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Knockadoon Slip

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Overview





Knockadoon Slip is located on the south coast of Ireland, just off Knockadoon Head in the southwest corner of Youghal Bay. It offers an anchorage off a small rural slip with a breakwater.

Knockadoon Slip is located on the south coast of Ireland, just off Knockadoon Head in the southwest corner of Youghal Bay. It offers an anchorage off a small rural slip with a breakwater.

The area off of the slip provides a good anchorage in westerlies but it is entirely open to anything with an easterly component. Daylight access is straightforward as the head and its offlying island is readily identifiable from some distance and there are no major outlying dangers.



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Keyfacts for Knockadoon Slip



Last modified
June 22nd 2020

Summary* Restrictions apply

A tolerable location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Slipway availablePublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 53.206' N, 007° 51.950' W

This is off of Knocakdoon Slip on the 2 metre LAT contour.

What is the initial fix?

The following Knockadoon Harbour Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
51° 53.158' N, 007° 50.623' W
This is about 400 metres to the northwest of Capel Island setting up an approach to the north of Capel Island, south of Sound Rock, less than a mile west-northwest.


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.

  • Newcomers are best advised to avoid Capel Sound and round Capel Island's northern side.


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 Knockadoon Slip for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Youghal - 2.5 miles NNE
  2. Ballycotton - 3.8 miles SW
  3. Ardmore Bay - 4.2 miles NE
  4. Northeast of Great Island - 7.7 miles W
  5. East Ferry Marina - 8 miles W
  6. Aghada - 8 miles W
  7. Cuskinny - 9.3 miles W
  8. White Bay - 9.4 miles WSW
  9. Dungarvan Town Quay - 9.5 miles NE
  10. Helvick - 9.6 miles NE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Youghal - 2.5 miles NNE
  2. Ballycotton - 3.8 miles SW
  3. Ardmore Bay - 4.2 miles NE
  4. Northeast of Great Island - 7.7 miles W
  5. East Ferry Marina - 8 miles W
  6. Aghada - 8 miles W
  7. Cuskinny - 9.3 miles W
  8. White Bay - 9.4 miles WSW
  9. Dungarvan Town Quay - 9.5 miles NE
  10. Helvick - 9.6 miles NE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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What's the story here?
Knockadoon Slip
Image: Michael Harpur


Knockadoon Slip is a small isolated pair of slips with a protective breakwater situated in the south part of Youghal Bay and on the north side of Knockadoon Head. The slips are located about ¼ of a mile west of Capel Sound which is a pass between Capel Island and Knockadoon Head or ¾ of a mile west of the easternmost side of Capel Island. The slips provide an excellent landing point and the small hamlet above has a pub and a restaurant.


Knockadoon's two slips
Image: Michael Harpur


The locality provides an anchorage with good sand holding and is well sheltered in prevailing conditions. The slips dry out to the head of the breakwater which, on a low Spring tide, dries to about 0.5 metres at its head.


How to get in?
Capel Island with Knockadoon Head and Knockadoon Slip in the backdrop
Image: John Finn


Convergance Point Youghal Bay is entered between Knockadoon Head, with Capel Island situated immediately offshore, and Ram Head that is located about 7 miles northeast. Knockadoon Slip lies immediately inside Knockadoon Head, the extreme point of the mainland on the bays southernmost reach.


Capel Island and Knockadoon Head as seen from the east
Image: Burke Corbett


Knockadoon Head marks the western limit of Youghal Bay and about ½ a mile east of Knockadoon Head is Capel Island, that separates Ballycotton Bay from Youghal Bay. Capel Island's tower, the base of an unfinished light tower, and the Napoleonic-era square signal tower standing on the crest of Knockadoon Head are highly prominent features that make for unmistakable seamarks.

Capel Island Tower - position: 51° 52.927'N, 007° 51.131'W


Capel Sound
Image: Michael Harpur


Capel Sound separates Capel Island from Knockadoon Head and has from 4 to 5 metres of water. Rocky ledges extending from both shores of the sound that reduce the channel to little more than 200 metres wide. Through this contracted sound the tides run fast, sometimes attaining 2kn, and the rocky nature of the bottom occasional overfalls to occur making it appear dangerous. It is sometimes used by local boats but not recommended for newcomers who are best advised to pass around the north side of Capel Island to make an approach.


Knockadoon Slip as seen from eastward
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the initial fix the slip and its breakwater will be readily identifiable. Pass to the north of Capel Island which is rocky, precipitous, and bold-to. Deep draft vessels should note Sound Rock, with 2.4 metres of water LAT over it, lies ½ a mile northwestward (332° T) from Cape Island Tower.


