Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo The Irish Sailing Association

Marine Clothing

As this Friday's entry deadline looms for the ICRA National Championships on June 9, Royal Cork Yacht Club organisers say they will finalise racing divisions closer to the start of the event and will endeavour to make the splits as competitive as possible. 'Currently, it looks like we will have Divisions 0, 1, 2, 3 and Non-Spinnaker for the event, says organiser Paul Tingle of Royal Cork.

Always a contentious issue, it will be interesting to see how ICRA split classes as some entries maybe in limbo, such as those between the small class zero and the large class one, made up mainly of J109’s.

At present, the Race Officers will be working in two race areas for the various divisions, with an In-Harbour and Outer-Harbour start area. The outer area is planned to be located outside Roches Point with a mix of race types including Windward/Leeward, Sausage/Triangle and Around-the-cans, while the inner harbour start area will cater for the Non-Spinnaker division as well as a rotating other division(s). Course type will be varied with the use of navigation and harbour marks inside and outside the harbour. Of course final confirmation and further details will be sent soon.

Tingle has issued an appeal for any entries for the Coastal Division to confirm their interest.

Published in ICRA

As Johnny Smullen, boatbuilder to America’s Cup legend Dennis Conner has put it, the transformation job on a tired old Etchells 22 is simply amazing writes W M Nixon

The well-worn white hull of a standard Etchells 22 went into Bill Trafford's shed near Skenakilla Crossroads in March last year. And this week, the gorgeous dark blue cruising sloop Guapa (it’s Spanish for beautiful) emerged. See our April progress report here.

etchells22 cruiser2Elegance is the hallmark

Next Wednesday she’ll be arriving in Crosshaven for her mast to be stepped and new sails fitted from Des McWilliam. But the boat is so utterly transformed, with judiciously-raised topsides and an extremely elegant Scandinavian-style coachroof and comfortable accommodation within, that Bill naturally wondered if his calculations as to the new location of the waterline were accurate.

Indeed, like every boat-transformer, he wondered if she’d float. So rather than give her a totally-untested debut at Crosshaven, Guapa was quietly towed up the road to Doneraile, where the equipe stopped outside the Townhouse Tea Room for some sustenance, as Bill’s wife works there (and it’s Georgina Campbell-recommended).

etchells22 cruiser2Quick sustenance stop as viewed from the Townhouse tea Room in Donraile

Then it was on up the road to Adare and down to Askeaton off the Shannon Estuary, where Cyril Ryan at his boatyard had the crane ready, and Guapa had her first splash in complete privacy. No leaks. And she floated perfectly on her marks. All being well, next Wednesday in Crosshaven, you’re in for a treat.

etchells22 cruiser2At Askeaton, Guapa floats to her marks

Published in Etchells

Cork has claimed that this year’s ‘Harbour Festival’ will be the biggest maritime festival in the country. Fifteen towns and villages, as well as the city, have joined together with the City and County Councils and Cork Port Company to create 60 events during a “nine-day celebration of the harbour” from June 3 to June 11.

Ocean to City – An Rás Mór and Cork Harbour Open Day formerly existed as two popular one-day events located at different points in Cork’s annual maritime calendar. Both event committees say that they “recognised the synergy between the two events” and worked together to share resources, which has results in the Cork Harbour Festival with the Ocean to City – An Ras Mór as the flagship event

The Committee has announced a programme with these highlights:

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES: Sailing, kayaking, speed boat trips, surfing, swimming, coasteering and stand-up paddle boarding. Or, if you want a more relaxing festival experience, try the seaweed foraging walk or the wonderfully soothing mobile sauna.

HERITAGE: the history and stories of Cork Harbour at its ancient forts and heritage sites; from Camden Fort Meagher Open Weekend on 3rd-5th June to Roche’s Point Lighthouse Open Day on 4th June. Take a guided walk of Elizabeth Fort or jump on a ferry to Spike Island for a tour of Fort Mitchel.

Ocean to City - An Rás Mór, Ireland’s premier rowing event, on Saturday June 10th. This spectacular long distance rowing race attracts hundreds of participants from all over the world competing in everything from traditional wooden boats, currachs, gigs and longboats to Chinese dragon boats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.

FAMILY FUN: Visit the Pelican of London Tall Ship; go water trampolining or orienteering; take a ghostly tour of Cork City; learn survival skills on Spike Island, or go crab fishing in Cobh. There is so much on offer for all the family.

