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Clonakilty Harbour (Ring)

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Overview





Clonakilty Harbour is situated on the southwest coast of Ireland, about twenty miles southwest of Kinsale and set into the shoreline that lies between Galley Head and Seven Heads, in Co. Cork. It offers a remote anchorage off Ring Quay where boats, that can take to the hard, may also lay alongside.

Ring provides a good anchorage that is protected from all quarters with very good mud holding. The only exception to this is in strong south-westerlies where at high water it can become uncomfortable. Getting in, however, requires highly careful navigation. The entrance is restricted by a shallow bar and then a narrow channel that is subject to shallow water at low tide.
Please note

This haven is more suitable for vessels that can operate under power with drafts of a metre or less, that ideally could take to the ground. Heavy seas break on the bar in any developed conditions with a southerly element. This makes entering or exiting impossible.




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Keyfacts for Clonakilty Harbour (Ring)
Facilities
Gas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaMarine engineering services available in the areaBus service available in the areaCar hire available in the areaTourist Information office availableShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 3 or more from ESE, SE, SSE, S, SSW, SW and WSW.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
1 metres (3.28 feet).

Approaches
2 stars: Careful navigation; good visibility and conditions with dangers that require careful navigation.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
May 8th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with careful navigation required for access.

Facilities
Gas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaMarine engineering services available in the areaBus service available in the areaCar hire available in the areaTourist Information office availableShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 3 or more from ESE, SE, SSE, S, SSW, SW and WSW.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 36.244' N, 008° 50.921' W

Inside the harbour in 1.4 metres as marked on the Admiralty chart.

What is the initial fix?

The following Clonakilty initial fix will set up a final approach:
51° 35.326' N, 008° 51.387' W
This waypoint is on the five metre contour, half a mile out from the green perch indicating ‘Wind Rock’ and the harbour entrance. It is equidistant from Muckruss Head and Ring Head in inner bay. The perch lies on a bearing of thirty degrees from this waypoint.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head 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 Clonakilty Harbour (Ring) for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Dunnycove Bay - 1.9 miles SSW
  2. Dunworly Bay - 2.1 miles ESE
  3. Dirk Bay - 3.2 miles SW
  4. Courtmacsherry - 3.4 miles ENE
  5. Seven Heads Bay - 3.4 miles E
  6. Broadstrand Bay - 3.6 miles E
  7. Blindstrand Bay - 3.8 miles E
  8. Rosscarbery Bay - 4.1 miles WSW
  9. Coolmain Bay - 4.3 miles ENE
  10. Mill Cove - 4.8 miles WSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Dunnycove Bay - 1.9 miles SSW
  2. Dunworly Bay - 2.1 miles ESE
  3. Dirk Bay - 3.2 miles SW
  4. Courtmacsherry - 3.4 miles ENE
  5. Seven Heads Bay - 3.4 miles E
  6. Broadstrand Bay - 3.6 miles E
  7. Blindstrand Bay - 3.8 miles E
  8. Rosscarbery Bay - 4.1 miles WSW
  9. Coolmain Bay - 4.3 miles ENE
  10. Mill Cove - 4.8 miles WSW
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?
South Ring
Image: Kieran Hayes Photography


Clonakilty Bay is a bight that lies between Galley Head and bold bluff Seven Heads, or Leganagh Point. The bay is about ten miles wide and has a high rocky shoreline. Clonakilty Harbour is set into the northwest part of the bay, between Muckruss Head and Ring Head.



Western Approach Vessels approaching from the west will see the conspicuous 37 metres high Galley Head appear like an island from both west and east. The ruin of Dundeady Castle can be seen on the low neck that connects it with the mainland. A prominent lighthouse, a 21-metre high white tower, stands on the extremity of the headland.

Galley Head – lighthouse Fl (5) 20s 53m 23M position: 51°31.798'N, 008°57.210'W



Half a mile west of Galley Head, and awash at high water, is Doolic Rock. The rock is steep-to on the north and east, but foul ground extends 300 metres to the southwest of it. Half a mile to the southeast of the head are the Clout Rocks with plenty of cover for leisure vessels.



It is advisable to keep at least half a mile from the coast between Galley Head and Ringlea Point situated three miles to the northeast. With good weather, leisure craft can use the channel between Doolic Rock and Galley Head. The transit provided to clear the Cloghna Rock, is a line of bearing 320° T of the spire of Rosscarbery Cathedral. This is just open of Creggan Point situated a mile to the southeast of the cathedral, and it leads between the Doolic Rock and Galley Head in from 16 to 20 metres of water.
Please note

Wind against tide situations develop heavy seas close to the head. Strong currents are experienced off Galley Head and Doolic Rock with the ebb tide setting on to the rock with great velocity. In these circumstances, it is advisable that a vessel stays offshore.





Eastern Approach Vessels approaching from the east will pass the conspicuous Seven Heads. Seven Heads is a bold bluff headland with an old telegraph tower standing at an elevation of 40 metres close north of Leganagh Point.



A smaller World War II watchtower can be seen close southwest of the telegraph tower. The bottom around the head is uneven and rocky, causing overfalls during the strength of the tide. Vessels will find no obstruction offshore of Clonakilty Bay on an approach to Seven Heads. All of Clonakilty Bay’s dangers fringe the inner shore.

Southern Approach Southern approaches are clear of dangers and not subject to races.



Convergance Point The inner harbour is largely taken up by Inchydoney Island that once stood free of the mainland and is now linked by two causeways. To the northeast of Inchydoney Island in an inner harbour, lies Clonakilty Harbour or Ring, that completely dries at low water save for a few channels.

