Three Sisters Marina Manager tel no +353 (0)86 3889652
New Ross Port Company VHF14 tel no +353 (0)51 421303
Barrow Railway Bridge tel no +353 (0)86816 7826
New Ross is the lowest crossing point on the River Barrow and is also a thriving market town. The River Barrow cuts off the County of Wexford completely, you can cross here, at Passage East (by ferry) or at Graiguenamanagh and that’s it. If you can get under the bridge at New Ross (about 3m) then there is navigable water (normally by low draft barges, narrow boats and power cruisers) for about another 11 miles. As it is, as a yachtie, you will probably find that this is as far as you go.
In recent years they have developed a marina here (the Three Sisters Marina) which is the best place to tie up. For those who were here in earlier years and experienced security issues at pub closing time; that is no longer a problem as the marina is very secure.
The Port Company has two wharfs on the West bank and two on the East bank of the river and takes about three cargo ships per week; the Ro-Ro ferry berth marked on the UKHO chart has been removed.
The Marina Manager (Aiden Bates) is a good source of information for not just New Ross but for the whole of the Suir estuary.
Navigation to New Ross must take account of the tides
...... which increase as you travel up river from abeam Creadan Head (to the North of Dunmore East) where they run at 1 to 1.5kts as far as the narrows where they increase at Ballyhack and can run at up to 3 or 4 kts on the ebb after heavy rain.If you are marginal on mast clearance you will also have to take account of the air draft at the Barrow Bridge at the mouth of the Barrow. The Air Draft at the bridge is given as 7.1m (ie above MHWS); if you check the tides for Kilmokea Point adjacent to the bridge you can see that there is a range of nearly 3 meters at neaps so, if you get your timing right; you can sneak under there at LW and take the flood up to New Ross but you would need to be coming down from Waterford (as opposed to up from Ballyhack) to achieve this!
The passage up the Suir Estuary to Cheek Point is dealt with in our notes for Waterford and the Suir Estuary. The best time to set off up the Barrow River is at LW but if you are going to need the bridge swung it no longer becomes a factor in your calculations and you only need to allow a couple of hours flood for the trip.
Obviously the third and fourth hour of the flood will be the fastest passage and still allow some flood should you end up on the mud! That may seem to be a pessimistic approach but if you examine the chart, although it is well buoyed, there are places where you need to dogleg between marks to find the deepest water and there is not a lot of room for error, especially if you meet something coming the other way.
New Ross shares VHF 14 with Waterford and you would be wise to let them know that you are on your way up, if only to find out whether they have something coming down!! If you need to have the Barrow Railway Bridge swung you should give them a ring a good couple of hours before your ETA; they are not on radio so even if you have been given a time you may have a hiatus until they notice you are there!
After that it is “just” a matter of following the buoyage but be aware that it takes you too and fro from one bank to another and is, in places, alarmingly close to the bank. A good example of this is at Pink Point where the SHM to the North of it looks as though they’ve made a mistake and laid a green buoy instead of a red one, it is so close to the headland itself! There are also a series of Yellow markers which are not channel markers but indicate the shallows outside the channel. All good fun!!
The Marina is on the starboard hand as you approach New Ross and is not on radio so you will either have to tie up and go ashore or contact him on the phone on the way up.
The Three Sisters Marina was a relatively recent addition to the facilities at New Ross, but must be about five years old now, and belongs to the local council.
Their scale of charges splits at 9.5 meters (which is 10 Euros per night) and 10.5 metres (which is 20 Euros per night) - if you measure your boat in old money (feet) it would be a good idea to know exactly how many metres it is because 31 feet is on the cheaper side of the equation!
This marina is not swarming with visitors so you will find that the Marina Manager will probably have time to give you his undivided attention so it's worth making your number with him before setting off for here.
The marina does have a website which has improved over the years and now has some good images in its gallery; click here for their site
Three Sisters Marina
The marina pontoons have all the usual services and there are showers and toilets ashore. Petrol and diesel is by cans at a nearby filling station. They have an arrangement with the local laundrette to collect and deliver your dhobi. The shore power is on prepaid cards and the local hardware store supplies Gas/Gaz refills.
All provisions are available in the town along with a small chandlery and outboard shop.
There is a Boatyard on the West bank before you get to the marina.
There is the usual assortment of pubs, restaurants and fast food outlets in this expanding town which is becoming more tourist aware than hitherto. They have a fully restored “famine” ship alongside the quay which is open to visitors and exhibits the conditions which emigrants were prepared to put up with to escape the misery of famine ridden Ireland in the mid eighteen hundreds.
It is, of course, interesting from the point of view of a sailor who will enjoy the experience of setting foot on the deck of a three masted square rigger.
This part of the world is also where the Kennedy family has its roots and there is a museum and arboretum in the hinterland which can be visited by road.