WALKS & TALKS: A diverse range of walks and talks are featured in the festival. Join us for a food trail in Cork City, a photography safari along Cobh Harbour or an historical walking tour of Cobh. From 6th to 8th June, come along to the hugely popular Lunchtime Lectures with the UCC Department of History at St. Peter’s Church, where topics such as fisheries, coastal defence fortifications and Cork Women and the U.S Navy will be presented.

CULTURE: Featuring ten different exhibitions as well as art performances, music, circus, songs and stories there is plenty to offer the culture vulture. Visit ‘Portraits: Women of Cork and the U.S. Navy 1917-1919’ at the Sirius Arts Centre; explore the art exhibition ‘Tairlearach – From Beyond the Sea’ at Cork City Hall and the internationally renowned ‘Unveiled Horizons’ at the Port of Cork.

Joya Kuin, Festival Manager, “Cork Harbour Festival is getting bigger and better each year. The festival encompasses all that the harbour has to offer the visitor and local alike, packed full of heritage, culture, stories, water activities, people and communities and lots of fun and memories in the making”. Now in its third year, the festival celebrates Cork Harbour as a natural and cultural resource, with the communities and their stories at the heart of it.

The full festival programme of over 60 events will be available online from 9 May here

Published in Cork Harbour

Cove Sailing Club launched its programme for the season with confirmation of joint cruiser racing to be sailed with neighbouring Monkstown Bay SC in an attempt by both clubs to boost cruiser participation in Cork Harbour writes Tom MacSweeney.

Cove SC Commodore Joanna Radley and Monkstown Bay’s Cruiser Class Captain Henry Jefferies said that the development had been discussed for some time and that both clubs would continue to have their own dedicated events, while also combining racing which would be held alternately at Cobh and Monkstown. Both clubs had experienced declining fleet numbers over recent seasons and this was a determined attempt to reverse the trend.

Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Rear Admiral for Keelboats, Kieran O’Connell, who was present welcomed the development and said that the RCYC would look forward to the possibility of joining in next season when all three clubs could strengthen cruiser racing.

CORK HARBOUR JOINT RACINGPROGRAMMECove Sailing Club Commodore Joanna Radley, Monkstown Bay Cruiser Class Capt Henry Jefferies and Cove Sailing Secretary Pat Coakley at the Announcement of the Joint Racing programme

“This is a wonderful harbour, with great opportunities for sailing, of which every opportunity should be taken,” is the approach being taken by the clubs. The joint Cove/MBSC events will concentrate on whitesail, which is the focus of Monkstown Bay SC cruisers. Cove includes spinnakers in its racing events.

The agreed approach, as previously reported by Afloat.ie will start with both clubs joining forces for the first time on Sunday May 21, starting together on the Cove SC line and again the following Saturday, May 27 On Saturday, June 3, the June Bank Holiday Weekend both clubs will race in Monkstown. The clubs will gather together again in Cobh on four Fridays in June – 9, 16, 23 and 30. A race to Kinsale, which will also be a ‘feeder’ for the Sovereign’s Cup there, is planned on Saturday, June 17. For boats not taking part in the Cup series, there will be a race back to Cork Harbour the following day.

KIERAN OCONNELL RCYCKieran O'Connell RCYC Rear Admiral Keelboats – looks forward to the possibility of joining in next season when all three Cork Harbour clubs could strengthen cruiser racing

In July Monkstown will hold its ‘At Home Regatta’ on Saturday, July 8, which SCORA, the South Coast Offshore Racing Association, is expected to support and on Saturdays, July 15, 22, 29, Cove will join MBSC in racing at Monkstown. On Sunday, July 23 racing will be in Cove. On Saturday, September 2, the Ballinacurra Race will start from Cove and finish in East Ferry. Saturday, September 9, is the date scheduled for the annual Cobh-to-Blackrock Race and there are joint MBSC and Cove SC events planned on Saturdays September 16, 23 and 30.

“Hopefully, this inter-club initiative will boost cruiser racing in Cork Harbour,” officers of both clubs said.

At the launch in the Quays bar and restaurant on the Cobh waterfront, Cove Sailing Secretary, Pat Coakley, announced an extensive sailing programme for both the club’s dinghy and cruiser fleets. Saturday sailing will include a dedicated training schedule, outlined by Michelle Gray Mooney.

