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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Marina

#irishsailing – After five years of economic contraction, there are signs of recovery, and the 2014 Irish sailing season has also got off to a flying start. W M Nixon looks at various signs of new energy and initiatives, and sees how they might be affecting stories which have been run on this blog and in the Afloat.ie website during the past year. But he concedes that further cost reductions will be necessary for the good of the sport.

A year ago, any talk of green shoots in Ireland was almost entirely metaphorical. And it was in the economic sphere, though even there they were still few and far between, with many soon stunted. But out in the farmers' fields themselves, out where the grass should have been growing, there was scarcely a sign of life as we were still trapped in the coldest and most miserable Spring in living memory, and all forms of growth and recovery were blighted by it.

Sailing and boating, of all sports, are the most affected by Ireland's climatic conditions. Not only is the mood among participants strongly influenced by weather which sometimes can get anyone down, but without reasonable breezes, sailing events are seriously impaired. "We got a result!" may well be the PRO's final desperate claim after pulling some sort of a points table and leaderboard out of a series bedevilled either by too much or too little wind. But it's so much better to have a series bathed in sunshine and blessed by fine breezes, with enough races sailed for the crews to go home tired but happy without needing recourse to any of those weasel words which show you're only trying to justify a weekend of frustration.

Things could not be more different this year. The Spring of 2014 has been perfection, boats are going afloat on time and in reasonable weather conditions, and the first little crop of events and results are very encouraging indeed - so encouraging, in fact, that "little crop" doesn't do them justice.

That said, two of the nearer events which gave special cause for Irish celebration did not have perfect weather throughout. The Youth Sailing Nationals at Howth may have ended on a high with a great breeze in an early taste of summer sunshine, but one day out of the four was lost to bad weather. But the sting of that was lessened by the decision for "no racing all day" being taken at 1100hrs, which allows other leisure options to kick in.

The IRC Easter Championship in the Solent concluded through Easter Monday literally with "Darkness at Noon" – the heavy clouds and torrential rain on an almost windless day saw the final races being sailed with nav lights on. But there had been excellent racing on earlier days, and a very excellent result with Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix from Cork the clear supreme champion.

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Doing the business. Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix settling into the groove on the way to the top place in the Easter IRC Championship. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

That in turn augured well for Ireland's Commodore's Cup chances, which then received a further boost last weekend when the crew of another Irish team wannabe, Quokka with Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling, had a winning weekend in the Warsash series with their temporary mount Tarka in anticipation of Quokka's return from the Caribbean at the end of May.

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The Colours Match team racing between UCD and Trinity served up top sport in the Liffey, with Trinity winning. Photo: W M Nixon

Meanwhile the universities racing has been brought to life, for although UCD had a convincing win in the racing with the SailFleet J/80s to become the Irish team for the Student Yachting Worlds in France in the Autumn, before April was out the Colours Match in the Liffey under the burgee of the Royal Alfed YC, team-raced in Fireflies, saw Trinity take the honours in convincing style.

But if we're looking for something which really did set things freshly alight, it was out in Hyeres where the ISAF Championship saw the northern duo of Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern take silver in the 49er, almost immediately moving them up the global rankings from 33 to 11, a quantum leap and no mistake.

The potential for serious success by these two has been fairly obvious for some time, but anyone who sails boats will know only too well how many factors have to come into alignment to get you up among the magic metals at the end of the day.

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Stars of the silver sea – the Seaton/McGovern team took a silver medal for Ireland at Hyeres.

That their new global status was almost immediately acknowledged by this rankings improvement will in turn add heft to everything they do and say. Thus when, some time ago, the Ryan/Seaton equipe suggested that the 2016 Olympics sailing waters in Brazil are so off the standard as to be a health hazard, it attracted polite attention. But now that they're Number 11, and still counting down, much more notice is taken. And the fact that the Vice President of the International Olympic Committee has suggested, with something approaching despair, that the facilities in Brazil just aren't going to be ready for 2016 at any standard, all gives added legs to the statement from Ireland's 49er crew.

This in turn makes us wonder where world sailing might go in 2016 if the Brazilian setup is still Work in Progress. With tongue only slightly in cheek, we suggest they need look no further than West Cork, where Baltimore Sailing Club has been expanding its facilities to meet increased demand as a club which last year introduced something like 700 people to sailing. That BSC and current Mitsubishi Motors "Club of the Year" Kinsale YC further east along the West Cork coast have both been putting in premises up-grade during the past year, while other clubs have been having it tough, and just about hanging in there in some cases, surely gives pause for thought.

