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Shannon cruise - any tips?

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  • Waterways Ireland issued a marine notice last night. Full details below.

    MARINE NOTICE
    No. 67 of 2020
    Shannon Navigation, Grand Canal, Royal Canal, Barrow Navigation, Barrow Line

    Covid-19 measures

    Closure of WI jetties at Clonmacnoise, Shannonbridge, Shannon Harbour and Banagher on Shannon Navigation

    Closure of visiting moorings on the Grand Canal, Royal Canal, Barrow Navigation and Barrow Line in Counties Laois, Offaly and Kildare

    With effect from 2359hrs on Friday 7th August 2020

    Waterways Ireland wishes to advise all Masters of vessels and waterways users that in response to the latest advice from the Government and health authorities:

    Closure of WI jetties at Clonmacnoise, Shannonbridge, Shannon Harbour and Banagher on the Shannon Navigation will take effect from 2359hrs on Fri 7th August 2020 for a two week period.

    The WI quays at Connaught Harbour Portumna will be used as an operations base for Carrickcraft and Silverline vessels from Saturday 8th August 2020. Limited mooring space will be available at Connaught Harbour for a two week period.

    Visiting moorings on the Grand Canal, Royal Canal, Barrow Navigation and Barrow Line in Counties Laois, Offaly and Kildare will close with effect from 2359hrs on Fri 7th August for a two week period.

    The locks and facilities on all other parts of the Shannon Navigation and the Grand Canal, Royal Canal, Barrow Navigation and Barrow Line are open.

    The network of canals, towpaths and river navigations managed by Waterways Ireland remain open, but we are strongly encouraging people to strictly observe social distancing measures. We are asking our users not to congregate, to keep moving, and allow ample space for others to pass in accordance with social distancing protocols.

    Waterways Ireland is encouraging all Masters of vessels and water users on all navigations to continue to follow the guidelines which have been provided by the health authorities.

    Waterways Ireland thanks all vessel owners and operators for their co-operation in relation to this matter.

    P Harkin

    Inspector of Navigation

    07 August 2020




  • Thanks for sharing, that's a creative solution..




  • homer911 wrote: »
    Thanks for sharing, that's a creative solution..

    Indeed it is good to see WI helping out the hire companies based in Banagher.




  • We are with Carrick from Banagher for a week from next weekend - any recommended iteneraries?

    Only found out today that we have to return to banagher, had requested a one-way trip. Currently thinking just to do a loop of Lough derg. Any thoughts or recommendations appreciated? I've come up from Bantry bay to killaloe so far this summer so getting down to there and back at a leisurely pace would be good




  • I did Carrick down as far as Mountshannon and back up to Carrick in a week, so you’d easily get as far as Killaloe and back up to Banagher in a week.


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  • Alkers wrote: »
    We are with Carrick from Banagher for a week from next weekend - any recommended iteneraries?

    Only found out today that we have to return to banagher, had requested a one-way trip. Currently thinking just to do a loop of Lough derg. Any thoughts or recommendations appreciated? I've come up from Bantry bay to killaloe so far this summer so getting down to there and back at a leisurely pace would be good

    There is only Meelick lock and Portumna swing bridge between Banagher and the Derg.
    Here are the bridge opening times.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=portumna+swing+bridge+times&rlz=1C1DIEZ_enIE723IE723&oq=portumna+bridge+&aqs=chrome.6.69i57j0l7.16244j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8




  • Portumna bridge is currently out of action, I hope nobody is caught on the wrong side of it and that its fixed quickly..

    https://www.waterwaysireland.org/news-centre/marine-notices/1125/closure-of-portumna-bridge

    Looks like it was closed to both road and river traffic for a while. It has reopened for road traffic but not river traffic
    http://tippfm.com/news/swing-bridge-linking-lorrha-portumna-closed-notice/




  • This time of year I'd be tempted to stay off the big lakes and stay in more sheltered waters.