MAURICE KIDNEY COVE SC LAUNCHMaurice Kidney outlining the Rankin Dinghy Revival at the Cove Sailing Club Launch

Maurice Kidney detailed the revival of the Rankins, the historic dinghy associated with Cove SC. On Saturday, May 20, the Rankins are planning a gathering in Cobh and Crosshaven for Ida Hadley, the sister of boat builders Eric and Dave Rankin, who built these wonderful Cork harbour dinghies from the late 50s to the 80s.

Published in Cork Harbour

#CorkHarbour - Tom MacSweeney writes on Afloat.ie today about the centenary of the US Navy’s arrival in Cork Harbour during the First World War.

But the event has a living connection, as the Irish Examiner reports, with the great-granddaughter of the flotilla commander attending this morning’s ceremony in Cobh to unveil a commemorative plaque.

Lizzie Helmer, an exchange student at UCC, only learned the week before she left her California home for Cork that her great-grandfather Joseph Taussig was in charge of the fleet that helped secure the southern approaches to Ireland during the Great War.

Helmer’s family paid a visit to Cobh last month to learn more about their connection with the harbour town formerly known as Queenstown.

And they were joined by UCC president Prof Patrick O’Shea, whose own grand-uncle lost his life when the SS Lismore was torpedoed off Le Havre, just three weeks before the Americans arrived in Cork Harbour.

The Irish Examiner has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

The arrival of the United States Navy into Cork Harbour a hundred years ago today when America entered the First World war is being commemorated at ceremonies in Cobh today writes Tom MacSweeney. A commemorative plaque was unveiled at Admiralty House where the US Navy was based. It is now a convent of the Benedictine Order.

92 American Naval vessels operated to protect the Southern Approaches to Ireland and Britain which then governed Ireland. An exhibition 'Portraits; Women of Cobh and US Sailors' Irish Wives 1917-1919' has been opened in the Sirius Arts Centre in the town.

* listen to Tom MacSwqeeney's podcast for this story about the inter-relationships between US Naval personnel and local women here

Cobh WWI commemorationA minutes silence at this morning's commemoration in Cobh. Photo: Tom MacSweeney

Irish and US Naval personnel attended the Cobh ceremony. Admiralty House in Cobh was the original residence of the Commander-in-Chief of naval operations.

The winning of safe control of the Western Approaches when Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare was described at the ceremony as vital to eventual Allied success in the First World War.

Other commemorative events are plannrd including a weekend series on Bere Island in West Cork on July 1/2.

US personnel were based also in Aghada, Monkstown and Passage West in Cork Harbour.

Roches Point Lighthouse will be open to the public on the June Bank Holiday to mark its importance during the wartime period and also 200 years of lighthouse operations there.

Published in Cork Harbour

The sailing season is taking off in Cork Harbour, with good weather this week writes Tom MacSweeney. Cove Sailing Club will announce its racing programme at a pre-season launch on Friday, which will include a joint programme for whitesail cruiser events with neighbouring Monkstown Bay.

Weekly cruiser racing begins tomorrow night at the RCYC and the first of the whitesail evening league races is scheduled for Friday. Dinghy racing is on Wednesdays and at weekends.

JOHN AND JUDY MOYNIHAN MBSCJohn and Judy Moynihan - stalwart dinghy sailors at MBSC prepare for the first night's racing

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club had eleven boats on the water, racing in two classes for the opening night last night. A steady south-easterly, flat water and sunshine made a good start to the season in the harbour.

Published in Cork Harbour

Three weeks hence from this morning, on Saturday May 19th, an unlikely convoy of vehicles with a very special collection of unique vintage boats and people will emerge in Cherbourg from Irish Ferries’ ship just in from Rosslare writes W M Nixon. Meanwhile, well to the west in northern Brittany, a similarly rare group with antique boats of a different type will have disembarked in Roscoff from the Brittany Ferries vessel from Cork. By that night, if all goes according to plan, both groups – people and boats alike - will be united a long way away, in the little port of Arradon on the shores of the Morbihan, the island-studded inland sea at the heart of its own Department, the most southerly part of Brittany.

map MorbhianA sailing paradise. In detail, there are sixty islands in the Morbihan. The Irish crews in the Water Wags and Howth 17s will be based at Arradon on the north shore.

The Irish classic boats and those who sail them will have arrived to immerse themselves in the fleet of more than 1,300 other unusual craft in a very French celebration of sailing and pride in individualistic boat ownership. It’s a wonderfully complex biennial celebration which uses the magic waters of the Morbihan, where sea and land completely intertwine in the midst of the sweetest countryside with enchanting village ports, to provide a unique playground for boats of all types and sizes.

russian shtandard3The replica of Peter the Great’s 1703-built Shtandard will be one of the largest vessels at the Morbihan.

