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East Ferry Marina

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Overview





East Ferry Marina is situated on the south coast of Ireland and deep within Cork’s extensive natural harbour, in Co. Cork. It is located within a river, on the east side of the harbour’s largest island called Great Island. The haven offers a remote marina in a beautiful wooded location with the busy town of Cobh a short taxi ride away.

Being both inside the harbour and up-river the marina offers complete protection from all conditions. Safe access is assured in all reasonable conditions by Cork Harbour, one of the most easily approached, well-marked and safest natural harbours in the world.
Please note

The run up to the marina is about six miles from the entrance. Passage tides will be a prime consideration as they reach 3 kns at springs and the marina is best avoided on the ebb with a strong south-easterly. Although very well marked for night navigation, owing to Cobh’s lights and the vast amount of markers in the lower harbour area, first time visitors should prefer a day entry as it may prove challenging at night.




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Keyfacts for East Ferry Marina
Berthing  +353 21 4813390      Ch.M
Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.


Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require considerationNote: harbour fees may be charged


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesNavigation lights to support a night approachRemote or quiet secluded locationScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableDiesel fuel available alongsideSlipway availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationScrubbing posts or a place where a vessel can dry out for a scrub below the waterlineShore based family recreation in the area

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Now Force

Summary

A completely protected location with safe access.

LWS draught

7 metres (22.97 feet).

Today's tide estimates

LW 01:08 (0.3m) HW 06:56 (4.2m)
LW 13:25 (0.2m) HW 19:15 (4.2m)
We are now on Springs

Swell today




Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.


Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require considerationNote: harbour fees may be charged


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesNavigation lights to support a night approachRemote or quiet secluded locationScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableDiesel fuel available alongsideSlipway availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationScrubbing posts or a place where a vessel can dry out for a scrub below the waterlineShore based family recreation in the area

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 51.970' N, 008° 12.790' W

This is the position of the marina’s outermost pontoon.

What is the initial fix?

The following Cork Harbour initial will set up a final approach:
51° 46.580' N, 008° 15.460' W
This waypoint is a mile out from the entrance and near the Outflow Marker Fl(Y) 20s. It is set on the alignment of 354° (T) of the Dogsnose leading lights that are situated on the east side of Cork Harbour entrance. This waypoint sets up an east channel approach but a vessel may alter course to and enter via the west channel.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore and approach details are available in the westbound Rosslare to Cork Harbour Route location or eastbound Mizen Head to Cork Harbour Route location sequence.


Not what you need?
Try our Advanced Havens Search tool to find locations with the specific attributes you need, or click the 'Next', coastal clockwise, or 'Previous', coastal anti-clockwise, buttons to progress through neighbouring havens. Below are the ten nearest havens to East Ferry Marina for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Northeast of Great Island - 0.5 miles NNE
  2. Aghada - 0.8 miles S
  3. Cuskinny - 1.3 miles WSW
  4. Cobh - 2 miles WSW
  5. Spike Island - 2.1 miles WSW
  6. White Bay - 2.5 miles SSW
  7. Glenbrook - 2.7 miles W
  8. Cork Harbour Marina - 2.9 miles WSW
  9. Crosshaven - 3 miles SW
  10. Drake’s Pool - 3.6 miles SW
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Northeast of Great Island - 0.5 miles NNE
  2. Aghada - 0.8 miles S
  3. Cuskinny - 1.3 miles WSW
  4. Cobh - 2 miles WSW
  5. Spike Island - 2.1 miles WSW
  6. White Bay - 2.5 miles SSW
  7. Glenbrook - 2.7 miles W
  8. Cork Harbour Marina - 2.9 miles WSW
  9. Crosshaven - 3 miles SW
  10. Drake’s Pool - 3.6 miles SW
Alternatively the above can be ordered by compass direction or coastal sequence


How to get in?
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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Great Island lies in Cork Harbour, just outside Cork City at the mouth of the River Lee. The island divides the harbour into Lower and Upper Harbours and is home to the town of Cobh. The marina lies in a rural setting on the eastern extremity of Great Island and is accessed via East Passage.

Owners wishing to stay overnight at East Ferry Marina should make berthing arrangements with the owner manager George Butler on +353 21 481 1342 (home) or alternatively +353 21 4813390 (the public house). An advance booking is preferred as VHF cannot be relied upon when approaching East Ferry Marina, as the surrounding hills tend to block the signal, and mobile phone coverage can be provider dependant.



Cork Harbour’s entrance is deep, sheltered, three quarters of a nautical mile wide and highly visible upon approach. The first mark will be the Cork Sea Buoy that lies five miles south of the entrance.

Cork Sea Buoy – LFl 10s position: 51°42.935'N, 008°15.601'W

Initial fix location The harbours principal features that first present themselves from the initial fix are the high bluffs of Dogsnose on the east side of the entrance, plus Ram’s Head, situated about 0.6 of a mile north of Weaver’s Point, on the entrance’s western side. On the summit of the Dogsnose, Fort Davis, previously called Fort Carlisle, will be seen with its notable enclosing double wall immediately to its east, running down the face of the hill to the sea. On the opposite side of the harbour entrance Fort Meagher, previously named Fort Camden, will also be seen facing Fort Davis from the summit of Ram’s Head. One mile south southwest of Fort Meagher the ruined Templebreedy Abbey, with a spire, stands out conspicuously on high land plus a notable water tower with radio mast will also be seen close north of the Abbey.

