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Displaying items by tag: trailersailer

#trailersailer – Ireland's coastline is one of the world's finest cruising grounds. Yet there are long lengths of the coast that rarely see a visiting cruiser. It is not that the area is inhospitable, although the weather can be challenging. Safe anchorages and sheltered harbours are numerous, the welcome on shore is legendary. The plain fact is that, for many of us the west coast of Ireland is very much the Far West.

A circumnavigation of the island is over 700 miles, roughly the same distance as the Fastnet Race, longer than the Sydney-Hobart, or the Newport-Bermuda. For the East Coast cruising sailor with a fortnight to spare Wales, Cornwall or Scotland are nearer, and, in the prevailing westerlies, easier to reach. Cork sailors can explore West Cork or South Kerry, but a trip to Galway is a serious voyage, with a long stretch of coast offering little or no shelter.

Any plan to develop cruising from Cork to Donegal must take account of the distances involved. One solution would be to develop marinas and encourage boat owners to keep their boat there for all or part of the year. However, maintaining a boat that is several hours drive from home is never easy. Those who are fortunate to keep boats in France, Portugal or elsewhere can depend on a well developed network of professionals, with workshops in the harbour area, to carry out necessary work. Unfortunately, marinas in Ireland are conceived more as a pretext to develop shore-side housing, rather than as essential industrial infrastructure. Boatyards and luxury apartments do not make good neighbours!

Basing the boat on the west coast for a month or two is no less problematic. Finding a window of opportunity, and the crew, for the delivery trip there and back, is never easy. A 300 mile cruise is, for many, already a summer holiday in itself! Furthermore, sailors can be reluctant to abandon the short but intense racing season, especially on the East Coast.

There is an alternative: the trailer-sailer, or, as well known nautical author Sam Llewelyn prefers – the "Minimum Boat". For an owner wishing to explore the nooks and crannies of the Irish coast such boats have huge advantages. The ability to tow a boat to a suitable area greatly extends the range of possible cruising grounds. The flexibility of such a mobile boat means that plans can be changed easily. You may have planned a weekend trip to the Aran Islands, but if the forecast is for squalls, rain and a huge swell it is no great problem to divert to Lough Derg, or even to "go foreign" and explore Lough Erne. How often is it set to rain in Kerry while Donegal basks in sunshine (or vice versa). Until you choose which exit to take off the motorway, the "Minimum Boat" owner is not committed to any one destination.

In addition, a ferry trip to Cherbourg or Roscoff opens up the whole of Europe. Personally I quite fancy exploring the Venice Lagoon or the Skerries of the northern Baltic.

In choosing a "Minimum Boat" compromises have to be made, between the boats nautical capacities, convenience when rigging, launching and recovering and the trappings of modern comforts. Many commonly used boats are no longer than 21-22 foot, and no more than 2 tons. Increasingly water ballast is used, reducing the towing weight, making it possible to tow and launch somewhat larger boats.

Obviously, a boat this size will not have standing headroom throughout. Farewell the power shower, the microwave and the master cabin. However, there is great pleasure in rediscovering the little luxuries – making that first tea or coffee whilst still in your sleeping bag, stepping ashore from the bow of the boat on a sheltered beach or settling down for the night in an anchorage known only to those that go to sea in kayaks or RIBs. Not forgetting that keeping the boat in the garden is a great convenience when maintenance is required.

Cruising on boats this size is more about exploring the coast and the islands, rather than passage making. In fact the whole point of the trailer-sailer is that long passages are made by road. The most difficult moments of any holiday will be launching and recovery. Many cars can cope with towing a fairly substantial boat. However, slipways are often narrow and steep. Alexander Nimmo and his fellow engineers of the 19th Century singularly failed to take account of the constraints of launching a small yacht from a road trailer when engaged in building so many harbours, piers and slips that are still the backbone of our nautical infrastructure. If a Minimum Boater has to rely on launching only at well-equipped boatyards or clubs then the range of accessible cruising areas is limited.

A major contribution to the development of trailer sailing could be made at little cost:

⁃ by publishing a comprehensive list of slipways, including details such as the angle of the slip (preferably between 7° and 12°), launching conditions and information on safe parking;

⁃ identifying a local tractor owner who would, for a small charge, tow the trailer down the slip. Ideally, they would also be able to offer safe parking for for car and trailer. Trailer-sailors would be happy to pay for such a service. Obviously, there will be considerations of liability and insurance, but in a period when small farmers, building contractors and other small businesses are facing difficulties, launching and recovering could provide a small but useful revenue stream.

To conclude by an (apocryphal) example:

Sitting in the bar of a well-known yacht club club in Greater Dublin two boat owners are discussing the possibility of viewing from the comfort of their own cockpit the in-port race in Galway Bay when the VOR fleet is in town. One owns a well-found 35 ft yacht that competes in local races. His owner reckons that in order to be sure of getting to Galway in time, and get the boat back, he will take a fortnight's holiday. He already organising a delivery crew, one for each trip, there and back, with the family driving down for the weekend. It is proving difficult to find a berth in Galway and he may have to anchor off somewhere.

His friend has a French-built 21 foot trailer-sailer that has proved competitive in club racing, and did well when he towed the boat to the UK to compete in Cowes Week. His plan is to lift out on Thursday evening after racing and drive down early Friday morning. He intends to launch in Kinvara, having checked the slip on Google Earth, and sail across to Galway. When he called the organisers they told him they would have no problem finding a berth for such a tiny yacht! The in-port race is on Saturday. The plan is to party in Galway on Saturday and sail back to Kinvara on Sunday. With HW just after 2130 there will be no problem getting back to Dublin sometime (possibly late) on Sunday night.