At the time of writing, they’re expected to range in size from the extraordinary Russian re-creation of Peter the Great’s huge warship of 1703, the Shtandart, right down to a selection of the sometimes decidedly unusual yet effective little craft which emanate from the creative minds to be found in Francois Vivier’s design office. In between, we’ve everything from the America’s Cup 12 Metre France through a comprehensive selection of traditional sailing fishing boats and classic yacht from several maritime nations, and on through a goodly fleet of other traditional craft with a strong representation of the Bantry Boats, until at the lower end of the size scale, we find some little boats which are very odd indeed, owner-designed craft which can best be categorized somewhere on the scale which ranges from Rather Quirky to Utterly Bonkers.

bantry boats4Bantry Boats racing in France. Based on the ship’s boat left behind in Bantry Bay after the failed invasion of 1796, the Bantry boat was stored for more than a hundred years at Bantry House before being moved to the National Museum. Under an iniative inspired by Hal Sisk, they are now the basis of a lively fleet on both sides of the Atlantic, and will be a feature of the Morbihan Week.

water wags5They’re in better heart than ever. The Water Wags at a recent “training weekend” at Killenure on Lough Ree. Next month they will be making their second visit to the biennial Morbihan Week in southern Brittany.

In the midst of the huge fleet, there’ll be twelve Water Wags and six Howth 17s from Ireland. Small and all as they are by comparison with some of the enormous traditional fishing craft and Tall Ships taking part, they will be accorded honoured status partly on account of age. The Water Wags of 1887 origin, with the present class a re-worked larger design from 1900, introduced the One-Design concept. And as the Howth 17s are of 1898 origin, they are accorded the special honour of being the world’s oldest one design keelboat class still sailing as originally designed.

howth seventeens6Howth 17s in full cry. They will be making their first visit to the Morbihan festival, but their newest sister-ship is being built nearby at Skol ar Mor.

Further to all that, both classes bring international status through coming from Ireland, and few have come further, even if the little Irish boats are sensibly using the ferries. But we will also see Irish Sea representation with boats which have sailed there, with the beautifully restored classic Laurent Giles-designed Carbineer 46 Sylvana voyaging from Northern Ireland, while the irrepressible Joe Pennington from the Isle of Man is entered with his restored 1895-built 36ft Manx longliner Master Frank, which might find it interesting to have a spot of competition with the comparable French-based Essex smack Unity of Lynn.

However, for the little Irish boats, it’s a formidable logistical challenge. The Water Wags - in which the Olympic Mother Cathy MacAleavey has been setting the racing pace of late, though David MacFarlane won on Wednesday – are in good hands as Carol O’Rourke is coordinating their arrangements. But anyway they’ve useful experience here, as seven of them travelled to the 2015 Semaine du Golfe du Morbihan, and eight came back. They returned with a new boat for Adam Winkelmann which had been built to the class’s ancient designs by Mike Newmeyer and his team at the inspirational boat-building school Skol ar Mor.

morbihan entrance13Eclectic fleet......the Morbihan Fesitval in 2015. Four of the Water Wags are just about visible left centre

water wags8The popular Dutch sail training ship Morgenster was a welcome visitor to the festival in 2015, and is seen here approaching the entrance to the Morbihan in company with a couple of Water Wags

Skol ar Mor – which is located near the entrance to the Morbihan – is currently building a new Howth 17 for Ian and Judith Malcolm, but she won’t be finished until July as her construction is timed to phase in with the school’s term periods. But in any case, the Malcolms are keen to make their debut for the Howth 17s at Morbihan with their 1898-vintage boat Aura, which they’ve owned, lovingly cared for and raced very regularly since 1980.

It’s not the first time the Howth 17s have travelled far from their ancestral home, in fact it’s not the first time they’ve been to France, as a trio went to the Brest Festival in 1972. But road travel technology for little old boats wasn’t so advanced 45 years ago, so it wasn’t until 1998 that another road migration was taken on, with seven of them going to Belfast Lough to celebrate their centenary at their birthplace at Carrickfergus. They sailed the 90 miles home.

Then in 2005 they’d a seriously major movement, when an incredible 15 managed to get to the Glandore Classics involving an efficiently-organised set of low loaders which could take the boats down to West Cork three or even four at a time.

