Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

A Rare Breed: Irish Shipowner Based in Midleton, Co. Cork Dry-Docks Cargoship in Same County

22nd April 2018
A rare breed: Irish shipowner Coast Lines Shipping's short-sea trader Ayress on arrival off the Packet Quay, Wicklow Port last month. On the hatch cover are round-timber (logs) imported from Troon, Scotland. The cargoship has since been drydocked in Cork which was followed by a passage to Clydebank completed on Friday this week. A rare breed: Irish shipowner Coast Lines Shipping's short-sea trader Ayress on arrival off the Packet Quay, Wicklow Port last month. On the hatch cover are round-timber (logs) imported from Troon, Scotland. The cargoship has since been drydocked in Cork which was followed by a passage to Clydebank completed on Friday this week. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

#CorkHarbour - Afloat focuses on a rare breed, an Irish shipowner whose cargoship recently underwent routine dry-docking in Cork followed by a passage to Scotland this weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Midleton, Co. Cork based shipowner, Coast Lines Shipping, with three decades in service, specialises in transporting timber forestry products. The operator's 1,713 gross tonnage general cargoship Ayress has undergone routine works in Cork Dockyard to enable the 79m cargoship to continue trading the Irish Sea and beyond. Other service cargoes carried are coal, fertiliser, salt and stone.

Over the years, Coast Lines has experience in operating single and tween-deck vessels in addition to container ships. As for Ayress, earlier this month the green-hulled cargoship built in 1979 (formerly Anette and beforehand Antares), called to Cork Dockyard, part of the Doyle Shipping Group (DSG).

The shiprepair and marine engineering facility in Rushbrooke (near Cobh) is the Republic's only remaining large dry-dock suitable for commercial ships following the closure of the Dublin facility last year.

Ayress remained in the dry-dock up to Friday (of last week), before shifting on to the nearby quay for further works to be completed at the facility. Then the cargoship made the short hop on Saturday across the neck of Cork Harbour to Passage West, where a private quay is also operated by DSG.

At this quay, cranes loaded the hold of Ayress with 1,200 tonnes of wood-chips, the by-product of timber by the way was returning to Scotland from where originally sourced. 

On Wednesday, the Dominican flagged cargoship departed Cork Harbour bound for Clydebank, downriver of Glasgow city centre. The passage up the Irish Sea was completed this Friday with the ship berthing in Rothesay Dock. Located in between this dock and the city, is the Riverside Museum: Scotland's Museum of Transportation and Travel where Afloat made a visit in recent years.

On the superstucture, Ayress displays the symbol and words 'TimberLink', a transport initiative of the Forest Commission Scotland, which through ABP (see below) charters the ship from Coast Lines and to operators that transport timber by sea across the Firth of Clyde and along the west coast of Scotland. The Commission claim that sea-transportation removes nearly 1 million lorry miles each year from the Scottish road network.

The TimberLink service is contracted to Associated British Ports (ABP), which ships up to 100,000 tonnes of timber a year from the Argyll ports of Ardrishaig, Campeltown and Sandbank. In addition, timber operations involve wood processing plants in Ayrshire among them Glennon's Sawmill, Troon, where Ayress as Afloat previously reported had departed from to Wicklow in March.

On that occasion, following the beastly weather conditions in Scotland, Ayress along with rival timber-traders cleared a back-log of round timber that was discharged in Wicklow Port.

Short-sea traders like Ayress are regular callers to south-west Scotland where the Galloway Forest Park is located. This is the UK's largest afforested area (400 sq miles) which features in a new BBC 2 six-part series 'The Forest' on Saturday's.

The series follows those who live and work in the place known as Scotland's 'Highlands in the Lowlands', where the billion pound tree-felling industry produces 600,000 tonnes of timber annually, mainly for building and construction.

The Irish construction sector among others is a customer of timber products that are regularly imported from Scotland to Wickow Port. In addition other operators call to the east coast port with Scandinavian sawn packaged timber. The packaged bundles can be seen stored along the warehouses of the Murrough, north of the regional port.

Published in Cork Harbour
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

Email The Author

Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

It’s one of the largest natural harbours in the world – and those living near Cork Harbour insist that it’s also one of the most interesting.

This was the last port of call for the most famous liner in history, the Titanic, but it has been transformed into a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

The harbour has been a working port and a strategic defensive hub for centuries, and it has been one of Ireland's major employment hubs since the early 1900s. Traditional heavy industries have waned since the late 20th century, with the likes of the closure of Irish Steel in Haulbowline and shipbuilding at Verolme. It still has major and strategic significance in energy generation, shipping and refining.

Giraffe wander along its shores, from which tens of thousands of men and women left Ireland, most of them never to return. The harbour is home to the oldest yacht club in the world, and to the Irish Navy. 

This deep waterway has also become a vital cog in the Irish economy. 


‘'s Cork Harbour page’ is not a history page, nor is it a news focus. It’s simply an exploration of this famous waterway, its colour and its characters.

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

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

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

Please show your support for Afloat by donating