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Cahersiveen

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Overview





Cahersiveen is located on Ireland's west coast, on the south side of the entrance to Dingle Bay and two miles upriver from Knightstown, Valentia. It offers a small but well-sheltered marina close to the provincial town of Cahersiveen and the possibility of anchoring off in the river.

Cahersiveen is located on Ireland's west coast, on the south side of the entrance to Dingle Bay and two miles upriver from Knightstown, Valentia. It offers a small but well-sheltered marina close to the provincial town of Cahersiveen and the possibility of anchoring off in the river.

The marina provides complete protection and safe access is available in all reasonable conditions. Although completely protected within the harbour and river area, no approach should be made to Valentia Harbour during northwest gales. A heavy sea breaks right across the harbour entrance and you should not attempt either of the entrances that lie on either side of Beginish Island unless you have a highly competent crew with very good local knowledge.



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Keyfacts for Cahersiveen
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableGas availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaTrolley or cart available for unloading and loadingBus service available in the areaBicycle hire available in the areaTourist Information office available


Nature
Remote or quiet secluded locationMarina or pontoon berthing facilitiesAnchoring locationNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: may be subject to a sand barNote: harbour fees may be charged

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
1.9 metres (6.23 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
March 28th 2022

Summary* Restrictions apply

A completely protected location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableGas availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaTrolley or cart available for unloading and loadingBus service available in the areaBicycle hire available in the areaTourist Information office available


Nature
Remote or quiet secluded locationMarina or pontoon berthing facilitiesAnchoring locationNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: may be subject to a sand barNote: harbour fees may be charged



 +353 66 947 2777      +353 87 065 9089      Ch.M or 80
Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 56.892' N, 010° 13.950' W

This is at the entrance to the marina situated in its northeastern corner.


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.
  • Approaches to the river from Knightstown with sufficient depth to clear the deepest part of Caher Bar, 1.4 LAT metres, that is supported by leading marks.

  • Seaward approaches to Valentia Harbour can be found in the Knightstown Click to view haven entry.

  • Approaches to the river from Doulus Bay with sufficient depth to clear the deepest part of Doulus Bar, 2.4 LAT metres.

  • These approaches coverage at the entrance to the fairway that leads the two miles up the river fairway to the marina. There are ample lit port and starboard marks all the way upriver.


  • 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 Cahersiveen for your convenience.
    Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
    1. Cooncrome Harbour (Cuas Crom) - 1.6 nautical miles NW
    2. Knightstown - 2.3 nautical miles SW
    3. Portmagee - 6.2 nautical miles SW
    4. Kells Bay - 6.7 nautical miles NE
    5. Ballinskellig Bay - 8.3 nautical miles S
    6. Ventry Harbour - 11.2 nautical miles NNW
    7. Dingle Harbour - 11.5 nautical miles N
    8. Darrynane Harbour - 11.7 nautical miles SSE
    9. West Cove - 12.6 nautical miles SSE
    10. Great Blasket Island - 14 nautical miles NW
    These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
    1. Cooncrome Harbour (Cuas Crom) - 1.6 miles NW
    2. Knightstown - 2.3 miles SW
    3. Portmagee - 6.2 miles SW
    4. Kells Bay - 6.7 miles NE
    5. Ballinskellig Bay - 8.3 miles S
    6. Ventry Harbour - 11.2 miles NNW
    7. Dingle Harbour - 11.5 miles N
    8. Darrynane Harbour - 11.7 miles SSE
    9. West Cove - 12.6 miles SSE
    10. Great Blasket Island - 14 miles NW
    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?
    Cahersiveen Marina on the River Fertha
    Image: Michael Harpur


    Cahersiveen Marina is located on the south bank of the River Fertha which is charted as the Valentia River and often called the Caher River. It is positioned 2 miles upriver from where the river splits around Beginish Island to flow into the east end of Valentia Harbour and Doulus Bay. The marina is located 200 metres downstream of the Town Quay of Cahersiveen which is the main town on the Iveragh Peninsula.


    Cahersiveen Marina
    Image: Michael Harpur


    The full-service marina has 93 berths and can accommodate vessels drawing up to 2.6 metres in berths of 6, 8, 10 and 12 metres with larger vessels accommodated as requested. Approaches through the River Fertha has depths of not less than 3 metres up to the marina entrance. It is preferable to contact the marina in advance to making berthing arrangments Landline+353 (0) 669 472777, [VHF] ch. M or 80. Visitor overnight rates are in the range of €2.50 euros per metre.

