What is the route?
- • Inside the Kish Bank
- • Inside the Arklow Bank
- • Outside the Blackwater Bank
- • Outside the Lucifer Bank
- • An approach to Rosslare Harbour via its main channel.
Why sail this route?The is a straightforward set of waypoints for passing between Dublin and Rosslare and the southeast corner of Ireland.
Between the larger banks, and Dalkey Island, there are many other navigable channels that provide shortcuts which may be availed of with a little more pilotage and tidal focus. They are usually well marked by lit buoys, have ample space and have depths that support large commercial shipping. As such, vessels traverse this length of coast can select these inshore channels and they are well described in the coastal description.
This set of waypoints will, however, be the best approach to take at night, with poor visibility or in uncomfortable weather. Conversely, if you are a stranger to the coast, or are in anyway uncertain, or operating in heavy weather with low visibility, it is perhaps best not to add additional navigational complexity. In this case, it may be best to exit Dublin Bay to the north of the Kish Bank lighthouse and keep outside all the banks, staying east of the Codling and Arklow Banks.
What are the navigational notes?
The 70 miles of coast between Dublin Bay and Rosslare Harbour is partly obstructed by a long discontinuous chain of detached sandbanks. The banks lie parallel to the coast varying from just over a mile to almost ten miles offshore and some are as long as five miles in length. They are mostly made up of fine sand that shift slightly in depth and position but others have a gravel base whilst others have boulder ridges.
The primary dangers are the Kish and Bray Banks, Arklow Bank, Blackwater Bank plus some smaller covered obstructions that will be discussed. Portions of the Arklow Bank have depths of less than 1.6 metres, and the Blackwater Bank’s Money-weights section has patches that totally uncover and dry. Heavy breakers will be found on all the banks in strong easterly conditions. Nevertheless, the coastline presents little difficulty in reasonable conditions for a modern sailing vessel with auxiliary power.
The complete course is 69.54 miles from the waypoint '¼ a mile east Dublin Bay buoy' to 'Rosslare Harbour Pierhead light' tending in a southerly direction (reciprocal northerly).
¼ a mile east Dublin Bay buoy, 53° 19.912' N, 006° 4.220' W
R/W Buoy Mo(A)10s Dublin Bay's central marker situated in the middle of the bay.
► Next waypoint: 3.42 miles, course ⇓ 175.79°T (reciprocal ⇑ 355.79°T)
½ of a mile east of Muglins, 53° 16.500' N, 006° 3.800' W
Muglins are a small group of rocks, located ¾ east by north-east of Dalkey Island, on which stands a light Fl R. 5s 14m 11M
► Next waypoint: 8.26 miles, course ⇓ 167.75°T (reciprocal ⇑ 347.75°T)
¼ of a mile east of Moulditch Buoy, 53° 8.430' N, 006° 0.880' W
Port marker for the Moulditch Bank, Red Buoy Fl R 10s
► Next waypoint: 2.85 miles, course ⇓ 162.01°T (reciprocal ⇑ 342.01°T)
¼ of a mile east of Breaches Buoy, 53° 5.720' N, 005° 59.415' W
Port marker for the Breaches Bank, Red Buoy Fl (2) R 6s
► Next waypoint: 7.81 miles, course ⇓ 174.75°T (reciprocal ⇑ 354.75°T)