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Aghada is situated on the south coast of Ireland within Cork’s extensive natural harbour, in Co. Cork. Located on the south-eastern side of the Lower Harbour it offers a small village fronted by a pier with a pontoon where leisure vessels may anchor offshore. It is possible to come alongside the pontoon at high water and tenders will find enough water to land at all stages of the tide.

Being on the southeast corner of the harbour the anchorage offers good protection from all southerly and easterly winds. Being part of the Lower Harbour it will rarely be subject to any big seaway from other quadrants but in developed conditions from the west round to northwest it will become uncomfortable and a choice of more suitable locations within a short distance will be available in the harbour. 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 immediate area around the pier is shallow so vessels carrying any draft should be prepared to stand out a distance. Although the Lower Harbour is very well marked for night navigation, owing to Cobh’s lights and the vast amount of markers, first time visitors should prefer a day entry as it may prove challenging at night.




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Keyfacts for Aghada
HM  +353 21 4273125      info@portofcork.ie      Ch.12, 14, 16
Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.


Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsJetty or a structure to assist landingNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Petrol available alongsideTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the area

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Now Force

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with safe access.

LWS draught

3 metres (9.84 feet).

Today's tide estimates

LW 01:53 (1m) HW 07:53 (3.9m)
LW 14:14 (1.1m) HW 20:04 (3.8m)
Now approaching Neaps

Swell today




Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.


Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsJetty or a structure to assist landingNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Petrol available alongsideTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the area

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 50.755' N, 008° 12.575' W

This is the position of the head of Aghada pier. The area around the pier is shallow and vessels carrying any draft will need to stand well out.

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. The run up to the East Channel is best described in the East Ferry Marina Click to view haven entry with Aghada is about two miles from the Westgate terminal.


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 Aghada for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. East Ferry Marina - 0.8 miles N
  2. Northeast of Great Island - 1.3 miles N
  3. Cuskinny - 1.3 miles WNW
  4. White Bay - 1.8 miles SSW
  5. Spike Island - 1.9 miles W
  6. Cobh - 2 miles W
  7. Crosshaven - 2.6 miles SW
  8. Cork Harbour Marina - 2.8 miles W
  9. Glenbrook - 2.9 miles W
  10. Drake’s Pool - 3.2 miles WSW
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. East Ferry Marina - 0.8 miles N
  2. Northeast of Great Island - 1.3 miles N
  3. Cuskinny - 1.3 miles WNW
  4. White Bay - 1.8 miles SSW
  5. Spike Island - 1.9 miles W
  6. Cobh - 2 miles W
  7. Crosshaven - 2.6 miles SW
  8. Cork Harbour Marina - 2.8 miles W
  9. Glenbrook - 2.9 miles W
  10. Drake’s Pool - 3.2 miles WSW
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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Aghada is a small town situated to the southeast corner of Cork Harbour. It has a pier that dries to its head and is most noted for its natural gas power station situated a mile westward.

Convergance Point Use the East Ferry Marina Click to view haven entry for the run up to the East Channel. Aghada is about two miles from the Westgate terminal.

Once abreast of the A2 Starboard Hand Marker prepare to berth. Vessels carrying any draft should prepare to stand out about a third of a mile from the pier.

A2 Starboard Buoy – Fl(2)G.10s position: 51° 50.950’N 008° 12.695’W

The best anchoring position for deeper draft vessels is adjacent to the starboard side of the East Channel. 2.4 to 3.5 metres will be found in the area about 200 metres west from the marker with excellent mud holding.

Haven locationProgressing east from the East Channel sees the inner bay area stepping up quickly. The best water for moderate draft vessels will be found between the A2 Starboard Hand Mark and the head of the pier. Depths varying between 1.4 to 1.2 metres can be obtained here. Outside of this the eastern section of the Lower Harbour tends to be very shallow at low water.

Land at an old concrete and stone pier that extends northward from the shore. The pier is about 110 metres long and 3.5 metres wide with a single street light located near the northern end. A wooden superstructure extends a further 14 metres from its north most point with a set of metal steps on the outer end. On the eastern side of the pier a 20 metre pontoon runs along the inner side of the pier with a set of stone steps leading down to it. It has 0.2 metres at LWS but at half tide it is possible to find more than two metres alongside. There is also a slipway at the foot of the pier.


What's the story here?
Aghada’s name is derived from the Irish Áth Fhada that means "long ford".

The lower town’s distinctive pier dates back to the years following the great famine. The famine brought about many infrastructure works that provided employment and income to relieve the suffering. The impetus for Aghada’s pier construction however was after the famine had passed, and came from Queen Victoria's post famine visit to Queenstown - Cobh’s former name. Hence it was completed well after the famine had ended in 1849. The pier was constructed to support a Cork Harbour steamboat service that commenced operation in the 1850s. The Greenboats, as they were known, carried passengers between Aghada, Queenstown, Passage West and Cork and also goods from Cloyne, Ballycotton and beyond. At the height of this remarkable service Lower Aghada was a hub for East Cork and the steamboat service operated until the 1930s when road transport improvements rendered it obsolete.

Aghada’s most prominent place in history comes from the latter end of this period when it hosted an American First World War seaplane base. At the time Ireland had four American air bases, Aghada, Whiddy Island, Wexford and Lough Foyle. The forces also operated a kite balloon detachment at Berehaven, that were mostly flown aboard the US battleship division based in Bantry Bay.

The American seaplane bases were only fully established in September 1918 and all operated under British military command. The role of the American aircrews was to perform anti-submarine patrols using, what is most likely to have been, Curtiss H-16s. These seaplanes had been introduced in 1917 and were armed with six machine-guns plus a bomb payload of 920 lbs (416 kg). Very little remains of the Lower Aghada seaplane base today except for the extensive slip area that is now home to Aghada’s combined sailing and tennis club. Two very overgrown gate piers can be seen nearby with the distinct inscriptions ‘US Navy’ on one and ‘Airbase’ on the other. The Royal Munster Fusiliers (Reserves) were also garrisoned in Aghada during this period. William Cosgrove, a World War I recipient of the Victoria Cross, is buried in Upper Aghada’s Presbyterian cemetery.

Today Aghada is a small fishing town and most famous for its highly conspicuous power station. Built in the early 1980s it can produce up to 1 Gigawat by burning natural gas and diesel, which makes it the third largest power station in the Republic of Ireland. From a sailing perspective Aghada is a popular landing area for shopping essentials, pubs and particularly its excellent restaurants.


What facilities are available?
The slipway at Aghada, situated at the foot of the pier, is the only usable public slip on the eastern side of Cork Harbour. Likewise, amongst all the berths available in Cork Harbour, the garage adjacent to the pier is the only place to obtain Petrol within the harbour area without having to carry fuel in vehicles on the public roads. Hence it is the best location for those who need to top up with petrol for an outboard motor. The village has basic shopping, and a good pub with a particularly good restaurant, which makes it a popular anchoring location for local leisure craft. The village is situated on the R630 road approximately 9.6 KM from the town of Midleton and 3.2 km from the village of Whitegate.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel anchored off Aghada.


With thanks to:
Eddie English, Yachtmaster Instructor/Examiner Dinghy & Powerboat Trainer at sailcork.com. Photographs with thanks to photomad, John M, Dermot Sheehan, reocities.com and Chris Murray.


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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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