Dún Laoghaire harbour is home to a number of yacht clubs including the Dún Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club with premises on the west pier, The Irish National Sailing School & Club based at the foot of the West Pier, the Sailing in Dublin Club with premises in the Coal Harbour, the Royal Irish Yacht Club between the Commissioners for Irish Lights and the marina entrance, the Royal St George Yacht Club opposite the Pavilion centre, and the National Yacht Club closest to the East Pier.

The area to the north of the West Pier at Salthill Beach sees much windsurfing activity over the twelve months of the year.

St Michael's Rowing Club, one of the longest-established members of the East Coast Rowing Council, has its roots in Dún Laoghaire harbour since the hobblers of the 18th and 19th centuries. The club itself has existed since the early 1920s and still resides in the Coal Harbour boat yard today. Members can regularly be seen rowing their traditional, clinker built skiffs around the harbour and Scotsman's Bay throughout the year.

The Water Wag Club was founded in Kingstown in 1887 to "Establish a Class of sailing punt with centre board all rigged and built the same so that an even Harbour Race can be had with a light rowing and generally useful boat". This was the first time in yachting history that all the boats in a race should be identical, and that the winner would be the man with the greatest skill. This concept of 'One-design' has become the norm worldwide and has been adopted for all Olympic sailing events and for most World Championships in sailing. The Water Wag club prospers some 127 years later, and 'Wags' can be seen sailing in Dun Laoghaire harbour on Wednesday evenings from late April to mid September every year.

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