England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes
Boat
Maintenance
Comfort
Operations
Safety
Other



NextPrevious

Limerick Docks

Tides and tools
Overview





Limerick is located forty-three miles from the mouth of the River Shannon on the west coast of Ireland. It is a commercial and industrial harbour in the heart of the historical city with no specific provisions for leisure craft. The port allows vessels to stay for a day, or more if it is quiet, or three days for the purposes of unstepping the mast to proceed up into the inland waterways.

The port offers complete protection from all conditions, and the channel is marked all the way from the Shannon River entrance to the city of Limerick. Above the River Fergus, however, this does become increasingly narrow and shallow requiring attentive navigation. Boats of any draft will most likely require a tidal rise between Shannon Airport and Limerick. Likewise, Limerick is an enclosed wet dock that typically only opens to allow access two hours prior and up to local high water.
Please note

The port is a busy commercial basin and leisure craft use is subject to signing an indemnity form. A vessel cannot be left unattended whilst in the basin as frequent moves may be required so as not to hinder port operations.




Be the first
to comment
Keyfacts for Limerick Docks
Facilities
Water available via tapTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansExtensive shopping available in the areaFuel by arrangement with bulk tanker providerPublic house or wine bar in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBus service available in the areaTrain or tram service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresCar hire available in the areaTourist Information office available


Nature
Berth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsNavigation lights to support a night approachUrban 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
Restriction: access via a channel with a lock or enclosed by a lockEntered over a sill at high water

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
5.5 metres (18.04 feet).

Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
May 16th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A completely protected location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Water available via tapTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansExtensive shopping available in the areaFuel by arrangement with bulk tanker providerPublic house or wine bar in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBus service available in the areaTrain or tram service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresCar hire available in the areaTourist Information office available


Nature
Berth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsNavigation lights to support a night approachUrban 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
Restriction: access via a channel with a lock or enclosed by a lockEntered over a sill at high water



HM  +353 69 73100      info@sfpc.ie      Ch.11
Position and approaches
Expand to new tab or fullscreen

Haven position

52° 39.510' N, 008° 38.675' W

The head of the eastern pier on the southern shore where the dock is entered.

What is the initial fix?

The following Shannon Entrance Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
52° 32.528' N, 009° 46.944' W
This is the position of the Shannon Entrance marker, the Ballybunnion North Cardinal Marker Lt Buoy, VQ Fl. 6m.


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. The forty-three-mile run-up to the head of the River Shannon estuary, from the entrance to Limerick City, are detailed in the River Shannon Overview 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 Limerick Docks for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Askeaton - 7.9 miles W
  2. Foynes Harbour - 10.7 miles W
  3. Kilrush - 19.2 miles W
  4. Hog Island - 19.3 miles W
  5. Liscannor Bay - 19.7 miles WNW
  6. Seafield (Quilty) - 19.8 miles WNW
  7. Mutton Island - 20.3 miles WNW
  8. Doonbeg - 20.3 miles W
  9. Kinvara Bay - 20.4 miles NNW
  10. Ballyvaughan Bay - 20.6 miles NNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Askeaton - 7.9 miles W
  2. Foynes Harbour - 10.7 miles W
  3. Kilrush - 19.2 miles W
  4. Hog Island - 19.3 miles W
  5. Liscannor Bay - 19.7 miles WNW
  6. Seafield (Quilty) - 19.8 miles WNW
  7. Mutton Island - 20.3 miles WNW
  8. Doonbeg - 20.3 miles W
  9. Kinvara Bay - 20.4 miles NNW
  10. Ballyvaughan Bay - 20.6 miles NNW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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.

Expand to new tab or fullscreen



How to get in?
Limerick Dock
Image: © Frank Cosgrove


Limerick is a city located in the mid-west region and is also part of the province of Munster. The city lies on the River Shannon, with the historic core of the city located on King's Island, which is bounded by the Shannon and the Abbey River. Limerick is the third most populous urban area in the state and the fourth most populous city on the island of Ireland.

The town has a small commercial port that receives visiting yachts. The available berth is a wet dock and final approaches must be in the two hours prior to local high water. The dock gates usually only open for these two hours and as such almost all of Limerick’s shipping movement takes place during these periods.

It is essential that all vessels wishing to use Limerick Dock make prior berthing arrangements with the Shannon Foynes Port Company before an approach is made. They are available on VHF channel 11 or Tel: +353 69 73103 and they will provide berthing instructions. Channel 14 is the secondary channel typically used for berthing/unberthing operations.

It should also be noted that from the junction of the River Shannon with the River Fergus, the final 16 miles of the channel leading to Limerick Docks has a least depth of 1.2 metres. This requires a vessel of any draft to make use of a tidal rise to achieve the final approach.


Approaching Limerick
Image: Burke Corbett


Initial fix location The forty-three-mile run-up to the head of the River Shannon estuary, from the entrance to Limerick City, are detailed in the River Shannon Overview Route location. From the Shannon Entrance initial fix, it is simply a matter of following the river’s extensive array of navigational aids upriver that include lighthouses, light beacons, leading lights and light buoys. Owing to tidal races and the nature of the channel, especially in the upper reaches beyond the River Fergus, the run may not necessarily proceed from buoy to buoy. As such it is highly advised that a stranger should gain an understanding of the rivers’ characteristics by using a good set of charts in conjunction with our coastal description.

Leisure craft are obliged to give way to commercial shipping when operating within the river and estuary. All commercial vessels transiting the Shannon Estuary operate a listening watch on VHF Channel 11 and it is strongly recommended that leisure craft do also. If any uncertainty should arise when encountering commercial traffic the key to safety is good communications by using Channel 11 to clearly indicate respective intentions.

