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
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 (http://crosshavenboatyard.com/), 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,
firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 (http://salvemarine.com/ ). 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
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. http://www.crosshaventradsail.com/Home.html 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.
Bars in Crosshaven
- Buckleys Bar,
Lower Road, Crosshaven. Tel 021/483 1510
- Cronins Pub, http://www.croninspub.com/ 1 Point
Road, Crosshaven. Tel 021/483 1829
Return, Lower Road, Crosshaven. Tel 021/483 1400
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
- 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