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Dunmore East

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Courtesy Flag

Irish Tricolour


None Given


AC 2049 Old Head of Kinsale to Tuskar Rock; AC 2046 Waterford Harbour & Dunmore East; SC5621; Imray C57 Tuskar Rock to Old Head of Kinsale (with Harbour Plans for Waterford and Dunmore East)

Rules & Regulations

Contact the HM before arrival. Maximum two nights stay. When rafting outside boats must secure fore & aft to shore. Do not obstruct the Ice Quay


There are overfalls where the ebb tide from the estuary meets the coastal tidal streams off Hook Head. In strong wind over tide conditions these can be considerable requiring a leisure yacht to give the Head a good 1nm offing. If coming from the East or SE it’s best to go well past the Head and turn into the Estuary when due South of Dunmore East

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW IS HW Dover -0530 or HW Cobh + 0010; MHWS 4.2m MHWN 3.2m MLWN 1.4m MLWS 0.6m

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General Description

Harbour Master VHF 14  tel no +353 (0)51 312359 
email [email protected]
Pontoon Superintendant           
+353 (0)873455623  

Waterford SC    tel no +353 (0)51 383389 or mob +353 (0)876743572 for a mooring

Situated on the western shore of the River Suir estuary this is a favoured port of entry for many skippers from the South West of UK.  It is easy to see why as it offers complete shelter from the prevailing south Westerlies, has a completely uncomplicated entrance and offers all the facilities of a working harbour. 

If the weather is strong from the SE there is a nasty scend into this harbour so you would be wise to consider the many anchorages available on the East side of the estuary but until you get well up the river these are without facilities. The problem with Dunmore was that you were likely to find it packed from wall to wall with fishing vessels, rafting four, five and even six deep on all the walls. Our photo by Shaun McGuire illustrates this dramatically.

The harbour belongs to and is operated by the Irish Government’s Agriculture and Fisheries Department; it’s primary purpose is to service the Fishing industry and whilst it acknowledges “a significant number of visiting leisure craft in the summer months” you should be in no doubt where you stand in the pecking order here. 

Having said that there has been a seismic shift in the attitude here over the last five years. The whole of the inner harbour is given over to the fishing fleet whilst there is now a substantial pontoon laid along the East breakwater for the sole use of leisure craft.

They have also remodelled the Harbour Office building to accommodate toilets and showers for visiting yachtsmen and they are only a couple of years old.

If choosing a spot to anchor be aware that in some South Westerly conditions the swell tends to hook round the East breakwater so that, at anchor, you can end up beam on to the swell. Those of you who have experienced this in an anchorage will know what I mean, and if you haven’t, believe me, you don’t want to.  The best place for a bit of peace is off Lawlors Strand about a quarter of a mile north of the harbour.

There is an up side!  The river up to Waterford is sheltered, well marked and very scenic; it has several little harbours and/or anchorages which can be used for pleasant overnight stops and, at the end of it, the county town of Waterford with all its attractions and served by a very long town pontoon for visitors.  If your fortnight’s summer cruise to Ireland is being wrecked by the old “SW four to five, occasional six, gusting seven” weather then this is the place to rescue it; clew up at Dunmore East for the night then potter up river next morning and you can spend an idyllic fortnight exploring in shelter.  Just have to leave Kinsale for another year!!

We go in to more detail in our notes for Waterford Harbour

The Dunmore East website is at  
gov.ie - Fishery Harbours (www.gov.ie)



The approach is simple and without dangers apart from the overfalls at Hook Head.

As has been said, in adverse conditions, it is as well to maintain a westerly course well to the south of Hook Head until due south of Dunmore East before taking up a Northerly course towards the harbour. 

You should make contact with the HM in the approach on #14 for berthing instructions and, if possible maybe let him know you're coming before you leave where you are!

At night be aware that the red/white sector light on the East Pier marks the old  end of that pier and  one should maintain a northerly course past it until the green sector light on the end of the West pier becomes open from the flashing PHM on the new end of the East Breakwater.

There are two new SHMs to keep you clear of the dangers and moorings to the North and North West of the Harbour mouth. These are now shown on the Admiralty Charts. Positions

Dunmore East Starboard Buoy 1     52 09.064N  006 59.382W   QFl.G

Dunmore East Starboard Buoy 2     52 009.00N  006 59.474W   Fl.G 2s

If anchoring off Lawlors Strand you should note that there is a small rocky promontory extending about fifty yards from the SW corner of the bay which is covered at HW so enter the cove midway between its horns.