Anchor off of the slip and breakwater
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Anchor according to draft off the slip in sand and mud. Land at the pier and slipway at Knockadoon Head or on two well-sheltered beaches close by.

Knockadoon Slip at high water
Image: Michael Harpur



Why visit here?
The name Knockadoon, from the Gaelic Cnoc an Dún, meaning 'Hill of the Fortress' suggesting the site was the seat of a chieftain in prehistoric times. Sited at the tip of one of the Old Red Sandstone ridges that form the southwest of Ireland it would have made a naturally defensive position.


Knockadoon Head with its signature signal tower
Image: Michael Harpur


Although nothing remains of the ancient fort Knockadoon Head’s signature square Napoleonic Signal tower sited at the highest point on this headland remains a prominent mark. At the beginning of the 19th-century, the British forces in Ireland feared a French invasion. Between 1804 and 1805 a series of 81 signal towers were established around the coast of Ireland to counter this threat. These were situated on strategically high and often remote, exposed locations such as Knockadoon and all the towers had inter-visibility with their 'neighbours' in a daisy chain formation.


Napoleonic-era signal tower on Knockadoon Head
Image: John Finn


The Signal towers were typically two bays wide and two storeys high and were not specifically designed as strongholds. They only quartered eight to twelve men who could only hold out against a small attacking force. Rather their purpose was to house signalling crews with the singular objective of spotting an incoming invasion fleet and then, by means of flags and balls on a mast in front of the tower, communicate the sighting. The knowledge of the invasion force and its location would then travel through the series of towers to the government in Dublin who could direct best direct its forces. But they were built for an invasion that would never come and when Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, in 1815, the threat of a French invasion diminished. This, together with the high maintenance costs, caused the abandonment of most of the weather-beaten towers.


Knockadoon Slip's origins revolve around a customs outpost
Image: Michael Harpur


Knockadoon Slip, as we see it today, most likely came about as part of a series of coastguard stations that were established in the early 1800s. It was part of the coast-guard district of Youghal which also included Ballycotton and Ballymacoda who had stations also established at the time. These were set up to combat smuggling and carry out search and rescue operations at sea. The small slip and breakwater today provides a base for several small fishing vessels to ply their trade and it has recently seen some investment. Above the slip is a building that is home to the Knockadoon Camp, a Dominican summer school youth camp based on Christian values.


Capel Island
Image: John Finn


The area’s most prominent feature is the attractive 37-metres high Capel Island. An offshore outcrop of the Old Red Sandstone the island is very small having just over ten acres in total. It acquired its name from a Gaelicised form of Oileán an Cháplaigh describing the Norman family, de Capelle, who was granted the island after the Norman invasion in the 12th-century. The local family name Supple derives from the Norman antecedent.

SS Sirius
Image: Public Domain
The dominant feature of the island is its tower set on its highest point. The building is the stub of an uncompleted 19th-century lighthouse which has an interesting story. Between 1826 and 1846, repeated requests were been made to the Ballast Board for the construction of a lighthouse on Capel Island. Although started, Capel Island’s lighthouse construction was lacklustre and came to a halt owing to indecision with the Ballast Board. It was their preference to site lighthouses at Ballycotton and Youghal Harbour as they thought Capel Island would be ineffective.

The dispute kept the coast of East Cork dark and the authorities in a malaise January 1847 when the paddle steamship SS Sirius, the first ship to steam across the Atlantic from east to west, went aground in dense fog off Ballycotton and was subsequently wrecked. Twenty passengers and crew drowned but about seventy survived. The loss confirmed to the authorities that Capel Island was the wrong site for the lighthouse. Prompted into action they capped the unfinished Capel Island lighthouse and began working on the construction of a lighthouse on Ballycotton Island. The work was completed by 1851 when the light was first lit. Although Capel Island lighthouse remains incomplete it still serves as a very useful navigational beacon to distinguish Youghal Bay.


Capel Island with Ballycotton Island seen in the backdrop
Image: Burke Corbett


Visitors to Knockadoon will find the wonderful 'Knockadoon Head Loop', that starts at landing slip, the perfect way to explore the sights of the area. This moderate 7.5 km walk loops around the eastern of the two headlands that define the East Cork coastline. The walk runs first on the cliff edge on the east then south before it turns inland to return to Knockadoon Pier by road. From the harbour, a very good walking trail leads to Knockadoon Head that provides visitors with excellent views out over the Atlantic and Youghal Bay. This leads out to the signal tower that will be seen to be a remarkably complete example of the series of towers with its next easternmost tower on Ram Head on the opposite side of Youghal Bay clearly visible.


