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Arklow 'R' Class Cargoships Differ in Design As Does Changing Quay Relationships Of Dublin's Docklands

11th October 2017
Arklow Resolve belongs to the most common class cargoship in the ASL fleet which in July notably berthed along Dublin's old inner city commercial quays. Note in the background the gap between these 'Docklands' buildings, where a ship related warehouse once stood until demolished earlier this year. Afloat will have more to report on this in addition to other port premises that held a shipping connection. Arklow Resolve belongs to the most common class cargoship in the ASL fleet which in July notably berthed along Dublin's old inner city commercial quays. Note in the background the gap between these 'Docklands' buildings, where a ship related warehouse once stood until demolished earlier this year. Afloat will have more to report on this in addition to other port premises that held a shipping connection. Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#DublinDocklands - Afloat recently reported of Arklow Shipping's latest acquisition, Arklow Dawn that brings the fleet to 52, the majority of these cargoships comprising 13 in total are of the remaining R class sisters however there are differences between them, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The series were first introduced in 2002 with leadship Arklow Rose completed from the yard of Barkmeijer Stroobos. This cargoship is no longer in service and currently of the entire class ordered, only 11 sisters remain from this Dutch yard. Each of the dry cargo short-sea traders are 89.99 (LOA) length overall and have a deadweight of 4,933 and gross tonnage is 2,999. Cargoes carried on these ships can range from grain, animal feed to steel rails.

The strong relationship between the Dutch yard and the Irish owners was recognised with an unveiling of a symbolic stainless steel sculpture based on a ship's bow. Officials from Barkmeijer were present at the sculpture unveiling in the grounds of Arklow Shipping headquarters. At that stage in 2008 the sculpture marked the occasion of the 20th ship built by the yard for ASL.

From among the most notable and subtle design differences there are some examples outlined below when compared to the minority two eldest R class 2002 built cargships Arklow Rally and Rambler respectively. Asides that these ships were built elsewhere in Netherlands from the yard of Bijlsma Lemmer, they have a larger deadweight at 5,065, though tonnage remains equal. In terms of LOA there is a difference albeit a shorter hull by a mere 4cms! 

Changing Quay Relationships of Dublin's Docklands 

In recent months the public and office commuters working in Dublin's 'Docklands' had a rare opportunity to see a cargsohip at close quarters while berthed upriver. The cargoship was another R class, the Arklow Resolve which had berthed for a lenghtly stay along the Liffey's south bank. The cargoship had sailed from Belfast to the Irish capital, intially docking in Alexandra Basin before shifting to the old working port located closer to the city-centre. The architecture designs from port industry have been replaced by modern offices for this financial quarter of the city.

On the theme of city-centres, Afloat reported of London International Shipping Week (LISW17) the annual event where the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) promoted business networks at the Irish Embassy in central London. Also that week the Arklow Resolve arrived in the UK capital's port having finally departed Dublin. (See London's new commuter craft related report).

Up to the mid-1990's such commercial shipping activity took place in Dublin though the presence of quayside cranes and surrounding warehouseses were considerably been reduced. This demolition notably increased in the lead up to and during the construction building boom of the Celtic Tiger. 

Such historic port-related infrastructure barely remains in the Docklands where property developments much larger in scale to the recent past are under construction, notably the highest structure taking shape in the form of 'Capital Dock'. This construction site is located where Sir John Rogersons Quay meets Britain Quay and dominates this quarter of Dublin's skyline that is constantly changing. Afloat will have more in depth to report by focusing on examples of historical note. 

In the meantime it is refreshing that the port have recently installed Crane 292 that celebrates such ship related industrial heritage. The restored crane dating from the 1960's is somewhat a counterpart to the emerging office towerblocks, albeit the crane is set back from the quays. The crane's new home is beside Dublin Port Company headquarters, the Port Centre on Alexandra Road.

 

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