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Displaying items by tag: Cork Harbour

Cork Harbour Festival’s flagship Ocean to City race will be going ahead this June with an altered format.

Collaborating with national rowing associations in Scotland and Wales, this year’s Ocean to City will be part of a unique, international time trial series called the Five Miles From Home Series 2021.

The Ocean to City – Five Miles From Home is the second leg in the Series, and will take place 4-6 June 2021. The challenge can be joined from anywhere in the world; rather than asking participants to travel, Ocean to City invites people to participate in this international challenge from their home waters.

Taking part is simple! Just form a crew, plot a 5 mile (8047meters / 4.345nm) course, cover the distance as fast or as stylishly as possible during the designated time windows, submit your times and join the online celebration afterwards.

Coastal Rowing crews at the Ocean to City Race in Cork HarbourCoastal Rowing crews at a previous Ocean to City Race in Cork Harbour

The Five Miles From Home Series has a ‘Main’ and an ‘Alternative’ Challenge. The Main Challenge is open to fixed-seat rowing boats such as currachs, skiffs, gigs and yawls. The Alternative Challenge is open to kayaks, SUPs, canoes, dragon boats, offshore sliding-seat boats and outriggers. Incorporating a dedicated Under-19s youth category, the organisers are also keen to involve and celebrate young people on the water.

The full Five Miles From Home Series includes the Scottish Castle to Crane leg on 7-9 May and the Welsh Sea Rowing leg on 9-11 July. Participants can take part in the whole series, allowing them to compare and improve on their results as they progress, or just in one single leg. Each leg in the series has a 48-hour window during which the challenge has to be completed.

With covid-19 constraints making large events off-limits, it is hoped that by the summer restrictions will be relaxed sufficiently to allow clubs from across Cork Harbour, Cork County and beyond to organise their own Ocean to City - Five Miles From Home micro-events.

Adrienne Rodgers, Director of Services at Cork City Council said: ‘We have been very proud to be involved in the Ocean to City Race, as part of the Cork Harbour Festival, over the years. Although like a lot of other events, it is not as we know it this year, we’re concentrating on the positive and congratulate the organisers on the wonderful alternative concept of Five Miles from Home. It won’t replace the elation of an actual race, but it will give us all a focus, to work safely towards a great event.’

Not only will the altered format encourage rowers and paddlers to get back training and competing on the water, but participants will also be part of a big international challenge connecting boating communities from across the world. Welcoming a variety of human-powered, sea-going craft, Ocean to City aims for the event to be as inclusive, adaptable and enjoyable as possible!

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said: ‘Cork County Council is especially proud to be a major sponsor of the Cork Harbour Festival, which has a strong legacy of celebrating seafaring culture, synonymous with Cork’s position as Ireland's ‘Maritime Haven'. We are delighted that our sponsorship of the ‘The Five Miles from Home’ initiative will help to sustain the festival despite COVID-19 challenges. Festivals and events strengthen the fabric of our communities and celebrate the very best of what our county has to offer, such as our spectacular coastline and rich maritime history. The Council’s continued support of festivals plays a key role in strengthening our tourism industry and ensuring Cork County is best placed to welcome visitors when safe to do so.’

Entries for Ocean to City – Five Miles From Home open on the 1st of March 2021 and participation costs €10 per boat per leg, or €20 for all three legs. For kayaks and SUPs it is €5 for one leg, or €10 for all three.

The organisers encourage rowers and paddlers to enter the Five Miles From Home Series with optimism and confidence. If, for whatever reason, participants are unable to complete the course on water, they can transfer their entry to the ‘Land Challenge’ and walk, wheel or run the 5 miles.

Paddlers at the Ocean to City Race in Cork HarbourPaddlers at the Ocean to City Race in Cork Harbour

Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork said: ‘During these challenging times, it’s really refreshing to hear that the Cork Harbour Festival’s flagship event, Ocean to City will go ahead, albeit in a different and exciting new format. The Ocean to City – Five Miles From Home is completely achievable and we would urge people to take part. Congratulations to all the team at Cork Harbour Festival, we are delighted to support this great event once again.’

Published in Coastal Rowing

Crosshaven RNLI Lifeboat crew in Cork Harbour went to the assistance of two anglers today (Saturday, 6 February) after their vessel had mechanical problems, one and a half miles South East of Roches Point.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 9.42 am this morning and made their way to the 32' angling vessel in reasonably calm seas, before attaching a tow line for the four-mile journey back to Crosshaven. The vessel was made secure at Salve Marine pontoons before the crew returned to station at 11.35 am.

