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Dún Laoghaire Harbour

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Overview





Dún Laoghaire is situated on the east coast of Ireland within the southern end of Dublin Bay. It is a busy town and extensive port that is the primary centre for yachting in Ireland. The harbour offers an 820 berth marina plus the moorings and jetty’s that belong to the four local clubs based there. Anchoring is prohibited in the harbour area itself but it is possible to anchor outside.

The large port offers complete protection from all conditions. An exception to this is the outer yacht club moorings in the eastern harbour. They tend to be uncomfortable, if not untenable, in strong northerly to north-easterly conditions that send a swell in through the harbour entrance. The harbour’s deep and wide entrance provides safe access at all stages of tides, night and day, in all reasonable conditions.
Please note

Early afternoon visitors should maintain a watch for the Holyhead Highspeed Sea Services (HSS). As of 2014, it runs a single daily service arriving at the harbour at 1300 and departing about half an hour later. It moves fast, has right of way, and should not be impeded.




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Keyfacts for Dún Laoghaire Harbour
Facilities
Water available via tapDiesel fuel available alongsidePetrol available alongsideGas availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway 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 areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaInternet via a wireless access point availableDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaTrolley or cart available for unloading and loadingMSD (marine sanitation device) pump out facilitiesHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBoatyard with hard-standing available here; covered or uncoveredMarine 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 areaTrain or tram service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresCar hire available in the areaTourist Information office availableHandicapped access supportedShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationMarina or pontoon berthing facilitiesAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementQuick and easy access from open waterSailing Club baseUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large city

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
December 3rd 2018

Summary

A completely protected location with safe access.

Facilities
Water available via tapDiesel fuel available alongsidePetrol available alongsideGas availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway 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 areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaInternet via a wireless access point availableDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaTrolley or cart available for unloading and loadingMSD (marine sanitation device) pump out facilitiesHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBoatyard with hard-standing available here; covered or uncoveredMarine 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 areaTrain or tram service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresCar hire available in the areaTourist Information office availableHandicapped access supportedShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationMarina or pontoon berthing facilitiesAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementQuick and easy access from open waterSailing Club baseUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large city

Considerations
Note: harbour fees may be charged



 +353 1 2020040     HM  +353 1 2808074      info@dlmarina.com      Ch.M, 16
Position and approaches
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Haven position

53° 17.979' N, 006° 8.368' W

This is set in the marina situated in the west side of the harbour.

What is the initial fix?

The following Dún Laoghaire initial fix will set up a final approach:
53° 18.280' N, 006° 7.390' W
This waypoint is 400 metres northeast of the East Pier head Fl (2) R 10s 16m 17M.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location. Details for vessels approaching from the south are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Dublin Bay to Rosslare Harbour Route location. Vessels approaching from the south may find a useful set of waypoints and directions for Dalkey Sound in the routes entry Dublin to Killiney Bay via Dalkey Sound 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 Dún Laoghaire Harbour for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Dalkey Sound - 1.5 miles SE
  2. Sorrento Point - 1.5 miles SE
  3. Dublin Port (Poolbeg Marina) - 2.4 miles NW
  4. Bray Harbour - 3.5 miles SSE
  5. Balscadden Bay - 3.7 miles NNE
  6. Howth - 3.9 miles NNE
  7. Carrigeen Bay - 4.2 miles NNE
  8. Malahide - 5.8 miles N
  9. Greystones - 5.8 miles SSE
  10. Talbot’s Bay - 7.3 miles NNE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Dalkey Sound - 1.5 miles SE
  2. Sorrento Point - 1.5 miles SE
  3. Dublin Port (Poolbeg Marina) - 2.4 miles NW
  4. Bray Harbour - 3.5 miles SSE
  5. Balscadden Bay - 3.7 miles NNE
  6. Howth - 3.9 miles NNE
  7. Carrigeen Bay - 4.2 miles NNE
  8. Malahide - 5.8 miles N
  9. Greystones - 5.8 miles SSE
  10. Talbot’s Bay - 7.3 miles NNE
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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How to get in?
Dún Laoghaire
Image: Fáilte Ireland


Dún Laoghaire is a large commercial port that caters for ferries and fishing vessels, and is the largest centre of yachting in the country. It is situated on the south side of Dublin Bay and entered between Sorrento Point and the Ben of Howth peninsula located 5.8 miles north by northeast. The harbour is located two miles to the northwest of Sorrento Point.

