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New 22-Foot Yacht Built in Kilrush & Based on the Galway Hooker

17th October 2019
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Adrian O'Connell at Kilrush Boatyard Adrian O'Connell at Kilrush Boatyard

When I walked into Adrian O’Connell’s office in Kilrush Boatyard on the edge of the Shannon Estuary in County Clare, a photograph on the wall caught my attention – a boat sailing at speed, red sails dramatic atop a black hull.

A powerful image of a ‘Half Boat’ – a ‘Leathbád’ in the lexicon of the famous Galway Hookers. The Leathbád has roughly half the carrying capacity of the Bád Mór, the big Hooker.

Adrian built that boat for the Killary Adventure Centre.

THE LEATHBÁD ADRIAN OCONNELL BUILT FOR KILLARY ADVENTURE CENTREThe Leathbád Adrian O'Connell built for Killary Adventure Centre

“It was very successful, could sleep six, had a self-draining cockpit, was fully decked and a good sea boat, which was sailed by many people, including young sailors learning about boats and how to sail and enjoy being on the water.”

"At the age of 78, Adrian O'Connell is planning to build yachts based on the Galway Hooker design"

At the age of 78 he is planning to build yachts based on the Galway Hooker design.

THE ASTER 22 DESIGNED BY ADRIAN O CONNELLThe Aster 22 designed by Adrian O'Connell

From a boatyard at Clifden in County Galway where he built fishing boats and the closure of which he blames on the government decision to enter the EU and ”give away the fishing industry,” to Aster Yachts which he now leads as Managing Director is an interesting story, which he told me - after I asked him about that photo of the ‘Leathbád.’

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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