The crew on this shout were Ian Venner in command with Molly Murphy, Peter Lane and Richie Leonard. Commenting after the event, Helm Ian Venner said, ‘The casualty crew
did exactly as they were meant to, and called the Coast Guard as soon as they had a problem.. The engine problems meant they were dead in the water and at the mercy
of the tides. Fortunately, there was only a 10 to 12 Knot Northerly wind blowing them away from the land.’

The lifeboat was recovered, washed down, refuelled and declared ready for service once more at 12.15 pm

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Annamarie Fegan and Ross Deasy will co-chair Cork Week 2022, Royal Cork Yacht Club has announced.

Deasy who has raced as part of many RCYC keelboat campaigns in the last 25 years, including a Commodore’s Cup win onboard Antix, will chair Cork Week's racing committee. Fegan who has been campaigning the family Grand Soleil ’40 both inshore and offshore in recent years, including a win in this year’s inaugural Fastnet 450 Race, will chair the shore-side events. 

As Afloat previously reported, the date has been set for Cork Week 2022 from Monday, July 11th to Friday, July 15th 2022.

With Volvo Cork Week 2020 having been cancelled as a result of the global pandemic, RCYC is extending its Tricentenary celebrations with a number of significant events in the coming years, including Cork Week 2022.

The 300th anniversary of the oldest yacht club in the world is a momentous occasion and the Royal Cork welcomes members, guests and visitors to join them for world-class racing and shore-side entertainment.

Cork Week organisers have committed to publishing an advanced notice of race by Easter 2021, thus giving boat owners and captains plenty of time to make plans to attend this very special event in Cork which organisers hope will achieve the 300+ boats expected for Volvo Cork Week 2022.

Honorary life member and former Admiral of the Royal Cork, Anthony O’Leary, joins the committee as an advisor for 2022. 

The committee will be supported by Alex Barry in communications, General Manager of the Royal Cork, Gavin Deane, and Rear Admiral of Keelboat racing in the Royal Cork, Daragh Connolly.

Published in Cork Week

UHL Focus, the second of two heavy lift vessels has loaded four of eight RTG cranes in the Port of Cork for discharge in Berbera, Somaliland.

As Afloat reported earlier, the heavy-lift operations have been ongoing at Cork Dockyard in Cork Harbour this month when the first shipment was loaded on to UHL Future, 

This week's second sister ship arrival will load the other half of the Liebherr cargo. The vessel, a General Cargo Ship was built in 2019 and is sailing under the flag of Madeira.

As regular readers will recall, the consignment for Somaliland arrived at the Cork Docks in October.

Published in Port of Cork
Tagged under

Green Rebel Marine with a base at Crosshaven Boatyard in Cork Harbour has announced the €1.5 million purchase of a DA42 multi-purpose aircraft to conduct aerial surveys off the Irish coast.

Thousands of square miles of ocean are due to undergo ecological assessment as part of the planning process for offshore wind farms

The new aircraft will be based at Cork Airport, and will result in the creation of fifteen new jobs. These jobs are in addition to the eighty announced by Green Rebel Marine in September. 

With the purchase of its own survey aircraft, Green Rebel Marine will be the only domestic Irish company offering digital aerial surveys for offshore wind development companies. 

The twin-engined DA42 MPP is rated as best in class in terms of fuel efficiency and emissions, and is equipped with high-performance aerial cameras to conduct ecological surveys. 

Green Rebel Marine was established earlier this year to service the future needs of offshore wind farms. The company has already acquired Crosshaven Boatyard in County Cork, and the first in a fleet of survey vessels, the Bibby Athena.

Plans for offshore wind farms are at an advanced stage with a number of potential fixed and floating operators examining sites along the coast from Dundalk in County Louth, to the Cork coast and beyond. Their construction will not only increase Ireland’s ability to produce renewable energy, it will also create an entire new sector dedicated to servicing their operation. 

Sarah Kandrot, Head of Aerial Surveys with Green Rebel Marine, says, “Off-shore energy is part of the green revolution, however the granting of licences for these wind farms is dependent on detailed surveys of the ocean to catalogue the ecology of the target areas. The purchase of this aircraft means that large sections can be digitally surveyed over a shorter period of time, with the aircraft flying at heights that will not disturb birds or marine megafauna. Ultimately, the information we compile will ensure that offshore wind farms are built in the best locations to protect the ecology of the ocean.” 

