for the port. A deep pool with up to 6 metres LAT can be found on the alignment off the southern shore. Keep well clear of the marked channel and avoid any location where pot markers are seen.




Exiting yacht southbound in the channel
Image: Michael Harpur


This leg is also supported at night by a leading WRG light, (bearing 002° T that is visible day and night near the root and on the west side of Main Pier) as well as light buoys and pierhead lights.

Sectored Light - Oc RWG 4s 13m 2M position: 52° 08.335' N, 010° 16.525' W


Dingle Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


The harbour is entered between the east breakwater that extends from the shore to the east of the fairway and about 200 metres south of the head of Dingle Pier. At night it has 2 fixed vertical green lights at its head. The west breakwater lies close west of the first and has 2 fixed vertical red lights at its head. When past the head of the western breakwater pierhead turn to port to pass to the west of the central pier for the marina.


Dingle Marina within the western breakwater
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location The harbour is divided into two basins by a central Dingle Pier. The east basin is used by fishing boats and has a depth of 5 metres. The marina is located inside the western breakwater and also has a depth in excess of 5 metres LAT with the inner berths having 4.5 metres LAT.


The visitor berths are usually along the pontoon immediately within the
breakwater

Image: Michael Harpur


Berth as directed by the marina master. The visitor berths are usually alongside the pontoon located behind the western breakwater. There is ample room to manoeuvre.


Why visit here?
Dingle, in Irish today 'An Daingean', takes its name from 'Daingean Uí Chúis', which is widely accepted to mean 'The Fortress of the Husseys'. The 'Husseys' were a Norman family who arrived in Dingle shortly after the Norman Conquest of Ireland that commenced in 1169. Others however believe that the name refers to a pre-Norman chieftain named 'O Cuis' who ruled the area prior to the conquest and had his principal fortress here, hence the name 'Daingean Uí Chúis'. Whichever is the true meaning, the shortened name of Dingle and 'Daingean Uí Chúis' have appeared side by side since the middle of the 13th-Century.


Born from its port Dingle is easily explored by foot
Image: Michael Harpur


The Normans did not fail to notice the perfect security the natural land-locked harbour offered and it began to evolve as a major trading point after they settled into the harbour area. By the 16th-Century it was one of Ireland’s main trading ports exporting wool, hides, salt meat, fish and butter. Chief imports included wine, salt, coal and articles of clothing. The French and Spanish fishing fleets used the town as a base, and during the late 15th and 16th-Centuries, the citizens and the Fitz Geralds benefited from the revival of the herring fisheries.


Dingle's colourful Main Street
Image: Joachim Kohler Bremen via CC BY SA 4.0


The town's connections with Spain were particularly strong. The town was an embarkation point for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The 16th-century parish church was rebuilt under Spanish patronage and dedicated to Saint James of Santiago de Compostela the patron saint of Spain. The site of Dingle Marina was originally called Spanish Pier, as it was the site where continental wine ships and other merchant vessels berthed. An Act of Parliament was passed in 1569, which limited the number of ports through which wines could be imported, listed Dingle referring to it as 'Dingle Husey otherwise called Dingle I Couch'.


Dingle Town during a festival
Image: Tourism Ireland


But the 1574-1583 Desmond Rebellion would being these close ties of the old Norman lords with the continent to a catastrophic end. The rebellions were primarily motivated by the feudal lords desire to maintain independence from the English monarch but it also had an element of religious antagonism that existed between the Catholic and the Protestant English state. The principal movers were Gearoid XVI, Earl of Desmond, and his cousin James Fitzmaurice-Fitzgerald who rose up against Queen Elizabeth and her local enforcer the Earl of Ormond, Thomas Butler, also known as the 'The Black Earl'.


Traditional music will be heard throughout the town
Image: Tourism Ireland


At one point James Fitzmaurice- Fitzgerald himself landed in Dingle with a small expeditionary force of Spanish and Italian troops in July 1579 but he would be dead within days. The Spanish ships then set sail for Smerwick Harbour where they encamped at 'Dún an Óir. There they stayed for over a year joined by a small reinforcement of Italians and some Irish. In September 1580,600 papal troops landed to support them. But they were all soon besieged at 'Dún an Óir and after two days of bombardment surrendered only to be summarily massacred.


Fishing is a mainstay of Dingle today
Image: Michael Harpur


Then the Earl of Ormond, the 'Black Earl', raided the Dingle peninsula 'sparing no one – neither man, woman, child nor beast' as it was noted. All animals were killed, crops razed and homes destroyed to deprive the Irish of any food or shelter. He burned Dingle town, the third burning during the period of the Desmond Rebellion. These relentless scorched-earth tactics of the English forces crushed the rebellion by the middle of 1581.


Conor Pass on The Dingle Way
Image: Tourism Ireland


After the rebellion was crushed Queen Elizabeth agreed to grant Dingle a Royal Charter and to make it a walled town. It was the first town in Kerry to be granted a charter and the only town in the County that was ever walled, with the traces of these walls are still visible today. Dingle suffered greatly in the Nine Years' War and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, being burnt or sacked on a number of occasions. The town started to recover in the 18th-Century when by 1755 a flourishing linen industry had been established. But this fell by the wayside following the industrial production of cotton in Great Britain and was virtually extinct by 1837. By this time Dingle had become a major fishing centre for herring. The pier and maritime facilities were developed and the arrival of rail transport in 1891 allowed for the transport of fish throughout the country, and a canning and curing industry developed. Dingle has remained a thriving fishing port to this day.


