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 Strangford Lough - Profile

Location

Famous for its birdlife, Strangford Lough is the U.K.’s largest sea inlet, being about 17 miles long and 4 miles wide. It provides an all weather, all tide shelter on a stretch of the west coast which has no other. It has numerous bays, inlets and islands, and is an important and protected wildlife site. At the northern end of the 5 mile long entrance narrows, lies the town of Strangford, and opposite, on the eastern shore, the village of Portaferry. It is a very popular sailing area and the many clubs in the area provide visting yachtsmen with a warm welcome.

Docking

If unfamiliar with the area, use the eastern channel through the narrows and beware of the strong tides and the car ferry shuttling between Stangford and Portaferry.

In April 2008 the new tidal turbines within the narrows at the entrance to Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, were installed. Turbine blades are not a major navigational hazard fort yachts as they are set at a considerable depth. The only part of the structure that protrudes above the water is a large concrete post. The turbine is identified by the colours and top-mark of an "isolated danger mark".

Pilotage:

When there is wind against tide there are overfalls at the SE approach to the Lough and at the bar.

At the narrows of the lough, by the turbine, the flood starts at HW - 3 1/2 hours Belfast and the ebb starts at HW + 2 1/2 . At Springs the tidal stream can reach 7 knots.

Moorings:

There are a few visitors' moorings at Strangford. The Quoile yacht club has a visitors pontoon as well as moorings, as do several of the yacht and sailing clubs around the lough.

There are plenty of anchorages and it will be possible to find shelter whatever the weather. Castleward Bay, Grey Point and between Jackdaw and Chapel Islands are some useful ones.

Last updated January 2010.

Ardglass Marina
19 Quay Street , Ardglass Co Down BT30 7SA
Tel:+44(0)28 4484 2332 Fax:+44(0)28 4484 2332 ,VHF Channel M, 80
Lat: 54° 15.7' N Long: 5° 36.3' W
Just south of Strangford, Ardglass has capacity of 83 yachts. All facilities, fuel, launderette, repairs, provisions nearby.
Harbour Master
Tel:+44 (0)28 44881637 ,VHF Channel 12
Islander Marine
The Slip , Strangford , Downpatrick County Down BT30 7NE
Tel:+44 (0)28 4488 1303
Water, diesel (cans), some repairs. Provisions, post office, restaurant and bar in the village.
Portaferry Marina
11 The Strand , Portaferry , BT22 1PF
Tel:+44(0)28 4272 9598/mob 07703 209 780 Fax:+44(0)28 4272 9784 ,VHF Channel Ch M 80
On East shore of the Narrows, the gateway to Strangford Lough. Berthing Master John Murray. 10 visitor berths. Water, electricity, fuel (cans), LPG, provisions, bank, post office.

Yacht Clubs

Down Cruising Club
Clubship Petrel, , 60 Ballydorn Road, Killinchy.
Tel:+44 (0)28 97541580
The Clubship is permanently moored in Ballydorn Fairway on the western side of Rainey Island. The fairway offers shelter in all but northerly winds. Visitors should be aware of strong currents in the fairway and its approaches. There is a short stay pontoon on the seaward side of the ship and one visitor’s mooring with the permission of the manager, Brian Smith (see email address) Yachts can dry out alongside the stone quay. Water and diesel available. Showers and bar lounge. Chandlers, sailmaker and restaurant adjacent. Boatyard 1 mile, shopping 2 miles.
East Down Yacht Club
Comber Road, Killyleagh , Strangford Lough , Northern Ireland
Tel:+44 (0)28 44 828375
Situated west of Island Taggart. Approach from the South between HW-3 and HW+3. A line of moorings marks mid-channel. The inner pool has pontoon berthing, and visitors’ moorings with 3m at LW. North of the slip dries at LW. Fresh water on pontoon.
Killyleagh Yacht Club
Cuan Beach, Killyleagh
Tel:+44 (0)28 9258 7200
Situated on the west shore, south of the red brick Town Rock Beacon. Anchor in 2-4m SSW of Town Rock. Landing at Yacht Club pontoon jetty gives easy access to shops, hotel, restaurants, bank, garage, chandlery, taxis and buses. The Town Quay, NW of the Town Rock, can be used for a short stay 2 hours either side of HW.
Kircubbin Sailing Club
67 Shore Road, Kircubbin , Northern Ireland BT22 2RP
Tel:+44 (0)28 427 38422
Situated on the eastern side of the Lough, at the northern end of Kircubbin Bay. The bay offers reasonable holding in clean sand/mud and provides good shelter from north through east to south, but is completely exposed to the west. Anchor off is 2.1m (clear of moorings) or pick up a spare mooring when available.
Newtownards Sailing Club
116 Portaferry Road, Newtownards, BT22
Tel:+44 (0)28 91 813426
Situated on the NE shore of the Lough. Mainly a dinghy racing club. Jetty has water hose but dries out at LWS. Visitors’ moorings may be available.
Portaferry Sailing Club
38 Shore Road,Portaferry, BT22 1JZ
Tel:+44 (0)28 427 28770 / Marina 028 4272 9598 mob. 077 0320 9780
Situated facing the Narrows, south of the Ferry Pier. Berthing is available in the small marina. Showers and bar open in the evenings.
Quoile Yacht Club
21 Castle Island Road, Downpatrick.
Tel:+44 (0)28 44 612266
Situated at the head of the Quoile River estuary on Castle Island. There is a short stay pontoon with water hose. Anchor off moored yachts between Castle and Gibbs islands, however some visitors’ moorings may be available. There are shower and bar facilities in the clubhouse.
Ringhaddy Cruising Club
Ringhaddy Road, Killinchy
Tel:+44 (0)28 97 541158
Situated on west shore of Ringhaddy Sound one cable south of the stone quay. There is a concrete slip and a number of pontoons. Visiting yachts from outside the Lough are welcome to come alongside the pontoons for short periods, where water is available. There are no visitors moorings in the Sound but Club members may be able to identify available private moorings. Although the Sound is very sheltered, however it is rather deep for anchoring.
Strangford Lough Yacht Club
Whiterock Bay, , Killinchy, , Co. Down BT23 6PY
Tel:+44 (0)28 9754 1202 Fax:+44(0)28 9754 1883
This is the largest club on the Lough. Situated behind Trasnagh Island the approach from Ringhaddy is between Darragh and Parton islands. Anchor outside the moored yachts, or 3 hours either side of HW, there is a 2m depth at the pontoon jetty to come alongside for a short stay. The Club Boatman can advise whether a mooring is available and may assist with ferrying. Waterhose available.
Strangford Sailing Club
Seafront Road , Castleward Estate , Strangford, Downpatrick BT30 7LS
Tel:+440(2)8 44 86404
Situated on west shore of Audleys Roads by Audleys castle. Anchor in the bay in 4.5m between small stone pier under the castle and a pole marking end of spit at SE side of bay. Showers available on race days and fresh water at Audleys pier.
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UK: Ocean Sailing Forum at Southampton Boat Show  (06 Sep 2012)

