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Electric Yacht 'W1Da' Made in Achill is Sailing at Cork Week

18th July 2018
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The W1da off Roches Point during this week's Cork Week The W1da off Roches Point during this week's Cork Week Photo: Gerald Fairbairn

My main interest at Cork Week was the red yacht moored at the marina, making its first appearance in Ireland and described as ‘a sailor’s yacht.’

Several years ago I met the man who is proud of that description, though not too many believed his prediction that he would build a new type of yacht that would change sailing.

We met at an ICRA conference in Limerick, where Rory Staunton was praising the attractions of sailing in Clew Bay and regretting that not enough people from other parts of the country went sailing there.

This week I sat with him in the saloon of the ‘sailor’s yacht', previously reported by Afloat.ie here.

“It has been inspired by sailors that want to spend more time sailing and less time maintaining,” he told me. He is one of the group from Mayo which intends to build a new range of these 33-footers on Achill Island, of which the distinctive red-hulled w1Da sailing in Cork Harbour this week is the prototype. On the stern, she displays her club membership of Mayo Sailing Club.

W1da_Mayo_built_electric_yachtW1da – the County Mayo built all-electric yacht Photo: Bob Bateman

My boat is a 33ft. Sigma and he intrigued me by claiming that his boat would be a replacement.

“It is a breakthrough in sailing that has come from a consortium in Mayo"

“It is a breakthrough in sailing that has come from a consortium in Mayo. We didn’t want a flat-out racer, but a boat which could also be cruised and used by a family. It is an alternative to buying boats from England and France. This boat has been designed to be trailerable anywhere. We’ve got rid of diesel. It is the all-electric yacht. Cars have become electric, why not yachts?”

W1da_Yacht_AchillThe expected price of the W1da will be about €160,000 plus Photo: Bob Bateman

However, there are not a lot of sailors in Ireland to buy newly-built boats, so market opportunities will have to be found in Europe. Scandinavia is also being looked considered.

So, climb aboard the w1Da with me on my Podcast this week and hear Rory Staunton make the case for the new boat. It is an impressive Irish maritime development, though it will not come cheap. The expected price will be about €160,000 plus, depending on fit-out sought by purchasers. “We have done a lot of development and believe this is the future for sailing. We are also planning a production system in Mayo for our epoxy laminate systems which are significantly lighter than GRP.” Yacht production has been dominated by GRP for many years.

A 28-foot version is at the design stage and may also begin building next year.

With a few major names in yacht building having left the business, this is a challenging undertaking.

Listen to the Podcast below:

Tom MacSweeney

About The Author

Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for Afloat.ie. He also presents the maritime radio programme This Island Nation on community radio stations around Ireland.

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