  • sorry for jumping on the thread, but it may be relevant. how is the toll on portumna bridge paid at the moment? i understand it was cash before, but cash is unwelcome many places now




  • mossym wrote: »
    sorry for jumping on the thread, but it may be relevant. how is the toll on portumna bridge paid at the moment? i understand it was cash before, but cash is unwelcome many places now


    I passed it twice last month, and there was no toll, same as all the locks on the Shannon Navigation, not taking tolls during Covid..


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  • thanks Andy, will be coming down through it at the weekend and wasn't sure what the process was. that helps




  • Just back from my trip this afternoon, had a great time. The Suck was too high for navigation but levels seemed to drop a little over the last few days. The guys in Carrick-craft have never been busier - they had to get 25 boats out from Carrick-on-Shannon last Monday!




  • We went on a 4 night trip out of Portumna last week with Emerald Star and had a fantastic time. Weather was good which is always a bonus. South to Dromineer, Scariff, Killaloe, Garykennedy and Terryglass.. Was surprisingly quiet except for our last night in Terryglass.

    Few pics below..

    23lCiu.md.jpg
    23lBVe.md.jpg
    23lqx9.md.jpg
    23lKD7.md.jpg
    23loKb.md.jpg




  • Lovely photos Homer, was around last week Portumna etc with a small rib and it was very nice. But a boat is much better.




  • Yeah, those photos wouldn’t look out of place in any Shannon brochure...




  • I spent a week on the Shannon in August.

    Here is a "few" pictures and a blog of the trip. https://thewandererphotos.smugmug.com/FeaturedGallery/River-Shannon-Cruise-2020-with-Emerald-Star/n-ZtWGZt/

    i-FRsjk5m-S.jpg

    Already booked my 2021 trip :)




  • great pics folks, you're building the excitement now, collecting our first boat tomorrow just above portumna and heading to Killaloe where we live, grew up here and for years spent in the shannon very little time on it. hoping to get a few shorts trips in before the weather really turns.




  • mossym wrote: »
    great pics folks, you're building the excitement now, collecting our first boat tomorrow just above portumna and heading to Killaloe where we live, grew up here and for years spent in the shannon very little time on it. hoping to get a few shorts trips in before the weather really turns.

    Enjoy the trip and post a few pictures!




  • after the pictures that have been posted i wouldn't dare post my phone efforts!!

    lovely spin down last weekend, and up to garrykennedy sunday. hoping for more of the same this weekend




  • A few (far less professional) from our trip with Carrick Craft the last week. We had two Waterford class and despite the boats starting to get on a bit, they are surprisingly easy to maneuver and offer great accommodation.

    Only slightly tricky bit was when the bow thruster wasn't strong enough to get us off the jetty against the river flow at Killaloe. Had to use a bow spring which was no big deal but if no-one had been familiar with boats it might have been interesting.

    Portumna on the first night, just upstream (north) of the bridge:
    526706.jpg

    Scarriff:
    526707.jpg

    Killaloe:
    526708.jpg

    Swimming while at anchor on Derg:
    526709.jpg

    My main advice would be to plan your next overnight the night before so you can book somewhere for dinner, we found making food reservations difficult and had to move on one occasion just to get something to head. We did shopping for on board eating but only for lunches and breakfast really.


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  • i ran by those two tied up on the pontoon in killaloe , that's my usual run route. (well i usually turn just before them as it's evident in the pic you run out of surface there :) )




  • They certainly don't skimp on fenders :D:D


    (with good reason, I'd imagine!)

    They're mighty-looking boats, I did a week out of Carrick-on-Shannon over 25 years ago (:eek:) with a gang of pals, and it still stands out as one of the best fun holidays ever!




  • HeidiHeidi wrote: »
    They certainly don't skimp on fenders :D:D


    (with good reason, I'd imagine!)

    They're mighty-looking boats, I did a week out of Carrick-on-Shannon over 25 years ago (:eek:) with a gang of pals, and it still stands out as one of the best fun holidays ever!

