Location: The Port of Mar del Plata is situated 4.8 km from the town of Mar del Plata.
General Overview: The port is formed by two breakwaters. There are three commercial basins. Exports consist mainly of fish and grain. Imports are handled at Berth No. 6. Butane and propane gas are discharged at two dolphins connected to inland tanks.
Traffic Figures: Exports of approx 111,000t of grain and 68,500t of fish is handled annually. In addition there is a considerable quantity of domestic cargo, fish and petroleum by products and a small quantity of imports handled.
Load Line Zone: Summer.
Max Size: LOA 180m.
Sea buoys, fairways and channels: The access channel has a length of approx 700m, presently dredged to a depth of approx 9.14m at CD, width 90m. There are 2 sets of leading marks in line bearing 208║ and 238║.
The port is sheltered by 2 breakwaters, the northern arm of 11.00m running in a SE'ly direction and the southern arm of 2,750m running in a NE'ly direction. The width between the 2 breakwaters heads is approx 40OM.
Pilot: Compulsory. The pilot boards approx 1.5nm NE of the southern breakwater.
Anchorages: Anchorage is located approx 2nm NE of the southern breakwater in a depth of 10.9-12.80m, with not less than 5 shackles. The holding ground is good.
Tidal range and flow:
Tides HW LW
Spring 4.9m 1.1m
Neap 3.6m 2.4m
Dock density: 1025.
Weather: Prevailing winds: NW'ly.
Principal navigation aids: Puerto de Mar del Plata is enclosed by two breakwaters from the heads of which lights are exhibited from white square metal framework towers, 8.Om in height.
A monument stands on the S breakwater head.
Outer leading lights stand 1.75m apart; the front light is exhibited from a black square structure (yellow square daymark, black stripe, 6.Om in elevation) situated on the S breakwater 0.35 nm from its head; the rear light is exhibited from a black square structure (black square daymark, yellow stripe, 22m in elevation) situated on the coast SSW of the front light structure. In line (208.25║) these lights lead into the harbour entrance.
Inner leading lights are exhibited, 726m apart; the front light from a yellow metal framework tower with a black and yellow daymark, 23m in height, standing 0.95 nm SW of the harbour entrance; the rear light from a black metal tower with a yellow diamond daymark, 3.Om in height, situated on the S comer of the power station. These lights in line, bearing 238.25', lead from the entrance through Antepuerto.
A light is exhibited from a tower painted red and white in chequers on the head of Escollera Abrigo.
A pair of leading lights is exhibited near the root of the SE breakwater to facilitate entering the basin.
Charts: 531. Admiralty Pilot NP5.
Vessels can load to their summer marks all year round if sailing northbound, and not proceeding S of lat 34'S.
Currents constantly form a sand-bank off the end of the southern arm, which requires continuous dredging, and ruling depths are announced constantly by the authorities. The usual min depth an the bar is 7.3m at zero, but under favourable conditions this may be up to 7.6m. This requires checking before committing a vessel near these limits, as in the past vessels drawing up to 9.1m have entered and sailed, but sudden storms can destroy a months dredging in hours.
Tugs: The use of 2 tugs is compulsory, there are 2 tugs available of 900hp and 700hp. The following exceptional apply:
1 . Vessels with a LOA less than 1OOm are not required to use tugs;
2. Vessels with a LOA of 100-120m are required to use only 1 tug.
Depending on the prevailing conditions the port authority allow a tolerance of 5% on the above figures.
The agent should be consulted regarding further information on the use of tugs.
Mooring information: There is often a heavy swell in this port, causing vessels to range in alí berths, fenders being essential. ít is safer to the outside in 10.4-12.8m of water, if awaiting a berth, than in the ante-port within the breakwater.