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Dollar Bay is located on the southeast coast of Ireland upon the eastern shores of Waterford Harbour, 5 miles north of Hook Head lighthouse. It is a secluded and picturesque anchorage with good holding.

Dollar Bay is located on the southeast coast of Ireland upon the eastern shores of Waterford Harbour, 5 miles north of Hook Head lighthouse. It is a secluded and picturesque anchorage with good holding.

Dollar Bay offers a good anchorage, although it is somewhat open to the prevalent quarters. It has excellent protection from the northeast round to south. Should the wind strengthen and turn around to the southwest, there are several alternatives close by. The wide, unhindered and well-marked Waterford Harbour estuary provides safe access night or day, and at any stage of the tide.
Please note

Tidal streams are a prime consideration within Waterford Harbour: a strong adverse current will make for slow progress; conversely, a favourable passage current will make the estuary quickly traversable.

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Keyfacts for Dollar Bay
Pleasant family beach in the area

Remote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
2 metres (6.56 feet).

4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.

Last modified
March 21st 2022


A good location with straightforward access.

Pleasant family beach in the area

Remote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

HM  +353 51 301400      +353 87 2598297      Ch.14/10/13 [Waterford Port]
Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 11.670' N, 006° 54.750' W

In the middle of the anchorage.

What is the initial fix?

The following Waterford Harbour marked channel initial fix will set up a final approach:
52° 10.740' N, 006° 56.320' W
This waypoint is 600 metres south by southwest of the Waterford Channel No.1 starboard-hand marker (Fl G 2s on a bearing of 009° T). It is directly east of Creadan Head, upon the eastern side of the Waterford Channel, where at night you will see the Dunmore East leading lights alternate white/green.

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. Seaward approaches and the run up the harbour are covered in the Port of Waterford Click to view haven entry.

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 Dollar Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Templetown Bay - 1 nautical miles SSE
  2. Creadan Head - 1.7 nautical miles WSW
  3. Duncannon - 1.9 nautical miles NNW
  4. Lumsdin's Bay - 2.2 nautical miles S
  5. Arthurstown - 3.1 nautical miles NNW
  6. Fethard On Sea - 3.3 nautical miles E
  7. Baginbun Bay - 3.4 nautical miles ESE
  8. Passage East - 3.5 nautical miles NW
  9. Slade - 3.6 nautical miles S
  10. Ballyhack - 3.7 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. Templetown Bay - 1 miles SSE
  2. Creadan Head - 1.7 miles WSW
  3. Duncannon - 1.9 miles NNW
  4. Lumsdin's Bay - 2.2 miles S
  5. Arthurstown - 3.1 miles NNW
  6. Fethard On Sea - 3.3 miles E
  7. Baginbun Bay - 3.4 miles ESE
  8. Passage East - 3.5 miles NW
  9. Slade - 3.6 miles S
  10. Ballyhack - 3.7 miles NW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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What's the story here?
Dollar Bay
Image: Michael Harpur

Dollar Bay is situated within Waterford Harbour, on the eastern shore of the Hook Head peninsula around Broomhill Point, and about 4½ miles northward of Hook Head. It is a secluded bay in an isolated location.

The headland affords a tolerable settled-weather anchorage just within its outer head. Inside of that the bay quickly begins to shoal into the beach at its head. Shoal-draught vessels will have the best of it here.

How to get in?
Dollar Bay with Booley Bay close north
Image: Michael Harpur

Convergance Point Use the Port of Waterford Click to view haven for details of seaward approaches, entry to Waterford Harbour and the run up the estuary.

Initial fix location From the initial fix, set in the middle of the entrance, head northeast for the ‘Waterford’ port marker buoy and then pick up the No.1 and 2 buoys of the fairway. The bay has completely unhindered seaward access and it is safe to proceed directly on a northeastward path for just over a mile in the distance, to round the prominent Broomhill Point and come into Dollar Bay.
Please note

The lower estuary has plenty of water and no outlying dangers south of Dollar Bay. As such, there is no necessity for leisure craft to adhere to the marked fairway buoys, which are provided for the benefit of commercial shipping.

Dollar Bay and Broomhill Point as seen from Creadan Head
Image: Michael Harpur

Haven location Tuck in as far as draught permits under the headland. The closer inshore a vessel can anchor, the better protection the bay offers from southerlies. The beach shoals gradually so the drying area is quite surprising; be very cautious of tide heights. The bay’s combination of sand and mud provides excellent holding. Land on the beach by tender.

Why visit here?
Dollar Bay acquired its name after two tons of pirated Spanish milled dollars were stashed here in haste in the 18th century.

