Balbriggan Harbour, County Dublin, Ireland
Summary* Restrictions applyA good location with straightforward access.
LWS draught-0.4 metres (-1.31 feet).
Today's local tide estimatesHW 01:00, LW 05:14
HW 12:02, LW 17:40
Now approaching Springs
Swell todayDirection ENE, height 0.1 metres, period 3.5 seconds, significant wave height of 0.4 metres.
Local weather outlook
Haven position53° 36.778' N, 006° 10.702' W
Where is that position?The white pierhead light upon the north corner of the pier Fl (3) WRG 20s 10M
What is the initial fix?
What is the story here?Balbriggan Harbour is a fishing port situated on the north Dublin county coast three miles northwest of Skerries.
It is a small artificial harbour that dries out completely along and the surrounding bay is shallow out to 800 metres making it more suitable for bilge keel boats. However it is useful for vessels that are happy to dry out alongside the quay or medium draft vessels, of up to 1.5 metres, that may enter the harbour up to two hours either side of high water.
Balbriggan is a good harbour where in suitable conditions you could happily spend the night dried out alongside. Access is straightforward as there are no immediate dangers to be avoided and the pierhead is lit to facilitate a night entry.
Please note that Balbriggan is a busy fishing port and you may be moved on. In any onshore conditions or general heavy weather you should select Howth harbour.
Not what you need?
Loughshinney - 5.4 miles SE
Saltpan Bay - 8.9 miles SE
Talbot’s Bay - 9.1 miles SE
Off the boat harbour - 8.8 miles SE
Port Oriel (Clogher Head) - 11.2 miles N
Dundalk - 24.9 miles NNW
Gyles’ Quay - 22.3 miles N
Carlingford Harbour - 25.8 miles N
Why visit here?This is an excellent location for quick provisioning or an extended stay to take advantage of the well established shore facilities. Balbriggan as a town is also worthy of a visit from a tourist perspective.
Balbriggan (Baile Brigín in Irish "Town of the Little Hills", due to the relatively low hills that surround the town) is a scenic manufacturing and fishing town with a harbour, a good beach and a census population of approximately sixteen thousand.
There is no chronological consensus about the foundation of the village, other than there may always have been a small settlement of fishermen, weavers and some sort of agricultural trade post. The harbour dates back to 1761 and the Martello tower, one of a number built as a defence against Napoleon's army, was constructed by the military in the 1800s under the 'national defence Act of 1804'.
Today it offers the visitor pleasant seaside walks, secure bathing – its principal beach is sandy and safe, patrolled by lifeguards in the summer season - and an 18-hole parkland golf course that welcomes visitors. The river Delvin, said to be the christening site of St. Benignus the successor to St. Patrick, is well stocked with trout. A visit to Ardgillan Castle is recommended. This 18th Century manor is renown for its beautiful gardens.
How to get in?If approaching from the North please note the position of Cardy Rocks reside 800 metres off Breymore Point to the north of Balbriggan. These dry and are marked by port hand marker.
Cardy Rocks, port hand beacon, position: 53° 37.912’N, 006° 10.859’W
Approach the harbour from the northeast tracking in towards the beach - residing immediately north of the pierhead light and enclosed by a Martello Tower at the further end.
Balbriggan White tower - Fl (3) WRG 20s 10M position: 53° 36.778’N 6° 10.702’W
The sectored light on the tower is as follows:
GREEN from 159° to 193° over Cardy Rocks
WHITE from 193° to 288°
RED from 288° to 305° over the Skerries
The harbour is formed by a pair of piers that project 150 metres north-northeast from the shore. The entrance faces westwards towards the shore. As you progress in you will see the twenty metre wide gap open between the pierheads and you can turn into the entrance.
The harbour is segmented into an inner and outer harbour. Once inside the outer harbour you will see, at about midpoint, a short spur projecting east from the north pier, creating the inner harbour. Make way for the 15 metre wide gap at the end of the spur to enter into the inner harbour.
Come alongside on the south-western quay after the slip. You can find a depth of 3.7 metres at high water with a level bottom of mud alongside. Depth is not even throughout the harbour and the best pathway is visible at low water, image presented on the Google map below.
What are the tides here?Today's local tide estimates are based on High Water Dublin (North Wall) -0018
Today's Dublin (North Wall) tides — High water: 12:20, Low waters: 05:32, 17:58
Today's Dover tides — High water: 11:41, Low waters: 06:54, 19:17 (From Tide Times)
We are now approaching the next tidal event that will be Springs, need more detailed tidal planning information?
Dover + 0015, Rise 4.4 – 3.6m
The above image represents the current tidal stream off this haven in local time. Click [+] to advance the estimate by an hour and click [ - ] to step back. Future tidal planning is best accomplished by extracting the date's Dover Tide HW , and clicking [+] or [ - ] based on the presented Dover offset. Do you need information on the tidal graphics?
What facilities are available?Fresh water, fuel, gas and electric power are all available at the quay. In addition to this there are excellent engineering facilities that support the fishing vessels plus a nine ton travel-lift and laying up facilities. There are basic provisions available in the immediate vicinity of the harbour along with restaurants and bars.
Balbriggan is 32 km north of Dublin city, on the Belfast–Dublin main line of the Irish rail network. The town is also located next to the M1 motorway and Dublin International is a taxi ride away.
What emergency contacts are there?Dublin Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) VHF Ch 83 covers the area from Carlingford Lough to Youghal. Carlingford (04), Wicklow Head (02), Rosslare (23) and Mine Head (83) provide relay stations. Coastguard Radio is always called on a working channel. Emergencies are worked on 16, 67 and working channel.
Alternatively, or if ashore, phone 999 or 112 (free) and ask for ‘Marine Rescue’. Gardai (police), Fire and Rescue are also available on this number. Dublin (MRSC) may be contacted directly on +353 1 662 0922/3
Any security concerns?You need to be security conscious if leaving the vessel unattended.
What navigational resources are available for this area?British Admiralty 1411 ‘’Irish Sea - Western Part’, Scale of 200,000:1, SC 44 ‘Nose of Howth to Ballyquintin Point’ scale of 1:100,000. Imray chart C61 plus Discovery Ordinance Survey map 50 covers this area. ’Sailing Directions - Irish Cruising Club - East & North Coasts of Ireland’ provides an excellent pilot for this area. OpenStreetMap provides local maps that include relief details plus walking and cycle routes for this locality.
With thanks to:Charlie Kavanagh - ISA/RYA Yachtmaster Instructor/Examiner - navigation and sail training available - details here: http://www.sailsoutheast.com/
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