On closer approach, Roche’s Point’s distinctive white Roche’s Point Lighthouse and sectored light, will be seen on the eastern side. A disused signal tower and Roche’s Tower, standing about 410 metre to the east, also comes into view.

Roche’s Point - Fl WR 3s position: 51° 47.586'N, 008° 15.287'W

Roche’s Point light sectors are as follows: (Red. Vis.) Red shore-292°. White 292°-016° (84°).Red 016°-033° (17°). White (unintensified) 033°-159° (126°). Red 159°- shore.



At this time Weaver’s Point on the western shore will be discernible with 50 metres of high ground standing behind it. The surrounding land on each side of the entrance is relatively low. Once all these points come into view the entrance to the harbour that is situated 0.8 of a mile south of the forts, between Roche’s Point and Weaver’s Point, will be apparent.

Entry to Cork Harbour is straightforward in any weather, on any tide, night or day as there are no particular dangers for leisure craft. Simply pass between Roche's Point and Weaver’s Point, taking the western or eastern shipping approach channels. These channels are marked for the benefit of large ships to assist them pass a central shallow area called Harbour Rock that lies in the middle of the entrance. Once past this area take a mid-channel route up the entrance and between the two forts into the lower harbour. From there it is just a matter of following the lower harbour markers and branching off to the east after Whitegate Marine Terminal; this being visible for miles as a result of the inshore Red/White power station chimneys.

However it could not be said that the harbour has no dangers. The east side of the entrance has a pair of important rocks that vessels approaching the entrance from this side, particularly at high water, should make particular note of. These are the Cow Rock and Calf Rock that are situated beneath Roche’s Point and the rocks extend out about 200 metres to the south of the lighthouse. The conning tower like shape of the inner Cow Rock always shows but not so the outer Calf Rock. This is the real danger here as it is the outer of the two rocks and it covers; only drying to 1.4 metres at LWS. As such it is critically important not to cut into the entrance when approaching from the east as this runs the danger of colliding with Calf Rock. Although very difficult to pick out, the alignment 329.5°(T) of Christ Church spire, 4 miles within the harbour at Rushbrooke, and the east extremity of Fort Meagher on Ram's Head, as best seen on Admiralty Chart 1777, leads clear of Cow and Calf Rocks.

Likewise if entering Cork Harbour during strong southerly conditions over an ebb tide, the area between Fort Meagher and Fort Davis approximately one mile in from the harbour entrance, can get surprisingly rough. The channel narrows here to half a nautical mile concentrating the run of the ebb and heightening a wind on tide condition.

On rounding Roche’s Point the entrance to the harbour opens, and the three buoys marking Harbour Rock, a port, a starboard, and a north cardinal plus the corresponding marks off the eastern and western shorelines come into view. These mark the approach channels that exist on either side of the Harbour Rock that lies in the middle of the entrance, just within Roche’s Point.

Harbour Rock is an extensive rocky shoal with depths varying between 10.7 to 4.4 metres, with the shallowest part being a rocky pinnacle near its northeast elbow. Although nearly in the middle of the entrance, and much in the way of large ships working in or out of the harbour, in reasonable conditions the shallow area that is Harbour Rock presents no obstacle to leisure craft. But in extreme southerly conditions the sea can break on the rock on a LW spring tide. At such times the deep clear passages on either side should be used. These are supported by leading lights and light buoys.

Beyond Harbour Rock, taking a central channel approach up The Sound, the next marks are similarly targeted at assisting commercial shipping. Most of the dangers marked have more than five metres of cover with plenty of depth close to the mark.



On passing the entrance, the lower harbour at once becomes apparent. This has the separate ports of Cork, Cobh, Whitegate and Ringaskiddy, within its confines and its principal features are Spike Island, Haulbowline Island, and the town of Cove. A comparatively small part of the wide expanse that presents itself is available for navigation. The greater part of the harbour is occupied by shallows, between which the deep water channel runs in a northeast by north direction. The Fairway is well marked with its western banks defined by port buoys, with even numbers, and eastern bank by starboard markers with odd numbers.

The route to East Ferry Marina is via the Lower Harbour and then through the East Channel that leads to the East Passage between Great Island and the mainland. The East Channel opens to starboard, half a mile north by northeast of Whitegate Marine Terminal. This is between the Starboard Hand Markers no. 9 FL.G.5s and Starboard Hand Marker no. 11 FL.G.10s.
Note: It is prohibited to pass within 100 metres of the Whitegate Marine Terminal refinery pier. There are tug moorings close north northeast of the Starboard Hand Marker no. 9.

Once through the two starboard marks the path to the East Passage, to the east of Great Island, takes a mean heading of about 70° for about 2.5 miles.
Note: Tidal streams in the East Channel can attain up to 3 kn at springs and it is subject to strong cross tides. It should be avoided on an ebb tide with a strong south easterly.

