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Shannon cruise - any tips?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭ Van Doozy


    I'll be spending a few days on the Shannon in a couple of weeks. It's with a few friends but we're a bit older so won't be going mental.

    Really looking forward to it though. Long weekend out of Bannagher. Would welcome tips from some waterways boaters! Any recommendations for stops or items you think I should definitely bring. We'll probably head north to athlone and maybe into Lough Ree.

    Do you think we'll need to arrive at the jetties early to be guaranteed a space or will we be OK rollin on up of an evenin?

    Thanks!


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Comments



  • Waterways are very quite at the moment and I'd say a lot of the hire boats have been cancelled for this year so you should have no problem getting a mooring, Lecarrow is a nice place to stop off with a short walk to the local pub, across from Lecarrow is Barley harbour can be tricky to get into when the water is low and can get busy when the sun is shining but on a quite night its lovely, a bit further down the lake on the other side there is a floating jetty that you can moor on and if you have a tender you can go and explore the ruins, heading down the lake you have the Hodson bay hotel on the right "can be popular with young ones" and on the left you have the inner lakes safe boating when the weather turns with some mooring buoys if you want to anchor over night, there are also moorings at Coosan point where you can get some pub grub and at Manfreds if you want a good stake "mooring can be a bit tricky" stepping it up a bit we have Wineport nice food and you can moor there if you are eating, Heading into Athlone you have the Radisson blu hotel on the left pay for mooring and Seans bar on the right if you can find a space on the wall "don't block the tour boat" :)

    Enjoy your trip.




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  • If you are only going for a few days, from Bannagher, you might not get much of Lough Ree in (unless you put in a serious days cruise Day 1)?

    Make sure to stop off at Luker's Bar in Shannonbridge....nice spot!

    If you are hiring a boat, you will probably have this https://www.iwai.ie/product/navigation-guide-to-the-shannon-and-erne-waterways/ onboard, but no harm (for the sake of E15) buying one in advance and doing a bit of planning (for opening times of locks, marinas, etc.).




  • fergal.b wrote: »
    I'd say a lot of the hire boats have been cancelled for this year

    I'd say the opposite is true there Fergal. I reckon it'll be fairly busy from July 20th onwards (that's the earliest you could book for). I was regularly checking with Carrick Craft and the availability was less and less by the day. Silverline were completely booked out..

    we've booked a week in early August. Pick up in Carrick, and probably make it down as far as Lough Derg and then back up.

    This year would have been our "sunny holiday year" in that every 2 years, it's off to the sun for a week, and every other year its 2 weeks in Lithuania (still mostly lovely and sunny there though). This year the plan was to drive to France with our new EV.

    My brother is also going with his son for the first time.




  • I'd say the opposite is true there Fergal. I reckon it'll be fairly busy from July 20th onwards (that's the earliest you could book for). I was regularly checking with Carrick Craft and the availability was less and less by the day. Silverline were completely booked out..

    we've booked a week in early August. Pick up in Carrick, and probably make it down as far as Lough Derg and then back up.

    This year would have been our "sunny holiday year" in that every 2 years, it's off to the sun for a week, and every other year its 2 weeks in Lithuania (still mostly lovely and sunny there though). This year the plan was to drive to France with our new EV.

    My brother is also going with his son for the first time.

    I'm heading out middle of August after rebooking from start of May which was cancelled for obvious reasons.

    Just after checking the 3 main hire companies for availability on the day I'm departing.

    ESL Three boats available and two of them are one way departures from Carrick to Portumna and vice versa.

    CC - 3 boats available at Banagher and Carrick.

    Silverline - sold out.

    Therefore to say it be a quiet year on the waterways is a bit wide of the mark. Looks like it be fun to find space in some of the more popular boating spots!

    The navigation guide can be viewed at https://issuu.com/carrickcraft/docs/book

    I suggest you study it before departure. Know the rules and regulations and get a feel for the route to be undertaken and know about any dangerous spots. The Shannon is also viewable on Google street view and is a handy reference to check on where markers are exactly prior to your departure. Again getting a feel for the route. I actually did this the other day to check on the approach to a harbour that requires a wide arc to approach it.

    Oh and Barely Hbr. was mentioned earlier. This is off the marked navigation and therefore not available for hire boats. There is also a bloody big rock on the approach to the harbour so if you had an incident there and your off the navigation say goodbye to your deposit! Places like that are best left to the folk with local knowledge on depths and other obstructions.