The harbour area is enclosed by two magnificent granite piers that extend arm like from the shore in the direction of Howth. Within these arms are four harbours in all; the main outer harbour, the marina harbour that is totally protected by its own breakwater and the two inner harbours of the Coal Harbour, 2 metres at LW, and the inner harbour which partially dries.




Convergance Point Vessels should find no dangers in the Dublin Bay approaches into Dún Laoghaire. The town spires of St. Michael’s Church and Mariner’s Church along with the slightly higher Dún Laoghaire pierhead light of the East Breakwater, will make the port unmistakable from anywhere in the bay area.



On closer approaches, from April to October, expect numerous yacht racing marker buoys to be moored throughout the southern side of the bay. Vessels approaching, or for that matter exiting, in the early afternoon should be prepared to clear the entrance and fairway for the HSS. As of 2014, the HSS runs once per day. It comes in at 1300, sounding one long blast as it approaches the East Pier to warn other vessels. Once inside the harbour, it turns through 180° so as to face out for its departure which is typically about half an hour later. The HSS has priority over all other craft and it is essential that all leisure craft stay well clear of the ferry at all times.

Initial fix location From the initial fix, set outside the entrance, the harbour and its piers will have been readily apparent for many miles. A lighthouse stands on the end of each pier head and the entrance between is 232 metres wide with depths of between 6 to 8 metres.

East Pier Head is a 12m Granite Tower, Red Lantern, Fl (2) R 8s 16m 17M.

West Pier Head, 9m Granite Tower, Green Lantern Fl (3)G 8s 11m 7M.


Entering the harbour is straight-forward but allowances should be made for some tidal streams across the mouth of the entrance. There are no off-lying dangers outside the harbour although it is advisable to keep at least 15 metres off the pier heads. Particularly so the East Pier that has drying boulders that extend out eight metres westward of its foot.
Please note

The West Pier should likewise be avoided as it is the usual favourite spot for anglers with long lines. They throw stones to ward off any vessel that comes too close to their lines.





Immediately inside the entrance of Fairway No. 1 are the private moorings belonging to the yacht clubs to the east of the entrance. This area of the harbour has a maintained depth of 5 metres and leads to the ferry terminal at St. Michael’s Pier in the south-eastern section of the harbour.


Haven location Within the harbour there are several berthing opportunities. Most visiting vessels will be staying in the 820 berth Dún Laoghaire Marina which caters for yachts of up to 25 metres LOA. Contactable via VHF: Ch. 37, P: +353 1 2020040 it is located behind two breakwaters in the southwest corner of the harbour. The marina entrance is marked by Port and Starboard lateral marks. From there pass between the Western and Eastern Marina Breakwaters to round back into the marina.

The marina has two areas. The main marina joined to the land and a floating marina with no shore access. The floating marina is served by a ferry service and these berths usually cost about 40% less than those of the shore connected pontoons.

Further to the southwest is the Traders Wharf with its excellent fish shop and the Coal Harbour. There are no facilities for visitors here and it is used by small yachts and fishing boats. Further in is the Old Quay, that protects the shallow inner harbour, where the 'Dún Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club' and pontoon is located. It can be accessed from half tide rising and has a floating pontoon. It provides an excellent slipway for running repairs or antifouling where a charge of 50 euros can be expected.

Each yacht club has a pontoon or mini-marina that may be used by arrangement. The moorings in the west bight of the harbour have been removed and the moorings in the east bight are being removed progressively to allow the development of Cruise Liner activity.