    Yeah, it's funny, the amount of stick people on the inland waterway facebook groups give hire boats because of the amount of fenders out the whole time. We found that 1) the fender lines are spliced so that you can't undo them 2) the fender lines are so short that it is hard to get the fenders up onto the side decks and if you do, they fall down easily and 3) lifting all fenders on one of the boats resulted in a 0.1knts increase to top speed - so it's really not as significant a drag factor as you'd imagine.

    For the rental company one incident of a hire party forgetting to put them back out or not securing them properly would likely outweigh any difference to having them stowed on board when not required.




  • Alkers wrote: »
    Yeah, it's funny, the amount of stick people on the inland waterway facebook groups give hire boats because of the amount of fenders out the whole time. We found that 1) the fender lines are spliced so that you can't undo them 2) the fender lines are so short that it is hard to get the fenders up onto the side decks and if you do, they fall down easily and 3) lifting all fenders on one of the boats resulted in a 0.1knts increase to top speed - so it's really not as significant a drag factor as you'd imagine.

    For the rental company one incident of a hire party forgetting to put them back out or not securing them properly would likely outweigh any difference to having them stowed on board when not required.

    I used the fire extinguisher from my own boat on a fire on a private boat, 3 or 4 of the folks from hire boats did the same.
    I wonder did they lose their deposit?




  • I'm thinking about a trip this summer, I have to say all the websites make it confusing. Most seem like booking.com of booking boats with there 20% charge on top, Is there any direct websites I should look at?

    The reason for a boat is that hopefully, we have a family do in Athlone and the hotel is already €265 a night! They have a marina so for the price of a couple of nights in the hotel we could be half way to a boat for a week.

    How long would it take to get from Carrick to Athlone? Would it be possible in 1 full day? Then we would take our time going back.




  • afatbollix wrote: »
    I'm thinking about a trip this summer, I have to say all the websites make it confusing. Most seem like booking.com of booking boats with there 20% charge on top, Is there any direct websites I should look at?
    For starters:
    https://www.cruise-ireland.com/
    https://www.emeraldstar.ie/
    afatbollix wrote: »
    How long would it take to get from Carrick to Athlone? Would it be possible in 1 full day? Then we would take our time going back.
    I'd say you'd be pushing it to do that distance to be honest. Plus youre missing a sh*tload of beautiful scenery. Hire the boat in Athlone, travel south and back for the day and after your family do, drop the boat off in Carrick?




  • The three main hire companies are:

    https://www.emeraldstar.ie - bases in Carrick-on-Shannon and Portumna
    https://www.cruise-ireland.com (Carrickcraft) - bases in Carrick-on-Shannon and Banagher.
    https://silverlinecruisers.com/ - based in Banagher.

    All the hire companies will quote you the base price (i.e. hire of boat). On top of that you'll have to pay Insurance and Fuel (bit like car hire) and usually a refundable security deposit. So make sure you read the T&C's of each hire company so your not surprised with any extra costs.

    I've hired from Emerald Star (normally Portumna, but in 2020 from Carrick). Personally I found the service at Portumna to be more friendly as they are a smaller base and the first time I hired a boat was from Portumna and I found the boat induction to be excellent.

    For this year I found Emerald Star to have gone really expensive for the type of boats I wanted so I've switched my business for 2021 to Silverline in Banagher where I've got one of their premier boats for 12 nights for slightly less than the price that Emerald Star were looking for 7 nights.

    Silverline do seem to be regarded as having the best hire fleet and their reviews seem to indicate induction is of a good standard. Banagher is about 3.5 hours cruise to Athlone.

    Carrick to Athlone in a day is doable but at a push, but best spread over two days with an overnight in Dromod, Roosky, Termonbarry, Richmond Harbour or Lanesborough.

    The marina in Athlone is run by the council and costs €12 per night, payable to the attendant or at a ticket machine. Mooring there can be tricky due to the flow of water coming through the river off Lough Ree.

