Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

"It Is Considered Quite Vulgar to Race” – Drascombes Celebrate Golden Jubilee in Belfast

29th March 2017
Jack O'Keeffe's Drascombe approaching the Fastnet Rock Jack O'Keeffe's Drascombe approaching the Fastnet Rock Credit: David McWirther

The members of the Drascombe Association celebrated 50 years of their boat in Belfast at the weekend. Five thousand Drascombes have been built and their owners enjoy sailing them. That was the message of the Secretary of the Irish branch of their Association, Jack O’Keeffe, when I talked to him for this week’s Podcast.

The Association has 56 rallies planned this year and, where necessary they will move their vessels at a speed of up to 50 knots, or mph - if you take note that they mean towing them by road to those rally locations. Being able to trail the boats is an advantage to owning them!

But racing is not for them!

“It’s considered quite vulgar to race,” Jack told me, though conceding that when at least two Drascombes meet they will test their speed against each other. However, racing would be “like putting little old ladies into dancing dresses.”

This is an interview you will enjoy, I think, no matter what kind of boat you sail or are interested in. And if you should be interested in acquiring a Drascombe, Jack O’Keeffe outlines how to find one – and that in itself is unusual.

I started by asking him about last weekend’s celebratory gathering in Belfast City Hall.

• For more information about Drascombes in Ireland go to the Association’s website:

Published in Island Nation

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button