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Chandlers return to sailing after pirate horror  (02 Jul 2012)

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En Route from Antigua to UK: Skipper of Missing Catamaran "Gutted" to be Rescued  (13 Jun 2012)

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UK South Coast: Prince Michael unveils new facilities at Beaulieu  (25 Apr 2012)

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Solo Sailor Rescued after drifting for 11 weeks  (25 Apr 2012)

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UK: Hosepipe Ban - implications for leisure boating   (22 Mar 2012)

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Scotland: Explore the Highlands and Islands with the Malts Cruise  (15 Mar 2012)

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UK: Red Diesel - Government Backs Down  (08 Mar 2012)

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Some Good News Regarding the International Certificate of Competence  (07 Mar 2012)

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UK: Cross-Channel red diesel use outlawed  (23 Feb 2012)

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Scotland, Isle of Kerrera - New Buyer for Oban Marina  (13 Feb 2012)

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European Inspectors Focus on Yacht Safety   (10 Feb 2012)

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The Cruising Association Share the Secrets of Sailing the Bay of Biscay  (02 Dec 2011)

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UK: Coastguard modernisation proposals confirmed   (22 Nov 2011)

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Armed Guards to Protect UK Ships?  (30 Oct 2011)

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Heavy rain causes chaos across British Isles  (25 Oct 2011)

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Tackling Piracy: UK Government Response  (20 Oct 2011)

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UK: Gang jailed over yacht drug smuggle  (18 Oct 2011)

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Atlantic Ocean: Norwegian Yacht Missing - Now Safely Arrived in Ireland  (26 Sep 2011)

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The Tail-end of Hurricane Katia hits the UK in "worst storm since 1996"  (12 Sep 2011)

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British sailors missing at sea between South Africa and Australia  (08 Sep 2011)

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Night drama as two Dutch sailors rescued by British Royal Navy  (14 Jul 2011)

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Malts Cruise 2011 - Discover Scotland by Sail  (30 Jun 2011)

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UK: Cowes Yacht Haven Launches New Website  (30 Jun 2011)

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Can Anyone Rescue the UK Coastguard?  (23 May 2011)

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Scottish Malts Cruise - Sailing and Whisky  (29 Apr 2011)

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New from Imray  (02 Apr 2011)

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Yachts in Europe: New Marine Safety Inspections from Jan 2011   (06 Jan 2011)

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Falmouth coordinates rescue of yacht after fishing boat collision  (16 Dec 2010)

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British sailor dies as yacht sinks in stormy seas off Canary Islands  (02 Dec 2010)

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Paul and Rachel Chandler Speaking at a Press Conference in Mogadishu  (14 Nov 2010)

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BREAKING NEWS: Paul and Rachel Chandler released by Somali pirates after 388 days  (14 Nov 2010)

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UK South Coast: Full Planning Consent Granted for East Cowes Marina  (03 Nov 2010)

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UKHO to Restructure Admiralty Leisure Range of Charts  (20 Sep 2010)

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Warning for North Sea Sailors: 60 tonnes of timber  (02 Sep 2010)

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UK. New interactive marine conservation zone map launches online  (29 Jun 2010)

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Help Create Better Charts for the UK  (29 Jun 2010)

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UK South Coast: No Anchor Zones in Studland Bay   (24 Jun 2010)

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British cruising sailors rescued after yacht sinks in NE Atlantic  (19 Jun 2010)

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Somalia Kidnap: Chandlers plea to Cameron  (03 Jun 2010)

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British family rescued after yacht hits iceberg in South Atlantic  (09 May 2010)

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Scotland, More Berths at Oban Marina  (16 Apr 2010)

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British sailors rescued by Belgian helicopter  (07 Jan 2010)

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Sea, Sailing and Single Malts - Classic Malts Cruise 2009 Under Way from Oban  (17 Jul 2009)

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Almanac for English Channel now online and free   (14 May 2009)

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Emergencies and Channel 16  (28 Feb 2009)

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English Channel: Debris Alert for Sailors  (22 Jan 2009)

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Crinan Sea Lock Closure  (25 Jul 2008)

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DYT Announces New Routes and Voyages  (12 Dec 2007)

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UK Customs To Set Up New Unit For Yachts  (21 May 2007)

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EU extends VAT grace period for non-EU boats to 18 months  (23 Mar 2004)