Haven location The dock is in the west part of the city on the south side of the river. It is 422 metres long and 140 metres across at its widest part with its entrance in the eastern end. The dock is entered heading in a southeast direction via a 21.3-metre wide gate that has a least depth over the sill of 5.2 metres at MLWN. Inside the depth is maintained from 5.5 to 6.0 metres by impounding the previous HW. Berth as instructed by the port authorities.

The Limerick Harbour Authority requires yachts to sign an indemnity form. This may be obtained from the gateman's hut at the tidal gates or at the harbour masters office.
Please note

It is important not to overrun the entrance to the dock. 900 metres above Limerick Dock the river is restricted by Mallow Street Bridge that crosses from Russell's Quay. The bridge’s span is 16 metres with a vertical clearance of 3.3 metres.




Why visit here?
Limerick, or in Irish Luimneach meaning ‘Bare Land’, is situated at the head of the Shannon estuary. Originally Luimneach referred to the general area along the banks of the Shannon estuary which was then known as Loch Luimnigh.

In the 9th-century the Vikings sailed up the estuary and conquered the area. They found an ideal berthing location for their longships at “Kings Island” and when they subsequently returned in larger numbers a fortified settlement was established here. Thus began the origins of Limerick City and as the Vikings moved beyond conquest to trade, the Luimneach settlement became an important trading centre.

King John's Castle
Image: Tourism Ireland


In the 12th-century, the Normans invaded and took possession of the area. Once again the port was used for trade and provided a great source of revenue. When in the 13th century King John visited Limerick he ordered the construction of a fortress to defend the key trading post. This became King John's Castle that stands today as the river’s sentinel and commands all river approaches and access across Thurmond Bridge. Today this fortress is one of the city's leading tourist attractions.

Throughout the medieval period and beyond, the city continued to prosper as a trading centre. This success was based on the conjunction of a surrounding agricultural-driven economy with the cities position as the first major port along the river Shannon. This progress was only interrupted by the Act of Union in 1800 and the Famine.

Today Limerick is Ireland’s third largest city and although its medieval past resounds around its ancient streets, it is a thoroughly modern, bustling, vibrant, cosmopolitan city. There are numerous pubs, wine bars and nightclubs and a wide range of drinking experiences from the 'warm and cosy' to 'cutting edge'. Alongside this are a variety of cafes, restaurants and hotels to cater for most tastes. Likewise, several modern shopping centres combined with more traditional shops and services offer a wide range of shopping experience.

From a tourism perspective, it has something to offer everybody thanks to its many cultural, historical, architectural, shopping and sporting activities at hand. City attractions include the previously mentioned St. John's Castle, St. Mary's Cathedral, St. John's Cathedral, that incidentally has Ireland's tallest spire, and the internationally renowned Hunt Museum. Visitors may also enjoy a city walking tour based on locations featured in the prize-winning book 'Angela's Ashes'. This is Frank McCourt’s renowned recount of his impoverished Limerick boyhood in the 1930's and 40's that was subsequently turned into a major film. The city hosts many festivals throughout the year and has vibrant art and music scene underpinned by the Belltable Arts Centre and Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Despite all this history, many a stranger may find the term Limerick more familiar as a type of five line humorous verse. The poem’s connection to Limerick is however obscure. The name is generally taken to be a reference to the city or county from an early form of nonsense verse. This would traditionally include a refrain that included the line ‘Will (or won't) you come (up) to Limerick?

From a boating perspective, Limerick is the stepping stone into Ireland’s Inland Waterways lock and canal system. Small vessels may wait for a tide or larger vessels may un-step a mast in the wet dock in order to proceed upriver. The extensive canal system is navigable as far as Northern Ireland’s Loch Erne, via the Shannon Erne Waterway, and Dublin via the Grand Canal. These canals are subject to draft and free height restrictions of which further information may be obtained from the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland.

Those carrying any airdraft. that do not wish to un-step the mast, will find this the furthest reach of the Shannon. Half a mile above the dry dock the Mallow Street Bridge crosses the river with a vertical clearance of 3.3 metres. However, the opportunity to visit the historic city of Limerick is very much worthy of the upriver trip.


What facilities are available?
Fuel is available by arrangement with a road tanker or by jerry cans; and fresh water by tap in the dock. The dock has no slipway but crane services are available to lift rigs and lift vessels of less than 20 tons dead weight. With a population of approximately 55,000 Limerick is the third largest city in Ireland and the principal city for the Mid-West Region so it has all provisions available in abundance.

Likewise, transport communications are excellent to the major population centres of Ireland. Iarnród Éireann's Colbert Station offers direct services to Dublin and Cork (serving intermediate stations), plus many other destinations – note there is no rail link to the airport. The City Centre bus service, provided by Bus Éireann and other, offer a host of other additional destinations. Limerick's central location and primary Shannon Bridge means many important national primary routes converge on the city. The M7 (Dublin), N/M18 (Galway, Shannon), N/M20 (Cork), N21 (Tralee) and N24 (Waterford) routes all start/terminate in or near the city.

International travel is catered for by Shannon Airport, 20 km west of the city in County Clare, that is easily accessible by Limerick passengers due to the opening of the Limerick Tunnel. It has scheduled flights to European and North American destinations. Airlines using the airport include Ryanair, Aer Lingus and Delta Air Lines.


Any security concerns?
The port is a walled off area with no public access. The facility has day time security plus a night watchman.


With thanks to:
Jim White Deputy Harbour Master Limerick.


Expand to new tab or fullscreen
Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.















Aerial views of Limerick




An aerial view of Limerick and the River Shannon



A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


Add your review or comment:

Please log in to leave a review of this haven.



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.