Knockadoon Head with the watch station and signal tower
Image: John Finn


Knockadoon Tower retains salient features such as machicolations and slate-hung walls. Nearby the tower stands a much smaller, concrete lookout post from the 'Emergency', as the Second World War was called in Ireland.

Knockadoon Signal Tower as seen at dusk
Image: John Finn
The walkaway also provides excellent views over Capel Island that provides for an interesting and unusual excursion for the adventurous. The island is a Birdwatch Ireland nature reserve today and permission to land must be obtained from birdwatchireland.com. With consent, it is possible to land a dinghy on a projecting northwest low headland, from the centre of the island on the northwest side. Two small tidal landing beaches will also be found on either side of the foot of this headland. From there it is possible to scramble up to the top of the island.

It is important not to disturb the birdlife as it is home to about 50 pairs of Cormorants in summer and too smaller numbers of Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls and Fulmars. Other birds living on the cliffs include Choughs, Ravens and Peregrine Falcons. The land has a mixture of grasses and plentiful shelter that a small heard of tame goats make the best of. They will be seen popping up behind a wall or scooting along the clifftop. Around the island, as well as the anchoring area of the slip, it is also possible to see many sea mammals swimming offshore, most commonly the Grey Seal, though sometimes whales and dolphins pass by.


Knockadoon Head Loop Walk pathway
Image: Michael Harpur


The island is uninhabited and, in all probability, was ever thus. Man has probably had less influence on the ecology of sea cliffs of the little island than that of any other habitat in Ireland. The only mark of mankind is the tower, including the domed roof, is approximately 7.5 metres high and the base about 6 metres in diameter. It then tapers to about 5.2 metres at the top. Stone walls surround the building and a small square out-house. Today the building has a locked gate so it is not possible to explore inside.

From a sailing perspective, Knockadoon Slip provides an excellent anchoring location in good conditions with ample to explore for a stopover. Being just within Knockadoon Head, it also makes a very useful passage stopover for a lunch break or vessels looking to turn in for the night. Similarly, it makes a good tide wait location for vessels planning on entering Youghal.


What facilities are available?
Apart from the slip there is a seasonal pub where food may be had. The nearest shops and facilities are at Ballymacoda situated about 5km to the west.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel anchored off Knockadoon.


With thanks to:
Local fisherman.







Overviews of Knockadoon Head and Capel Iseland


About Knockadoon Slip

The name Knockadoon, from the Gaelic Cnoc an Dún, meaning 'Hill of the Fortress' suggesting the site was the seat of a chieftain in prehistoric times. Sited at the tip of one of the Old Red Sandstone ridges that form the southwest of Ireland it would have made a naturally defensive position.


Knockadoon Head with its signature signal tower
Image: Michael Harpur


Although nothing remains of the ancient fort Knockadoon Head’s signature square Napoleonic Signal tower sited at the highest point on this headland remains a prominent mark. At the beginning of the 19th-century, the British forces in Ireland feared a French invasion. Between 1804 and 1805 a series of 81 signal towers were established around the coast of Ireland to counter this threat. These were situated on strategically high and often remote, exposed locations such as Knockadoon and all the towers had inter-visibility with their 'neighbours' in a daisy chain formation.


Napoleonic-era signal tower on Knockadoon Head
Image: John Finn


The Signal towers were typically two bays wide and two storeys high and were not specifically designed as strongholds. They only quartered eight to twelve men who could only hold out against a small attacking force. Rather their purpose was to house signalling crews with the singular objective of spotting an incoming invasion fleet and then, by means of flags and balls on a mast in front of the tower, communicate the sighting. The knowledge of the invasion force and its location would then travel through the series of towers to the government in Dublin who could direct best direct its forces. But they were built for an invasion that would never come and when Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, in 1815, the threat of a French invasion diminished. This, together with the high maintenance costs, caused the abandonment of most of the weather-beaten towers.


Knockadoon Slip's origins revolve around a customs outpost
Image: Michael Harpur


Knockadoon Slip, as we see it today, most likely came about as part of a series of coastguard stations that were established in the early 1800s. It was part of the coast-guard district of Youghal which also included Ballycotton and Ballymacoda who had stations also established at the time. These were set up to combat smuggling and carry out search and rescue operations at sea. The small slip and breakwater today provides a base for several small fishing vessels to ply their trade and it has recently seen some investment. Above the slip is a building that is home to the Knockadoon Camp, a Dominican summer school youth camp based on Christian values.


Capel Island
Image: John Finn


The area’s most prominent feature is the attractive 37-metres high Capel Island. An offshore outcrop of the Old Red Sandstone the island is very small having just over ten acres in total. It acquired its name from a Gaelicised form of Oileán an Cháplaigh describing the Norman family, de Capelle, who was granted the island after the Norman invasion in the 12th-century. The local family name Supple derives from the Norman antecedent.

