England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes
Boat
Maintenance
Comfort
Operations
Safety
Other



NextPrevious

Crookhaven

Tides and tools
Overview





Crookhaven Harbour is situated in Co. Cork on the southwest coast of Ireland five miles east-northeast from Mizen Head on the south side of the peninsula. The natural harbour provides a host of anchoring opportunities and convenient secure moorings close to its small village and pier.

This is a good anchorage that offers shelter from all conditions except strong easterlies when it can become uncomfortable. However, some easterly protection may be given by anchoring to the northwest of Rock Island, failing this there are several excellent alternatives close by. It is also somewhat exposed to very strong westerly winds as although there is no seaway on the western side of the bay, it is low and affords very little wind protection. With a sectored lighthouse and a deep water entrance, the harbour provides safe access to all visiting vessels, at all states of the tide, in all reasonable conditions, night or day.



Be the first
to comment
Keyfacts for Crookhaven
Facilities
Water available via tapShop with basic provisions availableShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPost Office in the areaInternet via a wireless access point availableMarine engineering services available in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
4 metres (13.12 feet).

Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
May 9th 2018

Summary

A good location with safe access.

Facilities
Water available via tapShop with basic provisions availableShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPost Office in the areaInternet via a wireless access point availableMarine engineering services available in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
Expand to new tab or fullscreen

Haven position

51° 28.147' N, 009° 43.566' W

Crookhaven harbour pierhead.

What is the initial fix?

The following Crookhaven initial fix will set up a final approach:
51° 28.599' N, 009° 41.440' W
This waypoint is 300 metres north of Black Horse rocks. It is situated in the centre of the entrance in the white sector of the lighthouse on Sheemon Point.


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 Crookhaven for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Goleen - 1.1 miles NNE
  2. Carrigmore Bay - 2.3 miles NE
  3. Toormore Cove - 2.5 miles NE
  4. Dunmanus Harbour - 3.1 miles NNE
  5. Ballynatra - 3.4 miles NNW
  6. Croagh Bay (Long Island Sound) - 3.5 miles ENE
  7. Dooneen Pier - 3.5 miles N
  8. Coney Island - 3.9 miles ENE
  9. Kilcrohane Pier - 4 miles N
  10. Colla Harbour - 4.1 miles ENE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Goleen - 1.1 miles NNE
  2. Carrigmore Bay - 2.3 miles NE
  3. Toormore Cove - 2.5 miles NE
  4. Dunmanus Harbour - 3.1 miles NNE
  5. Ballynatra - 3.4 miles NNW
  6. Croagh Bay (Long Island Sound) - 3.5 miles ENE
  7. Dooneen Pier - 3.5 miles N
  8. Coney Island - 3.9 miles ENE
  9. Kilcrohane Pier - 4 miles N
  10. Colla Harbour - 4.1 miles ENE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search

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.

Expand to new tab or fullscreen



How to get in?


Crookhaven is a small village set into a deep protected inlet on the most southwestern tip of the island of Ireland. It is situated five miles to the east of Mizen Head, and six miles north-by-west from the Fastnet, two of the most prominent landmarks in the area and has its entrance between Sheemon Point and Black Horse Rocks. The village stands on the south side of the harbour nearly a mile within the entrance. The harbour was once an important fishing port but this has diminished in recent years. The deep inlet provides a very good anchorage and is popular with leisure craft.



North Western Approach Vessels approaching from the northwest will find Mizen Head made conspicuous by its remarkable 229 metre high Mizen Peak located about a mile to the northeast. This sharp peak is the highest hill in the vicinity, and about halfway between Mizen Head and the peak, a ruined tower can be seen at an elevation of 128 metres. A lighthouse stands on the peninsulas' southwest extremity.

Mizen Head – lighthouse Iso.W 4s 44m 15M position: 51° 26.995´N, 009° 49.225´W

Round Mizen Head keeping a distance off that is appropriate to the sea conditions. The headland is very steep-to and clear of danger beyond a distance of 200 metres out from the rocks. Half a mile southeast of the light structure, and 250 metres offshore, there is the dangerous Carrigower Rock that is awash at high water.
Please note

Near the head the tide runs at a rate of 4 kn, causing a dangerous race. At a distance from the shore it loses its velocity, and at 5 miles from the head runs only l.5 knots.





Continue around the 111 metres high and bluff Brow Head with the ruins of a signal tower on its summit. The small bight to the north of the head that contains Barley Cove offers no protected anchorage and is only separated from Crookhaven Harbour by a narrow sandy isthmus.

Three miles east by northeast the remarkable Streek Head, rises abruptly from the sea to a height of 44 metres. The coastal passage to Streek Head is clear, but Streek Head has some high detached rocks on its southern side. Part of these, Gokane Rock, dries to 6 metres and the area should not be approached within a 200 metres distance.

