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Cahore (Polduff)

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Cahore, or more correctly Polduff, is a small open harbour with a pier on Ireland's east coast, situated half a mile from Cahore Point on Wexford's northeastern coastline. It is predominantly an anchorage but medium draft vessels can come alongside at the very end of the pier.

It is a good harbour in conditions from the southwest round through west to northwest, but otherwise, it is entirely exposed. Access is straightforward as Cahore is free from any outlying obstacles and has no sandbanks between it and the Irish Sea.

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Keyfacts for Cahore (Polduff)
Shop with basic provisions availableSlipway availablePublic house or wine bar in the area

No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vessels

None listed

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 feet).

4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
3 stars: Tolerable; in suitable conditions a vessel may be left unwatched and an overnight stay.

Last modified
July 18th 2018


A tolerable location with straightforward access.

Shop with basic provisions availableSlipway availablePublic house or wine bar in the area

No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vessels

None listed

Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 34.183' N, 006° 11.983' W

At the pier head.

What is the initial fix?

The following Cahore initial fix will set up a final approach:
52° 34.198' N, 006° 11.618' W
This waypoint is 500 metres east of the pierhead.

What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Dublin Bay to Rosslare Harbour Route location.

Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Cahore (Polduff) for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Courtown Harbour - 2.8 miles N
  2. Arklow - 8.4 miles N
  3. Wexford Harbour - 10.4 miles SW
  4. Rosslare Bay (or South Bay) - 11.7 miles SSW
  5. Rosslare Europort (Rosslare Harbour) - 12.1 miles SSW
  6. Ballytrent - 13.6 miles SSW
  7. Carne - 14.1 miles SSW
  8. Wicklow Harbour - 15.8 miles NNE
  9. Kilmore Quay - 17.3 miles SSW
  10. Little Saltee (landing beach) - 18.2 miles SSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Courtown Harbour - 2.8 miles N
  2. Arklow - 8.4 miles N
  3. Wexford Harbour - 10.4 miles SW
  4. Rosslare Bay (or South Bay) - 11.7 miles SSW
  5. Rosslare Europort (Rosslare Harbour) - 12.1 miles SSW
  6. Ballytrent - 13.6 miles SSW
  7. Carne - 14.1 miles SSW
  8. Wicklow Harbour - 15.8 miles NNE
  9. Kilmore Quay - 17.3 miles SSW
  10. Little Saltee (landing beach) - 18.2 miles SSW
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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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How to get in?
Cahore Pier
Image: Wexford County Council

Cahore is a small fishing village located about five miles south of Courtown Harbour. The village is dominated by Polduff Pier that projects out a 100 metres north-eastward from the coast about a ½ mile northwest of Cahore Point.

Southern Approach Vessels approaching from the south should follow the channel marks inside the Blackwater Bank or go entirely outside the bank and approach from the Irish Sea.

Those working up inside the banks will find the whole space within the Blackwater Bank to the south of the Rusk Channel free from danger. It has from 10 to 18 metres in mid-channel and shoals gradually towards the shore but deepens quickly towards the bank that is steep-to. The bottom throughout is clean sand and a vessel awaiting a tide in settled conditions may freely anchor in any part of it.

On closer approaches, the 50 meters high Blackwater Head, five miles northward of Wexford’s Raven Point, will be readily identified by the ruins of a house on its summit. Morris Castle, a further 6 miles northward is made notable by a group of white houses nearby, where the clay cliffs terminate and the rest of the coastline to Cahore Point is low and made up of sandhills.

The Rusk Channel, between the Rusk and Money Weights, is well marked, a mile wide and quite clear. It is entered between Rusk Channel No. 1 Light buoy, starboard hand, and Rusk Channel No. 2 Light buoy, port hand, that mark the channel’s southern end.

Rusk No. 1 – Starboard Can Buoy Fl (2) G 5s position: 52° 28.539' N, 006° 11.000' W

Rusk No. 2 – Port Can Buoy Fl (2) R 5s SYNC position: 52° 28.638' N, 006° 12.613' W

Continue through the channel to the east of No. 4 Light buoy, port hand, that marks the west side of the channel, and pass west of North Blackwater Light buoy, north cardinal and east of the Rusk Bank No. 6 Light buoy, port hand, that is situated about a mile and a half to the southeast of Cahore Point. These latter buoys mark the channel’s northern end.

North Blackwater – North Cardinal Q position: 52° 32.225' N, 006° 9.520' W

Rusk No. 6 – Fl R 3sPort Can Buoy position: 52° 32.666' N, 006° 10.425' W

The Rusk Channel is half a mile wide and has, generally, more than 11 metres of water.

Between the north end of the Rusk Bank, about a mile to the northwest, and a spit extending south from Cahore Point called The Ram is the Sluice Channel. The Sluice Channel is an alternative to the Rusk Channel and about half as wide or less. With a least charted depth of 4.7 metres, it is often used by locals as it cuts the corner.