    Vessels may anchor off in the river off of the town of Cahersiveen or the marina.


    How to get in?
    The two approaches around Beginish to the River Fertha
    Image: Michael Harpur


    Convergance Point Use Ireland’s coastal overview for Mizen Head to Loop Head Route location for seaward approaches. The River Fertha flows into the east end of Valentia Harbour about a ½ mile to the northwest of Knightstown. It is entered close east of Beginish Island, between Laght Point on the north and Reenard Point on the south with a distance of ½ a mile between them.

    The River Fertha may be approached from seaward via two principal approaches around Beginish Island:

    • • South around Beginish Island via Valentia Harbour and Knightstown over the Caher Bar with its initial approaches detailed in the Knightstown Click to view haven entry. This then has two approaches over the inner protected waters that are obstructed by the Caher Bar. The deepest cut into the river has a least depth 1.4 metres LAT, is well marked and lies adjacent to the Canganniv Spit. The alternate is a more central path that can be more freely taken with a sufficient rise of tide over the bar that has a depth of 0.6 metres LAT at its shallowest point.

    • • North around Beginish Island via Doulus Bay, then Lough Kay coming around to the north of Beginish Island crossing the deeper Doulus Bar, with 2.4 metres LAT of cover, before entering the river.

    Please note

    There is one other approach from the south side of Portmagee Sound that is obstructed by a bridge which limits access to vessels of low air draught - see Portmagee Click to view haven.



    Via Valentia Harbour

    The astern alignment marks/leading lights leading past the Canganniv Spit
    Image: Michael Harpur


    From Valentia Harbour and Knightstown, pass close east of Canganniv Spit East Cardinal marker, situated on the east end of Beginish Island. This passes the eastern side of the Canganniv Spit which extends almost a ¼ of a mile to the southeast of Beginish Island. This is the deepest part of Caher Bar and it is supported by astern alignment marks with leading lights, Oc.G.6s on wooden poles with faded red and white bands in the Knightstown Harbour area, leading over the bar on 019° T/199° T as best seen on a chart.

    Track along the alignment as the sand bar off Beginish Island, immediately northwest of the track, uncovers at low water. This leads closely past the west side of the fairway's southern starboard No.1 marker buoy and to the entrance where the initial fix is located midway between the No.1 and No. 2 buoys.


    Via Doulus Bay

    The Black Rocks and Lamb Island just visible over Beginish Island
    Image: © Trebography


    This approach through Doulus Bay has the same issue that the principal entrance into Valentia Harbour has in that it cannot be used during strong northwesterlies. It is however also best avoided in rough conditions, especially from the west, or in a high swell as it is not fully protected by Beginish Island and its small northerly Lamb Island. Being that more exposed to the ocean it is subject to breakers over Doulus Bar and it would be best to access the situation if operating on the margins. During these times the best approach is from Valentia Harbour's sheltered waters over Caher Bar. Other than that it provides a deeper path to the River Fertha that is available at all stages of the tide for the vast majority of leisure craft.


    Lamb Island and the Black Rocks (left)
    Image: Adrian Beney via CC BY-SA 2.0


    Steer in from Doulus Bay to pass midway between Black Rocks, lying to the north of Lamb Island, and Enangh Point on the north shore. Locate the isolated danger beacon on Kay Rock and pass to the southwest of the mark, or on either side as convenient, standing off 200 metres, and steer southeastward into Lough Kay. Doulus Bar is crossed about 300 metres beyond Kay Rock with a least depth of 2.4 metres. Pass midway between Passage Rock west cardinal mark and Church Island and then the paths converge at the initial fix is located midway between the No.1 and No. 2 buoys.


    The commencement of the fairway leading to Cahersiveen Marina
    Image: Tourism Ireland


    Initial fix location From the initial the fairway is marked to Cahersiveen 2 miles upriver. It has a least charted depth of 3 metres in the fairway and ample closely spaced and lit port and starboard marks leading the way.


    Cahersiveen Marina two mile upriver from Valentia Harbour
    Image: Michael Harpur


    Haven location The marina will be found on the southeast side of the river, close west of the town quay and a ¼ of a mile below where the river is spanned by a bridge. The tidal flow in the river is strong and it can be somewhat tight for vessels of any size to manoeuvring into the inside berths. The best option is to come alongside the northeast end of the 50 metres long pontoon and await slack water to manoeuvre into the designated berth provided by the marina office. The southwest end of the pontoon is used for fuel.