The Howth 17s are nothing if not individualistic, so the regimentation essential to the success of this expedition was exhausting for them. It took a while for the normal busy season of racing (usually they’ve sixty races a year) to resume once they’d got home. So since then, they’ve been building up a group of owners within the class who have proper road trailers, and that was the means used to get seven boats to Belfast Lough for last year’s 150th Anniversaries of Carrickfergus Sailing Club and Royal Ulster Yacht Club, together with the celebration of the yacht and boat-building achievement of the John Hilditch yard at Carrickfergus.

looe lugger9The opportunity to compare different rigs and boat types at the Morbihan is unrivalled. This is the Looe Lugger Our Boys of Plymouth..........

twelve metre france10......and this is the former America’s Cup 12 Metre France
But there’s a heck of a difference between taking just part of a morning to road-trail mostly on motorways from Howth to Bangor, and trailing your boat from Dublin to the Morbihan via the Rosslare-Cherbourg ferry. The Water Wags know they can do it, but for the much heavier Howth 17s and their interesting selection of four-wheel-drive towing vehicles, they’re facing a total haul of 540 kilometres, 348 of them in France.

Naturally, there are those who’ll say that boats of this vintage should live pampered lives. But the Howth 17s are nothing if not adventurous, and Irish Ferries have been so much taken with all this that four of the boats and their towing vehicles are travelling the ferries there and back for free, so between them the six travelling equipes have only had to divvy up for two boats’ cost.

Nevertheless as two of the boats – Aura and Roddy Cooper’s Leila - are from the original 1898 Hilditch-built five, they’re moving a uniquely precious cargo on a project very far removed from their origins. So far removed, in fact, that I can’t help but imagine John Hilditch urging on his men on a Monday morning early in the Spring of 1898 with the inspiring words: “C’mon, lads, we have to build these new Howth boats strong and true, for in 119 years time their owners will want to trail them the 217 miles from Cherbourg to Vannes on some sort of road cart.”

hilditch boatyard11Change of scene. The Howth 17s were built in Carrickfergus in 1898 in Hilditch’s Boatyard in those black sheds on the waterfront at the head of the harbour in an industrial town.......
morbihan entrance13....but next month they’ll be sailing in these agreeable surroundings in the heart of the Morbihan

Quite. Either way, it will be an exhausting journey, but it’s the sort of project which re-energises those involved as it moves along, and once they’ve got to the Morbihan, the Water Wag and Howth 17s sailors will find themelves among kindred spirits. It’s something they need from time to time. Only the other day I was asked to reveal to a non-sailor what the Water Wags are all about in 2017, and found it very challenging. For how can you explain the inexplicable?

Around the Morbihan, there’ll be no need to explain. Yet even in France supposedly among members of the same nautical religion, the Howth 17s and the Water Wags will find themselves slightly at odds with the crew of some other boat types, as the essence of both the Irish classes is that they race a lot, so much so that both classes are healthier than ever. But that is not always to the taste of all those who simply love old boats for themselves, and find that keeping them in good order and sailing them in non-competitive style on various expeditions within the ambit of the Semaine du Golfe du Morbihan is all that is required.

But the Morbihan has so much to offer that there’s something for everyone, and for smaller racing boats that want racing, there’ll be racing available. As for others who simply like sport in sailing challenging bits of sea, the tides in the Morbihan whoosh in and out through the narrow entrance with such vigour that many treat it like a nautical ski slope.

morbihan entrance13The manageable liveliness of the tide-riven waters in the Morbihan entrance is integral to the way the event is staged.......

beach time14......but for balance, sheltered beach time is expected

This is markedly unlike the attitude at the entrance to Strangford Lough. There, the tide-race on the bar is admittedly on a bigger scale, but it’s regarded as something to be avoided. At the Morbihan by contrast, there are small boat sailors who’ll spend their whole day crawling in the eddies against the tide, and then returning with it in the middle of the full exuberant burst of the rip.

