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West Coast

South Coast

Irish Marinas

This page is
excerpted from:

Cruising the Wild Atlantic Way

SSCA Cruising Station

OCC Port Officer

Trans Ocean

Crosshaven, Co Cork, home of the oldest yacht club in the world

Our first stop after crossing the Atlantic the third time was Crosshaven, home to the Royal Cork Yacht Club.  We wanted to cruise the South the West coasts of Ireland and this seemed like a fitting place to start.  As we sailed past Roches Point in the early evening, large car ferries and ships were coming out of Cork Harbour. We made the turn to port in view of Carlisle Fort with Cobh visible straight ahead. Our goal was to visit the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world. Crosshaven is on the Owenabue River, a tributary of the River Lee, flowing into Cork Harbour.

Anchorage & berths

Head for the ‘Cork outer buoy’. Then steer to 0.5 mile east of the Cork fairway buoy. Maintain this course until the Cork entrance buoy is reached. Then pass between Roche's Point and Weaver Point and then between the two forts. The Owenabue River opens up to port just beyond Fort Meagher. Follow the channel markers and then the deepest water is to be found by following the moorings.

We spent our first night at anchor just inside the inlet in protected waters with good holding as a gale passed over. There was plenty of boat traffic coming in and out to make for an interesting perspective.  The next morning we checked into the RCYC for a night at the dock.  It was coming on Cork Week and they were clearing out their docks. They were expecting 250 boats and total mayhem starting Saturday the 10th of July and this was the 5th.  They kindly let us stay for one night even though they were asking all their members to move their boats out immediately.

There are actually several marinas in Crosshaven.  Crosshaven Boat Yard, the first marina you come to (, is a full service marina able to repair fibreglass and wooden structures, masts and rigging, electronics, mechanical and electrical repair services, a limited supply chandlery and so on. They have a 40 ton hoist.  (Tel +353 (0)21 4831161, The 100 berth marina with electricity, water and fuel has a 6.5m wide dock with up to 4m draft.

Salve Marina is the second of the Crosshaven marinas ( ). 56 marina berths available from 8 metres to 50 meters, accommodating a depth up to 4.2 metres.  They also have a limited number of swing moorings. They have marine engineering and engine repair services as well as diesel.

The RCYC, the largest marina, extends reciprocal services to visiting yachtsmen and women who are members of a recognized yacht club.  The building itself, though small and unassuming from the outside, is very nice and welcoming on the inside. The bar and restaurant are open to visitors and there is WiFi access at the bar. An outdoor seating area overlooks the marina and offers limited protection from the elements via a glass wall. The showers are spacious with plenty of hot water in the ladies area and very poor pressure and no privacy in the men’s area. There is water and electricity at the docks, diesel available at the fuel dock, and petrol available on site. At €40 per night for our boat, it was on the pricey side. There was only one other visiting yacht when we were there – a boat with 5 children all under 5 years of age, oh my! So the marina was very quiet at night. We are certain that changes dramatically during Cork Week.


Sometime during the 1600s, sailing for pleasure became popular in the Netherlands. When King Charles II of England was in exile there, he took up the sport.  Upon restoration of his crown, he returned to London and sailed enthusiastically on the Thames, often with members of his court one of whom was the 6th Lord Inchiquin.  Sailing became popular in Cork Harbour soon after his return to Ireland. By 1720, interest in sailing for pleasure had progressed so much that the 26 year old William O’Brien, the 9th Lord Inchiquin, and five of his friends formalised their activities by establishing “The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork”, known today as the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC). It is the oldest yacht club in the world and moved to its present location in Crosshaven in the 1960s. Among its distinguished members have been Prince Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria (joined in 1858), a brother of Emperor Franz Joseph, the founder of the Imperial Austrian Navy, and later to be Emperor of Mexico. Sir Thomas Lipton, who challenged for the America’s Cup sailing his famous yachts called Shamrock, was admitted to the club in 1900. Cork Week, which is hosted by RCYC every two years, is regarded as Europe’s best fun regatta and attracts contestants from all over the world.

What to do

We were actually a bit disappointed in Crosshaven as a town. There are several pubs, one of which, Cronin’s at the center of the village, was very much alive with lots of patrons, trad and live music, and all types of Irish beers and ciders on tap. Other than that, the place was rather quiet. Walking the streets was really as much as we managed. Crosshaven does host a TradSail Festival in June. People told us that most everyone just keeps their boat here but goes into Cork to live and play. Ballybunion nearby offers a “timeless” world class golf course, Bromore Cliffs, Ladies Beach, and Nine Daughters Hole, a blow hole overlooking the Virgin Rock and Ladies Beach. 

Okay. Next time we’ll know.

Where to eat

Cronin’s used to serve great seafood – oysters, mussels, salmon, all local – but stopped for a time. They are thankfully back into serving great seafood again, with lunch served all week in the pub, and dinners served only on the weekends (Friday-Saturday) in their Mad Fish restaurant.  On Thursday evenings in the summer, they also serve bar food in the pub. 

The Anchor Inn on the street above the harbour is the only other restaurant serving dinner regularly. The Royal Cork Yacht Club serves dinner but stops serving at 8 pm; the Admiral Drake serves until 8:30 pm. The town rolls up its streets after that. 

The Chinese restaurant and Chish n’ Fips has a takeaway.  Nothing else was open when we were there in early July.

Useful links:

Bars in Crosshaven

  • Buckleys Bar, Lower Road, Crosshaven. Tel 021/483 1510
  • Cronins Pub, 1 Point Road, Crosshaven. Tel 021/483 1829
  • Johnny's Return, Lower Road, Crosshaven. Tel 021/483 1400
  • Moonduster Inn, Lower Road, Crosshaven. Tel 021/483 1452
  • The Admiral Drake, Lower Road, Crosshaven. Tel 021/483 1687

Restaurants, Cafes and Fast Food

  • The Anchor Inn, Middle Road, Crosshaven. Tel 021/483 1799
  • Mad Fish Restaurant at Cronin’s Pub, The Square, Crosshaven Tel: 021/ 483 1829
  • Rivers End Café, The Square, Crosshaven Tel: 021/ 483 3682
  • The Crafty Little Food Shop, The Square, Crosshaven Tel: 021/ 483 1829
  • Ship Ahoy,  The Glen, Crosshaven Tel: 021/ 483 3634
  • China Sea Chinese Restaurant & Takeaway,  Lower Road, Crosshaven. 021/ 483 2328 
  • Chish n’ Fips Takeaway, The Square, Crosshaven Tel: 021/ 483 2777
  • Admiral Drake, Lower Rd, Crosshaven Tel: 021/ 483 1687
  • The Moonduster Inn,  Lower Rd, Crosshaven Tel: 021/ 483 1452

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