    Cahersiveen Marina
    Image: Michael Harpur


    Cahersiveen Quay has depths of 3.5 metres alongside and it is also possible to anchor off the quay above in 3 to 5 metres.

    Cahersiveen Quay with its truncated slip
    Image: Michael Harpur


    Land at the truncated slipway at the town pier.


    Why visit here?
    Cahersiveen, pronounced Cáh-ir-siveen and variously spelt Cahercivee and Cahirciveen, derives its name from the Gaelic 'Cathair Saidhbhín', meaning 'stone fort of 'Saidhbhín'.


    Cahergall Stone Fort
    Image: Michael Harpur


    As if to emphasise this name a 40 min (3.7 km) each way walk from the marina leads to the two historic ring forts of Cahergal and Leacanabuaile. Set on crowning windswept bluffs, these overlook the river and town from the north shore from an area known as 'over the water' by the locals in Cahirciveen. The huge stone structures stand less than 200 metres apart and are only 850 metres away from Cooncrome Harbour Click to view haven on the opposite side of the peninsula.


    The lintelled entrance to Cahergall
    Image: Michael Harpur


    Cahergall Fort is the first approach from the road and it derives its name from the Gaelic 'an Chathair Gheal' meaning the Bright Stone Fort. It is a particularly fine stone ringfort, also known as a 'cashel', with a massive dry-stone wall. The flights of steps and terraces, on the inner face of the walls and the upper parts of these, together with the lintelled entrance have been recently reconstructed. So purists may say it is too 'clean and pure' but it is an impressive site and it benefits from seeing it nearer to its true form.



    Steps leading up on the inside to allow access to the top
    Image: Michael Harpur


    The dry-stone walls, which are approximately 6 metres (19 ft 8 in) high and some 3 metres (9 ft 10 in) thick, make it one of the best examples of an early medieval stone fort to be found on the ring of Kerry. The remains of a large circular dry-stone building that lie within the fort indicate that it was the estate of somebody of great standing and their family, guards and servants, 1,000 years ago. Most probably it would have had ancillary out-buildings, and possibly tents or other temporary structures inside and out of which no trace has survived.


    Leacanabuaile Stone Fort on its rocky perch
    Image: Michael Harpur


    Round stone forts like these, which are found mainly in the west of Ireland, are notoriously difficult to date. Some are thought to be Iron Age, about 500 BC to 400 AD, while many are simply stone versions of the common earthen ring fort which was the typical farmstead of the Early Historic period, about 400 to 1200 AD.


    Leacanabuaile Stone Fort as seen from the east
    Image: Michael Harpur


    On the other hand, the nearby Leacanabuaile Stone Fort, from Leaca na Buaile meaning 'the slope of the Booley - summer cow pasture', has been dated to the 9th or 10th centuries. When excavated, 1939 - 40, objects were found that included iron knives, whetstones (with which they were sharpened) and pins, bone combs, bronze, millstones, and lead. These indicate that this was an early medieval 'caher' dating AD that was used as a defended farmstead.


    Leacanabuaile with Cahergall in the backdrop
    Image: Michael Harpur


    Set on a massive rock foundation, the circular structure has an internal diameter of 30 metres (98 ft). The outer walls are over 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) high and 3.3 metres (11 ft) thick which were constructed by building two strong stone wall faces and filling the space between them with smaller stones. Protected on three sides by steep grassy slopes it has its entrance on the east side away from the prevailing wind. This leads into the remains of a roundhouse, the only one of several to survive, and attached to it is a later square house. Inside the roundhouse, there is an entrance to a souterrain (an underground passage), which leads to an opening in the enclosing wall, while a covered drain leads from the square house to the fort entrance. The walls have irregular steps leading up on the inside to allow access to the top and give a view across the countryside. It has also been partly reconstructed but much less so than the Cahergall Fort.


    Ballycarbery Castle
    Image: Michael G Kenny via CC BY-SA 2.0


    Those prepared to extend the hike out to the forts to a couple of hours (5.1 km each way) can visit the nearby ruins of the 16th-century Ballycarbery Castle. Ballycarbery, from the Irish 'Baile-Ui-Cáirbre', 'O'Carbery's town', stands high on a grassy hill facing the sea overlooking the mouth of the bay. There was some kind of residence situated on the site of the castle as early as 1398; however, the present ruins were constructed in the 16th-Century by the McCarthy Clan. The clan imported goods from European cities by the sea and they were quite wealthy. The castle was attacked by Oliver Cromwell's Parliament forces in 1652 during the War of the Three Kingdoms. The damage done by the cannonballs has since been added to by the destructive forces of centuries of Atlantic weather. Nevertheless, the castle with its ivy-covered tower house remains impressive and it is probably the largest and most impressive castle built on the Iveragh Peninsula.