    I'll recommend Shannon Harbour, particularly on the last night if you have to have the boat back for 0900 to Banagher for check out. Lovely spot and it's just under a 1km walk along the Grand Canal to the small village which has a lovely pub. Shannon Harbour is a 20 min cruise to Banagher.

    Also good stop off points are Shannonbridge and Clonmacnoise (don't moor overnight here), if you have time a detour along the Suck to Ballinasloe could be done. Lovely river. Not to gone on the town tbh but the cruise is lovely.

    Athlone, mooring at the council jetty can be tricky especially if the flow in the river is strong. Also need to pay a mooring fee here. Many a boater has got into bother there and it's my least favourite place to more on the river. Can also moor south of the road bridge by Sean's Bar if you can get space but also may be a bit noisy if staying overnight.

    Heading up into the southern part of Lough Ree offers many options. Leacarrow is well worth a visit if you have time to make it up there. About 3 hours from Athlone. Closer to Athlone is Hodson Bay, and the inner lakes.. We overnigted at Wineport in 2017. Can moor there if you eat in the restaurant. Best steak in Ireland in my opinion!

    It's always good to pre book dinner there as when we went to stay my original date wasn't available as a wedding was on and the hotel was closed to the public on this date. So had to do a hasty replan of my cruise to put wineport earlier in the cruising schedule. Probably not an issue in the current climate however!

    So in summary, read up on the navigation guide. Know the rules and regs and most of all enjoy yourself.




  • Great to hear the hire boats are doing well maybe people have decided to spend their money here instead of going abroad or will just feel safer on a boat in the middle of a lake :)
    Can't wait to get back down to the boat these land legs are making me feel land sick, just hope the spiders haven't taken over:eek:



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  • fergal.b wrote: »
    Great to hear the hire boats are doing well maybe people have decided to spend their money here instead of going abroad or will just feel safer on a boat in the middle of a lake :)
    Can't wait to get back down to the boat these land legs are making me feel land sick, just hope the spiders haven't taken over:eek:
    .

    Very true. It be interesting to see how much of it is Irish hiring. Tbh unless the quarantine is relaxed I can't see how we will get foreign tourists this year. Also I suspect what is making it busy is rebookings from earlier in the year to July August September etc. I include myself in that category. I rebooked my trip in mid April once it was clear May was a no go.

    It was a stab in the dark picking August but it seems to have paid off. ESL also gave an option for rebooking to 2021 which is probably what a lot of foreign bookings will end up doing.




  • Another novice couple doing similar - 06/July, pick and drop in Carrick On Shannon, Intention is to go North.
    Thanks for advise above re: guidelines.
    Any other do's / don't / bring / don't bring ? Can't see any other threads?




  • Each time I've picked up from Carrick on Shannon we've always headed south. In a week long cruise before we made it as far south as Mountshannon (although the last night we went slightly north of Carrick to Leitrim).

    I've heard heading up north from Carrick is quite scenic (it certainly was as far as Leitrim anyway).

    What would the consensus be from those who regularly cruise the Shannon? head north, or go south (from Carrick)?
    I do love the trip south, through Lough Ree and then down to Lough Derg, but I particularly like the narrow river sections heading south as well.




  • Thanks for all the input everyone. Plenty of info there to digest.

    Fergal your boat is on google street view moored up at Terryglass... either that or it's one just like it. Can't be too many of them around!
    a bit further down the lake on the other side there is a floating jetty that you can moor on and if you have a tender you can go and explore the ruins

    Fergal can you tell me a little more about where to find this jetty you speak of please - i really like that idea of mooring up and going off in a tender to explore ruins!

    The Wanderer why would you say not to moor overnight at Clonmacnoise?




  • My tip is ...

    Don’t try go under the bridge at Roosky (trust me) ..


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  • Van Doozy wrote: »
    Thanks for all the input everyone. Plenty of info there to digest.

    Fergal your boat is on google street view moored up at Terryglass... either that or it's one just like it. Can't be too many of them around!



    Fergal can you tell me a little more about where to find this jetty you speak of please - i really like that idea of mooring up and going off in a tender to explore ruins!

    The Wanderer why would you say not to moor overnight at Clonmacnoise?



