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The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) has made its first-ever bid to stage ICOMIA's World Marina Conference in Dublin in 2023. 

The marine leisure trade body, that also represents Irish Marina Operators, is up against stiff competition from rival bids in Villamoura in Portugal and also Tampa, Florida. 

Up to 400 delegates would be involved in the high-level conference that includes site visits to key Irish marina facilities.

If successful, the IMF wants to use the conference as both a showcase for the potential of the fledgeling Irish Marine industry to an international audience but also use the three-day event as a means of lobbying local government to support the domestic initiatives around the coast.

The Irish marine sector has developed from small-scale boat building and boat rentals to award-winning marinas, international pontoon manufacturers and a major hub for cruising boats and superyachts.

IMF Chairman Paal Janson is leading the Irish bidIMF Chairman Paal Janson is leading the Irish bid to bring the World Marina Conference to Dublin in 2023

The Irish bid, led by IMF Chairman Paal Janson, who is also General Manager of Ireland's biggest marina at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, has been supported by relevant Government Departments and other state agencies including Failte Ireland who assisted in the preparation of Ireland's presentation.

The Irish bidders are hoping that as many delegates will never have been to Ireland before there will be a 'Dublin city bounce' as the capital is a much sought after conference location.

Published in Irish Marinas

The Irish Marine Federation joined boating industry voices in Brussels today in an online meeting to give the EU a better understanding of the issues faced by the Irish marine industry and Irish sailing and boating alike in the wake of COVID-19.

The meeting came just days after the European Commission presented its long-awaited proposal for the EU recovery plan when an unprecedented €750 billion recovery fund was announced.

The 'very useful and constructive meeting' was held between Ambassador Maeve Collins, Ireland's Deputy Permanent Representative to the European Union, Attaché Dymphna Keogh (Maritime Affairs), Philip Easthill, Secretary General of the European Boating Industry and Paal Janson, Chairman of the Irish Marine Federation.

Paal Janson, Chairman of the Irish Marine FederationPaal Janson, Chairman of the Irish Marine Federation

Ambassador Collins was apprised of the scale of the marine leisure industry from a European perspective as well as the significance and reliance of the marine tourism sector by Irish coastal communities. A productive discussion from both an EU perspective and a more focused national level was had with examples raised and examined of practical issues faced by industry and public alike.

At the meeting Maritime Affairs Attaché Dymphna Keogh confirmed that she will pass on the relevant parts of the discussion to the Irish interdepartmental Marine Coordination Group to give a better understanding of the issues faced by Ireland's marine SMEs and sailors alike.

"This meeting was a great example of how, despite the current Covid19 pandemic, these connections can still be made and maintaine" Janson told Afloat.

"The message of the Irish Marine Federation together with our colleagues in the European Boating Industry was brought to the attention of policy makers and public representatives", he added.

Published in IMF

The Irish Marine Federation has given a cautious thumbs-up to the resumption of recreational boating in line with the Government's COVID-19 Restrictions 'Roadmap'.

In a statement, the IMF, the national organisation representing both commercial and leisure sectors of the marine industry in Ireland, says it has been working with Government, industry and marine trade associations worldwide during the Covid19 pandemic to ensure that our members are kept informed of the necessary measures to help to come through this most difficult of times.

With the publication of the Roadmap for reopening society and business last week, the IMF believes that the time for safe and responsible recreational boating is very near.

Internationally it has shown that it is possible for family-units to return to outdoor recreation in compliance with both medical and government guidelines. In addition, boats require regular safety and maintenance checks which can be best carried out by owners or qualified contractors.

dun laoghaire marina2Ireland's largest marina at Dun Laoghaire Harbour is a member of the Irish Marine Federation (IMF) and the Irish Marina Operators Association (IMOA)

The IMF says it is strongly encouraged that these actions can be carried out in accordance with the government roadmap and that Monday, May 18th is the earliest date at which there should be a limited return to recreational boating. The government guidelines are clear and restrictions such as travel distances must be adhered to for the greater public good.

As part of the industrywide promotion of recreational boating, the IMF and its members will support the international #back2boating campaign to encourage marine recreation once again with the easing of Covid19 restrictions.