The story begins in June 1765, when the Earl of Sandwich departed Tenerife, in the Canaries, for a passage to London. She was carrying 250 sacks of Spanish milled gold dollars, ingots and gold dust. Commanded by Captain John Cochrane, the ship had a crew of six, including a cook and cabin boy, plus two passengers, another sea captain and his wife. The pricy cargo was stored in the captain’s cabin for safekeeping. The voyage from Tenerife to England was long and stormy, and in late November the ship was forced to call into Cork Harbour for food and repair. It departed afresh three days later, but more storms near the coast of England blew the ship back towards Ireland and the Waterford coast.

The brig Earl of Sandwich
Image: Public Domain
In the melee, four of the crew found an opportunity to execute an evil plan they had nurtured for the entire trip. Finding the captain isolated, they seized upon the moment and mutinied. They struck him over the head with an iron bar and threw him over the side. One by one, all save for the cabin-boy were either killed on contact or thrown to their deaths in the cold winter waters. Once done, they turned the ship for the Irish coast.

Off the Waterford Estuary, they hoisted the ship’s boat over the side and loaded 250 sacks of gold into it. Then they opened the ship’s ballast doors, which started to flood the ship with sea water. Taking to the boat they pressed the cabin boy back aboard the sinking ship and cast off. From a safe distance, they then watched as the ship lowered into the waves and finally capsized, with the boy scrambling up the masts to keep from the cold waters. Certain the ship was going down and would never be heard of again, the crew rowed away ignoring the plaintive cries of the cabin boy.

In the dark of night, the mutineers quietly passed between Dunmore East and the Hook lighthouse to land here, in what was then known as Fishertown Bay. A sack of gold was as much of the money as they could carry on their person and they shared this out between them. Then they buried the remaining 249 sacks in the sands for safekeeping. This done they returned to the ship’s boat and continued up the estuary, stealthily stealing past the guards at Duncannon Fort, to the Barrow River, where they continued upriver to Fisherman’s Quay, near New Ross. Here they abandoned the boat and spent the night at the first inn they could find.

The sands of Dollar Bay
Image: Michael Harpur

The next day they travelled to New Ross and stayed at an inn, where a considerable sum of money was stolen from them during the night. The following day they hired six horses and two guides to take them to Dublin, where they planned to return to England. The guides brought them to the Black Bull Inn at Thomas Street in Dublin, where they took up lodgings whilst making final arrangements. All of the innkeepers were both surprised and only too glad to be paid in Spanish gold dollars, and with 1,200 dollars between them, they were reported to be spending freely in the alehouses.

Meanwhile the scuttled Earl of Sandwich didn't sink but was blown towards shore with the cabin boy clinging to the wreck for dear life. It eventually came upon Sheep Island, to the west of Tramore Bay. The boy was rescued by local farmers and he soon told his incredible story to the authorities. The search began for the four mutineers and it was not long before the tales of four men spending Spanish gold at Fisherman’s Quay and New Ross were picked up on.

The New Ross guides told the authorities where they had dropped the four men in Dublin. The inn was soon raided, and the four sailors were apprehended and charged with mutiny. They confessed to their crime and disclosed the whereabouts of the hidden dollars. They were found guilty on 31 March 1766 and were publicly hanged at St Stephen’s Green. Their bodies were taken and suspended in chains on Muglins Island, where for years afterwards their skeletons hung in gibbets. This small rock island, on the southern approach to Dublin Bay, was the traditional point to display east coast pirates to serve as a warning against the wayward path of piracy.

The view northwestward along Dollar Bay’s beach
Image: Michael Harpur

Revenue officers went to recover the buried money in Fishertown Bay, assisted by the Duncannon Garrison, plus a local Mr Allen of Ballystraw, who was subsequently presented with a snuff-box containing one hundred guineas as a reward for his assistance. Plenty of coins remained on the wreck of the Earl of Sandwich. John Rogers of Tramore is recorded as making a salvage claim on 23 February 1767 for the remaining 1,200 dollars that he found aboard.

Today Dollar Bay is a picturesque cove offering an enclosed and, at low tide, expansive sandy beach that is ideal for a young family. It is a perfect place to come ashore and relax on the beach or devote some time to searching for that missing treasure.

What facilities are available?
Dollar Bay is a remote cove with no amenities. However, the gradually descending beach provides for a good dinghy landing area. The tide exposes a large, open beach, so be prepared to carry the dinghy a great distance. There is a pathway access to a paved road 50 metres from the beach, albeit up a steep incline.

Any security concerns?
Dollar Bay is a secluded bay with few people to disturb an anchored yacht.

With thanks to:
John Carroll, Ballyhack, Co.Wexford, Ireland. Photographs with thanks to Michael Harpur.

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