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Kilmore Quay

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Courtesy Flag

Irish Tricolour


52° 09.20N 006° 35.30W (Kilmore Quay SWM )


AC 2740 Saltee Islands; AC 2049 Old Head of Kinsale to Tuskar Rock; SC5621; Imray C61 St George’s Channel (no harbour plan) : Imray C57 Tuskar Rock to Old Head of Kinsale (Kilmore harbour plan)

Rules & Regulations

None Known


Rocks, shallows and strong tidal streams. The biggest hazard is that the lat & long positions derived from AC 2740 cannot be relied upon for GPS positions. The chart itself warns you to use “alternative sources of positional information” which means you need to break out the hand bearing compass (and dust it)

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW is HW Dover -0530 or HW Cobh +0014: MHWS 3.8m MHWN 2.8m LW no information ; At springs the streams here are very strong, up to 3.0 kts through Saltee Sound and as much as 4.5kts over St Patrick’s Bridge. Generally the streams flow East from an hour before HW Cobh to five hours after but over St Patrick’s Bridge it turns East nearly three hours before HW Cobh. South of the Saltee Islands the streams are a nightmare; they start off North an hour before HW Cobh, gradually shift round to the East and then the SE reaching their maximum about two hours after HW Cobh when they are flowing ENE. The direction continues to alter round through South to NW reaching its maximum when West by South about four hours before HW Cobh.

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General Description

Contacts: Kilmore Quay Marina VHF 9  tel no +353 (0)53 9129955 mob +353 879001037 

KilmoreQuay 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 operated in its own unpublicised time Zone!! (That may have changed by now)

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.


Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

There is only the marina which will be a bit crowded at the height of the season.

Charges remain the same for 2022 as they have been for nine or ten years; 2.5 Euros p/m  p/n with a minimum charge of 25 Euros.  I've been advised that they may be increased next year (2023) All the information you could need for your visit may be found at the website below (mind you, that hasn't been updated since 2014!!)


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 but plug in on arrival as there may be some left in the meter)) 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

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

There’s a museum, some nice restaurants and pubs and a fish festival in the first week of July.


Your Ratings & Comments

Written by Fiona Balloch | 4th Jun 2023
1 euro for 4-min shower, short walk from pontoons. Great icecream shop opposite marina and amazing beaches to the left and right of the marina- just a couple of minutes walk. Harbour master will always find you a place- we were rafted 4 deep for one night then got our own berth. 30 euros a night berth.
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 13th Oct 2022
No changes, not even prices but watch this space for next year.
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 7th Sep 2021
No changes. Not even the price (and their "summer" season finishes at the end of August)
Update Summer 2019
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 25th Jul 2019
These notes were reviewed in July 2019. Thank you for the comments below - they make keeping the main text up to date so much easier! I've included the remarks about the shower block's opening hours (This practice is becoming more prevalent). I'm uploading new charts; I have a memory of a "reported rock" on the Saltees chart a few years ago - seems to have either been removed or conformed and edited in.
Nice harbour
Written by De Verleiding | 28th May 2019
Very nice harbour with nice walks and bike routes.
Showers open till 7 PM ( € 1.00 4 min.)
Easy harbour with frienly harbourmaster.
pays € 2,00 p/m in May (from June = 2,50)
Nice stop before to go to Wexford
You have to pay for the electra 10 kWhrs for € 5,00 if you by more it's cheeper
No showers ?
Written by SeaFury | 4th Sep 2017
A delightful harbour, yet bizarrely, the marina shower/toilet block is locked from 5pm till 9am the next morning. (Sept - May)
and from 8pm to 8am (June - Aug).
Written by Don Thomson | 25th Apr 2017
I reviewed these notes in April 2017 and nothing has changed; not even the price (mind you for an 8 m boat it's steep)
Always Room!
Written by Captain Guy | 28th Jun 2016
I can vouch for the HM quoted as saying "There's always room". Got there on 7th June (Tuesday) and rafted up 3 deep. By the time we got back from the pub there was another boat outside us!
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 17th Apr 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in April 2015. Prices remain the same and I have added a note re clearing away before entering the approach channel.
June 2014 Yield to the quintessential fishing port
Written by yachtman | 16th Jul 2014
The low coast reminded me of the Netherlands, along with the leading poles into the harbor.

Dont delay turning left into the harbor as the beach really does go up to the entrance.

Very helpful harbor master who shuffled a couple to get us in. many thanks. His comment is, we are never full, we will get an arrival in some how. 1.8 mtr in the entrance at low water springs apparently at least 8 feet in the bridge this year.

Nice bread from the near shop by the quay, along with excellent butcher.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update December 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 2nd Dec 2013
These notes were updated 2nd December by Don Thomson. Prices were held in 2013 and Wifi has been added.
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