The IMF says it will continue to monitor the situation and make further updates as appropriate in line the Government's Roadmap for reopening society and business.

The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) has called on the Government to consider easing some restrictions currently imposed on the marine sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic response.

In an letter to Brendan Griffin TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, as seen by Afloat.ie, IMF chairman Paal Janson suggests “some responsible steps” to allow small businesses within the sector to resume limited trading “in light of the considerations now being given” to a gradual easing of movement restrictions.

These steps would allow for the pick-up of a boat or boat equipment from a dealer, broker or seller “as it is considered a reasonable justification under obtaining goods and services”.

They would also allow a boat-owner to access their vessel at a marina or mooring “to male sure it is safe and compliant”, or to take their vessel to a marina or boat shed for repairs or servicing (or likewise return it to its mooring it after same).

“In addition, we would suggest that once recreational activities are once again permissible, boating is one of the more responsible and acceptable forms of enjoying the outdoors,” Janson says, provided boaters stick to the following:

  • Only boat with those already in your immediate household. No guests on your boat.
  • Go right from your house to the boat and back, no unnecessary contact with anyone or any loitering at the marina/dock.
  • Maintain your distance at the fuel dock and when purchasing provisions.
  • No rafting up, keep your distance when out on the water.
  • Wash your hands any time there is contact with shared surfaces.
  • Be safe and responsible, do nothing that would require the assistance of the rescue services.

“The Irish Marine Federation is committed to ensuring that the safety of its members and customers alike is of overarching importance and hopes to be able to work with the relevant Government authorities to see a gradual return to a safe and responsible recreational activity,” Janson adds.

Published in Marine Trade

The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) has joined a call by European boating industry associations for support from the EU to address the Covid-19 outbreak and its profound effects on the sector.

Eighteen associations have signed a policy paper from the European Boating Industry (EBI) which outlines a series of suggested responses “to ensure that companies survive the crisis and can secure jobs” — jobs which, it says, number some 280,000 in 32,000 companies across the EU.

These responses include the introduction of a voucher scheme for tourism activities, open borders for goods and deliveries, as well as a risk-based approach to restarting marinas, production and tourism in anticipation of the summer season.

EBI also calls for “strong communication from the European Commission and national governments to inspire consumer confidence in the safety and attractiveness of maritime tourism”.

Regarding the local situation in Ireland, the IMF says it has opened channels of communication with the HSE with relation to the marine sphere “and the many issues that exist within our industry”.

Information on business supports is available from the Government and from Fáilte Ireland, the federation advices.

And following its call for marine industry staff to be recognised as essential workers, the federation refers to its response from the office of Business Minister Heather Humphreys with a guidance list of services deemed essential.

The IMF recommends that any specific queries in relation to Covid-19 and measures to mitigate its impact on the maritime transport sector should be sent to [email protected]

“I think it is fair today that the business situation is foremost in all our minds and what we can do to continue trading, in whatever capacity, to keep the light on over the door until we come out the other said,” said chairman Paal Janson in a letter to IMF members.

In the meantime, the IMF says it is in regular contact with industry associations, as well as marina owners and operators, the world over “in an effort to understand the issues that marine industries in other countries are going through and any relevance that may have to us in Ireland”.

Janson added: “The federation will continue to work on [members’] behalf and do whatever it can to support its members and help them through this difficult time.”

The EBI policy paper is attached below.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

Following today’s (Tuesday 23 March) announcement of further restrictions to combat the spread of Covid-19, the Irish Marine Federation has called for marine industry staff to be classified as ‘essential workers’.

Taoiseach Leo Varakdar announced a slate of new measures on top of existing restrictions, which have been extended from this Sunday 29 March to Sunday 19 April.

These include limiting unnecessary travel, the cancellation of all sporting events and the shutting of ‘clubs’ — though it is not clear if yacht clubs and similar fall under this distinction.

Earlier today Bangor Marina announced its closure following severe lockdown restrictions confirmed by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and its expected all other marinas and boating facilities in Northern Ireland and Great Britain will follow suit.