Extending about half a mile to the east of Streek Head are the Alderman Rocks and the Black Horse Rocks. The Alderman Rocks rise up to 9.1 metres above high water and are foul out to the Black Horse Rocks. These rocks extend about 135 metres north from Alderman Rocks and are marked by the Blackhorse Rocks beacon.

Blackhorse Rocks - north cardinal beacon Q FL position: 51°28.437'N, 009°41.683'W

Between the Streek Head and Alderman Rocks is the Alderman Sound. The narrow channel has up to 5.8 metres of water and is constricted by the dangers on both sides. It is not advisable to cut the corner as it is narrowed by rocks extending from both sides. Alderman Sound should only be used in good conditions with the benefit of local knowledge.

Round the Alderman Rocks and the Black Horse Rocks keeping at least 200 metres clear of both dangers.

South Eastern Approach Vessels approaching from the southeast will find clear water in the vicinity of the entrance with the exception of Bulligmore. Bulligmore is situated southwest by south, ¾ of a mile from Castle Point, and a similar distance west by north from Illaunricmonia Island. It has two rocky heads, with 0.9 and 3.6 metres of water respectively. A clearing line to pass to the south of Bulligmore is marked on the Admiralty charts; keep Streek Head well open of the southern point of Goat Island Little 257°T.

Bulligmore – unmarked 0.9-metre rock pinnacle position: 51°28.845'N, 009°38.385'W


Initial fix location From the initial fix the approach is unhindered and the harbour entrance equally straightforward. The long hooked peninsula encloses an excellent natural harbour that is two miles long, a third of a mile wide and has an eastward facing entrance with unhindered deep water access.

It is entered between Streek Heard and Sheemon Point, the eastern extremity of Rock Island located half a mile north on the mainland side. On Rock Island Point, immediately outside the harbour entrance, stands Crookhaven Lighthouse.

Crookhaven - lighthouse Fl WR 8s 20m 13/11M position: 51° 28.593’N, 009° 42.273’W




The lighthouse is a clearly identifiable 14-metre high round cylindrical masonry tower painted white and surrounded by a white wall. Its light shows red or white depending on direction; white over Long Island Bay; W131°-281° (150°), R281°-340° (59°), R281°-348° (67°), W348°-111° (123°). The shore here is bold to and clear of danger.
Please note

If entering at night do not steer for the Crookhaven Light House on Rock Island until the red sector covering Alderman Rocks turns to White.



Favour towards the northern shore on entry so as not to be drawn by a tidal set through Alderman Sound. Then take a mid-channel route up the harbour. Once in the main channel, both shores are steep-to. In the middle of the narrowest part of the inlet, just off the southwest corner of Rock Island, keep an eye out for an uncharted small and unlit racing buoy with, as last seen, a scrub bush attached to the head.
Please note

Crookhaven has a highly active sailing school. During school holidays a vessel can expect to encounter shoals of children cutting across the haven in small dinghies.



Haven location Anchor abreast to Crookhaven village or find a location that offers the best shelter for the prevailing conditions. Favour the entrance to the Rock Island inlet in easterlies or to the east of Granny Island in westerly winds. Holding throughout is excellent in sand and mud, except in kelp patches.


The bay has a host of seasonal visitor moorings off Crookhaven:

Crookhaven moorings - position 51° 28.200’N 009° 43.500’W.

The moorings are rated to 15 tons and are large, coloured bright yellow and labelled VISITOR. A daily charge of €15 may be levied. A seasonal dinghy pontoon is available for landing plus a small jetty outside O'Sullivan's Public House that has steps.

The bay starts shoaling gradually to its head becoming shallow from Granny Island onwards.




Why visit here?
Crookhaven, in Irish An Cruachán, derives its name, from Sir Thomas Crooke who founded the village in 1610, along with Baltimore, as a Protestant fishing village. The Crooke family were granted large estates in West Cork but the family association with the area ended around 1665.


Crookhaven at dusk
Image: Burke Corbett


The area had however been inhabited well before this. Numerous Bronze Age field monuments can be found in the hills around Crookhaven and these are well marked on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map 88. Indeed many relics of the past are worth exploring here in this remarkably beautiful setting.

Mizen Head is often claimed to be the most southerly point on the island of Ireland, but this is inaccurate as it is, in fact, the country's most south-westerly point. The distinction of being Ireland's most southerly point belongs to Brow Head that is little more than a 1.5 km ascent from the landing beach at the head of the harbour. Brow Head’s signal tower was constructed in 1804 during the Napoleonic wars and was part of the 81 chain of signal towers, including Bear Island, Cape Clear Island, Baltimore and so on along the coast of Ireland. The original signalling was carried out by a system of flags and blackballs on masts. Below the signal tower, towards the Head itself, are the remains of a 19th-century Cornish mining village. The site shows signs of mining activity, including mine shafts, miners' houses, a reservoir and a small hamlet. It should be noted that the views from Brow Head to the east over Roaringwater Bay, and to the south over Cape Clear and some of Carbery’s Hundred Isles, and also out to Mizen Head over jagged rocks below, are utterly breathtaking.

