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Courtown Harbour & Pollduff Pier

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Courtesy Flag

Irish Tricolour


Courtown 52°38.6N 006°12.5W


AC1787 Carnsore Point to Wicklow Head; SC5621; Imray C61

Rules & Regulations

None Known


Roney Rock off Roney Point; Off shore shifting sandbanks; Uncharted rocks (Nell’s Patch) about 200meters North of the Pierhead at Pollduff. There is a little doubt about the depths at the entrance.

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Courtown is HW Dublin -0330; MHWS 1.3m MHWN 1.0m MLWN 1.0m MLWS 0.7 NB. There is a very small range here; HW Pollduff is HW Dublin -0400; MHWS 1.2m MHWN 0.8m No information on Low Water depths.   (links)

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General Description

Contacts:  Courtown Sailing Club   +353 (0)5525307; mobile +353 (0)86 8066594  

Pollduff exists only as a pier jutting out into the Irish Sea just under Cahore Point and Courtown is a small harbour with a very narrow entrance about five miles North of that.  They are included because they can be very useful for the cruiser who is happy to cover about 30nms a day and they are roughly that sort of range from Rosslare; with a good tide you would be in this area in about five or six hours after leaving Rosslare and, advantageously, would be arriving around the top of the tide.

Courtown is also a very good place to head to from UK; it lies opposite a wide gap in the coastal sandbanks which stretch from the SE corner of Ireland all the way to Dublin and if you look at the chart you can see that the rhumb line from Fishguard to here clears the lot and avoids the TSS round the SE of Ireland. You’re looking at a distance of about 60nms which is a fair old hop for a small boat (about 15hrs?) but if you’ve got a boat which can average 5kts you’re down to about a 12 hour crossing which you could do on the spring tides in early May in daylight.  Mind you, it might be better to do the crossing overnight so as to have the rest of the day to find Courtown in daylight.

There is also the added advantage that an alongside berth here is free.

The entrance at Courtown is only 10 metres wide leading into a North/South orientated harbour most of which is occupied by local boat moorings whilst Pollduff  (sometimes called Cahore) is a pier giving shelter on its North side which has 1m depth at its outer end at LW.

Courtown is a popular seaside resort and has all the facilities one associates with that; the beaches on either side of the harbour get busy in the summer.

The main resident here is the Sailing Club and, information for visitors can be found on their website here
Pollduff, on the other hand has very little, except a pub and shop.  If you have a shallow draft boat both will provide good shelter in off shore winds and settled conditions and they would also provide sheltered anchorages in their offings for the deeper draft boat in those conditions. It is noticeable that at Courtown there is, reportedly, a very small range in the tides (about half a meter at springs) and they also report a maximum depth of about 1m to 1.5m at MLWS so, if you are travelling North, and can get in here easily on arrival at High Water, you should be alright to depart at Low Water to continue North with the next flood but you need to consult with the local sailors as to the depths before relying on that. 
If you would like an overview of the harbour in Google Maps we have provided a link to their Street View of the harbour below:

Street View

The Yacht Club website can be found at www.courtownsailingclub.com/


The approach to Courtown is simple and free of dangers;

Once you have identified both sides of the entrance it’s just a case of keeping the narrow channel “open” and proceeding in at a cautious speed.  There is usually a maximum depth of 1.5m above CD but this should be treated with caution as after prolonged Easterlies a bar can build up at the entrance.

As you approach the harbour its aspect will change as the effect of the tide up and down the coast lessens; it’ll start off being on either the port or starboard bow and you will be stemming the tidal stream until you straighten for the harbour itself.
Pollduff should pose no problems, just bear in mind the bank of rocks (Nell’s Patch) close north to the end of the pier; run in from about 500m due east of the pierhead between the PHM & SHM buoys and on departure hold out from the shore by the same distance before setting course.

Neither of these locations should be approached in the dark or in strong weather from the easterly quadrant.

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

Once inside you should be able to find somewhere to tie up alongside the East wall

.... or you may find that one of the sailing club members is away and you can use his mooring (with, of course, permission) The Club does maintain one visitors buoy which is a fore and aft mooring. The stern mooring is a yellow buoy and the bow, a white one; pick up the stern mooring first and then follow the bridal forward to the bow mooring. 

If your draft permits and there is room you could come alongside at Pollduff.

There is an absence of harbour dues at both locations.


Courtown has all the facilities that one would expect of a popular seaside town with the addition that the Sailing Club is very friendly and will welcome a visitor when they are open.

Fuel is available at a filling station not too far away.

Pollduff, on the other hand has very little in the way of facilities; there’s a pub which may or not be able to do you a sandwich and a shop at the caravan sight about quarter of a mile away.

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

There are plenty of places for entertainment and eating in Courtown and you can find details of them all at their website and its links

Courtown Harbour

The pub at Pollduff has already been mentioned and is the only place for miles around.


Your Ratings & Comments

Written by Don Thomson 3 | 21st Oct 2022
No changes
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 26th Aug 2021
No changes
Update Summer 2019
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 18th Jul 2019
These notes were reviewed in July 2019. The Sailing Club here is now reporting a MAXIMUM depth of 1.5 metres which could limit your use of it. New chart has been uploaded.
Written by Don Thomson | 21st Apr 2017
I reviewed these notes in April 2017. Apart from updating the chart I've made no alterations.
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 23rd Apr 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in April 2015. No changes
Update November 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 20th Nov 2013
This page was updated by Don Thomson on the 20th November 2013
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