Navigating through the Skerries Islands
What is the route?
Why sail this route?This is a useful cut through the islands shortening the passage and making for more interesting sailing. For those who want a less taxing passage skirting waypoints are also provided.
What are the navigational notes?The listed waypoints are offered as a guide and should not be used for navigation. Before using waypoints it is essential that you check their accuracy, their suitability for your vessel and the precision of your GPS
Approaching from the south through the islands with GPS:
Please see list of waypoints below. The route ‘Shenick’s’- ‘Bay’ – ‘Colt’ – ‘Perch’ – ‘Harbour’ provides a safe approach to Skerries Harbour through the islands. You will find a chart-datum clearance of approximately 3 metres utilising this route.
‘Patrick’s Island’ provides a turning point enroute to ‘Perch’ for those choosing the more relaxed sail outside the islands.
Approaching from the south through the islands without GPS:
Sailing north leave Shenick’s Island about a quarter mile to port and sail towards the centre of Colt Island when bearing 325° T.
Turn to 007° T when the Martello Tower on Shenick lines up with Pope’s Hall Hill behind it on a bearing of 187° T.
Then about a quarter mile past Colt Island, turn due west to round the Perch buoy leaving it to port.
The end of the harbour and anchorage areas should now be visible. Do not turn into the harbour until the bearing to the pierhead bears less than 154°. Watch out for lobster pots in the approaches.
Sailing south reverse the instructions
The tidal streams you will encounter are as follows:
Close inshore the ebb starts at -0030 Dover and runs for 7 hours
Springs rates of 1.5 kn between islands
Between Rockabill and Skerries they run NNW and SSE at LW and HW Dover.
Waypoint 1: Skerries Harbour, 53° 35.080' N, 006° 6.600' W
West of Skerries Harbour
Waypoint 2: Perch, 53° 35.440' N, 006° 6.660' W
Northwest of perch buoy
Waypoint 3: Colt, 53° 35.300' N, 006° 4.930' W
Northeast of Colt Island
Waypoint 4: Bay, 53° 34.800' N, 006° 5.020' W
Transit urning point amid islands
Waypoint 5: Shenick’s Island, 53° 34.200' N, 006° 4.300' W
East of south tip of Shenick’s Island
Waypoint 6: St. Patrick’s Island, 53° 35.350' N, 006° 3.800' W
Northeast of St. Patrick's Island
Waypoint 7: Spring, 53° 34.880' N, 006° 5.800' W
Southeast of springboards landing stage
Waypoint 8: Captain’s Swimming, 53° 35.100' N, 006° 5.750' W
Northeast of captains swimming area
Waypoint 9: Red Island, 53° 35.250' N, 006° 6.100' W
North of Red Island
Waypoint 10: Rockabill Lighthouse, 53° 35.800' N, 006° 0.300' W
Rockabill lighthouse position
What tidal notes are available?We are now approaching the next tidal event that will be Springs, need more detailed tidal planning information?
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 is the best sailing time?Sailing season for Ireland is May to September, with June and July offering some of the best weather. Nevertheless the incidence of gales in June and July are on average two days of winds each month of winds up to force seven. So you may be either held up or having a blast depending on your sailing preferences. Ireland is not subject to persistent fog – statistically complete days of persistent fog occur less than once in a decade.
What weather information is available?Weather information available from our Irish information page. If you're looking for shelter, facilities, or a type of location along this coast, use our find resources tool.
What dangers are to be avoided?Great care should be taken in all approaches to the Skerries to steer well clear of the islands, including Red Island, due to the rocky foreshores and sandy banks extending out some distance.
Sailing between the land and Colt or Shenick Islands is not recommended without very good local knowledge.
Are there any security concerns?Never an issue known to have occurred to a pleasure vessel sailing off the Irish coast.
What other general advice is there for this route?Weather information - from wide-ranging to local- North Atlantic 24 hour synoptic. Eastern Atlantic 24 hour synoptic. Ireland & UK wind view. Current Irish Sea Area Forecast. Current Irish observations. Eighty five Irish wind and wave reports. Plus, a very simplified Leinster outlook. Coastal radio stations (VHF Channel) Weather forecast at 0103 and thence every 3 hours updated every sixth. Dublin 83, Wicklow Head 87, Rosslare 23 and Mine Head 83. Radio broadcasts on RTE 1 (89.1FM) 0603, 1253, 1655 and 2355.
With thanks to:With thanks to Skerries Sailing Club web: http://www.skerriessailingclub.com'>www.skerriessailingclub.com'>http://www.skerriessailingclub.com
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