Meanwhile, Irish Marine Federation chairman Paal Janson has contacted the ministers for transport, trade and the marine on behalf of marina and boatyard operators here “to ensure that our sector is not left out when any guidelines or legislation is drawn up to limit travel and when they are defining ‘essential workers’”.

Janson, who is also general manager of Dun Laoghaire Marina, said: “Many of us will have a requirement to maintain access for emergency services and State Agencies, as well as looking after our customers' boats and marina/boatyard facility.

“We do not have the option to work from home, so we should not be forced to shut our doors.

“Through our membership of ICOMIA (the International Council of Marine Industry Associations), I am in contact with other marina operators around Europe (and the world) and am keeping abreast of what other countries are imposing on their domestic industries.

“I would encourage our own membership to keep in contact with the group and discuss the plans and implementations that are being carried out to protect staff and customers.”

Published in Marine Federation

An Irish Marine Federation committee meeting held at Boot Dusseldorf last week discussed future European tie-ups with the massive German show as a result of Brexit and the loss of the London Boat Show, traditionally a show with a strong Irish following.

The Irish marine trade has witnessed increasing numbers of Irish attendees at Boot over the last few years as the 17-Hall show becomes more and more dominant in the European market and direct flights from Dublin offer the possibility of day trips to the river Rhine venue.

The IMF meeting, chaired by Paal Janson of Dun Laoghaire Marina discussed implications for green diesel cessation and also on the agenda were plans to develop the valuable marina tourism network around Ireland. 

The Irish Marine Federation are representing their members through a number of key initiatives including some significant partnerships with international organisations.

Published in Boot Düsseldorf

Feedback from the public and interested stakeholders is being sought on the Government’s Marine Planning Policy Statement by Friday 9 August.

The statement sets out efforts to bring marine planning “into the mainstream of Government functions” as issues surrounding land use, climate change and more come into greater focus.

Earlier this year, it was reported that more than half of submissions in the public consultation on the National Marine Planning Framework Baseline Report concerned the marine environment.

In its own submission, the Irish Marine Federation said barriers to investment and sustainability around the Irish coastline have for “took long stymied growth in the marine sphere”.

The trade body’s chair Paal Janson says its members voices are being heard at regular meetings with Minister of State Damien English in The Custom House, and he looks forward to incorporating feedback from its members on the policy statement consultation draft, which is attached below.

Published in Marine Federation

More than half of submissions (53%) in the public consultation on the National Marine Planning Framework Baseline Report concerned the marine environment.

Ports and shipping (44%), climate change (42%) and nature conservation (41%) were other important topics raised among the 173 submissions received by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government from a wide range of stakeholders.

Published late last year, the baseline report aimed to bring together a clear picture of all activity in Ireland’s seas for the first time.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, representatives from all key sectors comprise an advisory group overseeing the process.

In its preliminary analysis of responses, the department also identified renewable energy, aquaculture and fisheries, seaweed harvesting, cultural heritage and assets, and consents and licensing as other areas of importance to a cohort of stakeholders that runs from public sector bodies to local authorities, coastal community groups and sports bodies.

One of the key questions asked of respondents regarded Ireland’s future approach to spatial designation marine planning, with the vast majority of the 57 who expressed a preference opting for either a policy-led plan (44%) or a hybrid of policy and zoning (40%).

The proposal for a National Marine Planning Framework has been broadly welcomed by respondents, with the Irish Marine Federation (IMF) describing it as “the most significant shift in Irish marine policy for several decades” while adding that the economic contribution of sport and recreational boating, including marine tourism, has thus far been largely underestimated, and related policy should be fully integrated in any plan.

The IMF also raised the question of spatial planning in relation to Brexit, with lack of resolution of boundary issues over the likes of Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough “a matter of great concern”.

All responses to the public consultation have been collected HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

Paal Janson has been elected as the Chairman of the Irish Marine Federation (IMF), the trade body representing marine leisure interests in Ireland.

In one of his first roles, Janson (43) has framed the IMFs submission to the Government's Marine Spatial Plan, a proposed piece of legislation for the Irish coast that may yet impact on how marine leisure businesses operate on the foreshore, including a necklace of 60 marinas around Ireland.

