Sailing Ireland is ideal for those who have limited time afloat, and the ports, harbours and anchorages in the south offer a varied cruising ground

Newlyn is a good leaving point for Southern Ireland. It is the last place with (a few) marina berths.

One favoured route is to take the ITZ (Inshore Traffic Zone), and a tidal lift, inside the Off Land’s End TSS to just above Cape Cornwall and then start your crossing of the Celtic Sea from the northern tip of the TSS.

Alternatively the Isles of Scilly shorten the distance, New Grimsby Sound is a good jumping-off or arrival point and passages between southern Ireland and the Isles of Scilly: avoid the Traffic Separation Schemes.

Kilmore Quay is delightful. It is a very busy fishing port, with resident seals, and fine for a departure but not so good for an arrival owing to shallow water outside.

A boat moored in a loch with flat water

Barlogue Creek is in a loch with a safe anchorage and handy for Loch Hyne. Credit: Miranda Delmar-Morgan

Dunmore East is a favoured landfall with deep water, a pontoon and is a nice little place.

Waterford is a long way up the river but sheltered and an interesting trip. The pontoons are near the town, facilities modest. Waterford Crystal have tours around their factory.

Crosshaven is the best place from which to visit Cork since there are no facilities on the city pontoon.

However, the trip up the harbour is very scenic with handsome Anglo-Irish houses looking out to sea.

A chart showing place to stop while Sailing Ireland

Credit: Maxine Heath

At the city pontoon you can step ashore into the centre of Ireland’s second city.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club, Salve Marina and Crosshaven Boatyard all have some visitors’ berths.

Kinsale is a very popular small town with two good marinas and anchoring and mooring buoys.

Seals are a common sight while sailing Ireland. Credit: Alamy

Seals are a common sight while sailing Ireland. Credit: Alamy

Blind Harbour in Glandore Bay has a very pretty anchorage but is open to the south.

Barlogue Creek is in a beautiful small loch which provides a well protected anchorage. You can dinghy in and watch the rapids at Loch Hyne.

Baltimore is within a large bay protected by Sherkin Island. You can anchor on the east side of Sherkin for shelter in westerlies, it is exposed to easterlies.

Continues below…

Baltimore is a thriving place with a Fiddle Fair in early May. You can anchor below the ruins of Dunalong Castle at the western end of the harbour and there are robust moorings.

Cape Clear Island has a deep inlet called South Harbour with very attractive rock formations.

It is subject to swell but has good holding on sand.

Crookhaven, Schull and Union Hall at Glandore have visitors’ moorings.

Brightly painted houses in Kinsale

Kinsale will cheer you on a grey day. Credit: George Munday/Alamy

If you get the opportunity to go out and do a tour around the Skellig Islands it is well worth it. There is a small quay but landing is discouraged with the exception of a daytripper boat.

There are precipitous steps and beehive huts at the top.

From there you can make for the island of Valentia and the little town of Cahersiveen which has pontoons.

The Shannon estuary has several anchorages and a marina at Kilrush.

View of buildings in Kinsale from a boat

Kinsale has many historic buildings and plenty of pubs for the thirsty tourist. Credit: Miranda Delmar-Morgan

The west coast of Ireland is completely exposed to the full force of the Atlantic.

The deep inlets and peninsulas mean that you have to work your way back out again, so you can end up feeling vulnerable.

It is quite possible to get stuck and be unable to get out.

There are places to hide, but often only at anchor and supplies may be difficult to acquire sometimes, so you need to stock up as and when you can.

The surrounding countryside is verdant, unspoilt and beautiful and the welcome ashore with lively music in the pubs is wonderful.

Sailing Ireland: southern coast

Time taken: 3 weeks

Newlyn to Longships – 13M
Newlyn to Dunmore East – 147M
Longships to Kilmore Quay – 130M
Longships to Dunmore East – 135M
New Grimsby Sound, Isles of Scilly to Kilmore Quay – 132M
New Grimsby Sound to Dunmore East – 133M
New Grimsby Sound to Crosshaven – 133M

Ferries: Cork – Roscoff, Rosslare – Fishguard, Cherbourg, Roscoff and Pembroke Dock

Hazards: Tuskar Rock TSS, Off Land’s End TSS, Longships, The Runnel Stone, The Saltee Islands, The Fastnet Rock

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