SS Sirius
Image: Public Domain
The dominant feature of the island is its tower set on its highest point. The building is the stub of an uncompleted 19th-century lighthouse which has an interesting story. Between 1826 and 1846, repeated requests were been made to the Ballast Board for the construction of a lighthouse on Capel Island. Although started, Capel Island’s lighthouse construction was lacklustre and came to a halt owing to indecision with the Ballast Board. It was their preference to site lighthouses at Ballycotton and Youghal Harbour as they thought Capel Island would be ineffective.

The dispute kept the coast of East Cork dark and the authorities in a malaise January 1847 when the paddle steamship SS Sirius, the first ship to steam across the Atlantic from east to west, went aground in dense fog off Ballycotton and was subsequently wrecked. Twenty passengers and crew drowned but about seventy survived. The loss confirmed to the authorities that Capel Island was the wrong site for the lighthouse. Prompted into action they capped the unfinished Capel Island lighthouse and began working on the construction of a lighthouse on Ballycotton Island. The work was completed by 1851 when the light was first lit. Although Capel Island lighthouse remains incomplete it still serves as a very useful navigational beacon to distinguish Youghal Bay.


Capel Island with Ballycotton Island seen in the backdrop
Image: Burke Corbett


Visitors to Knockadoon will find the wonderful 'Knockadoon Head Loop', that starts at landing slip, the perfect way to explore the sights of the area. This moderate 7.5 km walk loops around the eastern of the two headlands that define the East Cork coastline. The walk runs first on the cliff edge on the east then south before it turns inland to return to Knockadoon Pier by road. From the harbour, a very good walking trail leads to Knockadoon Head that provides visitors with excellent views out over the Atlantic and Youghal Bay. This leads out to the signal tower that will be seen to be a remarkably complete example of the series of towers with its next easternmost tower on Ram Head on the opposite side of Youghal Bay clearly visible.


Knockadoon Head with the watch station and signal tower
Image: John Finn


Knockadoon Tower retains salient features such as machicolations and slate-hung walls. Nearby the tower stands a much smaller, concrete lookout post from the 'Emergency', as the Second World War was called in Ireland.

Knockadoon Signal Tower as seen at dusk
Image: John Finn
The walkaway also provides excellent views over Capel Island that provides for an interesting and unusual excursion for the adventurous. The island is a Birdwatch Ireland nature reserve today and permission to land must be obtained from birdwatchireland.com. With consent, it is possible to land a dinghy on a projecting northwest low headland, from the centre of the island on the northwest side. Two small tidal landing beaches will also be found on either side of the foot of this headland. From there it is possible to scramble up to the top of the island.

It is important not to disturb the birdlife as it is home to about 50 pairs of Cormorants in summer and too smaller numbers of Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls and Fulmars. Other birds living on the cliffs include Choughs, Ravens and Peregrine Falcons. The land has a mixture of grasses and plentiful shelter that a small heard of tame goats make the best of. They will be seen popping up behind a wall or scooting along the clifftop. Around the island, as well as the anchoring area of the slip, it is also possible to see many sea mammals swimming offshore, most commonly the Grey Seal, though sometimes whales and dolphins pass by.


Knockadoon Head Loop Walk pathway
Image: Michael Harpur


The island is uninhabited and, in all probability, was ever thus. Man has probably had less influence on the ecology of sea cliffs of the little island than that of any other habitat in Ireland. The only mark of mankind is the tower, including the domed roof, is approximately 7.5 metres high and the base about 6 metres in diameter. It then tapers to about 5.2 metres at the top. Stone walls surround the building and a small square out-house. Today the building has a locked gate so it is not possible to explore inside.

From a sailing perspective, Knockadoon Slip provides an excellent anchoring location in good conditions with ample to explore for a stopover. Being just within Knockadoon Head, it also makes a very useful passage stopover for a lunch break or vessels looking to turn in for the night. Similarly, it makes a good tide wait location for vessels planning on entering Youghal.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Ballycotton - 3.8 miles SW
White Bay - 9.4 miles WSW
Aghada - 8 miles W
Northeast of Great Island - 7.7 miles W
East Ferry Marina - 8 miles W
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Youghal - 2.5 miles NNE
Ardmore Bay - 4.2 miles NE
Helvick - 9.6 miles NE
Dungarvan Town Quay - 9.5 miles NE
Ballynacourty (The Pool) - 9.9 miles NE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Knockadoon Slip.








































Overviews of Knockadoon Head and Capel Iseland



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