Northern Approach Vessels approaching from the north should follow the channel marks inside the Arklow Bank or go entirely outside the bank and approach from the Irish Sea. Five miles to the northeast of Cahore Point, and about midway between it and Kilmichael Point, the small pier and harbour of Courtown will be seen. It sits at the head of a two-mile deep bay that is generally rocky and of moderate elevation. The southern end of the relatively deep Glassgorman Bank extends abreast of Courtown but this presents little difficulty to leisure craft.

Initial fix location From the initial fix come straight in towards the Cahore, or Polduff, pier situated about 0.5 mile northwest of the point. A conspicuous white house at the back of the pier plus several houses above will be seen on an elevation of 19 metres. Ballygarret Roman Catholic Chapel, situated about 1.5 miles northwest of the point, is also easy to identify.

Keep at least a 200 metres off the shore between the pier and Cahore Point to avoid some fringing rocks that have one metre of cover. To the north of the harbour, there are no dangers apart from the inshore and locally known ‘Nell’s Patch’. This is an uncharted and unmarked underwater outcrop approximately two hundred metres north of the pier head. It is located in a direct line between the pierhead and the visible Rooney Rock. Keeping the pierhead on a bearing of not less than 210° clears this.
Please note

This is not an area to hug the beach if cruising between Courtown and Cahore. Vessels departing northward should head out in line with the pier for five hundred metres before striking off north.

Haven location The small open harbour is protected by a pier that projects 100 metres northeast from the shore. At night the pier has street lights but these cannot be relied on as navigation marks.

Anchor in 2 -3 metres to the north or northeast of the pierhead. This is just inside the channel markers and is a no wash zone. Shallow draft vessels or vessels that can take to the hard may come alongside the outer 20 metres of the pier. At the very end of the pier, it is possible to find at least 1.4 metres alongside. Cahore Harbour has no harbour master.

Why visit here?
The name Cahore is certainly of Gaelic origin but its meaning is unclear, therefore its Irish name is based on the historical spellings and current pronunciation, Cath Óir. The harbour name an Phoill Duibh, means ‘the dubh black poll hole or pool.

The central feature of the small village is its 19th-century pier with its old coastguard station alongside. It was initially built to unload Welsh coal and salt from schooners that lay close offshore taking advantage of the natural shelter provided by Cahore Point.

Early in the 20th-century, the pier was extended with the small bridge, visible today, joining the original pier to the then newly added section. This was added to bring in larger fishing boats so that they could land their catch here. It is still a popular landing place for whelk-fishing boats and the pier’s slipway is kept busy launching its local fleet of small fishing boats.

Today the pier is mostly used by children fishing for crabs, as in the summertime Cahore has become a popular seaside resort. The major attraction here is what is locally called the "South Beach", which is a few minutes walk from the pier situated to the south of Cahore Point. More widely known as Morriscastle Beach it is widely regarded as the best east coast beach in Ireland. It is also said to be the longest single stretch of beach in Europe running for an unbroken 20 km from Cahore Point to Curracloe’s Raven Point on the estuary to Wexford Harbour. The beach was awarded Blue Flag status in 2008 and is considered a safe family beach with very fine sand and beautiful dunes. Lifeguards protect the beach during the summer months of June, July and August.

The area is also popular with anglers. The fast-moving tidal waters around Cahore are teaming with fish, and herring, mackerel, tope, smoothhound, spurdog, ray, flounder, whiting, and dogfish are all pulled in here at different times of the year. Large Bass is a particular attraction for beach anglers. It is also attractive to wildlife watchers who come to see the seals and porpoises in the waters.

The dunes adjacent to the ‘South Beach’ have been listed as a Special Area of Conservation by the National Parks & Wildlife Service, which terms the area "Cahore Dunes & Polders". The dunes, some rising up to 60-feet high, with extensive areas of wetland, lagoonal drainage areas, and polder grasslands, support several very rare and protected plant species.

From a boating perspective, the harbour affords good shelter in offshore winds and is a particularly useful anchorage for yachts working their way south along the coast awaiting a fair tide. It is five minutes from the north entrance to the Rusk Channel and at high water Dover, this starts to run south at up to 3 Knots. As such it is an ideal location for a south and west going passage to optimise the south-flowing tide and set up a ‘single tide jump’ to Kilmore Quay. Likewise, situated approximately eight nautical miles south of the Arklow Bank and just slightly north of the Blackwater Bank, it has clear and unobstructed Irish Sea access. This makes it a useful jump-off point for departure for the UK.

What facilities are available?
There is a slip alongside the pier for hauling out a dinghy, and a pub immediately above the harbour that occasionally provide sandwiches. Apart from this there is nothing else within walking distance. Ballygarrett is the nearest small village, approximately 45 minutes and 3.5km away, which has a mini supermarket and a petrol station.

Any security concerns?
Cahore is a very quiet out of the way place. However it attracts tourists in peak season. It makes sense in the busy time to pull off the pier and anchor off when turning in for the night. As the pier is low you are less than a metre from the edge, and if any youngsters come down after closing time you may be the unintended eavesdropper as they chat into the later hours at the end of the pier. For this reason it is best just to move out off the pier.

With thanks to:
George Mahon, Courtown Harbour sailing Club.

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North County Wexford featuring views of Cahore

Views from the pier and South Beach

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