What is the route?
Why sail this route?Northern Ireland has a beautiful unspoilt coastline that is very close and highly accessible to Scottish sailors. The uncrowded Northern Irish waters offer a host of interesting coves, small harbours, friendly yacht clubs and some of the best marina facilities in the country. All benefit from beautiful countryside immediately ashore and Ireland’s legendary hospitality. However tidal streams are very strong, just off Torr Head the ebb tide can attain a speed of 9 knots, and the direction and velocity of the tide should be the central feature of any navigation in this area. With tides like this, a few minutes spent planning can save hours at sea. This set of notes outlines the best times and locations to make the optimal North Channel crossing.
What are the navigational notes?
Ballycastle Harbour initial fix, 55° 12.460' N, 006° 14.100' W
This is approximately 150 metres east of the lit northern end of Boyd's Breakwater.
Glenarm initial fix, 54° 58.330' N, 005° 57.020' W
This is located 300 metres directly north of the Glenarm marina entrance.
What is the best sailing time?Sailing season 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.
Are there any security concerns?Never an issue known to have occurred sailing off the Irish coast.
With thanks to:Jim Williamson, Yacht Splashdown.
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