Janson, who is the General Manager of Ireland's largest marina at Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay, is a Nautical Science Graduate from Cork CIT.

Published in IMF
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Dun Laoghaire Harbour Information

Dun Laoghaire Harbour is the second port for Dublin and is located on the south shore of Dublin Bay. Marine uses for this 200-year-old man-made harbour have changed over its lifetime. Originally built as a port of refuge for sailing ships entering the narrow channel at Dublin Port, the harbour has had a continuous ferry link with Wales and this was the principal activity of the harbour until the service stopped in 2015. In all this time, however, one thing has remained constant and that is the popularity for sailing and boating from the port, making it Ireland's marine leisure capital with a harbour fleet of over 1,200-1.600 pleasure craft.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Bye-Laws

Download the bye-laws on this link here

FAQs

A live stream Dublin Bay webcam showing Dun Laoghaire Harbour entrance and East Pier is here

Dun Laoghaire is a Dublin suburb situated on the south side of Dublin Bay, approximately, 15km from Dublin city centre.

The east and west piers of the harbour are each of 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) long.

The harbour entrance is 232 metres (761 ft) across from East to West Pier.

  • Public Boatyard
  • Public slipway
  • Public Marina

23 clubs, 14 activity providers and eight state-related organisations operate from Dun Laoghaire Harbour that facilitates a full range of sports - Sailing, Rowing, Diving, Windsurfing, Angling, Canoeing, Swimming, Triathlon, Powerboating, Kayaking and Paddleboarding. Participants include members of the public, club members, tourists, disabled, disadvantaged, event competitors, schools, youth groups and college students.

  • Commissioners of Irish Lights
  • Dun Laoghaire Marina
  • MGM Boats & Boatyard
  • Coastguard
  • Naval Service Reserve
  • Royal National Lifeboat Institution
  • Marine Activity Centre
  • Rowing clubs
  • Yachting and Sailing Clubs
  • Sailing Schools
  • Irish Olympic Sailing Team
  • Chandlery & Boat Supply Stores

The east and west granite-built piers of Dun Laoghaire harbour are each of one kilometre (0.62 mi) long and enclose an area of 250 acres (1.0 km2) with the harbour entrance being 232 metres (761 ft) in width.

In 2018, the ownership of the great granite was transferred in its entirety to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council who now operate and manage the harbour. Prior to that, the harbour was operated by The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, a state company, dissolved in 2018 under the Ports Act.

  • 1817 - Construction of the East Pier to a design by John Rennie began in 1817 with Earl Whitworth Lord Lieutenant of Ireland laying the first stone.
  • 1820 - Rennie had concerns a single pier would be subject to silting, and by 1820 gained support for the construction of the West pier to begin shortly afterwards. When King George IV left Ireland from the harbour in 1820, Dunleary was renamed Kingstown, a name that was to remain in use for nearly 100 years. The harbour was named the Royal Harbour of George the Fourth which seems not to have remained for so long.
  • 1824 - saw over 3,000 boats shelter in the partially completed harbour, but it also saw the beginning of operations off the North Wall which alleviated many of the issues ships were having accessing Dublin Port.
  • 1826 - Kingstown harbour gained the important mail packet service which at the time was under the stewardship of the Admiralty with a wharf completed on the East Pier in the following year. The service was transferred from Howth whose harbour had suffered from silting and the need for frequent dredging.
  • 1831 - Royal Irish Yacht Club founded
  • 1837 - saw the creation of Victoria Wharf, since renamed St. Michael's Wharf with the D&KR extended and a new terminus created convenient to the wharf.[8] The extended line had cut a chord across the old harbour with the landward pool so created later filled in.
  • 1838 - Royal St George Yacht Club founded
  • 1842 - By this time the largest man-made harbour in Western Europe had been completed with the construction of the East Pier lighthouse.
  • 1855 - The harbour was further enhanced by the completion of Traders Wharf in 1855 and Carlisle Pier in 1856. The mid-1850s also saw the completion of the West Pier lighthouse. The railway was connected to Bray in 1856
  • 1871 - National Yacht Club founded
  • 1884 - Dublin Bay Sailing Club founded
  • 1918 - The Mailboat, “The RMS Leinster” sailed out of Dún Laoghaire with 685 people on board. 22 were post office workers sorting the mail; 70 were crew and the vast majority of the passengers were soldiers returning to the battlefields of World War I. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat near the Kish lighthouse killing many of those onboard.
  • 1920 - Kingstown reverted to the name Dún Laoghaire in 1920 and in 1924 the harbour was officially renamed "Dun Laoghaire Harbour"
  • 1944 - a diaphone fog signal was installed at the East Pier
  • 1965 - Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club founded
  • 1968 - The East Pier lighthouse station switched from vapourised paraffin to electricity, and became unmanned. The new candle-power was 226,000
  • 1977- A flying boat landed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, one of the most unusual visitors
  • 1978 - Irish National Sailing School founded
  • 1934 - saw the Dublin and Kingstown Railway begin operations from their terminus at Westland Row to a terminus at the West Pier which began at the old harbour
  • 2001 - Dun Laoghaire Marina opens with 500 berths
  • 2015 - Ferry services cease bringing to an end a 200-year continuous link with Wales.
  • 2017- Bicentenary celebrations and time capsule laid.
  • 2018 - Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company dissolved, the harbour is transferred into the hands of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

