The well protected and enclosed river anchorage offers good protection from almost all conditions. Safe access is available, preferably by day, from the River Shannon fairway.
Keyfacts for Hog Island
SummaryA good location with safe access.
Position and approaches
Haven position52° 37.400' N, 009° 29.838' W
This is about 200 metres off the northwest side of Hog Island and on the edge of the channel where at least 2 metres will be found.
What is the initial fix?
What are the key points of the approach?
Not what you need?
How to get in?
Image: Burke Corbett
Hog Island is a small island in the Shannon Estuary off the entrance to Kilrush. It lies about midway between Scattery Island and the mainland to the northeast. The island is dominated by the larger Scattery Island that has the remarkable ecclesiastical ruins on its slopes. Conspicuous among these is one of the finest pillar or round towers in Ireland. Rising to a height of 26 metres above the ground it retains a vertical position and conical cap. Both islands are encircled by shoals.
Vessels approaching from Kilrush will find ample water by following the Kilrush Channel, from the red and white spherical Lt Buoy at its entrance, past Cappagh Pier then to the northeast side of Hog Island.
Scattery Island (Rineanna Pt.) - lighthouse Fl (2) 8s 15m 10M position: 52°36.347'N, 009°31.067'W
Hog Island lies about midway between Scattery Island and the mainland to the northeast. Its shore is composed of low cliffs based on a stony foreshore that encircle the island and run off into extensive flats.
From the initial fix, approximately abreast Aylevarroo Point, steer for the narrows between Hog Island and the mainland tending to the port, western or island side, side of the channel. This is to avoid the unmarked Wolf Rock that has 1 metre of cover and is located about 200 metres off the mainland in the narrowest stretch of the cut. The passage on the western side has a navigable width of about 200 metres with a least charted depth of 5.2 metres in the fairway.
Once through the cut the channel widens again and the anchorage is to be found within a few hundred metres off the northeast side of the island. Anchor outside the local boats and moorings where excellent holding is to be had in sand and mud.
Owing to the strength of the currents in the channel it may be better to move the vessel over and anchor off. Temporary anchorages can be found 50 metres southeast of Cappagh Pier in a depth of 1.5 metres, with good holding ground, 200 metres off the pierhead but the latter is much more exposed and the holding ground is poor.
The outer berth on the pier supports depths of 3 - 4 metres LWS, 7.9 metres at MHWS, 6.4 metres at MHWN. It is constantly used by the pilot boats. Therefore no berth should take place here nor should a vessel raft up to a pilot boat. The middle berth has 2. 1 metres less and the inner berths dry. These may be used by yachts for short times in suitable conditions.
Image: Burke Corbett
Why visit here?Hog Island is somewhat overwhelmed by its neighbouring and highly remarkable Scattery Island. The small grassy drumlin-like island is privately owned and plays host to a few horses and goats but little else.
The facing little village of Cappagh and its pier have an interesting history. The pier projects 152 metres into Kilrush Channel today but it was not always as long and the original shorter inner section dates back to 1764. Being a key port for vessels trading in grain and other commodities along the Clare coast and up the River Shannon as far as Limerick, it was pivotal in the development of the town of Kilrush. Its key advantage was its access, shelter and the depth of water it supported, to enable larger vessels to come alongside here. The customs house near the quay dates back to 1806 highlighting the level of steamer activity that had developed here by then.
Today the pier still accommodates freighters of up to 100 metres with a 5-metre draught. On occasions, a vessel will berth here typically bringing timber to the local mill. Its primary use is however by the Shannon pilots that berth at the head of the pier. The pilot station is situated near the pier on the north side of Kilrush Channel. It is also used as a local leisure destination with the Shannon estuary’s only blue flag beach immediately north of the pier, with a playground behind.
From a boating perspective, Hog Island is an ideal wait point for a tide to access Kilrush, as most yachts cannot enter at LWS. It also makes for an ideal evening anchorage to await a morning, daylight or working-hours entrance into the marina. But this overlooks what is a perfectly serviceable anchorage, with Cappagh just a quarter of a mile from the berth, the well-protected Hog Island is a very useful berth to come alongside or to anchor off the head.
What facilities are available?There are no facilities here except for the resources of the mainland's small village of Cappagh accessible via the pier. Almost everything a coastal cruiser requires may be obtained at Kilrush.
Any security concerns?Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel anchored off Hog Island.
With thanks to:Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photography with thanks Charles W Glynn and Burke Corbett.
Scattery Island and Hog Island area short overview
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.