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Olympic venue? The extended and up-graded Baltimore Sailing Club is ready and raring to go.

The economic shakeout of the past five years has caused a massive write-down in the value of almost all property and other assets. And in the case of yacht and sailing clubs, there has been a detailed examination of the continuing validity, or otherwise, of established yacht clubs and their traditional business model of quite high subscriptions under-writing other facilities which in turn combine to provide the complete package of an orthodox yacht club.

Inevitably, most clubs are run by officers and committee members who have been involved with the club for many years. Thus, like people who have been running a quality hotel for decades, they may have an inflated notion of what their organisation and its premises are actually worth. Admittedly there's only limited usefulness in comparing a yacht club with a hotel, but lessons can surely be learned. The fact is that hotels today are worth maybe only a third or even less of what they were reckoned to be worth six years ago. And equally, while yachts clubs certainly have a unique package to offer, is it unusual enough and special enough to charge high subscriptions when there are alternative facilities and services available?

The dilemma arises to some extent in all sailing centres. Last week we were discussing the story of the development of Howth YC. Today it is in the seemingly happy situation of having its own marina, thus it theoretically can offer an attractive all-in-one package to any potential member. But the very fact that Howth YC has done so much to help make Howth a colourful and vibrant sailing/fishing port is partly to its own disadvantage. The place has developed as a remarkable focus for top seafood restaurants. This means that the extensive club catering facilities – expected by traditional members - are constantly battling for business with a whole slew of award-winning eateries and characterful pubs nearby.

The problem is more acute in Dun Laoghaire in that the only club within the marina area is the Royal Irish YC. Thus while people may have been loyal members of the National, the Royal St George and the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, they find that after going out in the boat, it's very easy to round out the evening aboard in the marina, chatting among themselves or with other crews on boats nearby, and then head straight for home without making their number in their home clubs at all.

This situation is less in evidence at weekends and during special events. But nevertheless it was causing such a lessening in mid-week club vitality that various steps have been taken, and the Royal St George's move to take over berths in a block booking in the outer marina, and service them by a frequent ferry direct from the clubhouse, is a visionary step.

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The Royal St George YC has introduced a direct ferry service from the clubhouse to its group of berths in the outer marina in Dun Laoghaire. Photo: David O'Brien

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To overcome a lack of direct access to the Dun Laoghaire Marina, the Royal St George YC is running a ferry service from its clubhouse (to right of Stena Ferry, foreground) to the berths in the Outer Marina (upper left) Photo Kevin Dwyer/courtesy ICC.

Nevertheless, in all club administrations there are those who are of the opinion that, whatever the Honorary Treasurers may believe, there has to be a radical re-think of the primary subscription levels. In essence, they're suggesting that the book value of the club has to be written down such that subscriptions are halved. Personally, I haven't much of a notion of how to read a balance sheet, but the dogs in the street know that in the hospitality industry – which, in the broadest sense, is the area in which yacht and sailing clubs operate – values have been savagely slashed, and while charges may still seem high, at least the places are surviving as going concerns.

With continuing reduction in expenses across the board, one area in which there seems to be much work afoot is in the Irish Sailing Association, which in latter days had begun to seem like some hidden corner of the civil service, existing more for the benefit of staff than for the provision of services for sailors. It's amazing to learn that the ISA has sixteen fulltime staff, and a basic annual wages bill of something like €600,000. When you add in the expected benefits, it musty come in total to a very tidy yearly sum.

What on earth do they all do? While you'll invariably find the ISA logo in prominence at some top events, it has to be said that you're entirely unaware of the organisation's existence in any form at more everyday happenings, and it doesn't seem to be because they believe in doing good work by stealth. But with special study groups resulting from the major changes introduced in the ISA setup at the AGM in March, we can only hope that in time the Association will reflect the cost-cutting which has had to be introduced in the clubs, which provide the main part of the ISA's income.

While the administrative structures are rightfully being pared back in many areas of our sport, the coastal infrastructure, on which all forms of seagoing ultimately depend, continues to need maintenance and development. In this area, one very promising green shoot is the news that there are signs of movement in Dunmore East. A dredging programme is getting under way, and just this Tuesday, Minister for Marine Simon Coveney TD convened a meeting in the port to inaugurate a community approach to harbour development which, it is hoped, will help to invigorate the many places around Waterford Estuary, for which Dunmore East has the potential to be the true gateway harbour.

