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#islandnation – We were beating on port tack up past Cobh. It was a pleasant night's sailing in Thursday night's cruiser league race out of Monkstown Bay Sailing Club. Then the VHF came alive with the first radio call I have heard from the new Naval vessel, 'SAMUEL BECKETT' which had come up astern, returning from sea. The Naval voice courteously requested if 'ODD JOB,' the yacht on which I was crewing, would alter course, so that the State's ship could make her approach to the Naval Base at Haulbowline, off to our port side.

Our Skipper, John Hegarty, former Class Captain of MBSC Cruiser Fleet, acknowledged with equal courtesy and called a tack so 'ODD JOB' came about to go astern of 'L.E SAMUEL BECKETT' which could then swing across river, gliding into her berth at the Base.

We then brought 'ODD JOB' about again and returned to the racing fray. The alteration cost us first place on handicap by two minutes and forty seconds, but it was the courtesy of good seamanship and it set me to thinking again about the names which are attached to boats, remembering the controversy there had been about the naming of the 'SAMUEL BECKETT.'

I have written about the issue in the current, Summer edition, of Afloat, asking "What's In a Name?" also raising the issue of being called an "islander" and about which it is worth listening to the interview on the July edition of my radio programme, THIS ISLAND NATION on this website (Click HERE to listen), with the last man alive of the islanders who were evacuated from the Blaskets, Gearóid Cheaist Ó Catháin.

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Gearoid Cheaist O Cathain - The Last Blasket Islander

The names attached to boats – and ships – are interesting when you study them.

Ships' names are changed so regularly these days that a vessel can have a string of them and former names can be seen, painted over, on the bow and stern of ships. The old adage that it was unlucky to change the name of vessels no longer seems to apply, though there are quite a few who still believe in this.

I don't, I have changed the name of every boat I owned and still own.

So, how are names chosen and what do they mean?

There is still a fair degree of annoyance in Naval circles about the name Samuel Beckett being applied to their new ship and that the next one is to be called 'L.E JAMES JOYCE.'

The belief, amongst those who have been in regular touch with me about the names, is that it was former Defence Minister, Alan Shatter, T.D., who insisted on these choices, against strong feelings in the Naval Service for continuance of the tradition of mostly naming vessels after figures from Celtic mythology.

In the United States the politically-appointed Secretary of the Navy has the right by law to name its warships. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the U.S. Navy had no formal procedure for naming ships. It wasn't until 1819 that Congress passed an act stating that "all of the ships, of the Navy of the United States, now building, or hereafter to be built, shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy." The Secretary has fulfilled this role ever since, even though the passage expressly assigning authority for designating ship names was omitted when the U.S. Code was revised in 1925.

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The Luna

The biggest superyacht registered under the British flag is now the 'LUNA,' built originally for the Russian billionaire, Roman Ambramovich, which was switched from Bermuda registration in a process handled by Watkins Superyachts, the London-based agency which is Luna's management and central charter agent. It is the world's largest charter expedition yacht in the world, 115 metres, built in 2010 by the German Lloyd Werft yard, at a cost of $185m.

Abramovich's 'other yacht' is named 'ECLIPSE,' which has its own advanced –missile system. Could that be to deal with Chelsea's misadventures?

The co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, had his super yacht named 'OCTOPUS.' It has hatches at waterline level to form a dock for jet skis.

Amongst Richard Branson's stable was 'NECKER BELLE,' a catamaran for sailing around Necker Island which he owns in the Caribbean.

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The Seven Seas

Steven Spielberg has 'SEVEN SEAS' which includes an indoor cinema.

Oracle boss Larry Ellison, whose funding of the winning of the Americas Cup dominated the sailing news last year, had 'RISING SUN' built, featuring an extensive wine cellar amongst other luxuries.' It is now owned by film producer, David Geffen.

And of course there were the Irish super yachts of Celtic Tiger times, such as 'THE ULYSSES,' once the subject of discussion in NAMA.

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There are some clever names on boats – 'SHE GOT THE HOUSE' – now there must be a story behind that; 'CIRRHOSIS OF THE RIVER' and for those superyachts – 'WHO CARES.

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Then there are the regulars to be seen around marinas – 'AQUAHOLIC,' 'CAST AWAY,' 'DUN DREAMIN'; 'HAPPY HOURS'; 'SEA KNIGHT'; ' SEA MIST' 'Y KNOT' 'ALOAN AGAIN'; 'TOYSFORBOYS' 'DARK SECRET' and so on amongst them.....

So, what is in a name?

It should be indicative of confidence, I think, as well as of uniqueness and pride, without arrogance showing of course, unless that is you own a superyacht, when arrogance and naming seem to go together!