The East Passage is an Upper Harbour channel that leads between Great Island on the west and the mainland shore on the east. Its southern entrance is 600 metres wide and lies between Marloag Point, to port on Great Island, and Gold Point, fronted by boulders to starboard on the mainland. The East Passage leads in a north by northeast direction to where the confluence of Cork Harbour and the Owenacurra River occurs. The area has pleasant wooded shorelines for a distance of one and a half miles to a deep water area north of Great Island.



Haven location The 80 berth East Ferry Marina will be found half a mile above the southern entrance point on the east side of Great Island. It is situated almost opposite a highly conspicuous Church, sitting at the foot of a wooded hill on the mainland’s shoreline, that will be seen when approaching from the East Channel.



Helmsmen should prepare for tidal streams that attain 3 kn at springs in the East Passage. The run turns in a contra eddy within the East Ferry Marina recess. As such it is recommended that the helmsman takes the time to do a few close passes before the final approach. Berth as directed by the marina owner.

The wooden pier on the eastern side of East Passage can be used by leisure vessels. It was used by the discontinued ferry service and can take a yacht alongside; check for depths with locals.


What's the story here?
East Ferry derives its name from a public ferry that plied its trade across the East Passage. This took people from the mainland to Great Island, the largest of Cork Harbour’s three islands that are all now joined with road bridges. The service has long been discontinued, but its wooden pier on the mainland side can still be seen. It remains in good condition and is used by leisure and fishing vessels.

East Ferry Marina is the quietest and most remote of Cork Harbour’s six marinas. Despite being five miles from Cobh the marina is set in a largely wooded and rural area that has somehow remained practically untouched by development. The view from the marina is bounded on the island side by farmland to the west and north, and by Marlogue Woods to the south with the harbour estuary below it.
Looking east out across the Owenacurra River, to the mainland or Midleton shore, is the pretty Gurranekennefeake Protestant Church sitting at the foot of a wooded hill. All combine to make East Ferry a picture perfect haven of tranquil beauty. Set alongside this rural setting are key sailing comforts and modern facilities. For those who want more, the nearest town of Cobh is just 7 km away with all the resources to cater for its population of 10,000.

The adjacent Marlogue Woods, also spelled Marloag, is open to the public. The woodlands cover the south-eastern edge of Great Island and its gravel trails, with a stony beach at the bottom of the hill. This area of land was once owned by the Anglo-Norman family of Walters who held the area up until the late 1600s. They originally planted an orchard here which was subsequently replaced by the current forest of conifers and broadleaves in the late 1800s. The woods offer about an hour’s walk at an easy strolling pace around a loop circuit and it is recommended to all visitors. Red squirrel, now almost extinct in southern Britain, can be seen in abundance in the forest. It is possible to exit from the loop of the forest walk at the pebbled beach and continue along the south side of the island to Cobh. This arduous trek of about 5 km would not be for the faint hearted.


What facilities are available?
Cork Harbour is a major yachting centre for Ireland and as such you can get everything you need, if not at the East Ferry marina, certainly in the harbour area. The main concentration of services however is in the Crosshaven area and East Ferry Marina is not ideal for boat work. That said it is a good location to dry out and scrub alongside a stone pier. Water, electricity, diesel and refuse facilities are available on all pontoons. The marina has showers and toilets. Unfortunately the Pub & Restaurant at the Marina at East Ferry closed (as advised in 2014). As the economy is fast improving hopefully it will reopen and flourish as before. In the mean time the pub across on the east side of the passage, Murphs Pub, has excellent food and is open all year round.

The Marina has boat hire and a sailing school with great activities for children.
The small village of Ballymore, close to the centre of Great Island and approximately 3 km (1.8 mi) from East Ferry and 4 km (2.5 mi) from Cobh, has a pub with a take-away alongside. A lift to Cobh 7 km (4.3 mi), by taxi is often possible by asking around. Cobh, with a population of about 10,000, has all you need. The towns SuperValu delivers to East Ferry marina.

One of Cobh's particular strengths is transport. It benefits from a train service to Cork, plus a host of taxi firms and a car hire service. This makes Ireland’s second largest city Cork, 30 km (19 mi) from East Ferry, highly accessible and all its onward excellent transport connections. Iarnrod Eireann, Ireland's national train company operates from Cork's Kent Train station and is located on the Lower Glanmire Road, north of the River Lee. Less than 10 minutes’ walk from it is the city bus station. Bus Eireann provides a regular national service including an Air Coach bus service from Cork's Parnell Place Bus Station to Cork Airport throughout the week. Cork Airport is conveniently located just 8 kilometres from Cork City Centre.


Any security concerns?
The marina has secured gates, 24hr security and the area is covered by CCTV.


With thanks to:
Anthony McCarthy, local yachtsman. Photographs with thanks to Neil and Elizebeth Dawson, Mark Murray, Eddie English, Enzo Cositore, Bill Fitzgeralds, Dermot Sheehan and Hywel Williams.


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This very useful aerial overview of Cork Harbour is highly recommended for first time visitors to familiarise themselves with Cork Harbour:








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