Galway Bay Anchorage

Galway Bay Anchorage

Data compiled from:

Galway Bay

Charts: AC 2173, 3339, 1984, 1904; Imray C55; Irish OS 45, 46, 51

Shelter: Galway Bay is sheltered from large swells by Aran Islands, but seas get up in the 20M from Aran to Galway. Beware Salmon drift nets in the approaches to many bays.

Navigation: Enter Galway Bay through one of four Sounds:

  • North Sound, between Inishmore and Golam Tower (conspic.), 4.5M wide, is easiest but beware Brocklinmore Bank in heavy weather.
  • Gregory Sound, between Inishmore and Inishmaan, is free of dangers but give Straw Island a berth of 2-3ca.
  • Foul Sound, between Inishmaan and Inisheer; only danger is Pipe Rock (dries) at end of reef extending 3ca NW of Inisheer.
  • South Sound between Inisheer and mainland. Only danger is Finnis Rock (dries 0.4m) 4.5ca SE of E point of Inisheer (marked by ECM buoy Q (3) 10s). From S, Beware Kilstiffin Rocks off Liscanor Bay.

Lights/Marks: Black Head lt Fl WR 5s 20m 11/8M H24, vis 045°-W-268°-R (covers Illanloo Rock)-276°

Bunowen Bay

53°24’.6N 10°06.9W Sheltered in W-NE winds; unsafe in S’ly. Easy approach with Bunowen House bearing 000°, leaving Mullauncarrickscoltia Rock (1.1m) to port. Anchorage in 3-4m below conspic. Doon Hill.

No facilities.

Roundstone Bay AC2709

53°23’N 09°54’.5W Safe shelter/access except in SE’ly. 4 Y visitors’ moorings are 5ca SSE of Roundstone, or anchorage in 2m off N quay. Other anchorages are E’ward in Bertraghboy and Cashel Bays.

Lights/Marks: Croaghnakeela Is Fl 3.7s 7m 5M. Inishnee lt Fl (2) WRG 10s 9m 5/3M, W sector 017°-030°.

Facilities: Shop, Fresh Water, Bar, Post, Bus to Galway

Kilkieran Bay

Easy entrance abm. conspic. Golam Tower. 12 Y visitors’ moorings off Kilkieran. Many anchorages in 14M long, sheltered bay.

Facilities: Bar, Phone, Petrol, Shop, Bus to Galway

Kiggaul Bay

Easy ent, H24; anchorage close W/NW of lt Fl WR 3s 5/3M. Depth 3 to 4m; exposed to S/SE winds

Lights/Marks: Fl WR 3s 5m 5/3M, 329°-W-359°-R-059°.

Facilities: Bar (no Phone), Shop at Lettermullen (1M)

Greatman Bay

Beware English Rock (dries 1.2m), Keeraun Shoal (breaks in heavy weather), Arkeena Rock, Trabaan Rk, Rin Rocks and Chapel Rocks. Anchorage off Natawny Quay (E side), or on 4 Y visitors’ moorings off Maumeen Quay (dries), AB possible.

Facilities: Maumeen: Shop, Petrol (1M), Bar

Cashla Bay

Easiest hbr on this coast; ent in all weather. Anchorage and 8 Y visitors’ moorings off Sruthan Quay. Rossaveel, on E side, is a busy fishing and ferry hbr.

Lights/Marks: Killeen Pt Fl (3) WR 10s 6/3M; Lion Pt Dir lt 101°, Iso WRG 4s 8/6M, 008.5°-W-011.5°. Rossaveel ldg lts 116°, Oc3s.

Facilities: Carraroe (1M SW) Shop, Hotel, Phone; Rossaveel HM (Tel. 091 572108), Fresh Water, Diesel, Marine Engineering; Costelloe (1.5M E): Hotel, Post, Garage

Note: No safe hbr from Cashla to Galway (20M).

Bays between Black Head and Galway have rocks and shoals but give excellent shelter.

Galway Harbour

53°15’.6N 09°02’.2W



New Harbour (Rinville)

53°14’.6N 09°00W Beware Black Rock (dries 4.1m) on S shore. N shore is clean; can be approached to within 0.5ca below half tide. Anchorage SW of quay in 2m, mud. Visitors’ moorings available. Contact GBSC for availability.

Facilities: Galway Bay Sailing Club (Tel. 091 794527) Fresh Water; Oranmore (2M) Shop, Bar, Hotel.

Kinvara Bay

53°09’N 09°10’.5W Enter with caution on the flood; beware rocks. Berth in small drying hbr. At neaps there is anchorage 2.5ca from Kinvara with 2m at LWN.

Facilities: Shop, Bar, Post

Aughinish Bay

South Bay

Beware fish farm.

Ballyvaughan Bay

Enter either side of Illaunloo Rock, leads to two piers (both dry) or anchorage close NE in pool (3m). Best access HW±2.

Aran Islands

Beware marine farm activity.

Lights/Marks: Eeragh Island (Rk Is) Fl 15s 35m 23M, W tr, B bands. Inishmaan unlit. Inisheer: Iso WR 12s 34m 20/16M, Racon, vis 225°-W-245° (partially obscd 225°-231° beyond 7m), R sector covers Finnis Rock.

Killeany Bay

53°08’N 09°38’W Only reasonable shelter, but exposed to E/NE winds and crowded with fishing vessels. 8 Y visitors’ moorings available; or anchorage S of Kilronan pier; or anchorage E of Killeany Pt.

Lights/Marks: Straw Is, Fl (2) 5s 11m 17M. Kilronan pier Fl WG 1.5s. Ldg lts 192° both Oc 5s for Killeany hbr.

Facilities: HM (Tel 099 61150), Shop, Diesel, Fresh Water, Post, Ferry to Galway, Plane to Galway (airstrip near beach).


Anchorage in good weather only.

¹ Du Port, Andy, and Featherstone, Neville. Reeds Afloat Almanac 2008. London: Adlard Coles Nautical, 2007.

² Irish Cruising Club. South and West Coasts of Ireland Sailing Directions. Cork: Irish Cruising Club Publications, 2006.

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