Supporting boat owners to make the most of their vessel to enjoy our coastline and waterways.

FAQs for Boat Owners

With the exception of some boats used on the inland waterways, there is no legal requirement to register boats based or used for recreational purposes in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and United Kingdom and associated territorial waters. There are however, a number of different registers available to boat owners in Ireland and this page aims to provide some information on these.

For a number of years the Irish Sailing provided an Irish Sailing Small Craft Registry Certificate to boat owners who needed some form of documentation when visiting foreign ports. This was not a Government endorsed document and during a consultation on other matters with the Department of Transport in 2014 the Department requested the Irish Sailing to cease operating their registry.

The Irish Sailing is consolidating the various details currently held on boats belonging to Irish Sailing members in order to streamline the Irish Sailing’s several databases of craft, and to build a complete database of craft owned by Irish Sailing members. We will encourage members to apply for a Cert of ID which will incorporate all the services Irish Sailing members avail of in respect of their craft into a single document. This will include racing handicaps administered by Irish Sailing , racing sail numbers issued by Irish Sailing as the member national authority for World Sailing (formerly ISAF) and other services.

Certificates of Identity may be purchased through our online shop and the application form for this should be downloaded from the shop item.

Probably the most visible statement of Irish identity for sailing yachts; any sailing yacht based in Ireland is entitled to apply to the Irish Sailing for an IRL sail number. While it is essential for anyone planning on racing, most cruising boats will also have an IRL sail number. Once issued these sail numbers stay with the boat for life. Boats cruising abroad should also look at one of the other forms of registration detailed below.

IRL Sail Numbers


The Irish Register of Shipping provides state registration for all Irish vessels including recreational craft. It is accessed through the Mercantile Marine Office in the Department of Transport. The registration process includes affirmation of ownership, tax status and a survey of the vessel. Inclusion on this register provides full entitlements for vessels cruising outside of The Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and United Kingdom and associated territorial waters as set out in the Mercantile Marine Act 1955
Contact details for Mercantile Marine Office

Department of Marine

There is currently no legal requirement to have a licence to drive either a Powerboat or a Jetski in Ireland. However, it would be preferable, if all operators of power-driven craft held a Powerboat Certificate. These can be obtained through various Sailing clubs and Commercial Watersports Centres throughout the country.

You should contact the Marine authority of the country/countries, you wish to visit.

Contact the Mercantile Marine Office HERE for MMSI number and VHF Radio licensing information.

VHF training centres are available HERE.


If you are looking to get your qualifications commmercially endorsed for a passenger boat go here.

Go the Mercantile Marine Office here for details on different boat license requirements.

Planning a Cruise

Planning a Cruise in Company

To help you plan a cruise in company with your fellow local sailors we have produced a few templates and suggestions to help you start planning your cruise in company

Cruising Support

  • Visitors moorings, Safe TRX, Coastal Routes and Associations are all HERE to help you make the most of your cruising in Ireland.

White Diesel Access

For a current and detailed information, we advise any cruising sailors to have the ICC Sailing Directions on board and connect in with their updated amendments available on line.

@ 05 May 2022 the following list and map is current, to the best of our knowledge. 

  • Carlingford Marina - in cans
  • Malahide Marina 
  • Howth Yacht Club
  • Dun Laoghaire Marina
  • Greystones Marina
  • Arklow will fill your cans
  • Kilmore Quay
  • Salve Marine currently changing pump
  • Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • Cork Harbour Marina (Monkstown) will fill your cans
  • East Ferry - planning for2021
  • Castlepark Marina
  • Kinsale Yacht Club - by tanker if large quantities
  • Baltimore - portable tank from Kieran Cotter
  • Castletownbere – delivery by Beara Oil
  • Lawrence Cove - in cans
  • Bantry Marina - delivery by Biggs Oil or pop over the road to filling station
  • Dingle Marina – cans and tanker delivery by McSweeney Oils
  • Kilrush Marina - self service tank
  • Rossaveal
  • Roundstone - filling station 200m up the street

Thank you to Norman Kean of ICC Publications for his continued research into white diesel supply.