Crookhaven's formative years were in the early part of the 20th Century when it was an important shipping port of call between Europe and the United States. Ships sheltered here or stocked up with provisions after or before the long Atlantic crossing. All shipping lines had agents here to direct cargo deliveries. Indeed at that time, it was so busy that it was said to be possible to walk across the harbour stepping from deck to deck of the boats that filled the harbour. 700 residents, compared to a permanent population of 50 today, made a living from shipping activities during this period. Major shipping lines, including Lloyds and Reuters, built the signal station on Brow Head to communicate with passing ships via semaphore and it was this unlikely station that was to play a part in one of the world’s greatest global communications breakthroughs.


Guglielmo Marconi came to Crookhaven, from 1901 until 1914, to experiment and develop wireless communication. Most of his work was done between the Fastnet lighthouse, Crookhaven, and Cape Clear Island because they were so closely connected. They provided ideal targets because a telegraph line had been connected between Crookhaven and Cape Clear Island. Secretly, of course, he was attempting to get the first radio message across the Atlantic and this was the obvious point for him to try. He fitted the first telegraphic equipment to the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse ostensibly to experiment with 'ship to shore' communication but it was from where he made his first trans-Atlantic bid. This proved unsuccessful and the equipment was moved to Brow Head where the first trans-Atlantic telegraphic message was transmitted and received at St John's, Newfoundland on December 12th and 13th 1901. The station was then manned continuously day and night, in three shifts, by two operators. In 1914 the Royal Navy took over the station and Marconi moved out to Valentia Island.

Rock Island has an interesting history of its own as it was the shore station for the assembly of the second granite Fastnet lighthouse. Many of the island's buildings here were constructed for this purpose including an office, stores, carpenters’ and blacksmiths’ shops, a barrack for the workmen, and two keepers’ dwellings. The tower was actually built and erected in sections in Cornwall then dismantled and transported to Rock Island. Here they were rigorously checked and then transported to the Fastnet Rock. The beautiful building on the islands southwest corner was the site of a coastguard station that replaced an earlier station to its south. Opened in 1907 the new station had a very short tenure before the War of Independence. In 1921 British Marines were stationed here to protect it, and the key Brow Head War Signal Station. Despite this, the I.R.A. destroyed the signal station in 1922. In the 1920s Rock Island was the home of a fishery plant that was developed by a Frenchman to supply his home market. The ponds remained open until the late 1970s when it became a food processing plant packaging garlic butter and mussels. It is now derelict and the broken remains of the lobster farm’s sea-water pens can be found today by those wishing to explore. All the buildings on Rock Island are now private residences, and a public road leads along it to a good view across to Black Horse Rocks and onward out to Goleen.

Today the town is driven by the seasonal holiday-home tourist influx when its winter population of about fifty swells tenfold. Though it may feel overcrowded at peak season the food available in Crookhaven is exceptional and the local businesses handle the influx with a relaxed assured confidence.



The picturesque and sheltered harbour of Crookhaven is just as important for the sailing community today as it was for the sailing ships of the past. It offers the cruising vessel a good, safe and convenient stop with spectacular surroundings and plenty of good company. As the last harbour south of Mizen Head it is an ideal place to wait out the weather or tide to round Mizen Head or to prepare for cruising Long Island Bay to the southeast.


What facilities are available?
Crookhaven village stands on the south side of the harbour, approximately one mile from the entrance. The village has two small piers, both with water taps, and has a post office, restaurants, shops with limited groceries, and three good pubs that also offer excellent food. A friendly sailing club offers showers. Diesel is available by jerry can from O'Sullivan's pub, and WiFi is free to vessels utilising the moorings. Despite a permanent population of less than 50 Crookhaven is geared up to meet the needs of boating visitors and tourists alike and most requirements will be taken care of here.

The village is located in south-west Ireland, 132 kilometres (82 mi) from Cork and 383 kilometres (238 mi) from Dublin. The nearest airport to Crookhaven is Cork Airport, and the closest regional road is the R591. A community bus operates from Crookhaven but Schull would present a better target for visitors planning to access inland transport links.


Any security concerns?
Never a problem known to have occurred to a vessel within Crookhaven.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photography with thanks to Mike Searle, Mozzercork, Richard Webb, Richard Fensome, Dr Bryan Lynch, Donald McDonald, Julien Carnot, Robert Wilcox, Jennifer Boyer and Burke Corbett.


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







































Aerial overview




A photo montage of the harbour and surrounding area




A vessel leaving Crookhaven under sail



A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


Add your review or comment:

Please log in to leave a review of this haven.



Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.