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Muglins Sound Cut - Dublin to Killiney Bay

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What is the route?
Muglins Sound is located between the small Dalkey Island and a separate cluster of rocks with a light called The Muglins. Passing through Muglins Sound, or Dalkey Sound, cuts about a mile off a passage between Killiney and Dublin bays. The sequence of description is from south to north.

Why sail this route?
There are three main ways enter the southern side to of Dublin Bay, or for a southbound vessel to connect with the inshore passage which is the preferred route as far as Wicklow.

  • (i) Pass between Dalkey Island and the mainland via Dalkey Island Sound.

  • (ii) Pass between Dalkey Island and the Muglins via Muglins Sound.

  • (iii) Pass outside the Muglins, offshore and in open water.

The Dalkey Sound Route location is the preferred fairway and the one normally used by leisure craft. But when the tidal current are adverse, Dalkey Sound's funnelled streams are the most challenging and small craft are best advised to go outside and use Muglins Sound or take the offshore route. The much more straightforward offshore route, detailed in the Dublin Bay to Rosslare Route location Coastal Description, is the best approach for a newcomer to take at night, with poor visibility or in uncomfortable weather.

Tidal overview
Today's summary tidal overview for this route as of Tuesday, August 4th at 10:51. Muglins Sound and further offshore the tides turn half an hour later than in Dalkey Sound. The north going stream begins at Dover -0530, (HW Dublin -0600). The south going stream begins at Dover +0030 (HW Dublin HW).
Please note

The current tidal event is springs so expect streams to be at their strongest.


(HW Dover +0030 to +0642)

Starts in 02:14:09

(Tue 13:06 to 19:18)


(HW Dover -0530 to +0042)


(Tidal flow )

Ends in 02:26:09

(Tue 07:06 to 13:18)

What are the navigational notes?
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the route. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Clicking the 'Expand to Fullscreen' icon opens a larger viewing area in a new tab.

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The above plots are not precise and are indicative only.


Muglins Sound is situated in the ¼ of a mile wide channel that lies between Dalkey Island and a small cluster of rocks called The Muglins.

Dalkey Island and The Muglins as seen from the south
Photo: jnestorius cc BY-SA 3.0

The small Dalkey Island is 24 metres high and 600 metres long with a Martello tower on its summit. It lies immediately offshore 200 metres to the east of the mainland leading down to Sorrento Point and about two and a half miles southeast of Dún Laoghaire Harbour.

The Muglins are a different group or chain of rocks. They are 6 metres high and bold-to except to the westward, where for 100 metres distance there is a rock with 1 metre of cover. There is a lighthouse on The Muglins, that could more aptly be described as a distinctive beacon, making it highly recognisable. It is a white conical tower with a red band:

The Muglins - Lighthouse Fl 5s 9m 11M position: 53° 16.524’N, 006° 04.579’W

Yacht approaching Muglins Sound from the north
Photo: Tourism Ireland

The ¼ of a mile distance between Dalkey Island and the Muglins is named the Muglins Sound. The navigable channel, between the outlying dangers on each side, is about 300 metres wide.


The complete course is 0.64 miles from the waypoint 'Southern approach' to 'East of Leac Buidhe Rock' tending in a north north westerly direction (reciprocal south south easterly).

Southern approach, 53° 16.060' N, 006° 4.514' W
A ⅓ of a mile southeastward of the Martello Tower on Dalkey Island.

       Next waypoint: 0.43 miles, course 339.81°T (reciprocal 159.81°T)

Muglins Sound, 53° 16.460' N, 006° 4.760' W
This is about midway between Dalkey Island and Muglins.

       Next waypoint: 0.21 miles, course 327.73°T (reciprocal 147.73°T)

East of Leac Buidhe Rock, 53° 16.640' N, 006° 4.950' W
250 metres east of the covered Leac Buidhe Rock that dries to 0.2 metres.


Navigating through the Muglins Sound is straightforward as the channel is 300 metres wide with a general depth of 15 metres, with the exception of and one small area of 6.4 metres.

To go between Dalkey Island and the Muglins, keep to The Muglins side of mid-channel. Remaining outside the 10-metre contour, deeper, and adjusted for the tide, will avoid all dangers.

The Muglins are bold-to with clear water all around, except to the westward where one rock, with 0.8 of a metre CD of cover, lies about 130 metres to the west of the light.

The dangers mostly reside on the Dalkey Island side and north of the island. The key danger to navigate around is the, mostly covered, Leac Buidhe that is situated approximately ¼ of a mile north of Dalkey Island and 200 metres southeastward of Clare Rock.

Passing south of Muglins Sound
Photo: Tourism Ireland

A northbound vessel, not using the waypoints may avoid Leac Buidhe by progressing due north through the middle of the sound until Maiden Rock is abeam. Likewise, a south going vessel should steer for mid-channel on a bearing of due south, maintaining depths of greater than 10 metres of water, until The Muglins is abeam before turning off southeastward.
What is the best sailing time?
Sailing season for Ireland is May to September, with June and July offering some of the best weather. Nevertheless the incidence of winds up to force seven and above in June and July are on average two days each month. So you may be either held up or having a blast depending on your sailing preferences. Ireland is not subject to persistent fog – statistically complete days of persistent fog occur less than once in a decade.

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