Green Rebel Marine founder Pearse Flynn says, “The purchase of the survey aircraft, along with the first in our fleet of survey vessels, means that Green Rebel Marine is leading the charge towards sustainable and renewable energy off the Irish coast. This is an industry that will sustain thousands of jobs while transforming Ireland into a net generator of electricity. The oceans around Ireland are a vital resource, and the quality survey work being undertaken by Green Rebel Marine will help to both protect that resource while harnessing its potential.” 

The Green Rebel Marine aircraft will be permanently based at Cork Airport once it enters full-time operation early next year.

Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport, said: “2020 has been a tough year for everybody so it’s great to be starting 2021 with a good news story. Recovery and jobs will be THE theme for 2021 and an aircraft based with us in Cork which helps create new jobs particularly in the green energy sector is very welcome. The Green Rebel Marine Diamond Aviation 42 aircraft will be based at the Weston General Aviation Hangar at Cork Airport and we wish them every success in this exciting new offshore wind venture.”

Published in Power From the Sea

UHL Future, the first of two heavy lift vessels has loaded four of eight  RTG cranes in the Port of Cork for discharge in Berbera, Somaliland.

As Afloat reported earlier, the heavy-lift operations have been ongoing at Cork Dockyard in Cork Harbour this week.

A second sister vessel will load the other half of the Liebherr cargo next week.

As regular readers will recall, the consignment for Somaliland arrived at the Cork Docks in October.

Published in Port of Cork
Tagged under

Despite the impact of the pandemic Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour has had a resurgence of numbers in dinghy league racing.

So outgoing Commodore Ciaran McSweeney told club members as he completed his two-year term in office.

New investment has been made in club facilities and there is a lot of hope in the village club on the edge of the harbour for next year.

It has bought a 1720 sportsboat, been donated a Drascombe Lugger, has more volunteers than before, more adults are seeking training and it also has put a new racing on the Sand Quay in the centre of the village, from where races are run. That is a short distance from the clubhouse at De Vesci Place. The hut has thrown "an invaluable light" on sailing history in Monkstown according to the outgoing Commodore. It makes Monkstown part of the history of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club's new race hutMonkstown Bay Sailing Club's new race hut

Completing his two-year term of office he told members that the club had received a collection of photos of the Sand Quay and the famous hut from member John Hegarty. One of these shows uniformed Race Officers during a starting sequence on the quay for a yacht race that is thought to predate 1922.

"According to historian Dr Alicia St.Leger, the original hut was put in place by the Royal Munster Yacht Club in 1905. It remained there after that club departed for Crosshaven in 1922."

The Royal Munster later amalgamated with the Royal Cork which club had been based in Cobh and moved to Crosshaven to join the Royal Munster under the name of the RCYC. According to MBSC the "hut" remained on the quay and survived well into the 1950s. It was moved around the quay area several times, but the remains of an original concrete base can be seen slightly to the north of the location of the present hut. There have been others, right up to the new one.

Sandy Rimmington has been elected the new MBSC Commodore. Jacqui O'Brien is Vice Commodore.

Now listen to the Podcast below where my guest this week is the new MBSC Commodore.

Published in Tom MacSweeney

Heavy lift operations are planned at Cork Dockyard in Cork Harbour today loading project cargo (Afloat understands to be Liebherr gantry cranes) onto the vessel ‘UHL Future’.

Operations will occur at multiple times per day, for periods of up to 2-3 hrs per lift & planned to be completed within five days.

UHL Future is part of the German Unique Heavy Lift fleet based in Hamburg.  The ship is almost brand new, built in 2019 and sailing under the flag of Portugal.

It’s carrying capacity is 14058 t DWT and her current draught is reported to be 6.7 metres. Her length overall (LOA) is 149.97 meters and her width is 25.9 metres.

See UHL Future slideshow below by Bob Bateman

Published in Port of Cork
Tagged under

The 2021 International Topper World Championships will be hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Ireland, from the 24th to 30th July.

As Afloat reported previously, the event will attract up to 200 young sailors from around the world and it has been planned to dovetail with the UK National Championships, following on two days later at Ballyholme YC in Northern Ireland, from the 2nd to 6th August – providing sailors with a fun, fortnight festival of top-quality racing.