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

As has been said there is a pontoon on your port side as you swing south into towards the harbour entrance.

At the height of summer you will probably have to raft.  It is important here that the outer boats in the raft make fast to the pontoon not just to the boat inside them because if the wind comes up from the SE there'd be quite a load on the hawsers and you could all end up cuddled up on the beach if the inside boat's warps part!! They are charging (2022) 2 Euros per metre per night and that covers shotre power hook up.

The note in our members comment below that Cruise ships have priority on the pontoon to land their passengers is no longer the case; they have a separate pontoon for the pilot boat and Cruise ship landings

There is a security gate at the top of the pontoon and, if you arrive out of office hours you wil need to phone their mobile to get the re-entry code before you exit the pontoon.


Dunmore has all the facilities (chandlery and engineering etc) that you would expect of a busy harbour but expect to have to carry much of what you need.  The new summer pontoon has 240 volt shore power, free to visitors and water but you may need long leads and hoses. There are now showers,  toilets and a washing machine available in the harbour which are accessed with a key fob.  The harbour does not have fuel but, if you need a major refuel. they might be able to order a fuel bowser to deliver bulk.The Sailing Club also has showers and toilets and their provision for visiting yachties can be found on their website at

http://www.whsc.ie/about-whsc/clubhouse/  and   http://www.whsc.ie/sailing/visiting-boats/

The village has provisions and but no longer has fuel..

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

There are many good restaurants and pubs, quite a few of which are located nearer to the anchorage at Lawlors Strand than the harbour.


Your Ratings & Comments

Pontoon prices
Written by Fiona Balloch | 12th Jun 2023
20 euro a night on pontoon for 9.8 m boat. Electric and showers are free.
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Written by Fiona Balloch | 10th Jun 2023
Easy entrance to pontoon and lots of room to turn when inside the harbour. However, you need strong fairleads, as the lines are snatchy at all points of tide. There was no wind when we were there. Helpful people on pontoon to take lines. We didn't have to raft.
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 11th Oct 2022
I reviewed these notes in October 2022. No major changes
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 6th Sep 2021
I reviewed these notes in September 2021. There has been a change of HM and the new one is Deidre Lane. I have supplied the Pontoon Superintendent's mobile in the contacts for enquiries out of hours. Note that fuel can only be obtained here in bulk; the nearest garage is a taxi drive away or cans in Waterford. They have a new pontoon for the pilot boat and cruise ship landings so our members note about being moved is no longer the case.
Visitor pontoon
Written by Deltaromeopapa | 17th Jul 2018
Be aware if there is a cruise ship in the bay the pontoon will be cleared of visiting yachts and will not be available until the ship departs, today after 1830. This apparently happens several times a week. Currently waiting at anchor to get onto the pontoon but must leave by 1200 tomorrow.
3 of 3 people found this helpful
Visit August 2017
Written by Mike_J | 18th Aug 2017
Rafted up on the pontoon. Electricity available at no additional charge after registering with Harry the harbour master. Rate is 2eu/metre. Harry very helpful and accommodating. Very nice new showers so no longer the need to walk round the harbour to the boat club.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Written by Don Thomson | 24th Apr 2017
I reviewed these notes in April 2017. The upgrading of the harbour to meet the needs of the cruising yachtie is now pretty well complete and our notes have been changed to cover that. I will also upload the 2017 charts
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Great welcome for yachts in Dunmore East, August 2016
Written by Prich | 8th Aug 2016
The new pontoon is up and running, and was full when we were there in our First 28 last week, but we got a berth outside a motor boat. We had to stay for a few days while we repaired an alternator, and we were well looked after. The toilets and showers are clean and accessed via a fob given to you when you register. Not sure if the shore power is connected yet, as we did not need it. The harbour master is Harry Mc Laughlin, and I want to thank him for his helpful and courteous assistance to us.

There are several nice restaurants and pubs, we dined at the Azzurri.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update October 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 1st Oct 2015
The dredging is now complete and it is expected that the harbour will be open to visiting yachts in the 2016 sailing season
Update 2015 Further
Written by dononshytalk | 16th Apr 2015
There are two new buoys in the approach to the harbour mouth, positions given in the text

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