Fishing boats are often named by owners after their wives or children, or in a combination of both.

Owners of leisure craft vary widely in their choices, from the predictable to the somewhat bizarre and many shades between.

Commercial reasons can be used to name ships and change them to avoid legal difficulties.

But, does anyone notice what is in a name?

The public was not really energised by the Naval naming controversy.

The first boat I named was a 12 ft. Vagabond dinghy – 'LEGAN SCRIBE.' 'Legan' being traditional in the townland name of Monkstown so the local sailing club took pride in using it. This class of boats, unique at the time in Ireland, insisted that a name must indicate something about the owner. Being a reporter, mine was 'Scribe. The owner of a plumbing business had 'LEGAN LOO' and a butcher's boat was 'LEGAN LAMB'.

When I owned a Ruffian 23 I re-named it 'SCRIBBLER,' ignoring warnings about dangers inherent in changing the names of boats. I did similarly when moving onto a Sadler 25, which I re-named 'SEASCAPES,' as the purchaser of the Ruffian insisted on keeping its name - though a later owner changed it. I was then broadcasting a programme of that name. When I sold the Sadler, its new owner kept the name. So on the Sigma 33 which I now own, I changed its name to 'SEASCAPES II'. The purchaser of the Sadler later changed its name back to an original name it had.
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While my new radio programme is named 'THIS ISLAND NATION' I won't be re-naming my Sigma. Not for the present anyway. I have thought about it, but the family who sail with me are firmly against it.

THE COAST GUARD CRIER

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Cliff Winser, Afloat's Tom MacSweeney visiting Youghal Coast Guard station, Mike Lee, officer-in-charge and Tony Lawlor Coast Guard

What's in a name anyway?

For example, the name of Town Crier,' where a maritime man is to represent Ireland at the World Town Crier Tournament in Chester in England next month:

Youghal Coast Guard Station is located on the seafront, overlooking the harbour and Cliff Winser is an ardent believer in the importance of the service:

"There are two things I am particularly proud of in my life, being Receiving Officer for this station when it began operations and being Town Crier. I have been associated with the Coast Guard for a long time and have seen a lot of changes. This station was the first in the country to be completed and handed over to the service which was re-organised in the late 90s. The Coast Guard is not really sufficiently appreciated by the public, but then is any emergency service appreciated by the public until it is needed?" he told me.

"I have been Town Crier in Youghal since the 80s. It was historic and traditional to have a Town Crier and when it was being revived for a festival, I was chosen. Maybe it was my beard that got it for me! Anyway, it has been going since and the townspeople and tourists seem to like it and, with support from the town, I have been nominated for the world competition."

Cliff will be amongst 36 Town Criers from England, Wales, Germany, Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Channel Islands and the USA, taking part:

"I'm doing a fair bit of practice at present. It all starts on August 15 and continues until a winner is chosen by the 25th, so it is a long tournament."

TIMELY RADAR WARNING

CHIRP Maritime is the Maritime Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme operated from the UK. It is a non-profit organisation which issues reports about safety-related issues or 'near misses' in all aspects of the maritime sphere. They published a 'FEEDBACK' newsletter which in its current edition has a detailed account of the close encounter which two yachts, travelling in company, had with a bulk carrier in fog in the English Channel. They were a 30ft. cutter and a 33ft.sloop. Even though they took what they thought to be avoiding action, the ship passed within a hundred yards, without seeing them. All three vessels, watching radar, in altering course to avoid each other, actually altered into the paths of each other at the same time.

The yacht crews were experienced, including an Ocean Yacht Master, an experienced professional Master Mariner and two Day Skippers. All concluded that fog at sea is frightening.

Published in Superyachts

#rnli – A new radio documentary on CRY104fm entitled "Saving Lives At Sea" airs tomorrow night (Tuesday the 29th of April) at 7pm tracing the history of the Youghal RNLI as it celebrates 175 years in existence.

Beginning with one of Youghal Lifeboats most dramatic rescues on the 1st of August 1984, the programme will trace the History of the Lifeboat station right up to the present day.

In the programme we will hear from a large number of volunteers both past and present from Youghal RNLI who have regularly put their lives at risk to keep the waters of East Cork safe while looking at the changes that have taken place in both technology and in the Lifeboat station since 1839 and in particular since the 1970's when the changes in RNLI technology and capabilities have been vast.

In total Youghal's Lifeboats have been launched on over 340 occasions and have saved over 200 lives which in itself is a remarkable achievement for an organisation which is solely run by volunteers and is dependent on people's goodwill and generosity in order to survive financially and maintain a lifeboat service on our coastline.

The programme will celebrate the bravery and truly heroic actions of Youghal RNLI volunteers by retelling some of the stations most dangerous sea rescues while also examining how a tragedy brought a community together in grief but also highlighted the extraordinary dedication and selflessness of RNLI volunteers which brought comfort to two grieving families.