The club and ITCA are currently finalising plans for the event and will, of course, be closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19.

Entry will open January 1st 2021.

Cork Harbour Sailing venue

Cork Harbour is a natural harbour, with stunning scenery and provides a perfect location for any sailing championship. Claimed to be the second biggest in the world after Sydney Harbour, it has room for two protected races areas within the harbour and a further three out in the bay.

Published in Royal Cork YC

When Anthony and Sally O'Leary of Crosshaven quietly decided that some day they were going to make the classic 50ft 1949-vintage sloop Northele a member of their extended sailing family, it was a sort of Breakfast Epiphany. The boat had been hidden in plain sight for a while, moored in the anchorage up towards Drake's Pool, and so easily visible from their breakfast table that they tended to see her as part of the scenery. That is, until one day Northele (it's pronounced almost like "northerly") was lying with such grace in the morning sunlight that Himself was transfixed in mid-cereal, and suddenly announced: "Someday, we're going to own that boat". And Herself agreed.

But when you're Anthony and Sally O'Leary of Crosshaven, it means you're at the heart of a multi-generational family story combining the O'Leary and Aisher owner-skippering of many successful cutting-edge new boats from front-rank designers of the calibre of Charles Nicholson, Olin Stephens, Dick Carter, Ron Holland, Doug Peterson, Tony Castro, John Corby and Jason Ker.

Anthony O'Leary helming his Ker 39 Antix flat out in the RORC Easter Regatta in the SolentIn at the sharp end – Anthony O'Leary helming his Ker 39 Antix flat out in the RORC Easter Regatta in the Solent. Photo: Courtesy RORC

A very different kind of sailing. Anthony and Sally O'Leary and friends enjoying Northele's stately progressA very different kind of sailing. Anthony and Sally O'Leary and friends enjoying Northele's stately progress. Photo: Robert Bateman

Northele as she used to be in the old days, part of the scenery from Anthony & Sally O’Leary’s garden. Photo: Richard Gibson Northele as she used to be in the old days, part of the scenery from Anthony & Sally O’Leary’s garden. Photo: Richard Gibson

All of which makes it quite a step to change your sailing focus to a sweet-lined yet hefty craft more than seventy years old, designed by someone who is unknown to most sailing people. For although Northele is indeed a yacht of undoubted classic elegance, she was created by A.K. "Sandy" Balfour whose name – while immediately recognised by true connoisseurs – does not have the immediate populist cachet of Herreshoff, Fife, Mylne, Nicholson, Stephens, Rhodes or Reimers when classic yachts gather in all their gleaming glory.

But for anyone with an eye for a boat, even the briefest glimpse of Northele reveals such seemingly effortless style that you would readily accept that she was conceived by any of those very distinguished designers at the top of their form. But in addition to that, she has a certain special something which raises her above small-minded considerations of value-adding provenance.

Northele disappears into one of the Castlepoint Boatyard sheds at Crosshaven"The surgeons will see you now". Having been stripped of paint and much else, Northele disappears into one of the Castlepoint Boatyard sheds at Crosshaven. Photo: Richard Gibson

The job is on. Billy, Don and Alan Curran of Castlepoint Boatyard with Northele safely into the shed. Photo: Richard Gibson The job is on. Billy, Don and Alan Curran of Castlepoint Boatyard with Northele safely into the shed. Photo: Richard Gibson

However, it was a busy time of maybe ten years before Northele finally joined the O'Leary-Aisher fleet continuum. During it, Anthony and Sally's sons amassed international racing trophies, while Anthony himself captained two winning Irish Commodore's Cup Teams and many other national and international championships, rounding it out with his hyper-hot Antix being the RORC Yacht of the Year. Yet through all those hectic years, they kept tabs on Northele, and in 2018, the time was right, and they bought her knowing that while she looked lovelier than ever, there was more than a little TLC required.

Northele's hull profile and accommodation as they appeared in a Yachting World special Design Supplement in March 1950. Note how the propeller emerges from immediately above the rudder, and also how galley is located forwardNorthele's hull profile and accommodation as they appeared in a Yachting World special Design Supplement in March 1950. Note how the propeller emerges from immediately above the rudder, and also how galley is located forward.

