Warrenpoint and Newry Harbours
Courtesy FlagFlag, Red Ensign
Waypoint54° 00.235N 006° 02.30W
ChartsAC 0044 Nose of Howth to Ballyquintin Point; AC 2800 ; SC5621.8; Imray C62 Irish Sea with insets for Carlingford Entrance and Carlingford Marina
Rules & RegulationsThe dredged channel is a “narrow channel” within the meaning of the IRPCS rules and small vessels should not impede those restricted by draft. Additionally there is no overtaking/crossing of vessels between buoys 1 – 9, 11 – 21 and buoy 21 & Warrenpoint. This essentially means that, combining the two rules, a small yacht should leave the channel altogether if encountering a large vessel within it.....Vessels should also avoid anchoring or grounding in the areas on the chart designated as shellfish beds.
HazardsThere are strong tidal streams both through the entrance and within the Lough. As would be expected strong Southerlies can set up quite a chop within the Lough but, in addition to this, North Westerlies can be funnelled down the Lough and produce worse sea states inside than outside. (Remember that you could be entering with the flood and against any NW wind; setting up a classic wind against tide situation). Anything above F5 on shore (E thro’ to SSW) makes the entrance difficult and on an ebb tide in these conditions the entrance becomes impassable in both directions...Closer to Warrenpoint there is the Gannaway Rock surmounted by a pole mark 3.5 cables SE of the breakwater and shallows close by the dredged channel for the last quarter of a mile into the dock area.
Tidal Data Times & RangeHW Warrenpoint is Dublin - 0015; MHWS 5.1m MHWN 4.1m MLWN 1.7m MLWS 0.7m; See "Approach" section
Contacts: Warrenpoint is the commercial port for Newry and sits at the top of Carlingford Lough on the east bank of the Newry River; the west bank is in the Republic of Ireland for about a kilometre and a half above Warrenpoint.
Warrenpoint Harbour Authority:VHF #12 tel +44 (0)2841 773381
Newry Tourist Information Centre tel +44 (0)2830 313170
The docks deal with a variety of exports/imports and have a good turn over. In addition to the large commercial docks there is a small inlet known as the Town Dock in which there are pontoons for shell fishing boats; as shellfish are not harvested during the summer months these docks are available for visiting yachties. Information on these pontoons and the depths available can be obtained from the HM on #12. There is an additional pontoon just inside the first breakwater you pass coming in to the harbour area; this is administered by the Newry Tourist Information Centre and is only available with their permission.
If intending to pass up river to Newry via the Victoria lock and the canal you will need a bit of advanced planning. The Canal is administered by the Newry Tourist Information Centre who require a written application 48hours in advance (so if you want to get in at the weekend you need to have completed application by Wednesday afternoon), along with the fees (£31.75 per boat per week or part week). Click here to download a copy of the form, fill it in and email it to them at the above address; they can take payment by card over the phone. (Remember that Newry is in the UK, if you are calling from the Republic it’s an international call.) The downloaded PDF (above) contains much useful information, directions, and a chartlet.
The problem with that link is that it dates from 2011 since when they have re-organised into the Newry, Mourne and Down Council.
There are no charts of the river above Warrenpoint but the river has been dredged and buoyed, and there is a diagram of the buoyage in the charts for this article and in the document downloaded above. The draft in the Albert basin is given as 3.3 meters but there is no information as to the depth of the channel in the river outside the canal. Access to the Victoria Lock is limited to HW ± 1hr in daylight hours. If you miss the tide, tie up at the pontoon at Warrenpoint and give the Tourist Information Centre a ring.
At the Albert basin in Newry you will find access to a large shopping centre (just over the road), and all the amenities of a County Town
There is a dearth of visual information on the canal or the Albert basin in Newry but if you want a virtual look round click below.
It is worth noting that tides at Cranfield Point are as Liverpool so ingoing.... ..... stream starts at LW Liverpool and the outgoing stream at HW Liverpool. Out at the Hellyhunter Buoy where your approach will start the tidal streams are coastal and the change to in/out streams occurs as one gets closer in. At their height the currents will slowly increase to 3½ kts in the approach, reaching 4½ kts abeam the Haulbowline Light and further increase to 5kts at Greenore Point. They then reduce quite rapidly to about 2½ kts between the Watson Rocks and Stalka Rocks and then down to 1½ kts at the Marina. In the bight of the bay off Rostrevor there is very little tide whilst in amongst the shoals at Greencastle you can expect to be anchored in a tideway.
Passage to and through Carlingford Lough entrance is dealt with in our notes on Carlingford Lough, Harbours and Anchorages.
If you have come through the narrows at Cranfield Point you will already be listening on VHF #12 and aware of other commercial traffic in the dredged channel; if making for Warrenpoint from somewhere in the Lough you should call Warrenpoint on #12 and make them aware of your intentions. It would be wise to ring ahead before departure and arrange a berth at Warrenpoint in advance; they are very helpful and any thing you can do to help them can only work in your favour!
Although it looks fairly shallow up near Warrenpoint remember that, even at LW springs, there is at least 0.7m on top of the charted depths so there is ample water to stay just clear of the dredged channel all the way to just short Warrenpoint and no need to get in the way of commercial traffic. For timing purposes it’s just over 6nm from Greencastle Point and about 4nm from Carlingford Marina to Warrenpoint. Once past Warrenpoint the passage up to Victoria Lock, about 2nm, is well buoyed but there is no information on the rate of the streams; common sense would indicate that after a few days of heavy rain there could be quite a current so you should plan to be at the lock in the hour before HW rather than the hour after.
Passage through the Newry Ship Canal from the Victoria Lock to the Albert Basin is fraught with red tape at the moment. We are making enquiries to try and make some sense of what is happening but there have been lots of rumours about the availability of berths, location of paperwork etc. You need to have asked your great grandfather to have applied in advance to have any hope of making sense of it all. Joking apart it may just be complicated by distance and time and we may have some more news later in the 2019 season
Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring
As has been said, from June to September there are pontoon berths in
...... the Town Dock at Warrenpoint which currently cost about £15 per night. If waiting passage up to Newry then there is a pontoon against the SE breakwater for a temporary stop but be careful there as the dredged channel beside it is very narrow; go straight in and depart stern first or warp round before departure. The area between the breakwaters, where you will see yachts moored, dries and is not really suitable for anchoring even if you can take the ground (it’s muddy and there are loads of old disused, unmarked moorings).
There were plans for a marina adjacent to the slips in this area but work has not started on that yet (2015)
The Albert Basin up at Newry has alongside berths and plenty of room to turn round in. There is no significant range in water levels here so no need to allow scope for rise/fall.
At the Town Dock pontoons in Warrenpoint there is water and shore power (electricity card) and they have a security gate. Showers are available in the Dock Office building close by. In the town can be found all you could need in the way of supplies. The nearest fuel is on the road past the docks, about quarter of a mile.
The Albert Basin at Newry is just across the road from a huge shopping centre and down the road from a Sport & Leisure Centre. You’ll find toilets in the shopping centre and showers in the sports centre. Electricity is available on the quay but that has to be booked when you book the canal. Fuel is not too far away; you need to go to the South end of the Shopping centre, go though their car park, back along Drumblane road to the church and then out on the Dublin Road to the Glenview Service Station.
Eating, Drinking & Entertainment
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