All craft should by identifiable by a name or number and have sufficient equipment  for the journey aboard including at a minimum: Seaworthy craft, Informed crew, lifejackets for all crew, engine check, adequate fuel, paddles / oars, bow, stern and spring lines, bailer, anchor, spare anchor, fenders, vhf radio, flares and a first aid kit


Rights of Way / International Rules for Collision at Sea

Give way to:

     Vessels not under command

     Vessels restricted in ability to manoeuvre

     Vessels constrained by draft

     Vessels engaged in fishing

     Vessels with divers operating on site

     Commercial vessels

     Sailing vessels

The speed limit on the rivers is 8 mph / 11 kmph and on the canals is 4mph / 6kmph



Take rising and dropping tides into account when mooring craft onto a fixed point of contact. Spring lines secure the boat and reduce broadside movement.  Use adequate fenders in anticipation of wakes from other boats, a swell on the water etc.


When mooring or anchoring, approach the mooring buoy, pontoon or point of drop against the strongest element (i.e. the tide and / or wind) to slow the craft down and avoid an impact / allow time to pick up a mooring.


Direction of Bouyage (Port = Left, Starboard = Right)

          Follow the direction of buoyage: when travelling up a river, keep the port hand buoys (red) to the left and the starboard hand (green) to the right

          Otherwise, keep to the starboard side of the channel and overtake with due caution on the port side



The cardinal marks highlight obstructions to navigation and indicate which side of the mark to travel.  For example, keep south of the south cardinal mark.  Marks can be identified by their top mark, their colour (often hard to distinguish) and their lights.  VQ (6) + L Fl. = 6 very quick flashes followed by 1 long flash.



Isolated danger mark

Safe water mark

Special mark

These marks are always coloured as above with the same top marks, but the overall shape can be pillar or spar shaped.



To descend:

-  Close / lower the racks on the lower gates

-  Open / raise the racks on the upper gates 

-  When full, open the upper gate and move the boat in

-  Close the upper gates and racks

-  Ensure lines are hand held and the boat will not snag as it drops

-  Open the lower gate racks to empty the chamber

To ascend:

-  Close / lower the racks on the upper gates

-  Open / raise the racks on the lower gates 

-  When empty, open the lower gate and move the boat in

-  Close the lower gates and racks

-  Ensure lines are hand held and the boat will not snag as it rises

-  Open the upper gate racks, one at a time or partially at first to control the flow of water into the chamber




          There is a charge of 0.60 per lock.   Permits are available from  Lock Keeper Mob: + 353 (0)87 9508987 Ballykeenan St. Mullins locks.

          It is useful to have your own key - a crank with a 3cm square hollow section and essential to have two mooring lines, fenders and a boat hook  for travelling through the locks.

          Do not tie up at locks, bridges or obstruct the navigation.