The programme will also look at the extended RNLI family from the partners and children that remain on shore while the volunteers embark on potentially dangerous rescues to the vitally important fundraising arm of the Youghal RNLI whose often unseen work ensures that the lifeboat service remains intact for the people of Youghal and the surrounding areas.

Above all in what will be compelling listening for all those with an association with the sea "Saving Lives At Sea" will highlight how vital the lifeboat service is to the Community of Youghal while raising awareness of the work this most deserving charity does.

More on www.cry104fm.com

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Youghal RNLI is to launch a 2014 calendar to mark the 175th anniversary of the establishment of the lifeboat station, which has been serving the areas around East Cork and West Waterford since 1839.

A photographic trawl from past to present, combined with a scattering of insightful facts, makes this calendar a fascinating study of the station’s rich history.

The calendar takes us from humble beginnings when the first lifeboat station was built at a cost of £100 back in 1857, right up to the present day where we see the current state-of-the-art station that’s home to an Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat and continues to be crewed by the community’s volunteers.

Since the station was established, Youghal RNLI has launched 504 times, saving the lives of 213 people and rescuing a further 362.

Published by Youghal RNLI and their fundraising branch, the calendar will be launched at 7.30pm on Sunday 20 October at the Mall Arts Centre in Youghal.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Youghal RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Noreen Varney said: “The original idea for the calendar came about following a discussion between crew members Joe Moore, Brendan O’ Driscoll, myself and fundraising secretary Susan Mason. We thought it would be a great idea given that we would be celebrating our 175th anniversary in 2014.

“Once we had decided to go for it, we asked our local businesses to sponsor the project and we are indebted to them for their support."

Varney added that the photos included “are a combination of the lifeboats we have had in Youghal throughout the 175 years and the crews that have served them. The photos were taken by various people and we are grateful to them too for their input.

“We hope the calendar will make way for a nostalgic 2014 as readers peruse the photos and savour the short snippets of history month after month. The proceeds raised from the sales of the calendar will help us to continue to save lives at sea."

The calendar - simply entitled Youghal Lifeboat Calendar 2014, will be available to purchase locally in Read & Write, Cree’s card shop, Muckley’s Jewlellers, Crowley’s service station, Galvin’s CostCutters, Country Stores Kinsalebeg, Centra in the Strand, Centra in Killeagh, J Coleman in Killeagh and the Youghal Lifeboat Souvenir shop for €10, or alternatively by contacting Noreen at 087 050 6640 or [email protected]

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - Youghal RNLI launched yesterday evening (12 August) to a report of a six-meter pleasure craft that was adrift 200m east of Youghal shipping quay in Co Cork.

The lifeboat, helmed by John Griffin Jr with crew members Patsy O’Mahony and Joe Moore on board, launched at at 6.19pm and quickly located the pleasure cruiser, subsequently ascertaining that the boat had suffered engine failure.

There were three people on board; two males and one female. All were wearing lifejackets and were safe and well. The weather at the time was blowing a Force 2-3 north westerly wind with a slight swell.



The volunteer crew established a tow and brought the boat and the three casualties back to its moorings at Ferry Point in Youghal.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - Youghal RNLI launched yesterday afternoon (5 August) to a report of an object in the water off Redbarn Strand at Youghal - and picked up a stranded kayaker instead.

The volunteer crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 2.30pm when a member of the public raised the alarm after spotting something in the water.



The lifeboat, helmed by David Slattery with crew members Martin Morris and Joe Moore on board, located the object minutes after launch. It turned out to be a large human hamster ball that apparently had blown into the water from the strand.



While the crew were taking the ball on board, they spotted a lone male kayaker 50 yards away who had lost his paddle and proceeded to his aid.

The kayaker told the lifeboat crew that he had lost his paddle and was drifting for some time. He was very tired after attempting to paddle with his hands and did not have a spare paddle or any form of communication or flares.



Weather conditions at the time were sunny with a moderate to fresh northerly breeze and a one-metre swell.



The lifeboat took the man and his kayak on board and proceeded back to the Youghal lifeboat station, where they checked if he was in need of any medical attention.


Youghal RNLI lifeboat press officer Noreen Varney said: “It was a very fortunate set of circumstances for the kayaker to be rescued from what originally was a non-related incident.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#rnil – Youghal RNLI in county Cork launched this evening to search for a young boy who was reported to have got into difficulty at sea while swimming off Youghal beach.

The volunteer crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 5.20pm. A member of the public had raised the alarm after seeing a person in the water who was making no movement.

