General Pilotage

Controlling Depths. From the seaward approach to the Maxol Hydrocarbon Terminal (53°43'05N, 06°19'85W) the channel is maintained to a depth of 2.2m at chart datum. From the Maxol Hydrocarbon Terminal the channel is maintaind at 1.0m at chart datum to the quays in the town. 

Vertical Clearance. Boyne Viaduct (53°43’N, 6°20’W) carries the railway over the river near the E end of Drogheda Harbour. It has a vertical clearance of 27m. A gauge is positioned on the N parapet.

Tidal Levels. On the River Boyne Bar: mean spring range about 4.5m; mean neap range about 3.7m. A tide gauge is located at 53°43'48N, 06°15'03W approximately 600m upstream of the river mouth.

Abnormal Levels. The predicted heights of the tide are reduced by winds from N and raised by winds from S. The levels are also affected by high and low barometric pressure and by storm events.

Maximum size of vessel handled. Maximum length 128m, beam 20m.

Arrival Information

Notice of ETA.  Attention is drawn to vessels operators, masters and agents of Statutory Instrument No.573 of 2010, implemented on the 30th November 2010. These Regulations give effect to the Directive 2009/17/EC and Article 24.1 of Directive 2009/18/EC which amend Directive 2002/59/EC. The Regulations strengthen the EU vessel traffic monitoring and information systems which will enhance the safety and efficiency of maritime traffic.

The Regulations provide mainly for vessel notification requirements prior to entering port, including for the transport of dangerous or polluting goods; use of technology for monitoring movement of vessels; transmission of information concerning vessels which might post a threat to the safety of persons, shipping, or the environment; reporting obligations concerning incidents and accidents at sea.

Under Part 2, section 7 (1) of the Regulations, the operator, agent or master of a ship bound for a port in the State shall notify the relevant port authority using SafeSeasIreland, or where for technical reasons SafeSeasIreland is unavailable using telephone, fax, email or other electronic means, of the information specified in Part 1 of Schedule 2 –

(a) at least 24 hours in advance,
(b) if the voyage time is less than 24 hours, at the least, at the time the ship leaves the previous port, or
(c) if the port of call is not know or is changed during the voyage, as soon as this information is available.

Operators, agents and masters are advised that a vessel will not be allowed enter the port unless the appropriate notification procedures as per the Regulations have been complied with.

After initial eta and vessel details notification, amendments of the eta should be notfied directly to the vessel's agent

Outer anchorage. A vessel awaiting the tide to enter the River Boyne can find a good anchorage in the area shown on the chart
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Submarine Pipeline. A submarine pipeline, natural gas crosses the channel west of Tom Roe’s Point, 53°43’.2N, 6°18’.6W. It is marked by a sign on poles on the north and south river banks.

Pilotage. This is compulsory for all vessels. Pilots board 1 mile ENE of Aleria Light (53°43’.3N, 6°14’.3W); the pilot vessel maintains watch on VHF channel 11. Pilots are only on station when a vessel is expected.

Caution. Vessels awaiting the pilot cutter should not approach closer than 1.5 miles to Aleria Light, particularly when the wind is blowing onshore.

Traffic Regulations. Details of vessels over 100m in length must be submitted in advance for approval to enter the port.


General Layout. There is a deepwater berth, Tom Roe’s Point Terminal, on the N bank of the river close to E of Tom Roe’s Point and a petroleum and LPG Terminal on the S bank 8 cables farther W. Other berths, mainly on the N bank are a farther 3 to 8 cables upstream at the town of Drogheda.

A turning area, marked by reflective posts lies between Tom Roe’s Terminal and Tom Roe’s Point.

Tide Streams. The river is tidal as far as Oldbridge, 2.5 miles upstream from Drogheda Port. Though the tidal streams are not normally strong, the rate of the out-going stream may be increased after heavy rains.

Off Crook Point (53°43’.3N, 6°15’.0W) the streams run as follows:

Interval from HW

Dublin Dover Remarks
-0520 -0450 In-going stream begins.
-0100 +0020 Out-going stream begins.

Principal marks: Maiden Tower (53°43’.3N, 6°15’.0W) a tall castellated stone tower, stands on the SW side of the river (5 cables within the entrance). Lady’s Finger, a small obelisk, stands close W of Maiden Tower. Two Chimneys (53°43’.3N, 6°19’.0W) of a magnesite factory, which are conspicuous, are situated on the N side of the river about 5 cables E of Drogheda.


The river is entered between North Bull and South Bull, drying sandbanks, which are gradually encroaching seaward and are backed by sandhills.

The channel extends 700m to seaward of the entrance and has a maximum width of 100m. Inside the breakwaters the chancel narrows to 50m.

It is dredged to a minimum depth of 2.2m (2000) but this may be reduced by E gales in advance of maintenance dredging.

It is recommended that the river should be entered on the last quarter of the in-going stream.

Approach. From the pilot boarding ground about 1 mile ENE of Aleria Light, the river entrance is approached from E in the white sector (269.5°-270.5°) of the port approach direction light, in position 53°43’.3N, 6°14’.6W.

Entrance. Thence the route leads between the training walls, passing (with positions given from Maiden Tower): N of Lyons Light (5 cables ESE), which stands on the seaward end of South Training Wall, thence: S of Aleria Light (black stone beacon) (4.5 cables E), which stands at the seaward extremity of North Training Wall.

The channel through the River Boyne leads to the town of Drogheda (6.63m) between light-beacons (lateral) situated at frequent intervals on each side of the river; they stand outside the dredged channel. Outside the beacons are training walls and mud flats that dry at LW.


The deep-water quay at Tom Roe’s Point is 160m in length and has alongside depths of 6.0m. The dredged area extends 25m E and W of the quay ends.

Vessels up to 130m can swing at Tom Roe’s Point.

The majority of the town quays are situated on the N side of the river W of Boyne Viaduct. There is a total of 518m of berthing space alongside public quays, and there are three privately owned berths. Depths alongside at MLWS: 1.37m to 2.44m. All vessels take the ground on soft level mud. Vessels up to 100m in length can swing at the town quays.

Small Craft

Small craft will find Drogheda a busy port with no ideal berth, but convenient for supplies.

Other Names

Benhead (53°39’N, 6°13W)
Burrow Point (53°43’.8N, 6°15’.7W)
Saint Mary’s Bridge (53°42’.8N, 6°20’9W)
South Point (53°43’.9N 6°16’.1W)

Access To and From Vessels alongside in Drogheda Port
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Disposal of Ship-Generated Waste And Cargo Residues at Drogheda Port
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Required Boarding Arrangements for Pilots
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