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Dunmore East – can it fulfil its potential as the gateway leisure port for the Waterford Estuary? Photo Kevin Dwyer, courtesy ICC

In a more extreme marine environment, it has been confirmed that €6 million will be spent on improving the pier at Doolin in northwest Clare, the nearest mainland quay to the Aran Islands, which also caters for the tour boats cruising along the Cliffs of Moher. While the locals seem well pleased, I wouldn't get too excited about it. This is one very rugged part of the coast, and when you remember that it took €31 million to extend the pier at Kilronan in Inismor, the main Aran island, and another €14 million to build the little harbour at the north end of Inis Meain, the middle Aran island, then we can only hope that €6 million is going to achieve something more than a few boulders being shifted about in the roaring ocean at Doolin.

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The pier at Doolin is decidedly minimalist, but it provides the shortest sea passage to the Aran Islands. Photo: W M Nixon

But then, in the west all things are possible, and along the ocean seaboard we're told that four thousand signs are being erected to guide people along the Wild Atlantic Way, the new tourism initiative using many smaller coastal roads. Quite so. Frankly, with signage at this level, it will be the Tame Atlantic Way by the time half of them are in place. I have to admit to being a complete curmudgeon in this. In many years of transitting Ireland's west coast by sea and land, one of our favourite areas while driving along the west coast has long been the coast south of Kilkee down to Loop Head, where the cliffs comfortably rival anything the vulgar Cliffs of Moher have to offer, and it is magnificently uncrowded. But not any more, if the Wild Atlantic Way movement has its way.

While I appreciate that visitor numbers have to be kept up and increased whenever and however, it has to be done in a way which appreciates that's what brings people to Ireland (rather than just to Dublin, which is a special case) is an unspoilt landscape. So, four thousand signs just for the one Atlantic Way? Ogden Nash had something to say about this:

"I think that I shall never see,
A billboard lovely as a tree.
But then, until the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all".

Be that as it may, the final sign that suggests things are on the move again is a notice I spotted recently posted at a nearby club, though language pedants might wonder how a notice which manages to mangle so utterly the plural of "dinghy", even to adding a completely superfluous greengrocer's apostrophe, could be seen as encouraging in any way whatsoever.

Well, once you've overcome your opinions about the errors, the underlying message must be good news. More youngsters are evidently coming to sailing this year. And as for the spelling mistake, even that's an improvement. A year ago, the same notice board opened by referring to something called "a dingy", but this time round we have to get to the second line before finding that. And it all comes right for dinghies in the end.

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Sign of the times? Whatever about the spelling, this current notice at an Irish sailing club has an underlying message of good news. Photo: W M Nixon

Published in W M Nixon

#dlmarina – A year after yacht clubs reacted to a cut in Dun Laoghaire Harbour's swinging moorings, the Royal St. George, has vacated it s long held east bight moorings at the request of the Dun Laoghaire harbour Company and relcoated to the town marina.

The harbour company requires the east bight area to facilitate visiting cruise ships, a new area of revenue for the harbour.

The Royal St.George, the country's biggest club, says 'As opposed to doing a partial withdrawal over the 2014/2015 seasons we have agreed a new facility with Dun Laoghaire Marina in their West Bight section'.

It is intended that all Royal St George boats on the East Bight will relocate. Moorings in front of the club house are currently unaffected. The club says it has agreed a very favourable rate with the marina and takes into account the notified increases for mooring charges.

A launch service between the club and the Marina will be available and currently a scheduled service is being drawn up, this will be the only point of access to the West Bight.

The initial agreement between the club and the marina is for a period of 4 years.

The club website advises 'the West Bight berthing rate exclusive to RSGYC members will be €170 p/ meter vs. the Marina's advertised rate of €217.50 p/ meter'  This rate is available from Lift In – Lift Out and only to RSGYC members that availed of moorings in the last few years.

For 2013 Royal St.George mooring rates were €147 p/ meter. With the increases from the Harbour Co for 2014 the rate would be in the region of €155 p/ meter, the club estimates.

The west bight marina facility will only be accessible from the RSGYC club house pontoons and will be served by the Launch Service with one pickup/ drop off point on the West Bight which will increase efficiency.

