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Inishbofin

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Overview






Please note

eOceanic has been made aware of this haven. We are looking for a sailor with first-hand experience to provide their direct personal insights so that we may complete our write up. In advance of this we have posted these preliminary research notes. Do you know this location? Please contact us or click the 'Report a Mistake or Omission' button below to help share this location with the sailing community.


Inishbofin and Inishark are a pair of dramatic Islands just north of Aughrus Point, on the west coast of Ireland. The main harbour is on the south side of Inishbofin and makes a good stopping point for vessels travelling along the west coast.

There is a small harbour which offers good protection, but attentive navigation is required as the main inward channel is narrow and encumbered with rocks. The ferries also use this harbour and vessels must always ensure they have room to manoeuvre.



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Keyfacts for Inishbofin
Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.


Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideMini-supermarket or supermarket availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers 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 locationMarine engineering services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaBicycle hire available in the area

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Now Force

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with attentive navigation required for access.

LWS draught

3 metres (9.84 feet).

Today's tide estimates

HW 01:05 (3.4m) LW 07:34 (1.3m)
HW 14:01 (3.4m) LW 20:07 (1.5m)
Now approaching Springs

Swell today




Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.


Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideMini-supermarket or supermarket availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers 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 locationMarine engineering services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaBicycle hire available in the area

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Position and approaches
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Haven position

53° 36.784' N, 010° 12.382' W

this is the position at the old quay pierhead

What is the initial fix?

The following Inishbofin initial fix will set up a final approach:
53° 34.356' N, 010° 14.990' W
in the North Atlantic Ocean midway between Aughrus Point and Inishshark



Not what you need?
Try our Advanced Havens Search tool to find locations with the specific attributes you need, or click the 'Next', coastal clockwise, or 'Previous', coastal anti-clockwise, buttons to progress through neighbouring havens. Below are the ten nearest havens to Inishbofin for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Cleggan Bay - 3 miles SE
  2. Inishturk - 4.2 miles NE
  3. Ballynakill Harbour - 5.2 miles ESE
  4. Clifden Bay - 6.2 miles SE
  5. Mannin Bay - 6.2 miles SSE
  6. Little Killary Bay (Salrock) - 7.9 miles E
  7. Bunowen Bay - 8 miles SSE
  8. Clare Island - 9 miles NE
  9. Roundstone - 10.3 miles SE
  10. Gorteen Bay - 10.5 miles SSE
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Cleggan Bay - 3 miles SE
  2. Inishturk - 4.2 miles NE
  3. Ballynakill Harbour - 5.2 miles ESE
  4. Clifden Bay - 6.2 miles SE
  5. Mannin Bay - 6.2 miles SSE
  6. Little Killary Bay (Salrock) - 7.9 miles E
  7. Bunowen Bay - 8 miles SSE
  8. Clare Island - 9 miles NE
  9. Roundstone - 10.3 miles SE
  10. Gorteen Bay - 10.5 miles SSE
Alternatively the above can be ordered by compass direction or coastal sequence


How to get in?
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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Route location The 'Slyne Head to Erris Head' coastal description provides approach information to the suggested initial fix. Vessels approaching from the south should select the northbound Route location sequenced description; vessels approaching from the north should select the southbound Route location sequence; western approaches may use either description.

The island which is approximately 5 miles long and 3 miles wide has a population of around 200 and can be reached by ferry from the pier at Cleggan, and it also has an airstrip and a helipad. It is a large attractive English speaking island that is extremely popular with tourists, the main village is well spread out, ribbon like, along the southern shoreline where the main Bofin harbour and bay are situated.

Once inside the narrow entrance, the harbour and bay affords a well sheltered very safe and secure location although the sea state at the entrance can be very rough with a heavy swell for tidal reasons. Two white towers on the island face the entrance to the main harbour and lead in through the safest entry point. With strong southwesterly winds or a heavy swell, entrance and particularly exit can be difficult if not impossible, and be aware of Bishop Rock to the west of the entrance channel which dries to 1.4m and must be avoided.

