Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Lough Erne

​Waterways Ireland has announced the creation of a non-motorised ‘safe play’ zone at Castle Archdale Country Park on Lower Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh.

Echoing a similar scheme currently in operation at Muckross Bay in Kesh, Enniskillen, the new zone will operate until October and is located between the existing caravan park and Davy’s Island, delineated with floating buoys.

​In temporarily closing off a section of the navigation to motorised craft, the cross-border body for the inland waterways is exercising its powers under the Lough Erne (Navigation) Bye-laws (Northern Ireland) 1978 as amended by The Lough Erne (Navigation) (Amendment) Bye-laws (Northern Ireland) 1986.

​The aim of the proposal is to improve safety in the area, which has become increasingly popular with all types of waterway enthusiasts in recent years. It also comes after reports of a rise in personal watercraft infringements into swimming areas, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Inland Waterways

Enniskillen RNLI launched to the aid of four people on a speedboat adrift in shallow water in the vicinity of Castle Archdale yesterday (Sunday 13 June).

Following a request from Belfast Coastguard, the volunteer crew launched the station’s inshore lifeboat John and Jean Lewis at 7.35pm to go to the aid of the 16ft speed boat, which had engine difficulties and was adrift in the Castle Archdale area of Lower Lough Erne.

Weather conditions at the time were choppy with a south-westerly wind.

The crew quickly found the drifting boat on the western side of Crevinishaghy Island.

All four adults onboard were found to be safe and well and wearing the correct safety equipment.

The volunteer crew then established a tow between the lifeboat and the vessel and all casualties were brought to Castle Archdale marina safely.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The trial of a man accused of murdering his wife on a boating holiday in Co Fermanagh has heard the company that hired out the boat to the accused had failed to supply enough lifejackets on board, as BBC News reports.

Stephen McKinney of Fintona, Co Tyrone denies the murder of Lu Na McKinney, the 35-year-old mother of two whose body was found near Devenish Island on Lough Erne in April 2017.

It was originally suspected that McKinney slipped from the deck of the boat which was hired from Manor House Marine, a director of which was questioned during the second day of the murder trial at Dungannon Crown Court yesterday, Thursday 29 April.

The director admitted that the correct checks on paperwork for the boat rental had not been completed, and lifejackets were not supplied for the family’s two children.

He also denied that the so-called ‘boat acceptance certificate’ was filled in after the fact of the tragic death for insurance purposes.

BBC News has much more on the story HERE.

Tagged under

Carrickcraft has announced that with the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland, it will start operating for the 2021 cruising season on Lough Erne from Friday 30 April.

The cruising firm’s website features a sample itinerary of the attractive sights and mooring points around Upper and Lower Lough Erne, from Enniskillen to Devenish Island, Belleek and Crom Castle, to name a few.

Home-holidaying families (and their four-legged members, as dogs as welcome, too) can enjoy these inland waterways from any of an extensive fleet of two- to 10-berth cruisers, which can be browsed on the Carrickcraft website.

Published in Inland Waterways
Tagged under

As the RNLI continues to operate as normal during the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity is still unable to fundraise out in person in the community.

With more people needing the lifeboat crews as they stay home, support from the public is more important than ever — and Carrybridge RNLI in Northern Ireland is one unit that has risen to the challenge by making it easier for people to back their vital work.

The RNLI operates two lifeboat stations for Upper and Lower Lough Erne, at Carrybridge and Enniskillen respectively, and has seen a drop in funds raised locally in 2020 as traditional fundraising activities had to be cancelled.

In many cases, when the lifeboat pager goes off, volunteers will need to abandon homeschooling or work and head to the lifeboat station to answer the call for help.

Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI, says: “We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the public. The RNLI has experienced a drop in funds locally, but we are rescuing more people than ever before.

“We are facing challenging times and are calling on people to consider making a donation this year to ensure we can continue saving lives on inland waters.

“We have moved our fundraising online in these challenging times and set up a JustGiving page for the lifeboat station where people can donate directly to their local lifeboat station in Carrybridge.”