The lifeboat helmed by Patsy O'Mahony and with crew members Jason Clohessy and Daragh Mathews on board, was on scene, east of Youghal lighthouse, within minutes.

With the tide coming in, two members of the public including a nurse who had swam out to the area where the casualty had disappeared were brought onboard the lifeboat. Several members of the public were assisting in the search along with a numbers of vessels which were in the area at the time.

The lifeboat was alerted by the crew of a fishing vessel that they had located the casualty and brought him on board their boat.

The lifeboat proceeded to the nearby vessel where both crew member Daragh Mathews and the nurse transferred and together began to administer CPR to the casualty. The lifeboat meanwhile escorted the boat to the pontoon at the new jetty in the area.

In what was a multi-agency response, the lifeboat was met at the shore by ambulance paramedics, a doctor, and first responders from the Youghal community. The casualty was airlifted by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter and was subsequently brought to Cork University hospital.

The boy was later pronounced dead.

Speaking following the tragedy, Fergus Hopkins, Youghal RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'This is a devastating and heartbreaking loss for this young boy's family and a terrible tragedy for the Youghal community. I wish to offer my condolences and those of Youghal RNLI to the family at this difficulty time

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#NavalService- L.É. Ciara (P42) recently made a surprise visit to Youghal, from where the coastal patrol vessel (CPV) was carrying out navigation exercises at the harbour mouth.

On board was Officer Commanding Lt Cdr Brian Sweeney with a crew of 40 approx. Locals and tourists saw the CPV from the vantage points along the quayside.

Among the onlookers were the proud parents of Chief Petty Officer Michael ( Rocky) Cashell from Youghal who was at the wheel of the LÉ Ciara as she steamed up the river Blackwater.

To watch a video of the L.É. Ciara during her brief visit and to read more YoughalOnLine has a report

The small port engages in the export of timber products which are served by coasters.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the sale-listed 113 year-old 'Kathleen and May' a historic West Country schooner, made frequent calls to the port town up to the 1960's.

On these calls she would be typically laden with coal having made passage from Bristol.

 

Published in Navy

#TallShips - A tall ship that once plied the route between Bristol and Youghal may be sold to Asia unless funding can be secured to keep it at its current home in Liverpool.

The Daily Mail reports on the 113-year-old schooner Kathleen and May, which has been berthed since 2010 at Liverpool's Hartley Quay where it is cared for by a team of 60 volunteers with support from the UK's Arts Council.

Previously she made heritage visits to Dublin in 2008 and 2009 carrying a cargo of French wine, the first commercial voyages for the vessel since the 1960s.

The ship is the last traditional (West Country) wooden topsail schooner and was built at Deeside. She is also listed on the National Historic Ships Register.

Kathleen and May is priced at £2 million (€2.36 million) and has been on the market since last year.

Now an offer for the former coal ship has come in from a Far East Asian buyer - and concerns are growing that she could leave the British Isles for a new life half-way round the world.

The Daily Mail has more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships

#COASTAL NOTES - Cork County Council has announced it will be at least two more days before it knows if its bathing ban at seven beaches can be lifted, according to RTÉ News.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the seven coastal beaches - including blue flag strands at Garretstown, Redbarn and Garryvoe - have been closed to swimming over concerns at elevated E.coli levels in the water, resuling from water runoff after the recent heavy rainfall in the county.

Notices were first posted by the council last Friday, and the latest water samples were collected at the affected beaches yesterday.

Youghal is the worst affected by the outbreak, with three beaches closed.

Meanwhile, a popular east coast beach has been reopened after a similar E.coli scare.

The Irish Independent reports that Rush South in north Co Dublin was closed to bathers after bacterial contamination was detected over the August bank holiday weekend.

Levels of E.coli recorded in the water were at 2,143, above the EU mandatory level of 2,000, but samples taken since have been given the all-clear.

A spokesperson for Fingal County Council described it as "a once-off pollution incident that will not have any ongoing impact on bathing at Rush South".

Published in Coastal Notes

#COASTGUARD - Youghal in Co Cork will host the seventh Joint Search and Rescue (JSAR) competition between the Irish Coast Guard and HM Coastguard Northern Ireland this coming weekend 11-13 May.

The contest is organised by the volunteers of the Youghal Coast Guard unit, and aims to increase the level of awareness of all coast guard members in the island of Ireland, as well as enhance co-operation between services.

Twelve teams from each of Ireland's four coastguard divisions of Dublin, Malin, Valentia and Northern Ireland will take part. A wide range of skills will be tested, from leadership to search planning and co-ordination, chart work, knots, communications and salvage pumping.

The competition also provides a forum for the national maritime SAR management to discuss policy in an informal and friendly environment, and for volunteers from both jurisdictions to exchange their experiences.

Youghal Online has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard
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