The anchorage in the harbour with a depth of 3m is midway between Port Island and the new pier on the northern shore which is used by the ferries and which is subject to scend, but be sure to leave the fairway clear as access for the ferries. At high water the ferries also use the old small quay which is at the north eastern end of the harbour. The best landing place for small craft is behind the old quay which dries 0.6m alongside, a convenient place to dry out and a refuge in severe weather. Dinghy landings are also possible on the foreshore and at the new pier but keep clear of the ferry berths.

The island has a further anchorage location at Rusheen Bay in 5m depth, a horseshoe shaped bay on the east side of the island which has a very pretty beach for a nice soft landing and which is very sheltered.

The circumnavigation of the island is interesting if a little undramatic, but watch out for Daughter's Fort, Irish : Dun na hInine, an almost detached stack of rock at the northwest point, and the most turbulence may be expected at Ship Sound and around the Stags of Bofin in the northwest.


What's the story here?
Amongst its many attributes Inishbofin has an excellent natural harbour, good facilities including welcoming pubs and bars that often provide spontaneous sessions of traditional Irish music and song, a heritage museum, and delightful walks to either end of the island. Probably the best way to explore the island is by bicycle and these can be hired at Lower Middle Quarter.

Inishbofin has been populated since 1000 BC with a Celtic fort, dating back to that time. One can still see the ruins of barracks left over from the 17th Century when a star fort was built to protect the harbour.

During Cromwells rule Inishbofin was used as a penal colony for catholic priests from all over Ireland following an English Statute that declared them guilty of high treason. An unfortunate bishop was tied at low tide to 'Bishops Rock' on the west of Inishbofin harbour entrance, and as the waters rose he drowned. The local Heritage Museum has all the historical information together with accounts of life on the island in times past.

Inishbofin is renowned for its white sandy beaches and its magnificent scenery which is a breeding area for many species of birds such as the endangered corncrake. The island rises to three peaks of almost equal elevation, the highest being near to the western end. One aspect of the island is that it has no trees or forests whatsoever. Any wood was cut down and used as heating fuel and because of the salt-enriched air trees were never able to re-establish themselves. Instead, a popular fuel on the island is peat turf which is cut from the peat bogs and dried, and makes a pleasant smelling fire.

Today, Inishbofin has become an important centre for traditional Irish music and song with its own Ceili band and local contemporary musicians, and the island has become an inspirational haven for visiting musicians as well as artists and photographers.

Inishbofin is one of the few places in Ireland where blowholes and sea stacks can be seen. In geology a blowhole is formed as sea caves grow landwards into vertical shafts and expose themselves towards the surface. Sea stacks are a geological landform consisting of a steep and often vertical column of rock in the sea near a coast, isolated by erosion.

The majority of the facilities are located around the area of the old quay where there is an excellent pub which has a supermarket adjoining that stocks groceries and bread, and showers by arrangement with the friendly landlord. There is a water hose at the end of the old pier, and marine repairs to engines and electronics are available.


What facilities are available?
The majority of the facilities on the island are around the old quay where fresh water is available from a hosepipe. There are three pubs in the vicinity, one of which provides bar food, and another that has a mini supermarket adjoining which stocks groceries and bread and also by arrangement with the pub landlord showers are available to customers. There are some excellent hotels and restaurants, a chip shop, and at Lower Middle Quarter bicycles can be hired.
For marine repairs to engines and electronics, speak to the local pilot who will direct you to East End.
During the summer months there are three ferry sailings per day to the mainland at Cleggan, which is reduced to two during the winter.
Should you need something specific speak to the locals as the Islanders are very friendly to visitors and will usually be very helpful.


With thanks to:
inyourfoosteps.com site research


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Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
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The following videos may be useful to help first time visitors familiarise themselves with Inishbofin.


The following video presents an overview of what the Island has to offer.




The following video presents a collection of photographs and video of Inishbofin and the harbour.







The following videos may be useful to help first time visitors familiarise themselves with Inishbofin.


The following video presents an overview of what the Island has to offer.




The following video presents a collection of photographs and video of Inishbofin and the harbour.




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.


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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.