In her seventy years, Northele had been around the block, and then some, for after the first owner Ronald Burton sold her, among other experiences she was in Plymouth and did a Round Britain and Ireland Race, she also found her way to the Caribbean, and then was based in the Clyde when a first Irish owner in Meath brought her to Ireland and based her in Kinsale, following which she was in Cork ownership and moored serenely at Crosshaven, waiting for Anthony and Sally O'Leary to take notice and be smitten.

We'll get all this intertwined history into its proper order in due course. Meantime, just who was Sandy Balfour? Born in Glasgow in the 1920s, after a boat-building apprenticeship with Harland & Wolff's Scottish subsidiary which included war work, his latent design talent was able to manifest itself by working with designer David Boyd at Roberston's Yard at Sandbank on the Clyde. Boyd may later have been associated with the unsuccessful America's Cup 12 Metre Sceptre, but when Balfour was with him, his boats for the International 6 Metre Class were very highly regarded, and of Olympic standard.

Yet by that time the mighty Scottish yacht design and building industry – at its height around the turn of the Century – was in marked decline, and in 1947 Balfour headed south to take up the job as manager and in-house yacht designer at Berthon Boat Company in Lymington in Hampshire. The yacht design profession – particularly in the depressed post-World War II era - was a precarious career for a sole trader, so a permanent job as yard manager, in tandem with whatever design challenges came along, provided a reasonably secure position.

Berthon Boat Company provided a very businesslike and complete service in 1949 – the final bill for Northele not only included the sails, but at £5,848-0-0 cost was significantly less than the original quote of £6861Berthon Boat Company provided a very businesslike and complete service in 1949 – the final bill for Northele not only included the sails, but at £5,848-0-0 cost was significantly less than the original quote of £6861

But the Berthon Boat Company were noted for their possessiveness towards any yacht designs which their employees created, and when the new 50ft Northele was launched in 1949, her design was clearly registered in Lloyds as being by "Berthon Boat Company". The name of A K Balfour did not appear at all, but he was undoubtedly the designer of each and every aspect of the handsome new yacht.

Everything about her was interesting, for not only did she reveal the designer's classic style, but the experienced commissioning owner was Ronald R Burton who lived on the River Hamble - also in the Solent area, but at some distance from Lymington.

His previous boat had been the Sparkman & Stephens-designed International 8 Metre Iskareen, built in Sweden in 1939. But after World War II, the International 8 Metre Class, which had been a feature of the Solent in the 1930s, had melted away. So for a more suitable boat for the times, Burton decided to go to a place which wasn't his home port despite the local proliferation of boatyards and designers on the Hamble, and get a boat from the new man just down from Scotland and working in Lymington.

Northele racing off Cowes in 1950. At 35ft waterline and 50ft LOA, she was part of a group of similarly-sized post-war boats which gave good racing inshore and offshore for several yearsNorthele racing off Cowes in 1950. At 35ft waterline and 50ft LOA, she was part of a group of similarly-sized post-war boats which gave good racing inshore and offshore for several years. Photo courtesy O'Leary family/Beken

The result was a fine yacht for which Berthon Boat Company were more than happy to claim all the credit, particularly as it was their careful saving of good timber which enabled Northele to be built at a time of post-war shortages, when quality seasoned timber was very scarce. In fact, in order to guarantee quality of construction, Northele was built to the detailed specification of the International 10 Metre Class. A proper racing 10 Metre would be approaching 60ft LOA, so when you build a cruiser-racer of 50 feet to the same spec, you get real strength and quality.

Yet despite the extra-strength construction, in her first half season of 1949 Northele won seven flags, and was frequently in the frame during the subsequent Burton years. Meanwhile, Sandy Balfour designed some other notable craft while he was with Berthon's, but it was a busy yard in all areas and much of his energy was taken up with the day-to-day work this involved, while he was also an accredited Lloyds Surveyor.

But you sense a frustrated design talent. However, a move to the Norfolk Broads to take over management of the J.Loynes & Son boatyard at Wroxham in the late 1950s was scarcely a step in the right direction. Yet deep in the heart of Norfolk, and far from his native Scotland, there came an unexpected breakthrough.

In a 1958 design competition for a 28ft boat suitable for cruising the West Coast of Scotland, his Honeybee came second. But there was something about his design that eclipsed the winning design, of which few were built, whereas Sandy Balfour's Honeybee became a hit, nowhere more so than in Germany where they were built in series production, and in 1965 declared "Yacht of the Year".