    You can see it here http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=1f5a9be716b14de1863c0120c482a81f&extent=-8.0034,53.4757,-7.8984,53.5108 it's called "Rindoon floating jetty"
    Don't think it's me in Terryglass, nice boat all the same :)




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  • Van Doozy wrote: »
    The Wanderer why would you say not to moor overnight at Clonmacnoise?

    The navigation guide recommends against it in windy weather.




  • Tierno85 wrote: »
    Another novice couple doing similar - 06/July, pick and drop in Carrick On Shannon, Intention is to go North.
    Thanks for advise above re: guidelines.
    Any other do's / don't / bring / don't bring ? Can't see any other threads?

    I've hired from Emerald Star in Portumna for three years in a row. In that time I've as far south as Killaloe (hire boat southern limit) and as far north as Dromod.

    This year, due to COVID19 we will be heading out from Carrick-on-Shannon, plan to go far south as Leacarrow or Portrunny and up to Boyle, Lough Key and Leitrim. The boat i've hired is too big for the Shannon / Erne Canal so that will have to wait for another year. I've head its a lovely trip, just beware you have to do the locks yourself, compared to the River Shannon where lock keepers are provided.




  • fergal.b wrote: »

    Found it - thanks a million. I reckon we'll check that out. Is it likely that there would be space on the jetty do you think? Is it a popular spot?




  • Van Doozy wrote: »
    Found it - thanks a million. I reckon we'll check that out. Is it likely that there would be space on the jetty do you think? Is it a popular spot?

    Most boats seem to use it as a stop off to make a bit of lunch and then move on, it can hold a couple of boats so if you hang around you should get a spot handy enough, it's just a jetty there is no shore power, water or toilets.




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  • Thanks for all the replies.
    Any tips on what to bring from the experienced cruising folk?




  • Tierno85 wrote: »
    Thanks for all the replies.
    Any tips on what to bring from the experienced cruising folk?

    We like to bring a small single ring gas cooker for on shore breaks, put a few movies on the laptop for rainy days.




  • What are & where are the best takeaways along the Shannon Navigation?

    Given the current situation, we'll mostly be eating on board for our week on the Shannon in a few weeks, which is fine, but if there were some great take away options from Restaurants or Pizzeria's along the Navigation, I'd love to hear of them.

    Route Plan is Carrick-on-Shannon south as far as Lough Derg and then back up to Carrick.

    Any gems out there?




  • What are & where are the best takeaways along the Shannon Navigation?

    Given the current situation, we'll mostly be eating on board for our week on the Shannon in a few weeks, which is fine, but if there were some great take away options from Restaurants or Pizzeria's along the Navigation, I'd love to hear of them.

    Route Plan is Carrick-on-Shannon south as far as Lough Derg and then back up to Carrick.

    Any gems out there?

    Kinkhao Thai in Athlone.....currently take out only. https://www.kinkhaothai.ie
    Also in Athlone......https://ilcolosseo-athlone.com/ for great Pizzas.




  • What are & where are the best takeaways along the Shannon Navigation?

    Given the current situation, we'll mostly be eating on board for our week on the Shannon in a few weeks, which is fine, but if there were some great take away options from Restaurants or Pizzeria's along the Navigation, I'd love to hear of them.

    Route Plan is Carrick-on-Shannon south as far as Lough Derg and then back up to Carrick.

    Any gems out there?

    When I googled all my favourites on Lough Derg they all seemed temp closed.


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  • If you want some fine food Wineport will serve you on your boat :D


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  • Have hired for 6 nights in September from Banagher, still very limited availability.
    I'm currently planning an itinerary and have a few questions
    Are you better off staying overnight at a quiet jetty where you have to self-cater, or at a well supplied Marina with bars/restaurants? Might we encounter a noisy party at a remoter jetty?
    Is 7 hours cruising in one-day too much? One option I'm looking at doing is Ballinasloe to Portumna in one day.

    Thanks




  • homer911 wrote: »
    Have hired for 6 nights in September from Banagher, still very limited availability.
    I'm currently planning an itinerary and have a few questions
    Are you better off staying overnight at a quiet jetty where you have to self-cater, or at a well supplied Marina with bars/restaurants? Might we encounter a noisy party at a remoter jetty?
    Is 7 hours cruising in one-day too much? One option I'm looking at doing is Ballinasloe to Portumna in one day.