    The 'new' Old Barracks
    Image: Robert Linsdell via CC BY SA 2.0
    But you do not have to venture that far to see outstanding structures, Cahersiveen town has some impressive buildings that lay within a short stroll. The first of which, is the extensive barracks of the former Royal Irish Constabulary, which can be seen from the marina berth, upriver and on the southeast side of the bridge.

    After a green flag was raised on Ballycarberry Castle, to signal for Iveragh Fenians to assemble and rise up, Cahersiveen was where the first shots of the 1867 rising were fired. This sudden rising and the need to protect the recently established and critical infrastructure of the Cable Station at Foilhommerum on Valentia, no doubt, led to the extensive barracks. It was constructed for the Royal Irish Constabulary between the years of 1869 and 1871. This was raised to the ground by anti-treaty forces during the Civil War on 24th August 1922.

    In 1991, 69 years after the building had been destroyed, a group of people decided to rebuild it and in September 1996 the 'new' Old Barracks was officially opened as the Heritage Centre of Cahersiveen. Its unusual design, according to local lore (the truth you may decide for yourself), was caused by its plans being originally intended for a British barracks in India.

    The other main attraction in the area is the Daniel O’Connell Memorial Church situated in Cahersiveen, the only one in Ireland named after a layperson. Born in Cahersiveen the Irish lawyer was elected from Ennis as the first Catholic member of the British Parliament. O’Connell was a hugely popular and non-violent campaigner, who championed the campaign for Catholic Emancipation. This was the granting of full rights of citizenship to Catholics and the right for them to sit in the Westminster Parliament. A right that had been denied for over 100 years and the right he helped it to become a reality in 1829. He went on to champion the campaign for the Repeal of the Union between Ireland and Great Britain. Known as 'The Liberator', or 'The Emancipator', his towering statue stands at the lower end of Ireland's principal O'Connell Street, facing O'Connell Bridge, which was all renamed after him in 1924.


    Daniel O’Connell Memorial Church
    Image: Robert Linsdell via CC BY SA 2.0


    Today Cahersiveen is principally a market town that the tourist industry has largely passed by. With a population of around 1200 people, it is the principal town in the region and is one of the westernmost towns in Ireland which also makes it one of the westernmost towns in Europe.


    Cahersiveen Public Offices
    Image: Robert Linsdell via CC BY SA 2.0


    It has a host of friendly pubs to enjoy some good porter and 'craic' plus some great restaurants. The Heritage Centre has displays covering the life of O’Connell and the ill-fated Fenian uprising of 1867. And apart from the hike out to the two forts, the castle there are countless hikes and walks that meander through the towns' surrounding hills.


    Cahersiveen on the south side of the river above the quay
    Image: Michael Harpur


    From a boating point of view, Cahersiveen Marina is an ideal provisioning location for western seaboard cruisers. It is the perfect place to go to if you have to endure some bad weather, or you have to return home, it is a place where a boat may be left. The marina is well maintained and the staff are very friendly, and shore power is part of the deal. Although near to the town it is quiet and safe. Likewise, it is also an ideal base to cruise around Valentia Island or Dingle Bay and visit the several uninhabited islands. Central amongst these is the World Heritage Site Monument of UNESCO of Skellig Michael Click to view haven for which it provides a good weather-window wait point to mouth an expedition or a tourist launch seat to become available.


    Cahersiveen Marina provides secure access to all a coastal cruiser might want
    Image: Michael Harpur


    Landward is just as spectacular and it would be worth renting a car here as it is set in the part of 'The Ring of Kerry' that enjoys an international reputation for being one of the world's most diverse and beautiful circular drives. Those who drive it can admire quickly varying coastal landscapes as well as forests, mountains and medieval ruins.


    What facilities are available?
    All berths are serviced with water and electricity. The marina has toilets, showers and laundry facilities, and lift-out capabilities of up to 20 tonnes. Diesel and petrol by cans arranged through marina staff or large quantities by road tanker from the west end of the long pontoon. Rubbish disposal and recycling bins provided by the marina. Cahersiveen town, a 15-minute walk, has all the usual shopping facilities etc that may be required.


    Any security concerns?
    Access to the pontoons is controlled by a security system.


    With thanks to:
    Peter Craven for sharing this haven.







    Cahersiveen Marina



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