#mgmboats – The first of this season's new sailing marques has arrived into Ireland from France via go–ahead yacht brokers MGM Boats Ltd. The new 2014 Sun Odyssey 379, is on display at Dun Laoghaire marina today. For those interested in a new boat this season the 'On the water' price delivered to Ireland starts at €169,000 including VAT. Trade ins welcome and boat finance available, say MGM Boats. 

Published in Boat Sales

#classicboat – Schooner 'Astor' built by the famous Wm. Fife & Sons of Scotland in 1923. Teak planks over English oak frames. Originally commissioned for Dr McCormick of Sydney, Australia, Her homeport since 1987 is Newport, California, USA.

Although used mainly for cruising these days, this historic boat won the America Schooner Cup Race five times consecutively and has just finished up at the Fife Regatta 2013 where she was placed second in Class 1.

She is now in Dun Laoghaire Marina to allow the owners and crew to sample the delights of Dublin City, before she continues on her way with next stop, the Mediterranean.

#NavalVisits – This weekend Dun Laoghaire Marina is host again to the same pair of Royal Navy 'Archer'-P2000 class training patrol boats that had called earlier this month, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported the Cardiff based pair HMS HMS Express (P163) and HMS Exploit (P167) with a crew of five each, are used to support the University Royal Naval Units (URNU). It transpires that on the last deployment, the pair did not reach Cork Harbour due to bad weather, however the boats called to Waterford instead. 

Each of the 54 tonnes boats can carry university cadets where they train at weekends and during fortnightly deployment trips which can include trips to foreign shores.

The cadets perform a variety of tasks among them fire and flood exercises and navigational skills which also involves use of the flying bridge with its greater visibility.

Such a feature is also paramount particularly for SAR duties of the RNLI lifeboats, where two lifeboats of the service were berthed nearby of the P2000 craft. Also berthed in close proximity was the Irish Revenue Commissioners 23m cutter RCC Faire, a Finnish built 71 tonnes craft which transited Dalkey Sound last Friday.

In addition the largest vessel berthed in the 820-berth marina is the 26m excursion vessel St. Bridget, operated by Dublin Bay Cruises. The 100 passenger vessel is due to start a new service this month running between the harbour's East Pier and Howth Harbour.

Finally, moored alongside the inner berths closer to the shoreline were the research vessels RV Keary belonging to the Geological Survey of Ireland and fleetmate Cosantóir Bradán, which had served a career with Inland Fisheries Ireland.

 

31st December 2012

Dun Laoghaire Marina

Dun Laoghaire Marina is located in the historic harbour of Dun Laoghaire on the south shore of Dublin Bay.

Dun Laoghaire Marina opened for business on St Patricks Day, 17th March, 2001. Dun Laoghaire marina has grown in success and capacity with space for 820 boats. The marina can be accessed 24 hours by boats of up to 4m draft. Berths are available to suit boats from 6m to 30m in length and a maximum displacement weight of 80 tonnes.

Dun Laoghaire Marina is a Five Gold Anchor rated marina with everything you expect from a high standard marina. Friendly and knowledgeable staff that are always on hand to assist you, is part of what makes Dun Laoghaire Marina special.

The Harbour itself was completed in 1859 and was originally intended as a harbour of refuge. Dun Laoghaire is conveniently situated within a short distance of Dublin city centre. There are train and bus connections to the city that stop in front of the marina. There is also a direct coach transfer from Dun Laoghaire to Dublin airport with a journey time of just 45 minutes. There is also a passenger ferry connection to the UK which departs daily from Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The town of Dun Laoghaire itself is home to a vast array of amenities. This includes two shopping centres, a chandlery, banks, pubs, restaurants and a multi-screen cinema all within easy walking distance of the marina.

Published in Irish Marinas

#NavalVisits-A pair of Royal Navy 20m inshore fast patrol boats berthed yesterday in Dun Laoghaire Marina, having previously called to Cork Harbour over the Easter weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

HMS Express (P163) and HMS Exploit (P167) with a crew of five each, belong to a 14 strong fleet of Archer P2000 class and they form the First Patrol Boat Squadron. Both vessels are based in Penarth Marina, near Cardiff.

Their primary role is to support the University Royal Naval Units (URNU) but they also contribute to a wide range of fleet tasking. The URNU is based at HMS Cambria, a Royal Navy Reserve establishment near the Welsh capital.

