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Boatstrand Harbour

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Overview





Boatstrand Harbour, also known after its headland Dunabrattin, is a small coastal pier situated on the south coast of Ireland approximately ten miles northeast of Dungarvan and twelve miles west of the Waterford Harbour Estuary. The secluded tidal harbour provides an anchorage off its entrance and boats that can take to the bottom can dry within its walls.

This is an exposed fair-weather anchorage as Dunabrattin Head affords little protection and the harbour is open to swell rolling in through its entrance at high water. The bay has unimpeded seaward approaches making access and anchoring very straightforward.



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Keyfacts for Boatstrand Harbour
Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
2 stars: Exposed; unattended vessels should be watched from the shore and a comfortable overnight stay is unlikely.



Last modified
April 18th 2020

Summary

An exposed location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 8.247' N, 007° 18.142' W

This is the northern head of the pier.

What is the initial fix?

The following Dunabrattin initial fix will set up a final approach:
52° 7.980' N, 007° 17.628' W
This is ¾ of a mile southeast of the harbour on the 10 metre contour.


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.


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 Boatstrand Harbour for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Stradbally Cove - 3.7 miles WSW
  2. Helvick - 6.4 miles WSW
  3. Port of Waterford - 6.4 miles NE
  4. Ballynacourty (The Pool) - 6.5 miles WSW
  5. Little Island - 6.8 miles NE
  6. Dunmore East - 7.2 miles E
  7. Dungarvan Town Quay - 7.4 miles WSW
  8. Creadan Head - 8.2 miles ENE
  9. Seedes Bank - 8.4 miles ENE
  10. Passage East - 8.5 miles ENE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Stradbally Cove - 3.7 miles WSW
  2. Helvick - 6.4 miles WSW
  3. Port of Waterford - 6.4 miles NE
  4. Ballynacourty (The Pool) - 6.5 miles WSW
  5. Little Island - 6.8 miles NE
  6. Dunmore East - 7.2 miles E
  7. Dungarvan Town Quay - 7.4 miles WSW
  8. Creadan Head - 8.2 miles ENE
  9. Seedes Bank - 8.4 miles ENE
  10. Passage East - 8.5 miles ENE
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?
Boatstrand Pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Boatstrand is a small artificial harbour situated on the northeast side of Dunabrattin Head. The small secluded fishing harbour, set into the foot of the headland, dries out entirely to its east-facing entrance.

In settled conditions or offshore winds, it is possible to anchor off the entrance to the harbour in depths of 3 to 5 metres or vessels that can take to the bottom may come in and dry over its sands against the harbour walls.


How to get in?
Boatstrand situated to the northeast side of Dunabrattin Head
Image: Michael Harpur


Western Approach Use southeastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour Route location for seaward approaches. Dunbrattin Head is situated 5 miles westward of Tramore Bay and nearly 10 miles eastward of Ballynacourtney Point on the entrance to Dungarvan. There are no outlying danger in this immediate area of the harbour and maintaining a distance of ¼ of a mile offshore clears all dangers.


Boatstrand as seen from outside
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location Steer towards the small harbours east-facing entrance from the initial fix as there are no off-lying dangers.

Local Boats inside Boatstrand Harbour
Image: Colin Park via CC BY-SA 2.0


Haven location Anchor according to draft and conditions outside the entrance keeping clear of the rocky reefs that flank either side of the entrance. Vessels that can take to the hard can come alongside the pier and dry out at high water.


Why visit here?
Boatstrand, in Irish Trá na mBád, takes its names directly from its use. Back before the 1880s, local fishermen would use the protection provided by Dunabrattin Head and the little beach it created here to pull their small craft up to safety.


Without its piers the beach would provide a naturally secure area to launch a
boat

Image: Michael Harpur


Dunabrattin Head takes its name from its iron age promontory forts that was the largest along Waterford's coastline. 'Dún' in Gaelic means a fort and the Celtic clan who lived in the clifftop location around 2,000 years ago were called the 'Brattins, hence the name of Dunabrattin.
The headland's entire surrounding area is rich in cultural heritage, with Neolithic dolmens, pre-Christian inscribed stones, the remains of medieval churches.