The inner harbour is accessed by crossing a bar and then passing through a narrow approach channel. About three-quarters of a mile within Ring Head is the small village of South Ring with its quay. At the head of the harbour, about 2 miles above South Ring, is the provincial town of Clonakilty which is accessible by vessels that can take-to-the hard at low water.

The centre of Clonakilty Bay is free of dangers but vessels operating in this area should note the positions of the following unmarked fringing rocks within the inner section of the bay:

Off the eastern shoreline
Sloop Rock - position: 51° 35.233’N 008° 47.900’W
Sheep Rock - position: 51° 35.480’N 008° 50.140’W

Off the western shoreline
Anchor Rock - position: 51° 34.800’N 008° 51.700’W

Please note

1. Due to the limited draft over the bar and within the channel, it is best entered during the second half of the flood. With off-shore winds vessels awaiting an entry tide will find good anchorage outside the bar. Regular soundings to the shore will be found here plus a clean sandy bottom.
2. The entrance to the harbour is marked by a single (green cone topmark) starboard perch marker and there are no further markers. As a result, the harbour is entered using eyeball navigation and should only be visited in settled conditions with good visibility.
3. If in any way uncertain it would be advisable to visit the area by land beforehand or take a tender in to scout it out in advance with a lead line. If possible also find some current local advice as the sands in the area continually shift.



Initial fix location From the initial fix the conspicuous Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa Hotel, on Inchydoney Island, plus Ring Head will be clearly visible.


On closer approaches search out the entrance’s starboard perch marker (green cone top-mark) that will be seen close to the shore of Ring Head.



This is the Wind Rock marker that is just awash at high water and dries to 0.5 metres.

Wind Rock - perch position: 51° 35 .677’N 008° 50.986‘W

Once the Wind Rock perch is located, advance towards it on a bearing of 30° (T) and cross the bar that has not more than 0.6 metres over it at low water. Continue to pass the Wind Rock perch close to starboard. The beach stretches almost entirely across from Inchydoney Island on the west side, and the deep channel runs close to it.



Beyond this, there are no further markers and the narrow channel needs to be worked by eyeball navigation. The channel has a low water controlling depth of about 0.2 metres at the entrance and 1.7 metres thereafter. It runs close alongside the highland of Ring Head on its eastern side approximately 75 – 100 metres off the shoreline. Proceed to feel your way up the access channel for approximately a mile until the quay at South Ring will be seen.



Haven location Anchor in the channel 400 metres south of the quay where about 1.4 to 1.7 metres will be found at low water. South Ring Quay has about 1.8 to 2 metres of water at its extremity, where vessels generally lie. Vessels that can take to the ground at low water lie alongside here.

The town of Clonakilty is at the head of the harbour, 2 miles above South Ring. Dry at low water, there is 1.5 to 2 metres of water over the mud flats at high water spring tides.


Why visit here?
Ring is a beautiful sandy estuary that provides a quiet rural retreat for the visiting yachtsman. Although it has little in the way of facilities, it does have two public houses, one of which serves very good food, to reward those who dared to cross the entrance channel.

On the opposite shore the Inchydoney beach, passed on the port hand side on entry, is one of the finest beaches in the country. It is a Blue flag beach with two vast stretches of sand, separated by a spur called the Virgin Mary’s Bank. That, plus the facilities of the extensive hotel above, make it a very worthwhile dinghy run on a fine sunny day. Inshore of Inchydoney Island, the surrounding countryside is picturesque, hilly and primarily used for dairy farming. Set into this, about 2 - 3 km away, is the area’s provincial town of Clonakilty.

Clonakilty, in Irish Cloich Na Coillte and sometimes Cloch Na gCoillte, is mostly referred to by locals as simply Clon. It is a pretty, well-kept and well-established town of about 5,000 permanent inhabitants that swells by as much as 20% during the summer season’s tourist influx. The centre of the town is very picturesque with meticulously maintained shop and pub fronts. All are painted in bright colours that are often further decorated by hanging baskets of greenery.

Although Clonakilty is a small town, it has a buoyant social scene. Most of the pubs offer some form of music and entertainment to suit all tastes. This ranges from traditional groups, local bands, karaoke, well-known Irish and international musicians and entertainers. It will be easy to find live entertainment most days of the week during the sailing season. Notable in the town is Clonakilty’s Roman Catholic Church which is a beautiful piece of architecture and is comparable to Cobh’s. The area is also noted for its model train attraction that overlooks the estuary, and a renowned annual Clonakilty Agricultural Show. The latter has made its black pudding and yogurts famous.

Historically the area is notable as the birthplace of Michael Collins, leader of the IRA and later the Free State movement, which campaigned for independence from the United Kingdom around 1900-1921. He is widely regarded as one of Ireland's leading historical figures and the recent subject of the successful Neil Jordan movie based upon his life. He was killed during the Irish Civil War and a statue of Michael Collins was erected in Clonakilty near Emmet Square in 2002.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities available at Ring save for two public houses one of which serves very good food. The provincial town of Clonakilty, within 4km, will have almost anything that is needed. A taxi would be necessary to carry purchases back to South Ring.

Clonakilty is located 45 minutes on the main N71 through West Cork from Cork City
and is approximately 40 minutes from Cork International Airport. The airport has regular scheduled flights to Dublin, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, to name just some of the destinations it serves.

Bus Éireann operates an extensive bus service to and from the town throughout the day and there are numerous private bus, hackney and taxi operators providing a 24-hour service in the town and out to Ring.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel at Ring.


With thanks to:
Anthony McCarthy, local yachtsman. Additional photographs with thanks to Frank Donovan, chmee2, Matt Gillman, Conor O'Neill and Julien Carnot.


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






























An excellent aerial harbour overview



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