 

#ResearchVessel – The Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) research vessel Keary, returned to her homeport of Dun Laoghaire Harbour today, having completed modifications at Arklow Marine Services, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The South African built aluminium catamaran craft had been hoisted onto the quayside at the Co. Wicklow port so to allow the work to begin.

She made her homebound journey with a high-speed transit through Dalkey Sound, and completed her voyage to the 820-berth Dun Laoghaire marina.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie the RV Keary was joined in October by the former Inland Fisheries Ireland cutter, Cosantóir Bradán. She is employed as part of INFOMAR, the national marine mapping programme, conducted by the GSI and Marine Institute.

Published in Marine Science
Ten boats comprising of men's, women's and mixed crews from four East Coast skiff rowing clubs set off yesterday on the end-of-season Hobblers Challenge, a gruelling 25km rowing race from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to the Kish Lighthouse and back, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Ringsend based St. Patrick's Rowing Club boat Naomh Padraig, under the coxswain of Ken Cunningham, crossed the winning line at the harbour-mouth in a time of 2:57:36 to take the coveted cup. In addition to breaking the three-minute barrier, the St Patrick's men shaved almost six minutes off the time of last year's victors, Stella Maris Rowing Club, also from Ringsend.

Courtown Harbour Rowing Club took second place in a time of 3:3:19 and third place honours went to Stella Maris Rowing Club with a time of 3:16.00. The hosts of the Hobblers Challenge, St. Michaels Rowing Club based out of the Coal Harbour, passed under the high walls of the East Pier Lighthouse and battery some two minutes later in fourth place.

The annual event (for race-route click HERE) was only re-introduced onto the race calendar last year after a break of several years. The skiffs were launched at the Coal Harbour slipway where they headed over to line-up for the starter's gun opposite the Hobbler's Memorial located on the publicly accessible Eastern Breakwater which is between the Stena Line HSS fast-ferry berth and the Dun Laoghaire Marina.

In attendance to greet the start of the race in memorial of the Dublin Bay hobblers was the RNLB Anna Livia of the local RNLI lifeboat station. The bronze memorial depicts a tower of lifejackets in commemoration of three young Dun Laoghaire hobblers who after piloting and unloading the schooner Jealous of Me in Ringsend, failed to return home.

This occupation was carried out by men also from Ringsend, Dalkey and other harbours and it was the first crew to reach a ship and throw a hook on the deck who would win the business of pilotage and unloading in Dublin Port.

Crews would think nothing of rowing out to the Kish Bank on the hope of spotting a ship. If they waited offshore and no passing trade appeared along the East Coast the craft doubled as a bed if it became too late to row home. The craft were much larger and heavier compared to the present day skiff and it is in these oarstrokes that the Hobblers Challenge follows the original race of the hobblers during the 18th and 19th centuries.

It was apt that on the same day of this year's Hobblers Challenge, the 107-year-old ketch Bessie Ellen, a former cargo-carrying vessel that represented one of the last such sail-trading ships operating in the Irish Sea, was making a passage to the east of the Kish Bank.

To read more about the un-manned Kish Lighthouse click this HERE, and for the 150 cargo tons capacity ketch built in 1904 click HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

Dun Laoghaire Harbour has replaced Malahide as the new location for a relief lifeboat base which is to serve the RNLI's Irish Division, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The RNLI had signed a one-year contract with Dun Laoghaire Marina Marketing & Management Ltd which operates the 800-plus berth facility. The voluntary lifeboat organisation's contract in the harbour started in January and has an option to renew the contract after that timeframe.

Dun Laoghaire was chosen because of the strategic central location on the Irish Sea. The base benefits the service in providing improved emergency response times and savings on fuel costs. The Severn-class lifeboat RNLB Osier (17-34) has been one of the designated relief lifeboats to be based in the marina.

An added attraction in choosing Dun Laoghaire is the ability to haul lifeboats out of the water for maintenance and repairs. The boat-lift hoist and transport trailer facility is operated by MGM Boats Ltd and is conveniently sited within the boundary of the marina. In addition the RNLI also operate the lifeboat station beside the Carlisle Pier. The station is served by the Trent-class RNLB Anna Livia and a new inshore-lifeboat (ILB)  the Realt Na Mara which entered service during the summer.

Related Safety posts

RNLI Lifeboats in Ireland


Safety News


Rescue News from RNLI Lifeboats in Ireland


Coast Guard News from Ireland


Water Safety News from Ireland

Marine Casualty Investigation Board News

Marine Warnings

 

 

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 3 of 4

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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