For those with more leisurely tastes, there are all sorts of waterside establishments where lunch can go on for ever, but be very sure to have secured your table by 12:30pm. And as for visiting other boats, that too can go on for ever.

two sinagots15The sinagot is the indigenous traditional fishing boat of the Morbihan

Certainly there are some with which the Howth folk should link up. A noted presence will be the McGruer 8 Metre Cruiser/Racer Orana of 1959 vintage. For many years she was based in Howth under Johnny Pearson’s ownership, and she had her moments, including winning the 1966 RORC Beaumaris-Cork Race overall. She was the first yacht I ever did the Lambay Race aboard, and when you do your first Lambay Race with the likes of Johnny Pearson, Bob Fannin and Brendan Murray, you learn an awful lot about what living in Howth is going to involve, and you even learn a little about racing round Lambay.

orana found16The 1959 McGruer-designed 8 Metre Cruiser-Racer Orana was Howth-based for many years, and was overall winner of the 1966 RORC Beaumaris-Cork Race. After being under the radar for decades, she has re-emerged in French ownership as a participant at Morbihan Week 2017

Orana had been off the radar for decades, but now she has re-emerged, spic and span in French ownership and ready to strut her stuff in the Morbihan in three weeks time when she’ll be part of a mind-blowing feet. In fact, so diverse is the fleet, that while most of it will be the challenge of recognising what’s going past, some are worth seeking out directly, and one such is surely the famous Pen Duick, Eric Tabarly’s original boat, a Fife-designed 15-tonner which started life in 1898 at Carrigaloe on Cork Harbour.

Originally, she was given the unlovely name of Yum, and her owner, one Adolphus Fowler of the Royal Munster YC, was evidently feeling prosperous, for at the same time he had the Carrigaloe yard built him the Cork Harbour One Design Jap.

Both boats still sail the sea, but mercifully Yum soon received a pleasanter name as she was quickly sold, and she is now immortalised as Pen Duick, the eternal beauty brought back to life by Eric Tabarly to be an extraordinary link between William Fife of Scotland, Cork Harbour in Ireland, and all that is best in French sailing in Brittany.

In a league like this, the little boats from Ireland will need to do something special to fulfill their role. But I think that the poster that the Howth 17s commissioned from local artist Carol O’Mara for display on the various sites around the Morbihan is definitely a step in the right direction. There’ll be so many messages flying around from all sources that something which says what it wants to say so well, so simply, and so directly will make the most impact.

Published in W M Nixon

The Lower Aghada pontoon has been reinstalled for the coming boating season in Cork Harbour.

Local community efforts in Aghada in 2011 led to an upgrade in the underused and deteriorating pier. It is now a popular Cork Harbour destination for boaters.

These efforts led to the Port of Cork and Cork County Council co-operating with the community in a €350,000 upgrade of their pier which has seen it developed with seasonal pontoon installation as a new destination for visiting boats in the lower harbour. More on this from Afloat.ie in 2011 here.

lower aghadaLower Aghada is on the eastern shore of Cork Harbour  Image: Google Maps

 

Published in Cork Harbour
25th April 2017

Launch Your Boat Time!

It’s launching time at Castlepoint Boatyard at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour where I keep SCRIBBLER II.

That’s my Sigma 33, named rather appropriately for a journalist/scribe, as I’ve been told. The first SCRIBBLER was a Ruffian 23, much sailed and enjoyed by the family to whom she gave great service. The main drawback was the low head room in the cabin, but she was a great boat and served us well in racing and cruising over the years. From her I moved onto a Sadler 25, a grand boat too that gave great racing. From her I moved to the Sigma.

The change from masthead to fractional rig was an adjustment which gave me a testing time. Over the past week or so I’ve been getting her ready for launch, which time arrived this week and began with my first port-of-call to the ‘rest-and-recreation clinic’ as I call it of O’Connell’s Batteries on the Marina Commercial Park on the banks of the River Lee in Cork where Scribbler’s batteries had lain under care since lay-up last October. Throughout my sailing career I’ve been advised that battery care is an essential component of safety. From the annual rescue statistics, there are owners who should give more care to their boat batteries. Then a rigging check and adjustment carried out by a good sailing contact, Harry Lewis and a guard rail for crew safety replaced on his recommendation. There can be no compromise with safety

Castlepoint was busy and gradually losing its population as boats were launched and Scribbler’s turn approached. Billy Curran and his staff helped me with checks and maintenance. Taking a boat racing puts responsibility on the owner/Skipper towards the crew who will sail it. That too is an issue on which those who introduced me to sailing placed emphasis.

Preparing a boat properly is vital because sailing is a sport where there is no ‘even playing pitch.’ Conditions change from one day to another, even change during a race and not only the crew, but also the boat, must be able to cope.

So for my weekly Podcast, come aboard SCRIBBLER II as I make the final checks myself and, perhaps, smile and laugh as you hear what you may have encountered yourself aboard your own pride and joy...

Published in Island Nation
Page 1 of 61