W and E coast of Ireland has different characters and own beauties. West coast is more hilly and rocky than the east. The deeply indented west coast offers many good sheltered anchorages in a day sailing distance. Best time to sail in Ireland coast is mid-May to mid-September.
Weather and sea;
Weather around the Ireland is mostly dominated by Atlantic depressions. Especially the W coast is exposed to Atlantic and its remarkable swells. Thus, at the W coast of Ireland you may meet with rough conditions. The Atlantic depressions are less frequent between May and September. Therefore, you may find a week with fine weather during summer.
Tides are more notable at the W coast as expected. At the east coast there is even a zone called ‘no tide zone’ at south of Dublin. Tidal range varies between 3.5 and 4.5 metres at the west coast and tidal streams may reach up to 4 knots at springs off the major headlands. This must be taken into consideration especially in between Ireland and Scotland. Some anchorages may also need pilotage skills.
Anchorage and mooring;
The coast of Ireland can be divided in to three areas with different characters.
SW Ireland comprises the coast from Cork to Kilrush. This area is moderately populated, friendly and sociable. You may find good yacht facilities in marinas and yacht clubs. When you move to west, to the SW corner of the island, you may recognise the diminish in the yacht traffic. Around the SW corner there are numbers of quiet and well sheltered anchorages.
NW Ireland comprises the coast from Shannon to Rathlin Island. This coast is less populated and has more wild life and more remote anchorages. If you are searching for peace and quiet you should visit this coast of the Ireland.
East Ireland has flatter topography than W coast. This side of the island is usually considered as a passage than a cruising area. However, it deserves at least 4-5 days stop in various harbours especially around the Dublin.