The Sandy Balfour-designed 28ft Honeybee class Ragdoll on her way to a win in a Classic Yacht RegattaThe Sandy Balfour-designed 28ft Honeybee class Ragdoll on her way to a win in a Classic Yacht Regatta. The design was and is particularly popular in Germany, where a Honeybee was "Yacht of the Year" in 1965.

Thus if you took Northele to Germany, you'd find she'd out-rank Fife and the rest of them for admiration. But for some time now, Northele hasn't been going anywhere, for after being bought by Anthony and Sally O'Leary in 2018 and sailed for a season, she disappeared into the sheds at the Curran brothers' Castlepoint Boatyard in Crosshaven in 2019, and has been undergoing a major restoration with Dick Gibson as Project Manager, with significant input from international designer Rob Jacob of Kinsale (a frequent crewmate with Anthony O'Leary in many racing campaigns), and with the hands-on talent of Billy, Don and Alan Curran of Castlepoint being augmented by classics specialist such as Jim Walsh of Nohoval Boat Works and Mark Bushe of the legendary Crosshaven boat-building family.

Work in progress – Northele as she is now in the shed in Crosshaven with the topside planking replaced, and much work done withinWork in progress – Northele as she is now in the shed in Crosshaven with the topside planking replaced, and much work done within. Photo: Robert Bateman

It was Mark who was a pioneer in classic restoration down Crosshaven way when he brought the Cork Harbour One Design Elsie back to life. It was an interesting experience, for he and his workmates learned that there's nothing so interesting for sailing people in the winter as watching craftsmen restore a classic. So on Friday afternoons in particular, they found their work was so constantly interrupted by curious and chatty homeward-bound visitors – all with an expert opinion – that they hung an empty tin on a piece of wire from Elsie's stemhead with "Beer Money" clearly written on it, and if little enough work got done after mid-afternoon Friday, a least that night's pints paid for themselves.

But restoring a complex 50-footer to an international standard is on a different scale altogether, and thus the Northele shed is definitely not on the Crosshaven tourist trail, because it's difficult enough to concentrate without distraction on how the designer and builders of seventy years ago managed to fit so much into such a slim yet deep hull, and at the same time working out how you can fit work-aids such as electric winches (the sails are enormous) in some very confined spaces, while retaining the character of the boat, for the owners are determined to stick to the original Balfour plan, even down to retaining the forward location of the galley.

Today's high volume boats provide builders with much more space for machinery, equipment and fittings. In Northele, the slightly offset but still virtually centre-line propellor shaft exits the hull close alongside the rudder stock to a propeller in clear water above the rudderToday's high volume boats provide builders with much more space for machinery, equipment and fittings. In Northele, the slightly offset but still virtually centre-line propellor shaft exits the hull close alongside the rudder stock to a propeller in clear water above the rudder. Photo: Robert Bateman

The quality work already done within is seen in this view looking aft, which gives added insight into the challenge of fitting the propeller shaft close beside and above the rudder.The quality work already done within is seen in this view looking aft, which gives added insight into the challenge of fitting the propeller shaft close beside and above the rudder. Photo: Robert Bateman

As a preliminary, the boat had been completely stripped of paint when she arrived in the Castlepoint shed, and most thought she looked reasonably okay, particularly as she has had previous restorations, and her underwater hull planking had been replaced with top quality Burmese teak. But some picking at the topsides with their mahogany planking soon became excavation work which revealed some very badly corroded fastenings which, in the worst cases, had been hidden away under graving pieces. So all the topside planking had to come off and it has been replaced with double-skin iroko. This is not a job that gets completed in a month or two, but has the bonus of adding to Northele's strength.

The interior looking forward – the key structures in the bilge and beside the garboards have all been renewed or re-galvanisedThe interior looking forward – the key structures in the bilge and beside the garboards have all been renewed or re-galvanised. Photo: Robert Bateman

Severely corroded fastenings were found hidden behind shiny exterior -  the sourcing of authentic replacements has been a specialist jobSeverely corroded fastenings were found hidden behind shiny exterior - the sourcing of authentic replacements has been a specialist job. Photo: Richard Gibson

They also had to renew the complete breastplate or stem, running right down to the garboard area, and this was constructed in laminated iroko. All metal strengthening frames attached on to wooden frames were removed and re-galvanized, while all-new laminated iroko frames were fitted where necessary, and any necessary all-new ribs too.

