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Knightstown

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Overview





Valentia Harbour is situated on the south side of the entrance to Dingle Bay, in a sheltered bight between Valentia Island and the mainland in Co. Kerry on the southwest coast of Ireland. Knightstown is a fishing port and is Valentia Island’s only settlement. It provides visiting yachts with a sheltered anchorage and moorings.

Knightstown is an excellent harbour that affords complete protection from all wind and sea conditions. It has three entrances and we describe the main entrance to the north of the island where you will find access straightforward, at any state of the tide, supported by a sectored light and good markers around a rock in the entrance. There is an alternate northern approach, rounding Beginish Island through Doulus Bay and Lough Kay, plus a southern approach via Portmagee Sound. These approaches are more intricate and involved.
Please note

During northwest gales Valentia Harbour should be avoided. A heavy sea breaks right across the harbour entrance and you should not attempt either of the northern entrances unless you have a highly competent crew with very good local knowledge.




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Keyfacts for Knightstown
Facilities
Water available via tapTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBoatyard with hard-standing available here; covered or uncoveredMarine engineering services available in the areaBicycle hire available in the areaShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded 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 landingScenic 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
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
July 26th 2018

Summary

A completely protected location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water available via tapTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBoatyard with hard-standing available here; covered or uncoveredMarine engineering services available in the areaBicycle hire available in the areaShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded 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 landingScenic 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
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Haven position

51° 55.580' N, 010° 17.160' W

Upon Knightstown pierhead.

What is the initial fix?

The following Valentia Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
51° 56.286' N, 010° 19.427' W
600 Metres northwest of the entrance in the white sector of the transit.


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.


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 Knightstown for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Cahersiveen Marina - 1.5 miles NE
  2. Portmagee - 2.4 miles SW
  3. Ballinskellig Bay - 4.3 miles S
  4. Darrynane Harbour - 6.9 miles SSE
  5. Ventry Harbour - 7.3 miles NNW
  6. Dingle Harbour - 7.8 miles N
  7. West Cove - 7.9 miles SE
  8. Great Skellig (Skellig Michael) - 8.1 miles SW
  9. Great Blasket Island - 8.5 miles NW
  10. Sneem Harbour - 10 miles ESE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Cahersiveen Marina - 1.5 miles NE
  2. Portmagee - 2.4 miles SW
  3. Ballinskellig Bay - 4.3 miles S
  4. Darrynane Harbour - 6.9 miles SSE
  5. Ventry Harbour - 7.3 miles NNW
  6. Dingle Harbour - 7.8 miles N
  7. West Cove - 7.9 miles SE
  8. Great Skellig (Skellig Michael) - 8.1 miles SW
  9. Great Blasket Island - 8.5 miles NW
  10. Sneem Harbour - 10 miles ESE
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?
The pier at Knightstown or Valentia Harbour
Image: Gabriela Avram


Situated at the east end of Valentia Island which lies on the south side of the entrance to Dingle Bay, Knightstown, or Valentia Harbour, is entered between the north end of the island and Beginish Island. The harbour is set in a sheltered bight at the northeast end of Valentia Island and it provides perfect shelter against all winds and sea and is easy to access.


Valentia Harbour is entered between Valentia Island between and Beginish Island
Image: Doug Snider


Initial fix location From the initial fix make towards the narrow entrance that lies between Fort (Cromwell) Point and Beginish Island tracking in on 141°.

By day locate Fort Point, a white tower 15 metres in height, then identify the beacons. You should see the towers of the leading lights situated on the north side of Valentia Island about 1,500 metres southeast of Fort Point. The front is a white conical tower beacon with a faint vertical red stripe. The rear, positioned 122 metres behind, is reportedly no longer visible (2018) although a vaguely triangular shape can be seen on the skyline. However, the lower mark's below described sectored light is visible even in strong sunlight.

By night locate Fort Point Light F1.WR.2s and then the white sector 140°-142° T of Front - Lt.Oc.WRG. 4s11/8M; Rear Oc.4s5M. It is important that you track in on 141° T to the transits as foul ground extends north from Fort Point and from the west point of Beginish Island.