The three major clubs have permanent secretaries who may be contacted regarding the use of their moorings and facilities. Boats can generally drop in for short periods on club pontoons.

Royal St. George Yacht Club
P: +353 1 280 1208

Royal Irish Yacht Club
P: +353 1 2809452 / 2801559
Sailing Manager Mark Mc Gibney

National Yacht Club P: +353 1 280 5725;
Boathouse P: +353 1 284 1483
Sailing Manager Olivier Prouveur

Dún Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
P: +353 1 280 1370




In fine weather, a vessel may also anchor outside the harbour in Scotsman’s Bay in about 7 metres. It is a good anchorage in winds from west by northwest round through west to south by southeast, with excellent holding in stiff marl with a covering of sand.


Why visit here?
Dún Laoghaire derives its name from the 5th-century High King of Ireland Lóegaire mac Néill. Dún' being the Irish word meaning 'fort' the town's name means "fort of Laoghaire". Lóegaire chose this location to be his sea base from which he would carry out raids on Britain and France. He is also famous for having allowed Saint Patrick to travel the country and preach Christianity, and to have smuggled him out to Wales.

The earliest village in Dún Laoghaire was located around the area where "The Purty Kitchen" pub is now situated, and which is sometimes now known as "Old Dunleary". At that time, the area on which the town was situated was a craggy, rocky pasture area with some salt quarries. A pier was established here in 1767, now known as the "coal harbour", but it had rapidly silted up. The present magnificent harbour and town of Dún Laoghaire date to the 1820s when it was born out of a sea tragedy.

On the 19 November 1807, several troopships left Dublin carrying troops bound for the Napoleonic war. On departure, the sea began to swell. Then immediately out at sea, the wind speed increased to storm force and sleet and snow fell with such intensity that visibility was reduced to almost zero. Then the wind blew hard from the east driving the ships back towards the shore. In the melee, the crews may not have realised how close they were to the shore and the next day two ships, the brig Rochdale and H.M. Packet ship Prince of Wales, were driven onto the rocks between Blackrock and Dún Laoghaire. The combined loss of lives from both these troop ships was more than 400. Afterwards tales of the troops been deliberately locked below deck while the ship's captain and crew escaped emerged and there was despicable looting along the shoreline.

Prior to this tragedy Dublin Bay had been seen as notoriously treacherous for ships. The remains of at least 600 vessels are said to rest at the bottom of the bay. Although Dublin port provided complete protection, it was hampered then by a sandbar. Entering and exiting ships could only access the port at high tide and many were lost whilst waiting for the tide. A long-standing issue campaign to bring about the construction of an ‘Asylum Harbour’ for sailing ships in trouble within Dublin Bay had been to date largely ignored. The impact of having 400 bodies washing up on an urban shore had an immediate effect on public and official opinion.

With the new impetus the existing campaign received requisite support and the construction of what was initially called Dunleary, then Kingstown, and now Dún Laoghaire Harbour was the result. The legislation authorising the construction of what is now called the "West Pier" was passed in 1816. It took more than 600 men 42 years to complete the harbour as a whole, 1817 to 1859, and cost over one million pounds to build at the time. The end result was one of the largest harbours in the country with magnificent granite piers at the entrance. The East Pier is one mile long and the West Pier is even longer. It encloses a space of 250 acres and the two arms have protected ships in the most adverse of weather conditions except occasionally when northeasterly gales strike. Arriving at Howth, King George IV visited in 1821 and when departing from Dún Laoghaire gave it the name of Kingstown.


The lines of the current town centre stemmed from the development of the harbour. In 1834 Ireland's first railway, from Dublin to Kingstown, terminated near the West Pier. It established Kingstown as a preferred suburb of Dublin, and this led to the construction of its elegant residential terraces. The railway changed Kingstown into a Victorian-era seaside resort of which many vestiges remain today. The town returned to its former name in 1921, in the lead-up to the creation of the Irish Free State.