The deck beams forward and aft were all renewed with laminated iroko, while any all-metal strengthening plates to deck and hull were replaced with Marine Grade 316 Stainless Steel. A new sub-deck of top grade marine ply, epoxied both sides, will be finished new Burmese teak classic laid deck.

The first stages of replacing the deck forward gave a real sense of progress being madeThe first stages of replacing the deck forward gave a real sense of progress being made……. Photo: Robert Bateman

the view on deck looking aft shows how much has been done, it also indicates the amount still to be done in a job of this quality…….but while the view on deck looking aft shows how much has been done, it also indicates the amount still to be done in a job of this quality. Photo: Robert Bateman

At the hidden heart of things, all major fastenings made of bronze had to be replaced through specialist suppliers, while the customized long copper nails were sourced through a manufacturer in France, apparently, the only foundry left in Europe doing this kind of one-off item.

Above the hull, the re-usability of the classic wooden mast had already been a matter of debate when the unusually long old spar made the decision for them by breaking at a scarf while being lowered to the hard after lifting out, so a completely new mast is on its way from Collars in the heart of England. Collars started in business in 1932 making lightweight oars for rowing sculls, which is something they still do, but they've long since branched out to become the go-to people for classic wooden spars.

Dick Gibson showing how the over-worn topside planking has been replaced by double-skin irokoDick Gibson showing how the over-worn topside planking has been replaced by double-skin iroko. Photo: Robert Bateman

A classic like Northele looks best when the tack of her genoa goes as near to the deck as possible, so the electric roller-furler for the genoa is fitted beneath the deck in the stemhead, where they've just about found the space. But further on down the stem internally, there just isn't room to fit a bow thruster which would be in keeping with the style of the boat.

So handling in confined spaces under power will be something of a sport in itself, for in the style of her era, Northele has a propeller which operates in clear water, as its shaft exits the hull close above the rudder and even closer beside the rudder stock. It means that things are rather crowded down aft there, immediately astern of the auxiliary engine. And it also means there's none of that direct prop thrust on the rudder for confined-space manoeuvrability which modern boat-owners take for granted. But as Northele's owners are going to keep her on the mooring where they first fell in love with the boat, the dignified slow-turning progress of a stately yacht under what is emphatically just auxiliary power will be their mode of progress back to the home berth, where a long-handled pickup buoy will make things easier at the end of the day.

The new plans by Rob Jacob showing how the deck layout will retain the character of the original boat while providing greater ease of handling. Note how the under-deck location of the genoa roller furler facilitates a stylish deck-sweeping sail at the tackThe new plans by Rob Jacob showing how the deck layout will retain the character of the original boat while providing greater ease of handling. Note how the under-deck location of the genoa roller furler facilitates a stylish deck-sweeping sail at the tack.

Even with the latest CAD equipment, there's still nothing to beat an on-site meeting – Rob Jacob and Alan Curran discussing solutionsEven with the latest CAD equipment, there's still nothing to beat an on-site meeting – Rob Jacob and Alan Curran discussing solutions. Photo: Dick Gibson

You'd be hard put to say exactly what the word is to describe the process which Northele is undergoing. And for peace of mind, you'd be well advised not to get into a discussion with any dyed-in-the-wool classic yacht aficionado and expert on the topic, for friendships have been sundered over it.

Obviously, it's not a Re-build. Yet "Restoration" doesn't seem quite adequate. Perhaps Re-generation might do, for the work in progress has not only seen the resurfacing of classic Crosshaven and Kinsale skills, but it has productively brought together longtime shipmates who have sailed many a sea together and know how boats should work, and it has also brought together workmates who were involved in the building of such legends as Golden Apple, Irish Mist and Moonduster, brought together many years later in a shared project which has an almost sacred quality to it.

And at the heart of it is this one masterpiece by Sandy Balfour. Anthony O'Leary is one of the most thoughtful of sailors, and it was fascinating to hear him compare helming his last frontline racer, the red Antix, with sailing Northele. "With Antix, if you weren't right on the edge with everything humming, then you weren't really at the races at all. But with Northele, you just go with her. She may be a powerful boat, but it all seems so sweet and gentle, and she's been there before."

the timeless elegance and proper engineering quality of the classic turn of the bilges in the Sandy Balfour-designed Northele at Crosshaven Many miles sailed, many more to sail……the timeless elegance and proper engineering quality of the classic turn of the bilges in the Sandy Balfour-designed Northele at Crosshaven. Photo: Robert Bateman

Published in W M Nixon
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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