To support the RNLI at Carrybridge, helping to ensure the charity’s brave volunteers can continue saving lives on Lough Erne, visit their JustGiving page HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Brian Osborne last sailed a dinghy in 1989 on the River Thames near Hampton Court so returning to a small boat this season on Lough Erne was something of a revisit for him.

Brian bought a classic 1973 Mirror dinghy recently in Donaghadee, only to find that its original home had been on Lower Lough Erne at Castle Archdale on the opposite shore to Tully Bay where he keeps the Mirror now.

Perhaps this is the start of a trend in County Fermanagh for giving old boats a second chance as Jonny Clements has done with his Ulster Boat as Afloat.ie reported on 8th September. With the encouragement of seasoned sailor Fred Ternan – who had also helped Jonny to get afloat, it took Brian little time to regain his confidence.

A light north-westerly breeze on Tully Bay offered an ideal opportunity to try out (initially without the jib), manoeuvres which Brian thought he had forgotten but as he says "Once you learn how to sail, you never lose the feeling of being at one with your boat - you have to feel the wind through the sail and act accordingly. I shall continue to sail at every opportunity".

The Mirror dinghy was born in 1963 when the Daily Mirror newspaper signed up TV DIY expert Barry Bucknell and designer Jack Holt to revolutionise small boat ownership. They came up with a craft that cost £63 11s – or £63.55 in decimal money – and could be built at home using copper wire stitching and glue. At just under 10ft she was big enough for two adults and a couple of kids to sail yet small enough to fit on top of a family car.

Double Olympic silver medallist and round-the-world yachtsman Ian Walker, 42, said he owed his career to the boat.

The Mirror is not new to Lough Erne. There was a fleet in the 1980s at Lough Erne YC on the eastern shore of Lower Lough Erne at Goblusk. Racing was enjoyed by both adults and children alike in superb family competition. Some members ventured farther afield. Michael Clarke's family Mirror, built in 1966, travelled round Ireland on the top of a VW camper van in 1976 as well as enjoying extensive cruising on Lough Erne and subsequently under new ownership, was cruised by a young family on the Upper Bann and Lough Neagh.

Asked if he would be competing in the Mirror Worlds which are planned, after a gap of 34 years, for Sligo Yacht Club at Rosses Point next year he said. "I'll be there but as a supporter. I really don't have any intention of racing, just enjoying pottering about the Lough". The event on the Club's 200th Anniversary will run from 2 – 8 August preceded on 30 July – 1 August by the Irish Nationals. It was last held there in 1987.

Published in Mirror
Tagged under

Users of the Erne System have been advised to expect reduced water levels throughout the navigation from Thursday 1 October.

This is when water levels on Lower Lough Erne are expected to be drawn down by DfI Waters to a minimum of 149 feet (above Poolbeg Ordnance Datum) ahead of anticipated rain throughout the rest of autumn and into winter.

Waterways Ireland advises that if water levels do fall on these inland waterways, masters should be aware of the following:

  • Navigation: To reduce the risk of grounding, masters should navigate on or near the centreline of the channel, avoid short cutting in dog-legged channels and navigating too close to navigation markers.
  • Mooring of vessels: Masters should be aware that water levels may change rapidly and that mooring lines will require adjustment. Therefore mooring lines should be checked regularly.
Published in Inland Waterways

Last year Jonny Clements took part in a boating event in Lough Erne in a mixed fleet of craft from canoes to sailing boats. Having been impressed by the sailing dinghies and not having ever sailed before, he bought a 12-foot clinker-built wooden dinghy. Jonny was told that it had been built in Enniskillen and given its description and the photographs, thought it might be an Ulster Boat built by Tommy Sheridan of Enniskillen.

Tommy Sheridan and his brothers had a highly successful joinery business. And they did indeed produce the Ulster Boat which could be rowed as well as sailed. It was exhibited at the London Boat Show in Earls Court in 1965. But like all builders of wooden boats, production tailed off with the introduction of GRP.

Jonny had little work to do on the boat bar some minor repairs and varnishing and Fred Ternan of Lough Erne Heritage helped by fitting shrouds and the forestay from another dinghy, swaging new ends and thimbles and tensioning with lanyards. The dinghy is craftsman built and it and the original mast which has its original halyards had been well restored by Jonny.

