Contacts: Kilmore Quay Marina VHF 9 tel no +353 (0)53 9129955 mob +353 879001037KilmoreQuay is a small harbour with an active fishing fleet and a marina tucked in at the back with space for 60 boats. It is a very popular stopping off point for yachts arriving from UK or the Continent and as a matter of course at the height of the season you need to contact the marina in advance .
The marina here was built in the very early nineties which was far sighted of Wicklow Council as the practice of putting marinas in fishing harbours was in its infancy in those days. The village itself was, and still is, very small but the bus service has doubled since then; it now has two buses on a Wednesday and two on a Saturday - all to Wexford and you’ll be back in time for tea! There is a timetable but it operates in its own unpublicised time Zone!!
Here you will be delivered back in to an age where time doesn’t matter and gentleness does. There is no such thing here as “fast food”, in fact there isn’t “fast” anything; it’s almost as though the whole population is practicing for retirement where there’s not much to do, so what there is to do is done slowly! You will be delighted by the whole atmosphere, unless of course you need something in a hurry and in that case you will become thoroughly frustrated unless you chill out.
If you’ve come over from the UK you will have arrived after the usual frantic stuff at the beginning of your annual sailing cruise and a long and complicated navigational exercise over the St George’s Channel; this is absolutely the right place to slow down from that and remember that you are on holiday not manoeuvres!!
Whilst here you are also in a perfect spot to go out for a potter around the Saltee Islands but if you don’t feel like gambling your hull with the rocks they run day trips out there so that you can spend the day photographing puffins instead of hauling on jib sheets!
This corner of Ireland is a nightmare to navigate in;.............the land behind the shore is dead flat and there are very few easily identifiable marks on the shore; on some days, even from quite close in, it’s just a dark grey line on the horizon. If you make an overnight passage to arrive on or around dawn (tides permitting) the villages lights on the shore make everything a little more identifiable, but the "little" is significant!
AC 2740 has a warning about the reliability of GPS fixes in this area so wherever possible back up your fixes with visual fixes.
You need to pay very close attention to the navigation and wherever possible do some position line fixing to confirm your electronics. In settled weather coming from the East over St Patrick’s Bridge poses no problems as long as you cross check everything; you will have arranged to run west along the coast on the ebb which means that depths are critical and if you are in any doubt go the long way round through Saltee Sound and then North to the Kilmore channel SWM.
From the SWM distinguishing the landmarks in Kilmore is not easy; the harbour entrance is still a mile away and the harbour melts into the background. On top of that the tide is running across the dredged channel and various sets of ripples can confuse you; remember that the track from the buoy is just under 010°T but you will be heading about 030 to stem the tide and the tendency is to look for the harbour over the bows but it’s not, it’s off the port bow.
It has been known for the ripples over St Patrick’s Bridge to be misidentified as the channel in some lights.
If you elect to go though Saltee Sound from the SE there is a good transit line on AC 2740 but if you run towards the bottom of Little Saltee on a bearing of 330°T that’ll keep you clear of the Bore and the Brandies, pass through the middle of the Sound and continue on 330°T to split Jackeen Rock and Murroch’s Rock before turning towards the Kilmore SWM.
From the West there are no problems, just don’t try to cut the corner; round the SWM leaving it to port or you could end up on the putty.
In view of our member's comment re not delaying the port turn into the harbour, it'd probably be wise to clear away for entering harbour out by the middle ground marker at the start of the channel rather than just outside the entrance.
There is only the marina which will be a bit crowded at the height of the season.
They have everything you will need here with the noted exception of petrol; the garage is 3 miles away but you may find that the HM has some time and could run you down there.
There is water and shore power (prepaid 5 Euro card) on the pontoons; toilets and showers (coin op) ashore with limited opening hours (closed overnight from 2000 to 0800) a couple of mini-markets for basic supplies and a chandlery. Wifi is also available in the marina.
For the trailer sailors you will find a slip here at 15 Euros per day
There’s a museum, some nice restaurants and pubs and a fish festival in the first week of July.