Slea Head on the Dingle Way
Image: Tourism Ireland


Today 'An Daingean' is Europe's westernmost town and the chief town of its eponymous peninsula. Of the peninsula's 10,000 residents, about 2,000 live in Dingle town, and its year-round population more than doubles in summer as it is increasingly becoming a popular tourist centre. This makes the town a busy place in July and August, but it still manages to retain its friendly, artsy, small-town character. Located in the heart of a Gaeltacht region, an Irish-speaking area, the Irish language is spoken by almost everyone and is rich in music and dance. While English is always there, the signs, chitchat, and songs come in Irish Gaelic.


Dunmore Head on the Dingle Way
Image: Tourism Ireland


Despite this, the locals have voted to retain the Anglicised name of Dingle rather than go by the officially sanctioned – and signposted – Gaelige name of An Daingean. Dingle was originally dropped in 2005 with the Irish language name An Daingean to be used in future. The change was particularly controversial as locals feared it would affect the town's vital local tourist industry and some locals took matters into their own hands and spray-painted Dingle over the Irish version of the name on road signs etc.


View Over Blasket Sound to the Blasket Islands from the Dingle Peninsula
Image: Tourism Ireland


Whatever name you choose to call it, Dingle has much to attract sailors ashore as it truly has something for everyone. It is one of those towns whose very fabric is its main attraction. The town's higgledy-piggledy streets hang on a medieval grid that lies between the harbour and Main Street. All are easily explored by foot from the harbour as nothing in town is more than a 10-minute walk away. Simply set out and walk out the pier and breakwaters, stroll the streets, poke around the back alleys, amble into shops and pubs and see what you can find.


Watching the sunset over the Blaskets on the Dingle Way
Image: Tourism Ireland


There are numerous pubs, restaurants and cafes creating many opportunities to hear traditional Irish and dine on wonderful seafood. The harbour's intimate relationship with the sea means that the fresh 'catch of the day' is the fresh fish off the boat that you probably saw come alongside its central pier on the way into town. And you can be assured it will be perfect as Dingle is part of the burgeoning culinary scene that has seen its reputation soar in recent years.


Watching the sunset over the Blaskets on the Dingle Way
Image: Tourism Ireland


The town’s brightly painted houses, traditional shop fronts and tightly bunched, narrow streets, running down to the harbour might be attractive but its setting is just as exceptional. Of the five peninsulas in southwest Ireland, the Dingle Peninsula, affectionately known as 'The Kingdom', is often considered the connoisseur’s choice of Ireland’s most beautiful peninsulas. It is well worth using it as a base to hire a car to explore the 1gorgeous 68km loop drive of the 'Dingle Way'. To the north rises the towering Brandon Mountain, while the west coast has some spectacular seascapes. All of it is awash with striking scenery and there is a wealth of Iron Age stone forts, inscribed stones and Celtic and early Christian sites. A bike ride (thankfully electric bike rentals are available) around the tip of the Dingle Peninsula will be unforgettable.


The likely problem with Dingle is leaving once you settle in
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating perspective, Dingle has it all. Building upon its perfect protection against all weather is its large town that offers the best provisioning along this stretch of coast. The marina pontoon is an ideal place to recharge crew and vessel and attend to any minor repairs. The port's biggest problem is its lovely nature, its abounding friendly pubs and restaurants and the 'craic' to be had ashore. It just might steal your heart away and make it exceedingly difficult to leave.


What facilities are available?
The marina offers water, gas, alongside diesel (that can also be supplied by cans along with petrol to the Marina), trolleys for loading, electricity, laundry, showers, and toilets, all of which are available to the visitor berths. The dedicated marine sports building beside the marina has a restaurant/café with WiFi. Harbour fees are applicable for these resources.

A chandlery is available at the marina centre, electronic repairs, marine engineering repairs, chandlery, a slipway and a sailmaker are available in the area. No hoist but a crane can be hired, or dry out at slip by arrangement.

Dingle has ample shops and amenities to cater for a population of about 2,000, including art and craft shops, restaurants, pubs, supermarkets, laundrette, internet cafes, post office, bank, and tourist information centre. The marina is in the centre of the town so all facilities are available in the immediate vicinity.

The Tourist office is on Strand St Dingle 066 9151188, Car Rental: Duggan 066 7121124, Sheehy 066 7121080, O'Conner 066 7124782 and Cycle Hire at Foxy Johns, Main St, Dingle. Three buses daily from Dingle to Tralee, connecting to main bus routes and Train at Tralee. From there to all major national towns. Farranfore Airport (30 miles) 066 7164399


Any security concerns?
Never a problem known to have occurred to a vessel in Dingle Harbour.


With thanks to:
Gareth Thomas, Yacht Jalfrezi.







An aerial overview of Dingle Harbour



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