    Thanks

    We self catered, gives you more flexibility to stop/stay anywhere you want. Removed risk of restaurants/bars closed especially at the moment. We encountered no noise from neighboring boats.




  • homer911 wrote: »
    Have hired for 6 nights in September from Banagher, still very limited availability.
    I'm currently planning an itinerary and have a few questions
    Are you better off staying overnight at a quiet jetty where you have to self-cater, or at a well supplied Marina with bars/restaurants? Might we encounter a noisy party at a remoter jetty?
    Is 7 hours cruising in one-day too much? One option I'm looking at doing is Ballinasloe to Portumna in one day.

    Thanks

    We do a mix of both. Mainly self cater but eat out about 2 nights of the 7 nights.

    We've never encountered any noisy boat neighbours before, but we have only hired in April before. Heading out in August this year so I expect it to be a lot busier.

    As for Ballinasloe to Portumna, I would say no bother. In 2018 we did Terryglass to Ballinasloe in a day, stopping off at Banagher for lunch and a stroll. Departed Terryglass at 0830 for the 0900 bridge opening at Portumna. Banagher 1200 - 1330 and arrive at Ballinasloe at 1640.

    Take a look at these galleries to get a flavour of the river

    2016: https://thewandererphotos.smugmug.com/FeaturedGallery/Shannon-Cruise/i-9KqKfRD

    2017: https://thewandererphotos.smugmug.com/FeaturedGallery/River-Shannon-Cruise-2017

    2018: https://thewandererphotos.smugmug.com/FeaturedGallery/River-Shannon-Cruise-2018-with-Emerald-Star/.

    Enjoy the trip!




  • doughef wrote: »
    My tip is ...

    Don’t try go under the bridge at Roosky (trust me) ..

    Hah ah man, don't get me started!

    We were approaching the bridge, everything was fine - saw a little marina with a telephone, thought it odd but didn't take too much notice.

    Continued on forward to the bridge without a care in the world.

    Realised very closely to the bridge that we were meant to have moored back at the phone and rang through to have someone raise it - it was far too low for us to fit under. Almost had a heart attack!

    Stopped the boat immediately but the currant was quite strong and it kept bringing us forward. Swung the boat around like a frantic madman and floored it - very slowly managed to escape the current/impending crash into the bridge and brought it back to the mooring.

    Hilarious in retrospect but it did make me realise I should be paying attention to what was ahead :eek:




  • o1s1n wrote: »
    Hah ah man, don't get me started!

    We were approaching the bridge, everything was fine - saw a little marina with a telephone, thought it odd but didn't take too much notice.

    Continued on forward to the bridge without a care in the world.

    Realised very closely to the bridge that we were meant to have moored back at the phone and rang through to have someone raise it - it was far too low for us to fit under. Almost had a heart attack!

    Stopped the boat immediately but the currant was quite strong and it kept bringing us forward. Swung the boat around like a frantic madman and floored it - very slowly managed to escape the current/impending crash into the bridge and brought it back to the mooring.

    Hilarious in retrospect but it did make me realise I should be paying attention to what was ahead :eek:

    Indeed if not paying attention to the map and cross referencing with markers you can easily find yourself in a sticky position very fast.




  • homer911 wrote: »
    One option I'm looking at doing is Ballinasloe to Portumna in one day.

    Thanks

    Probably best to ask in the Shannon cruising FB groups, but I have heard Ballinasloe is a bit of a no-go harbour at the moment due to anti-social behaviour and boats being interfered with. A real shame.




  • You'll easily do Ballinasloe to Portumna in a day, and have plenty of time to spare. Easily.

    I did Banagher (up) to Lanesborough on Monday which is almost double the distance. Left Banagher at 8am and arrived in Lanesborough at 2pm.

    36.6 nautical miles in 6 hours flat.




  • You'll easily do Ballinasloe to Portumna in a day, and have plenty of time to spare. Easily.

    I did Banagher (up) to Lanesborough on Monday which is almost double the distance. Left Banagher at 8am and arrived in Lanesborough at 2pm.

    36.6 nautical miles in 6 hours flat.
    You didn't spare it :D


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  • Anyone heard anything about the impact on boat hire of the Offaly lockdown? Will hire companies still operate and will people need to stay on the West side of the river?


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