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Lough Swilly

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What is the route?
This is a safe run down Lough Swilly and includes waypoints used the Lough Swilly Yacht Club to lead into Fahan Marina. The first part of run up Lough Swilly is in the well-marked deepwater shipping channel that may be used at any stage of the tide. But shortly after Buncrana, the route leads into the Fahan Channel which has a bar across its entrance with only 1-metre MLWS. Most medium draft vessels intending on continuing to the marina will require an arrival at this point of the route to be timed to high water ± 2 hours to cross the bar.

Why sail this route?
This provides a useful set of waypoints to approach and pass down the north end of Lough Swilly as far as Fahan and/or enter the marina.

Tidal overview
Today's summary tidal overview for this route as of Friday, August 7th at 10:56. Lough Swilly's tidal streams are scarcely perceptible at the entrance. They build progressively southward and can attain a spring rate of 1½ to 1¾ kn off Rathmullan Pier. High water for Lough Swilly is HW –0500 Dover, +0110 Galway, mean level 2.3 metres with a duration 0605. Allowing it is about 12 miles with a favourable stream to the 'Inch Spit' buoy the ideal time to enter for a boat capable of 5 knots and intending on visiting Fahan Marina would be two hours after the in-going stream commences or earlier with a tide wait.

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