With a Mirror mainsail supplied by Brian Osborne, the Lough Erne Heritage Facebook administrator, the dinghy was ready for the water. Despite the Mirror sail being a little too small, she was launched at Rossclare Jetty in Enniskillen in a pleasant North Easterly. The jetty is known locally as the Mooring Yard and is where the civilian company operating in support of the RAF in WW2 had their base.

With Fred's wise advice, Jonny and his father Ken, had their first hands-on experience of helming a dinghy, something they both found very interesting and enjoyable. Fred said "The boat sails very well even with the small mainsail I sent some books on the subject home with them. Just great to see a small clinker-built dinghy which someone had applied much skill to when building restored and saved for the future".

Jonny is delighted with his dinghy – "We thoroughly enjoyed our first experience of sailing and doing so in a vintage clinker-built dinghy was the icing on the cake. We look forward to exploring our sailing heritage and Lough Erne."

Tagged under

Six people were rescued from their boats on Lough Erne as Storm Ellen swept over Northern Ireland in the early hours of Thursday (20 August).

Enniskillen RNLI said the vessels, which were moored at the Devenish West jetty, were breaking their moorings in the strong winds.

All six passengers across the two brought to safety in Enniskillen aboard the inshore lifeboat.

Meanwhile, three other vessels breaking their moorings at Lough Erne Yacht Club were assisted by the lifeboat station’s shore crew.

Fermanagh braved the worst of Storm Ellen in Northern Ireland, while the Foyle Bridge in Derry had to be closed for a time amid gales and driving rain, as the News Letter reports.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Lough Erne branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) welcomes the return to Lough Erne where boat owners with craft on the waterways can enjoy once more the beautiful scenery of this part of County Fermanagh, with the proviso that they adhere to the Executive’s advice about social distancing and practice good hand hygiene.

The suggested recommendations by the IWAI are:-

1. Please ensure that you are travelling directly to and from your boat, not stopping for supplies on your journey. You should prepare in advance and consider what provisions you will need when you are doing your weekly food shopping.

2. Be aware of the following surfaces and avoid contact if possible:

  • Locked Gates, Keypads or access restrictions
  • Water taps and shore power bollards
  • Handrails, benches, light switches, boat or jetty cleats, and other frequent touchpoints
  • Shared use trollies or wheelbarrows, fuel drums or pumps
  • Where you do make contact with the above surfaces, ensure you do not touch your eyes, mouth, nose, or face until you have thoroughly washed or sanitised your hands.

3. Water taps should not be used at this time – please bring a supply of safe drinking water with you to your boat.

4. Please be aware that trolleys may not be available - consider how you will carry your belongings to/from your boat, limiting close contact with others through repeated trips.

5. While visiting your boat and within marinas, practice and maintain social distancing at all times. Please be patient and courteous to other marina and lough users. Take your time and allow sufficient 2-metre physical distance to pass on jetties. Use finger jetties or stay aboard your boat until it is safe to pass.

6. Please remain on your own boat and do not board others’ boats to socialise regardless of how tempting this may be. 

7. Should you choose to cruise at this time, please be mindful that your actions have consequences. Owners should ensure their boats are well maintained and fully de-winterised following a protracted period of not being used; and that weather conditions, health conditions, and level of boating experience can all influence the likelihood of requiring assistance from emergency responders. Owners should also check which marinas and facilities around the Lough are open. Plan and prepare to spend time afloat completely self-sufficiently. This may include electric and water supplies on public jetties. It is also recommended that you do not pass through stretches where it is necessary to operate lock gates in order to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.

It should be noted that currently, all toilets and other marina facilities will be closed in compliance with Government guidance and that even simple helpful tasks like throwing/receiving a rope from a mooring vessel increases your risk of contracting or spreading the virus and should be avoided where possible.

Finally, the Lough Erne branch of IWAI says “ while we have all worked hard and made sacrifices to reach a point where it is considered safe to return to the lough, please do not become complacent. The threat of contracting Covid-19 is still very real, and we all have a responsibility to limit it’s spread”.

Published in Inland Waterways
Tagged under
Page 1 of 8

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating