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Abbey River, Limerick.

Posted by Tony Baker 
Abbey River, Limerick.
07 September, 2017 19:05
My latest boat is in Kilrush and I intend to bring her up-river to Lough Derg.
With that in mind I walked the river from Sarsfield lock to Abbey bridge today, as it will be my first trip on this section.
Whilst it all seemed straightforward, I was surprised at the terrific flow of water under the bridges. The weir had just uncovered so there was no tidal element, just river flow.
My question is, does anyone know if the river flow was normal today, or maybe increased by recent rainfall?
Does the number of turbines in use at Ardnacrusha affect the flow in the city?
Re: Abbey River, Limerick.
07 September, 2017 21:22
Tony....I would strongly advise that you contact Pat Lysaght who is based in Limerick and is intimately familiar with the inrticacies of navigating the Abbey River. He is always happy to assist those contemplating a passage through Limerick. Pat can be contacted on the following number: 086 848 7042

Paul,
"Arthur"



Quote:
Tony Baker
My latest boat is in Kilrush and I intend to bring her up-river to Lough Derg.
With that in mind I walked the river from Sarsfield lock to Abbey bridge today, as it will be my first trip on this section.
Whilst it all seemed straightforward, I was surprised at the terrific flow of water under the bridges. The weir had just uncovered so there was no tidal element, just river flow.
My question is, does anyone know if the river flow was normal today, or maybe increased by recent rainfall?
Does the number of turbines in use at Ardnacrusha affect the flow in the city?
Re: Abbey River, Limerick.
07 September, 2017 21:26
Thanks Paul, I'll do that.
Re: Abbey River, Limerick.
08 September, 2017 09:08
Hi Tony.

Yes, the the number of turbines in use at Ardnacrusha has a huge effect on the flow on the Abbey river. If you phone Ardnacrusha's automated service at (087) 208 5693 it will tell you what the power station load is in mega watt hours and therefore how many of the four turbines are running. 20mwH is equal to one turbine, to for example 60mwh would be three turbines and 80mwh would be four turbines running. It is recommended that vessels navigate the abbey river when only one or less turbines are running. However from experience if going upstream against the current, some vessels may be able to manage two turbines as they at least will be able to keep power on and maintain steerage at bridges.

The important thing is to keep enough power on so that rudders are effective. Another tip if the flow is strong, is to wait until the tide has started to flood and risen enough to have covered the weir so that the incoming tide is pushing back against the downstream flow. This is especially useful for vessels coming downstream. Recent heavy rain fall can also add to the flow in the Abbey River, but Ardnacrusha turbines combined with tidal flows has the biggest effect on flow rate.

During early summer months when rainfall is usually low, often the power station does not run any turbines, and the Abbey river can actually experience a slight reverse flow upstream once the incoming tide has risen high enough over the weir, especially on spring tides. Paul's suggestion about seeking the advice of Pat Lysaght on the day, who could meet you on the river in his skiff is good advice and will make the trip feel stress free.

One other thing you need to factor is Sarsfield lock availability, which is no longer manned and only limited on days of the month. Depending on the draft of your vessel going over a specific point on the weir at HW limerick may be an option to get past the lock. Seek Pat Lysaght's advice on same, he's a genius at assisting private vessels navigate the Limerick navigation for their first passage, especially if conditions are less than ideal. Can make the passage safer and enjoyable. Its a wonderful experience and going through Ardnacrusha hydro dams lock is one of the great boating experiences in Ireland.

Noel
Re: Abbey River, Limerick.
08 September, 2017 10:00
Hi Noel,
I've just spoken to Pat and as everyone says, he is very helpful and full of good advice.
Thanks for the tips.
Tony.
Re: Abbey River, Limerick.
08 September, 2017 20:16
Hi Tony,
below link to no longer published "Cuty Cruising guide" although a little "aged" at this time provide some very useful guidance on the Ardnacrusha to Sarsfield lock trip

[drive.google.com]

Let me know pls if you cannot access the link but I think it should work.....
Rgds
R

Rgds
Richard
Re: Abbey River, Limerick.
09 September, 2017 19:17
Hi Richard,
That's great. The link works perfectly. I actually had a copy of that publication at one time but now I want it I can't find it of course.
Thanks again, Tony.
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