It is true that Ireland yacht charter can be for the more experienced, as some of the open sea passages can be challenging, even if short. The three coasts of Ireland are very different and in their variety they cater for every requirement. The most popular cruising area is between Cork and Dingle Peninsula with an abundance of protected harbours and picturesque anchorages. It combines sea passages with vast protected sailing areas. The wilder West coast is more exposed and the distances between sheltered habours are greater. Some 200 islands lie scattered of the West coast and only a handful are inhabited.

Winds tend to blow from the east averaging 15-25 knots. Navigation can be difficult due to numerous reefs. Best time to visit is between November and June.

Daily flights into Cork airport are available from most British airports, including the low-cost operators. Alternatively, Shannon airport is 60 miles away and Dublin is approx 140 miles drive.

The Fastnet Rock, west of Cape Clear, is Ireland’s most southerly lighthouse and marks the halfway point in the famous biannual Fastnet Race for yachts.

The following islands and villages are all within short distances through sheltered waters: Sherkin Island 1 mile, Hare Island 2.5 miles, Cape Clear Island 7 miles and Long Island 10 miles. The village of Schull is only 10 miles, Crookhaven and Goleen are 14 miles. All these are accessible by yacht at all stages of tide.

To the east, which would not be as sheltered – Castletownshend is 12 miles from Baltimore. You would have to anchor off in Castletownshend but it is a very safe and pretty harbour. The villages of Union Hall and Glandore are 16 miles to the east of Baltimore. They lie within the same harbour and are only 0.6 mile apart. Visitor moorings are available off Glandore.

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