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Navigation & Pilotage

General Information

Drogheda Port lies about 7 kilometers up the river Boyne, which enters the Irish Sea at 53°43·30N 6°14’·29W. The port is divided between two terminals, the deep-water terminal at Tom Roe’s Point (53°43’·25N 6°14’·32W) 5 kilometers upriver, and the inner Town Quays at Drogheda, 1.5 kilometers further upriver. There are two private Jetties in operation, Flogas and Premier Periclase.

Controlling depths

The channel is maintained to Tom Roes Point Terminal (53°43’·25N 6°14’·32W) to a depth of  -2·2m CD. From Tom Roes Point Terminal to the Town Quays the channel is maintained to a depth of  -1.6m CD.


Maintained depths at the entrance of Drogheda Port are liable to change due to bad weather. Storm events may reduce predicted depths at the seaward approaches and river entrance. This will occur particularly during periods of easterly to southeasterly storms when wave action will accelerate sediments transport at the seaward approaches and river entrance, particularly during the low water period, southeasterly storms having the greatest impacts.

Vertical clearance

Boyne viaduct (53°43’·01N 6°20’·25W) carries the railway over the river near the E end of Drogheda. It has a vertical clearance of 26M HAT and a gauge is positioned on the N parapet. A minimum of 1m under bridge clearance should be allowed when calculating air draught.

Tidal Levels 

On the river Boyne bar: mean spring range is about 4.2m; and mean neap range is about 2.3m. See Drogheda Port Company Tidal Predictions. There are four physical tide gauges along the river, from seaward inward, The Gauge Beacon, Tom Roes Point Terminal, Pilot Moorings Harbourville and N parapet of the viaduct.  Ref BA 1431.

Abnormal water levels. 

The following weather conditions may influence the tidal predictions for Drogheda Port - River Boyne – seaward approaches and river entrance: 
•    Northerly winds may reduce predicted depths while southerly winds may increase them. 
•    High barometric pressure may reduce the predicted depths. 

Arrival Information

Outer Anchorage

A vessel waiting the tide to enter the river Boyne can find good anchorage in the area shown on the chart.

Principal marks

Maiden Tower Lady's Finger Two chimneys
53°43’·35N 6°15’·09W 53°43’·36N 6°15’·15W 53°43’·30N 6°19’·01W
A tall castellated stone tower stands on the SW side of the river 5 cables within the entrance A small stone obelisk, stands close W of Maiden Tower. 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 channel narrows to 50m.


From the pilot boarding position the river entrance is approached form E in the white sector (269·5° - 270·5°) of the direction light (53°43,·30N  6°14’·72W)


Thence the route leads between the training walls, passing: N of Lyons Light red (metal post)  (53°43’·24N 6°14’·26W) which stands on the seaward end of South Training Wall, thence:  S of Aleria Light green (stone beacon) )  (53°43’·36N 6°14’·33W) which stands at the seaward extremity of North Training wall.


The channel leads to the town of Drogheda between light beacons situated at frequent intervals on each side of the river, ref BA 1431; they stand outside the dredged channel. Outside the light beacons are training walls and mud flats which dry at LW.

Submarine pipeline

A submarine pipeline (53°43’·22N  6°18’·69W), natural gas, crosses the channel close W of Tom Roe’s Point Terminal. It is marked at either end by a sign on a pole.  An outfall pipe, fitted with a diffuser (depth 2M), extends about 6 cables offshore from the beach 5 cables S of, and roughly parallel to, South Training Wall. An intake pipe extends about 8 cables offshore from the beach, 4 cables north of, and roughly parallel to, North Training Wall


Pilotage is compulsory for all vessels. Pilots board 1.5 nm E of Aleria Light (53°43’·22N  ·6°18’·33W). The pilot cutter is on station only when a vessel is expected.


Vessels awaiting the pilot cutter should not approach closer than 1.5 nm to Aleria Light, particularly when the wind is blowing onshore.
For further details see ADMIRALTY List of Radio Signals Volume 6(1).



Tidal Streams

The river is tidal as far as Oldbridge, 2½ miles upstream from Drogheda Port. Though the tidal streams are not normally strong, the rate of out-going stream may be increased after heavy rains.
Off Crook Point (53°43’·91N 6°15’·75W) the streams set as follows:
Interval from HW

Dublin Dover Remarks
-0520 -450 In-going steam begins
-100 +0020 Out-going stream begins

Notice of ETA

Notice of ETA:  Initial ship reporting must be made through SafeSeasIreland web notification (  Vessels should also send ETA at the PIlot boarding position including vessel's draft and ISPS information to the agents, 24h and 12h in advance with amendments up to 2h before original ETA. Details of vessels over 100m in length must be submitted in advance for approval to enter the port. 





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