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Dirty Boats & Dirty Ports

7th September 2018
macSweeney_podcast
Tom MacSweeney's Scribbler white sail racing in Cork Harbour Tom MacSweeney's Scribbler white sail racing in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

Hello and welcome to the weekly MacSweeney Podcast ….

It’s been a week with interesting topics, from dirty boats to dirty ports, the pleasant sight of island-racing dinghies but the nastier tale of what submarines might be doing off the West Coast…

The dirty bottom of Scribbler, my Sigma 33, wasn’t pleasant. The amount of underwater hull growth this year has been heavier than in previous Summers, despite two coats of anti-foul and monthly scrubbing since she was launched in late April… A green weed adhered to the bow and the rudder and other boat owners in Cork Harbour told me that they had the same problem and, as we all know, hull growth slows down speed through the water. Now, I know that some of the most dedicated racers haul regularly or dry-sail …. But that’s not really feasible for ordinary folk who race weekly club events …Higher water temperatures during this Summer have been blamed by some owners….. I’d like to know if the same “dirty hull” problem has been encountered in other areas of the coast…. Or could it be the quality of anti-foul?

Another problem, identified to me by some visitors from national and foreign climes this Summer, is the lack of rubbish disposal for visiting cruising boats in small harbours and anchorages around Ireland. Mostly, visitors have told me, marinas have this sorted but I’ve heard stories of visiting crews wandering around smaller harbours or little ports off which they’ve anchored, with a rubbish bag looking for a place to dispose of it …And, in a plane on the way back from Norway during the week, I read a missive from one British cruising sailor: “Dear Ireland, why do you make cruising sailors suffer. This matter is much talked about among visiting yachts,” he said and suggested there would be some who wouldn’t bother to visit Ireland because of it. Paul Heiney was writing in the UK magazine Sailing Today, where he said he had a “stunning trip amongst the rugged beauty of Ireland” – but was highly critical of the lack of rubbish disposal facilities.

Listen to the Podcast about another disposal problem, along the coastline from Donegal to Galway and why the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group wants to know what submarines are doing off our West Coast …and also how one Cork Harbour club made a clean sweep of all the trophies at another club….

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Tom MacSweeney

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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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