Approaches to Clew Bay, County Mayo Ireland for OCC, SSCA, and Trans-Ocean

Clew Bay, on the West Coast of Ireland

SSCA Cruising Station 

For planning only. Not for navigation.   

Daria & Alex Blackwell
Port Aleria, Rosnakilly, Kilmeena, Westport

Coordinates for approaches to Westport Bay
Entrance Inishgort Light:  53° 49' 30.72"N  9° 40' 20.64"W
Mayo Sailing Club: 53°49’29”N    9°37’10”W
MSC Pontoon: 53°49’34”N   9°37’12”W

The inner bay with 365 islands. 

Sailing Directions
South & West Coast of Ireland - by Irish Cruising Club, edited by Norman Kean. 13th Edition 2013. Comprehensive cruising guide, full details of passages, harbours, marinas, ports and anchorages. Available from:

Admiralty Standard Chart 2667 Clew Bay and Approaches 1:50,000
Admiralty Standard Chart 2057 Westport Bay and Approaches 1:15,000


Gps Nautical Charts Clew Bay and Approaches (Marine Chart : 2667_0)

Clew Bay is a rectangular bay about 6 miles wide and 12 miles deep. At its mouth lies Clare Island. The inner 2-3 miles is a maze of 365 small islands. Clare Island has an anchorage with visitor moorings where it is convenient to wait out the tide.
Not for navigation

Approaching from the South
Enter Clew Bay either side of the small islet south of Clare Island. Be aware of the shoal of rocks extending west from Roonah, at the western end of the southern shore of Clew Bay. Roonah Quay is used by the Clare Island ferries but is unsuitable for yachts. The coast from Roonah Head to Old Head is foul for 6 cables out. There are also rocks in the south-eastern corner of the bay which should be avoided. East of Clare Island are two fish farm sites, neither of which are well marked and may not be easily seen if the visibility is poor.

The south side of the Bay is dominated by Croagh Patrick (756m). For a panorama view of Clew Bay from the top of Croagh Patrick, watch this

Approaching from the North
Take care to avoid the Bills Rocks on approach to Achill Head and Achill Beg, which has a beacon on the NE point showing FL R 2s. Achill Sound, between Achill and the mainland, is shoal for most of its length.  The northern shore is dominated by the high cliffs of Achill and the Nephin Wilderness Range, often resulting in gusty offshore breezes. Pass between Achill Beg and Clare Island, the light house on which is now a private inn. 

Approaching the Inner Bay and Mayo Sailing Club
Take care to avoid Clough Cormac, a cardinal mark in the middle of the Bay denoting the split between Westport and Newport Bays. There are rocks to the East of this mark. Take care to avoid lobster pot buoys on approach to the inner Bay. There are several suitable anchorages among the islands of the inner bay.
Inishgort Lighthouse at the entrance to Westport Bay

Head towards the lighthouse on Inishgort steering clear of the bar that extends north from Dorinish More. This is marked by a green cylindrical buoy.  Follow the deep water channel to the North of Inishlyre and pass between Collanmore and Inishlyre.  Follow the channel eastward and then north-eastwards passing between Collanmore and Rosmoney.  There is a 15 foot tidal range so keep to the middle of the channel at low tide.  See here for tide tables:

Inishlyre and Collanmore offer protected anchorages.  Visitor moorings are to starboard as you enter the harbour at Rosmoney.  There is a pontoon for brief tie-up (10 minutes for crew/gear exchange). There is electricity and water laid onto the pontoon.  Dinghy access to the clubhouse is via a slipway directly in front of the building.
Recommended approach to Mayo Sailing Club as seen on Google Earth

For more about Westport and surrounding area, visit

For current weather and wind information, go to and click on Anemometer.

Croagh Patrick as seen from the anchorage at Clare Island.

Getting to Westport

Westport is approximately 9 kilometres from Rosmoney. Westport Quay dries out at low water and is not realistically reached by dinghy. Westport town can be reached by a short cab ride from Rosmoney. It is also reasonable to bicycle in to Westport from Rosmoney along country roads and the Great Western Greenway. 

Westport can be accessed by bus, by train, and by air via Ireland West Knock Airport. The Bus Eireann 440 runs a routine schedule between Westport and Knock Airport.

The Mall on the River in Westport

In Westport…

Supermarkets: Supervalu (in centre of town), Tesco (near train station), Lidl (near Protestant Church), Centra (James Street near the Mall).

Chandlery and boat repair: There is a chandlery, McHale Marine, but it far inland.  

Diving Services:  Clew Bay Marine Peter MacDonagh 087 248 9098

Restaurants & Pubs:  Too many to mention all.

The Octagon in Westport. St. Patrick at the top.


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