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Arklow

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Courtesy Flag

Irish Tricolour

Waypoint

52° 47.7N 006° 08.00W

Charts

AC1787 Carnsore Point to Wicklow Head; AC0633 Arklow; SC5621-13B Arklow; Imray C61 St Georges Channel (Arklow harbour Plan)

Rules & Regulations

3knot speed limit in the harbour

Hazards

Arklow Bank & Wind Farm 7nm off shore; Glassgorman Bank 5nm South (Note some of the depths round here hark back to early 20th Century); The ebb sets strongly SE across the harbour entrance pushing one towards the South Wall.

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW is HW Dublin - 0230; MHWS 1.4m MHWN 1.2m MLWN 0.9m MLWS 0-6m   (links)

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General Description

Contacts:
Arklow HM   tel no +353 (0)40232466
Arklow Marina   tel no +353 (0)402 39901, mob +353 872375189 or +353 872588078
Arklow Sailing Club  VHF  #10 (when racing)  tel no (mob) +353 872509330

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 old industrial area on the North bank has been redeveloped 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).
 
In recent years the harbour has installed an additional pontoon for yachts inside the fish dock on the South Quay which has come under the control of the Marina. 


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.

If you are on line have a look at this Street View link for an overview of the harbour.

Street View

Covid 19 regs August 2021 Any boats intending to visit Eire must have completed a Covid 19 Passenger Locator Form which can be found at https://travel.eplf.gov.ie/en They must also comply with any instruction contained in the document

Approach

We have been warned that there is a scattering of pot buoys (some submerged at HW) in the offing to this harbour so a good look out is advised and it would be risky approaching in the dark.

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.


The biggest problem in approaching Arklow, especially from the UK mainland is the Arklow Bank and its associated wind farm.  It is really only a problem if you are coming over from somewhere like Pwllheli, when it lies directly across your track, otherwise it’s not going to add much to go outside its Cardinal Marks.

The wisest option in any sort of weather is to go round; there is some very shallow water in places (less than six feet at LWS) and that’s if you are prepared to trust soundings taken thirty years ago (and in some places back in Victoria’s time with a lead line).  Be aware also that some of the old buoyage that was here back in the middle “noughties” has been removed and the old Lamby at the South end has been replaced with a RACON and repositioned; so make sure your charts are up to date. (Ed’s note; the charts in the Members area of this site are renewed every 9-12 months)

If you are running up on the flood from the South it’s up to you whether you come up inside or outside the Glassgorman Bank; just be aware that it is there.

 

And finally, in dry weather and offshore winds, give the Roadstone jetty, a mile south of the harbour, a good offing unless you want to get a coating of fine dust on your topsides!!

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

The main berthing area is in the marina or on its long pontoon on the north bank. The marina may put you on the pontoon in the fish dock but you will be well aware of the commercial nature of that area from the smell of rotten fish.

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.  

The marina is charging 30 Euros a night in 2019 (which includes shore power and showers) and if you go into the fish dock it is also 30 Euros per craft. For

subsequent nights they charge 20 Euros.
 
 
Arklow Sailing Club  www.arklowsc.com

Facilities

Water and electricity are available in the Marina and on the long pontoon. Showers and toilets are available there and, if on the South bank or in the Dock, in the Life Boat shed.  The Marina Superintendent will get your diesel cans filled for you and if you need a significant amount he will organise a tanker.

There are plenty of shops in the town on the South side and, recently, an Aldi store just along from the pontoon on the north side along with the new Bridgewater shopping centre

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

Arklow has a wide range of restaurants, pubs and fast food outlets.

For the younger members of your crew there is a nightclub called Tunnel and, for the more esoteric, a maritime museum.  We’re still in the County of Wicklow here so the mountains in the interior will be beckoning; that really is beautiful country. 

Links

Your Ratings & Comments

9 comments
UPDATE SUMMER 2021
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 17th Aug 2021
I reviewed these notes in August 2021. Their prices remain the same and although not many visitors from the English side of the Irish Sea they are busy with local yachts that hitherto spent their time tied up!
Update Summer 2019
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 11th Jul 2019
These notes were reviewed in July 2019 (just after the entry below) We've changed the price structure and noted that the fish dock is now run by the same people as the Marina. The note about sea snail pots below puzzled us but they actually do fish for sea snails with them and export them to France. New charts have been uploaded.
Visit en route to South Coast Cornwall July 2019
Written by Collenan | 9th Jul 2019
Niall was very helpful and met us on arrival, We berthed at the sea end of the long riverside pontoon as our draft was 2m on 13m boat. Fees as previously reports 30Euro first night with 20 on subsequent nights unchanged from last year. We asked about fuel and Niall took our drums, filled them and returned them to the boat. Other info on approach still appropriate. Lots of sea snail pots off the entrance and between Arklow and Wicklow Head cause need good lookout as they are often almost submerged in the tide. Not a good place to approach in the dark. Fees are cash only.
Long pontoon charges
Written by Mark Taylor | 14th Sep 2018
We were charged 30 Euros for the fist night and 20 for subsequent nights (June 2018). I think that this is a flat rate for any size of craft. Enjoyed the museum, but so quite that you will get a personal tour!
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Arklow Marina Ltd & Arklow Harbour
Written by Niall O Toole | 23rd Aug 2018
As from August 2018,Arklow Marina Ltd under licence from Arklow Harbour Board now operate the pontoon
in the South Dock,facilities are available at Arklow Marina (showers/toilets),electricity/water available on pontoon.
Overnight rate is €30- ,discount available for longer stay.
Any enquiries further info fm Niall O Toole 00353 87 2588078

1 of 1 people found this helpful
UPDATE APRIL 2017
Written by Don Thomson | 20th Apr 2017
I reviewed these notes in April 2017. Everything is the same
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Visitors Pontoon
Written by Captain Guy | 22nd Aug 2016
I was there in June 2016. Most of the "visitors" pontoon was taken up by permanent residents - you could tell by the amount of weed accumulated on the wars - some hadn't moved in months!
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 10th Apr 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in April 2015. Prices have changed a wee bit and we have added some mobile contact numbers.
Update November 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 20th Nov 2013
These notes were updated by Don Thomson on the 20th November 2013
1 of 1 people found this helpful
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