Harbour Information (use the icons to find out more)


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Courtesy Flag

Irish Tricolour


5358N 00616.8W


AC 0044 Nose of Howth to Ballyquintin Point; AC 1431 Dundalk and Approaches; SC 5621.3 Annalong to Drogheda; Imray C62 Irish sea

Rules & Regulations

The dredged channel is a narrow channel within the meaning of the IRPCS rules and small vessels should not impede those restricted by draft.


Shoals and shallows off Dunany, Ballagan and Cooley Points. Dundalk Bay itself dries as does the dredged channel.The dredged channel is bounded by training walls which are covered at HW

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Dundalk (Soldiers Point) is HW Dublin 0010; MHWS 5.1m MHWN 4.2m MLWN 1.6m MLWS 0.6m; The stream in the channel can be quite strong, especially after prolonged rain. The flood starts at Soldiers point five hours before HW Dublin an the ebb a few minutes after HW Dublin

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General Description

Dundalk HM  VHF #14   mobile +353 872847566
Dundalk Pilot VHF #14  mobile +353 872524188

The port here was owned by the Dundalk Port Company but in July 2011 passed into the ownership of Dublin Ports.  Dundalk is now operated by the Shaun O’Hanlon & Sons Construction Company on behalf of Dublin Ports.  The old telephone number listed in other publications issued prior to 2011 is no longer in use and there is no longer a Dundalk Port Company web site. The mobile number we have listed for the HM at Dundalk is still correct (April 2015) It is believed that VHF #14 is manned for known ship movements. For information on ship movements it is advisable to contact the Harbour Master at Dublin (Dave Dingham) on +353 1 8876000 or you could always use the AIS.

This is a commercial port and permission to enter it has to be sought from the Dublin Port Company

Once the Castletown River has been negotiated Dundalk offers a completely safe haven but is not set up to deal with visiting yachtsmen. A drying berth may be found alongside the commercial quays (which could be damaging to your gelcoat) or an anchorage drying to mud beside the channel. It has to be said that the vista here is less than attractive as the main export here is scrap metal which is stockpiled in vast heaps alongside the quays. The land around the quayside has been developed into industrial estates which have to be penetrated to get to the main town on the other side of the N5 Bypass.

Having said that, Dundalk is the County town of Louth and, as such, has many amenities and services despite showing a pretty drab face to the sea.

On the other hand if all you need is somewhere to hold for the conditions to enter Carlingford Lough then you’d be much better off at Giles Quay on the NE corner of Dundalk Bay. You can anchor near the end of the pier there or even dry out alongside; it’s only 8nm from there to Cranfield Point so if you leave when you float a couple of hours before HW you’d be just right to enter Carlingford lough at the end of the flood. Mind you, you won’t find anything in the way of services at Giles Quay apart from the pier, a pub and a small shop at the caravan site.
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The most obvious mark in the approach is the Dundalk Pile Light, a white lighthouse on top of its green piers which used to be the primary guide on the approach housing a sector light to guide into the channel.  This is no longer the case; the NE side of the old channel entrance has become much shallower to the extent that to approach anywhere near the old tower in a deep draft boat is to court danger.

The much smaller No2 Port Hand mark which is a red pile marker, with a green light (they've changed the light but haven't got round to painting the mark and it is now a nice colour of rust, their words, not mine) is now the primary lead into the channel and should be left to Starboard.  This mark bears 323°T from the way point given above and is unofficially, for the moment, the deepest route over the bar. You should plan to be there about three hours before HW Dublin at the earliest to be sure of sufficient water to allow passage up the channel with favourable streams all the way to Dundalk, a distance of about five miles.  This information was correct in April 2015 (after the winter) but it would be wise to check it  with the pilot before proceeding inbound.

On the chart the depths available look quite daunting but bear in mind that there is a substantial tidal range here and there will be 3.3m of water in the channel from half flood onwards.  The main problem is that the training walls which help to maintain the depth in the channel start to become covered as the tide rises and you should keep inside the line of the channel markers to avoid them. 

The piles are numbered and clearly marked both in colour and top-mark shape (square port and diamond starboard)  It is strongly recommended that the HM at Dundalk is contacted before entering the channel in order to co-ordinate your passage with any commercial traffic he may have and to take advice on where he can accommodate you on arrival; if you can’t raise the harbour on #14 it’s safe to assume that there are no shipping movements due.
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Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

The most probable location for your stay will be at the Western end of the docks where you’ll be with some other local fishing boats. ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

Written by Don Thomson | 21st Apr 2017
I reviewed these notes in April 2017. It's sad. There hasn't been a visiting yacht here in living memory and now they seldom see a commercial boat. We've kept it in our almanac in hope and warned the Admiralty that the No 2 buoy flashes GREEN.
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 15th Apr 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in April 2015. Despite the fact that the No 2 PHM is shown on this year's Admiralty chart as Fl.R3s it definitely is NOT - it's Fl.G3s and should be left to starboard. We have double checked our contact numbers for the harbour and they are correct.
Update November 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 28th Nov 2013
These notes were updated on the 28th November 2013. The changes in light signatures were given by the Pilot at Dundalk and can be relied on today. You should check everything with the pilot and the Port of Dublin before considering planning to use this as a destination for your yacht which basically is not "welcome"
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