Dunabrattin Head close southwest of the harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


The cliffs around the harbour are part of Waterford’s Copper Coast UNESCO Geopark and hold an earlier historic interest for many. The Copper Coast is a beautifully diverse area containing records of Palaeozoic volcanos and the last ice age. The rock is mostly red sandstone or conglomerate, and it takes its name from its 18th-century lead, silver and principally copper mining. Mining for copper was at its seminal years in 1840 at the neighbouring village of Bunmahon. But once the resources were exhausted, and the miners had smelled gold in the US in 1879, entire extended families moved away, mainly to America.

The remains of the copper mines at Tankardstown
Image: Tourism Ireland


You do not have to travel far to see the features of Waterford’s Copper Coast. Immediately east of the harbour is a soft mudstone laid in an Antarctic ocean 460 million years ago. Further east lava dykes can be seen intruding into the mudstone and baking it into a harder consistency. At various places on the cliffs and on fallen rocks, patches of iron pyrite often called Fools gold, glitter in the sun.


The easily defended Dunabrattin Head promontory as seen from the west
Image: Tourism Ireland


The little harbour itself was built in the late 1880s as part of a movement around the Irish coasts to providing safer harbour facilities, as much for locals’ convenience as for security and ease of control, customs, and many other coalescing justifications. The access road was first hewn out of the craggy headland and then the pier was set in place. Bollards with the date 1884 impressed on them can still be seen today. The inner breakwater came much later and ever since the two have provided local craft with a protective embrace. On the cliffs, behind the harbour, is a well and the remains of a 19th-century lime kiln, and an area which was also explored for copper at that time.


Waterford’s Copper Coast UNESCO Geopark
Image: Tourism Ireland


The construction supervisor for the harbour was James O’Gorman who was allowed to build a house for himself on an upper part of the promontory where he settled. After completion, he commenced a coal importation business that continued up until World War II which forcibly brought operations to an end. During the 'Emergency', as World War II was known in Ireland, Dunabrattin Head was once again made a defence site having a concrete look-out post added to its extremity.


Tra na mBó beach close to Bunmahon
Image: Public Domain


Today the area consists of around 14 cottages, and the harbour is a hub of activity especially in the summer months. A small fishing fleet and leisure craft launch from its slip and piers. Dunabrattin Head is very popular with anglers as it is reportedly one of the best fishing spots in County Waterford. This is due to the rocks at the end of the head which attracts fish such as mackerel because of the warmer temperatures there.


Boatstrand's protective arms
Image: Michael Harpur


It is also a popular point for sea bathing with many swimmers using Boatstrand as the finishing point for their swim. The ebbing tide on the beach to the east reveals rock pools, miniature universes in themselves. At low tide, the ubiquitous bladder-rack dominates with its blister-like 'bladders' and its rounded regular leaves. The thin red strips of dilisk, called 'dulse' elsewhere in Ireland, left plastered on the rocks by the ebb of the water are a local delicacy once washed and boiled.


The small Boatstrand Harbour is popular with anglers today
Image: Colin Park via CC BY-SA 2.0


'The Dún', as it is locally known is a short walk from the harbour and the Dunabrattin defensive features are still very much in evidence. A fosse and embankment across the headland formed the fort and it covered an area of around 6 hectares. From here, at the outer end of Dunabrattin Head, there is a fine coastal panorama east towards Tramore and west to Dungarvan Bay and Helvick Head. Silhouetted behind are the great blocks of the Comeragh Mountains. Those who stride out along the cliff-tops will find the debris from the glaciers deposited a mere 12,000 years ago. Good views of sea-arches and sea-stacks are presented along the cliff tops as one proceeds west from Boatstrand.


Annestown Beach
Image: Tourism Ireland


The Copper Coast Geo Park Visitor Centre is housed in an old church near the beach in Bunmahon. You pass the haunting remains of the copper industry at Tankardstown along the way. In the opposite direction, close east of the harbour, is the very popular Annestown beach with a shallow gradually shelving strand. It is a popular destination for surfers when there is a large swell up.

From a boating perspective, Boatstrand is an exposed location save for those that can dry in the harbour during a settled period. However, it makes for a wonderful stop and coastal walk for those passing along the coast.


What facilities are available?
There is nothing here except for a landing pier and its slipway.


Any security concerns?
A yacht is most likely to be completely alone anchored off this pier and away from any interference.


With thanks to:
eOceanic.com research.




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