Dún Laoghaire, when it was known as Kingstown, in about 1895
Image: Public Domain


Today Dún Laoghaire is a major ferry port and commuter town for Dublin but it has much to offer a visitor. The magnificent harbour is its centrepiece with its rich array of fine Victorian, Edwardian, and contemporary buildings. Walking the East Pier is the most popular tourist activity here; the west pier is longer but the surface of the pier is less suitable for walking. Many objects that today encircle the harbour are a reminder of its colonial and seaside past. The East Pier bandstand was restored to its original condition in 2010 and still-functioning tea rooms can be enjoyed in the traditional Victorian-style People's Park. The Queen Victoria Fountain, erected in Dun Laoghaire in 1901 to commemorate her last visit to Ireland via Dun Laoghaire harbour, was restored in 2003.

The National Maritime Museum of Ireland is housed in "Mariners' Church", directly inland from the East Pier, and it is a ‘must see’ for a coastal cruiser. The new Heritage Centre in the Goat Castle on Dalkey’s Castle Street celebrates the town’s history as well as hosting art exhibitions, and programmes of music and drama. In addition to this, the town features a wide array of restaurants, pubs, shops, and seaside activities. Ten or fifteen minutes’ drive from the harbour will be enough to enjoy excellent golfing, hill-walking on the ‘Wicklow Way’ and a host of other outdoor activities in the spectacular countryside.

The town also has a deep literary history. James Joyce stayed with Oliver St John Gogarty in the nearby Sandycove Martello tower. This tower, now known as the James Joyce Tower and containing a small museum, was immortalised in the opening chapter of Joyce's Ulysses. Samuel Beckett is said to have experienced an artistic epiphany, alluded to in his play Krapp's Last Tape, while sitting on the end of one of Dún Laoghaire's piers. A bronze plaque marks the spot today. Likewise, Nobel Prize Winner George Bernard Shaw of Pygmalion fame lived nearby in Dalkey.




From a boating perspective, Dún Laoghaire is one of the largest harbours in the country and a hub for yachting activity. Being a large town south of the capital, Dún Laoghaire has everything a cruising vessel could need within a short walk from the marina. It also offers public transport access to Dublin and all its resources and tourist attractions. This makes Dún Laoghaire a premier sailing location.




What facilities are available?
From a boating perspective Dún Laoghaire is a major yachting centre and it has virtually everything you could need including lift out, repairs, fuel, chandlery, reprovisions and general shopping.

In addition Dublin is nearby via the DART suburban railway or the frequent bus service, and it also has a ferry connection to Holyhead on Anglesey, Wales. Beside the railway station is the terminus of the 46A bus (Dún Laoghaire — City Centre (An Lár)), the most frequent and heavily used bus route in Dublin.

Dublin international airport is at the opposite side of the city but accessible via Blue Aircoach every 30 minutes from the harbour area.


Any security concerns?
The Marina facility is secured with swipe card activated locked gates and CCTV surveillance.


With thanks to:
Francis Butler & Burke Corbett local sailors. Photography with thanks to Sabrina Manfield, Eric Jones, Benjamin Nagel, William Murphy, jwd, wilcon 247, jaquin, isol, Donal Mountain, Michael Harpur, Christine Matthews and John Coxon.


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













































Drone harbour view Part 1.




Drone harbour view Part 2.




Dun Laoghaire - A Day in the Life by filmmaker Ian Thuillier



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Add your review or comment:


Rodolphe Thimonier wrote this review on Jun 22nd 2016:

Excellent shelter in all conditions. A big and modern marina with most of services available (and the price that comes with it), but charmless and feeling more like a police station than a hotel. Being in the city center where you can find all sorts of shops, including a fairly decent chandlery, it is however a good place for a technical pit stop. NB: They claim that they have the cheapest diesel of the East coast.

Average Rating: Unrated

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