    Another thing to remember is hire companies give you the boat on day 1 in the afternoon, 3 to 5pm and on last day return is at 9 am (10 am for Silverline). Emerald Star do offer an early check in (1200 depart) and late check out (1200 arrive) but that does cost extra.

    If you any other questions, ask away!

    W




  • Thanks, guys that's really helpful.

    I knew this forum would help, I didn't know about Banagher and that should be doable in a day.

    The event should be on the Saturday and pick up the boat on Thursday afternoon and see where we could get to and moar up and then motor on the Friday to make it to Athlone.


    Also our little one will be 9 months old, Am I stupid to think a boating week is possible?

    Also I can blame you Wanderer as it was your photos last year who got me interested and I just looked through them all again. Saying that, I shouldn't of read about your trip as the photos missed out on the rain




  • afatbollix wrote: »
    Thanks, guys that's really helpful.

    I knew this forum would help, I didn't know about Banagher and that should be doable in a day.

    The event should be on the Saturday and pick up the boat on Thursday afternoon and see where we could get to and moar up and then motor on the Friday to make it to Athlone.


    Also our little one will be 9 months old, Am I stupid to think a boating week is possible?

    Also I can blame you Wanderer as it was your photos last year who got me interested and I just looked through them all again. Saying that, I shouldn't of read about your trip as the photos missed out on the rain

    Glad to have given you the bug! It's a wonderful holiday and something I wanted to try for ages before actually doing it. If you have concerns about spending 7 nights why not do a shorter trip (minimum is 3 nights)? If you don't like it at least you won't spend the week being miserable. Just make sure you make the right decision, especially with the baby. My first hire was 3 nights, just to make sure we didn't hate it! Since then it's always been 7 nights and my parents come along as well as they also love it. This year we're pushing the boat out (pun intended!) and doing 12 nights, planning on going from Banagher up to Belleek and back again. As I mentioned before, 12 nights from Silverline was cheaper than 7 nights that Emerald Star were offering for boats of a similar spec.

    Oh there was plenty of rain, and even a storm for last year's trip.

    If you told me before hand that there would be a red/yellow alert storm in August I'll have laughed at you. We spent that night on the WI jetty at Carrick-on-Shannon. I slept soundly but some of my family didn't. Must have been the several drinks I had earlier in the night! We heard the next morning that a family abandoned ship and sought refuge in the hotel opposite and also another family terminated their hire early and high tailed it back to Dublin before the storm arrived!

    As for rain, have a look at my Richmond Harbour photos, not up to the usual standard as the camera got drenched (in its bag) and took the best part of 16 hours to dry out properly! Nly doing so when the sun came out on the way to Roosky. Thankfully my Silverline hire for this year has a full canopy if the weather isn't great.

    Best advice is so your research before hand, get to know the rules of the navigation and understand the navigational map. It's important that you know your position on the map at all times, especially when on the big lakes. The map is available online at https://issuu.com/carrickcraft/docs/book

    If picking up the boat from Banagher I would suggest night 1 at Shannonbridge, then day 2 up to Clonmacnoise for a look around and lunch onboard (about 1 hour from Shannonbridge) and then onwards to Athlone (about 2ish hours).

    After that I would suggest visiting some spots on Lough Ree to fill up a few days before you have to head back south. A nice last night spot would be beside the lock at Shannon Harbour. Its about a 20 min cruise to Banagher. The small village is about a 5 to 10 min walk from that mooring with a lovely pub/grocer that does light meals. That's if the pubs are open by then! Not sure if you looked at all my Shannon cruise pictures but its featured in the 2016 and 2017 trips.

    There is also a very active facebook group which you might find usual (I certainly do)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/717182844986491/?ref=share


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  • Glad to have stumbled across this thread! Doing a one-way week from Portumna to Carrick starting on Saturday. It's be great to read the posts and to see the pictures. We're first-timers so excited and nervous about the trip.

    A question please ... what time would we need to be moored up at a marina in order to be confident of having a place for the night? I've read some people say 3-4pm?


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