The run-in to the harbour from the entrance
Image: rst999


Once inside the entrance, there is a clearly visible 130-metre long Harbour Rock that dries to 2.6 metres and should be kept to starboard. It lies on the west side of the fairway approximately midway between Fort Point and the front beacon. It is clearly marked by an East Cardinal Beacon (Yellow/Black East Cardinal iron mast) Q(3) W10s, 4m, 5M. By night it is covered by the Red section of the Fort Point sectored light and presents no difficulty. However, again it is best to keep in the transits, as on the port side there are ledges and sunken rocks extending 400 metres off Cruppaun Point.

Valentia Island Ferry passing out through the entrance to Knightstown
Image: rst999


Once Harbour Rock has been passed the harbour trends to the east and is free of dangers so you are free to alter course for Knightstown.
Please note

Do not be tempted to go directly to the harbour location waypoint by rounding the pierhead of Knightstown. A shallow gravel spit, that dries 1.2 to 0.6 metres in places, extends east-northeast from Valentia called ‘The Foot’. Its extremity is marked by an East Cardinal Lit buoy VQ(3) 5s that you should keep to starboard before rounding up on the town pier.




Valentia Island Ferry and pier
Image: Gabriela Avram


Haven location Anchor off Knightstown to the south of the jetty, or as convenient in Portmagee channel, you will find 3.0 metres sand/mud with good holding. This is well sheltered in west winds and convenient for landing. There are six visitors moorings just south of the Knightstown pier. Land at the slipway on the north side of the breakwater at Knightstown.


Valentia Island Ferry alongside at Knightstown
Image: Doug Snider


Knightstown Ferry Pier has a depth of 1.7 metres at the pierhead and you can come alongside during the day for a short period. The car ferry runs from here to the mainland at Reenard Point so be careful not to obstruct the operation. The ferry berths at the pier in the evenings so it has to be kept clear. Please contact the Harbour Master before planning any berthing.

In winds from southeast round to southwest, you may anchor on the west side of ‘The Foot’, where you will find a depth of 2.5 metres in mud with good holding ground, and it is sheltered in these conditions. There are visitors moorings located here also.
Please note

When anchoring in the vicinity of Knightstown please identify and avoid the submarine cable marked on all charts laid between the town and Reenard Point.




Why visit here?
Knightstown An Chois in Irish is the largest settlement on Valentia Island with a population of 172. Knight’s Town is named after the Knights of Kerry, the FitzGeralds, who were benign and beloved Protestant landlords.

Knightstown
Image: Tourism Ireland


Yachtsmen will find this a very secure spot to stop with good visitors moorings. It is very pretty and is also where all the island’s facilities are located – pubs, restaurants, dive schools, lifeboat, ferry, harbour etc and there is a fine view back to Portmagee.

Situated on the island is the Valentia Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC), one of the main coastal stations of Ireland. Of further interest, the first transatlantic cable was laid from Valentia to Trinity Bay in Newfoundland, a process that began in 1855 by SS ‘Niagara’ and ‘Agamemnon’. The latter was nearly lost in a storm in 1857 when the cable snapped at the edge of the continental shelf, 560 km out to sea.

If you walk up to the radio station you will find an abandoned slate quarry adjacent.


What facilities are available?
Knightstown is the only town on the island where you will find a few pubs and restaurants but otherwise not much. You will find supplies limited to bread, some general stores and fuel. There is a boatyard on the island that is capable of lifting a 20 tonne large yacht and for repairs.

A ferry runs from here to the opposite mainland at Reenard. Portmagee is a town on the mainland connected by a bridge that opens to allow larger vessels through. Nearby Cahirciveen has all requirements.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred in Knightstown.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Additional corrections by Simon Brewitt. Photography with thanks to Elkringo, Gabriela Avram, Adrian Beney and Dubh Eire.


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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 aerial view of Knightstown and Portmagee




Knightstown entrance between the north end of Valentia Island and Beginish Island




An aerial view of the seafront at Knightstown.




A historical overview of Valentia Island



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