Contacts: Arklow HM tel no +353 (0)40232466; Arklow Marina VHF #12 tel no +353 (0)402 39901; Arklow Sailing Club VHF #10 (when racing) tel no (mob) 087 2509330
The Port of Arklow sits astride the entrance to the River Avoca with the main town on the SW bank, industrial development along the North bank and an expanding residential town (Ferrybank) outside that. There are built up quays along both banks, a dock on the south bank and a small busy marina on the North bank; the industrial area along the North bank is slowly being developed into a residential area and the marina is now overlooked by modern housing.
In the past this was one of the busiest ports in Ireland; it dealt with a lot of cargo, had a large fishing fleet and possessed a strong boat building industry where several very famous yachts started their illustrious lives. The port no longer deals with cargo ships but it is still used by a lot of fishing vessels; Although no longer handling major cargo vessels Arklow is the base for Arklow Shipping which has, at the moment, 44 bottoms carrying cargoes throughout Europe and the Med and has its Head Offices on the North Quay adjacent to the Marina.
In addition to the marina there is a long pontoon on the North bank up river from the marina which is a far better place for longish boats to tie up; it really is very tight in the marina (see photograph).
If the weather is coming on to blow this is a very good place to run for but you need to make the decision early because in strong winds from the NE, East and SE the entrance can become very difficult and especially so in wind from the NE when the sea penetrates into the entrance and it becomes impassable. Once in and around the bend into the dock area it becomes really well sheltered and the maelstrom outside a distant memory.
It’s a point to note; the conditions inside do not reflect those outside and it would be a good idea to have a look before venturing back out in your pride and joy!!
Off the pontoon and continuing up river there are yacht moorings either side of the fairway until it become too shallow and it should be note that the river becomes very shallow up towards the bridge where it dries out from the South bank. In passing, that bridge is possibly one of the longest stone built bridges in Europe boasting nineteen arches.
All told this is a pleasant spot, the town is attractive and has plenty of services and would be a good destination from the UK mainland from which to start one’s Irish cruise. ... read more
If you are coming down from the North watch out for the Horseshoe Bank just to the South of Wicklow Head; there is a PHM buoy quite far out but if you are happy with the nav there’s no need to trog all the way out round it, but certainly keep out towards it. Further down there is the Wolf Rock but it is fairly obvious and unless you are really close inshore it will not cause you any problems. From a good long way away you will be able to see the Arklow Bank Wind farm which is a good indicator of where Arklow is (dead opposite). Don’t be fooled by the huge buildings and jetties associated with Arklow Rock Quarry; the harbour is nearly a mile North of that.
Once you have identified the harbour entrance there should be no problem getting in but err towards the Northern pier if the tide is ebbing so as not to be caught out by the cross current.
As you proceed up river look out for the tall and very prominent Red mast light at the Marina entrance. If you have been able to contact the marina and have a berth inside then go on in otherwise you should be able to tie up on the long pontoon beyond that and walk back to the marina office and make your number with them. ... read more
The main berthing area is in the marina or on its long pontoon on the north bank. You could make a temporary stop against the South wall near the entrance but you’ll have a long walk to get to the town. It is sometimes possible to tie up inside the fish dock (if for instance all you want is to drop in for a diesel top up)
The marina was charging 3.50 Euros pm/night in 2011 and, if you went into the dock it was 15 Euros per craft. ... read more