Small is beautiful. More to the point a small trailer friendly yacht is the passport to spending more time in some of the world's most spectacular seascapesMagheramore

Published in Cruising

About Dublin Port 

Dublin Port Company is currently investing about €277 million on its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR), which is due to be complete by 2021. The redevelopment will improve the port's capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths. The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028, which will also include initial work on the Dublin Port’s MP2 Project - a major capital development project proposal for works within the existing port lands in the northeastern part of the port.

Dublin Port has also recently secured planning approval for the development of the next phase of its inland port near Dublin Airport. The latest stage of the inland port will include a site with the capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructures such as an ESB substation, an office building and gantry crane.

Dublin Port Company recently submitted a planning application for a €320 million project that aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility within the port in order to cope with increases in trade up to 2040. The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240 metres in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth into a deep-water container berth.

Dublin Port FAQ

Dublin was little more than a monastic settlement until the Norse invasion in the 8th and 9th centuries when they selected the Liffey Estuary as their point of entry to the country as it provided relatively easy access to the central plains of Ireland. Trading with England and Europe followed which required port facilities, so the development of Dublin Port is inextricably linked to the development of Dublin City, so it is fair to say the origins of the Port go back over one thousand years. As a result, the modern organisation Dublin Port has a long and remarkable history, dating back over 300 years from 1707.

The original Port of Dublin was situated upriver, a few miles from its current location near the modern Civic Offices at Wood Quay and close to Christchurch Cathedral. The Port remained close to that area until the new Custom House opened in the 1790s. In medieval times Dublin shipped cattle hides to Britain and the continent, and the returning ships carried wine, pottery and other goods.

510 acres. The modern Dublin Port is located either side of the River Liffey, out to its mouth. On the north side of the river, the central part (205 hectares or 510 acres) of the Port lies at the end of East Wall and North Wall, from Alexandra Quay.

Dublin Port Company is a State-owned commercial company responsible for operating and developing Dublin Port.

Dublin Port Company is a self-financing, and profitable private limited company wholly-owned by the State, whose business is to manage Dublin Port, Ireland's premier Port. Established as a corporate entity in 1997, Dublin Port Company is responsible for the management, control, operation and development of the Port.

Captain William Bligh (of Mutiny of the Bounty fame) was a visitor to Dublin in 1800, and his visit to the capital had a lasting effect on the Port. Bligh's study of the currents in Dublin Bay provided the basis for the construction of the North Wall. This undertaking led to the growth of Bull Island to its present size.

Yes. Dublin Port is the largest freight and passenger port in Ireland. It handles almost 50% of all trade in the Republic of Ireland.

All cargo handling activities being carried out by private sector companies operating in intensely competitive markets within the Port. Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers.

Eamonn O'Reilly is the Dublin Port Chief Executive.

Capt. Michael McKenna is the Dublin Port Harbour Master

In 2019, 1,949,229 people came through the Port.

In 2019, there were 158 cruise liner visits.

In 2019, 9.4 million gross tonnes of exports were handled by Dublin Port.

In 2019, there were 7,898 ship arrivals.

In 2019, there was a gross tonnage of 38.1 million.

In 2019, there were 559,506 tourist vehicles.

There were 98,897 lorries in 2019

Boats can navigate the River Liffey into Dublin by using the navigational guidelines. Find the guidelines on this page here.

VHF channel 12. Commercial vessels using Dublin Port or Dun Laoghaire Port typically have a qualified pilot or certified master with proven local knowledge on board. They "listen out" on VHF channel 12 when in Dublin Port's jurisdiction.

A Dublin Bay webcam showing the south of the Bay at Dun Laoghaire and a distant view of Dublin Port Shipping is here
Dublin Port is creating a distributed museum on its lands in Dublin City.
 A Liffey Tolka Project cycle and pedestrian way is the key to link the elements of this distributed museum together.  The distributed museum starts at the Diving Bell and, over the course of 6.3km, will give Dubliners a real sense of the City, the Port and the Bay.  For visitors, it will be a unique eye-opening stroll and vista through and alongside one of Europe’s busiest ports:  Diving Bell along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay over the Samuel Beckett Bridge, past the Scherzer Bridge and down the North Wall Quay campshire to Berth 18 - 1.2 km.   Liffey Tolka Project - Tree-lined pedestrian and cycle route between the River Liffey and the Tolka Estuary - 1.4 km with a 300-metre spur along Alexandra Road to The Pumphouse (to be completed by Q1 2021) and another 200 metres to The Flour Mill.   Tolka Estuary Greenway - Construction of Phase 1 (1.9 km) starts in December 2020 and will be completed by Spring 2022.  Phase 2 (1.3 km) will be delivered within the following five years.  The Pumphouse is a heritage zone being created as part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project.  The first phase of 1.6 acres will be completed in early 2021 and will include historical port equipment and buildings and a large open space for exhibitions and performances.  It will be expanded in a subsequent phase to incorporate the Victorian Graving Dock No. 1 which will be excavated and revealed. 
 The largest component of the distributed museum will be The Flour Mill.  This involves the redevelopment of the former Odlums Flour Mill on Alexandra Road based on a masterplan completed by Grafton Architects to provide a mix of port operational uses, a National Maritime Archive, two 300 seat performance venues, working and studio spaces for artists and exhibition spaces.   The Flour Mill will be developed in stages over the remaining twenty years of Masterplan 2040 alongside major port infrastructure projects.

Source: Dublin Port Company ©Afloat 2020. 

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