Kinsale Harbour

Set into the estuary of the River Bandon on the southern coast of Cork, the picturesque Kinsale Harbour has received a new 115-metre breakwater pontoon with services, to serve mainly as a berth for fishing vessels, as well as superyacht users in the Cork Harbour area.

Client Cork County Council
Date December 2023
Where Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland

Cork County Council received a 1.2 million funding grant under the Brexit Adjustment Local Authority Marine Infrastructure (BALAMI) scheme, part of the largest ever funding announcement of its kind for piers and harbours around Ireland’s coast, and approached us to install a heavy-duty breakwater pontoon at their famous Kinsale Harbour.

Measuring 115.5m in length and 4m in width, the breakwater pontoon encompasses a 650mm freeboard moored by a chain and block system, with a bathymetry, or measurement of depth of water, that varies substantially across the site location. This required special attention in relation to the mooring system design as varying line lengths were required.

“We were thrilled to take on this project, with some challenges regarding the depth of water that we comfortably resolved,” says Maeve Parker, our Senior Marina Engineer. “We are very pleased with the result and enjoyed collaborating with the council and harbour team throughout.”

The project was a replacement for an existing pontoon approaching the end of its lifespan, with an upgraded breakwater pontoon enabling larger vessels to berth safely, including superyachts (yachts measuring over 25 metres or more). The works involved the removal of the existing pontoon and mooring system, and replacement with new pontoons and moorings.

The fishing community is set to be the main beneficiary of the new facility. The pontoon was funded under the BALAMI scheme, the purpose of which was to enable coastal regions to transition in a just manner and to mitigate any adverse effects of Brexit.

Cork South West Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan said it was a welcome boost for harbours, with the investment providing a benefit to all who use them. “I’ve consistently said West Cork’s potential in terms of marine activities is completely untapped.”

“A way of accessing that is by funding and improving our small piers and harbours, the provision of extra pontoons and more. This will benefit the inshore fishing sector and marine activities such as boat tours, whale watching and kayaking.”

We are very pleased with the result and enjoyed collaborating with the council and harbour team throughout.
— Maeve Parker, ICMS Senior Marina Engineer

Kinsale Harbour project