From East pier to West Pier the waterfront clubs are:

  • National Yacht Club. Read latest NYC news here
  • Royal St. George Yacht Club. Read latest RSTGYC news here
  • Royal Irish Yacht Club. Read latest RIYC news here
  • Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club. Read latest DMYC news here

 

The umbrella organisation that organises weekly racing in summer and winter on Dublin Bay for all the yacht clubs is Dublin Bay Sailing Club. It has no clubhouse of its own but operates through the clubs with two x Committee vessels and a starters hut on the West Pier. Read the latest DBSC news here.

The sailing community is a key stakeholder in Dún Laoghaire. The clubs attract many visitors from home and abroad and attract major international sailing events to the harbour.

 

Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Dun Laoghaire's biennial town regatta was started in 2005 as a joint cooperation by the town's major yacht clubs. It was an immediate success and is now in its eighth edition and has become Ireland's biggest sailing event. The combined club's regatta is held in the first week of July.

  • Attracts 500 boats and more from overseas and around the country
  • Four-day championship involving 2,500 sailors with supporting family and friends
  • Economic study carried out by the Irish Marine Federation estimated the economic value of the 2009 Regatta at €2.5 million

The dates for the 2021 edition of Ireland's biggest sailing event on Dublin Bay is: 8-11 July 2021. More details here

Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Offshore Race

The biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race is a 320-miles race down the East coast of Ireland, across the south coast and into Dingle harbour in County Kerry. The latest news on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race can be found by clicking on the link here. The race is organised by the National Yacht Club.

The 2021 Race will start from the National Yacht Club on Wednesday 9th, June 2021.

Round Ireland Yacht Race

This is a Wicklow Sailing Club race but in 2013 the Garden County Club made an arrangement that sees see entries berthed at the RIYC in Dun Laoghaire Harbour for scrutineering prior to the biennial 704–mile race start off Wicklow harbour. Larger boats have been unable to berth in the confines of Wicklow harbour, a factor WSC believes has restricted the growth of the Round Ireland fleet. 'It means we can now encourage larger boats that have shown an interest in competing but we have been unable to cater for in Wicklow' harbour, WSC Commodore Peter Shearer told Afloat.ie here. The race also holds a pre-ace launch party at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

Laser Masters World Championship 2018

  • 301 boats from 25 nations

Laser Radial World Championship 2016

  • 436 competitors from 48 nations

ISAF Youth Worlds 2012

  • The Youth Olympics of Sailing run on behalf of World Sailing in 2012.
  • Two-week event attracting 61 nations, 255 boats, 450 volunteers.
  • Generated 9,000 bed nights and valued at €9 million to the local economy.

The Harbour Police are authorised by the company to police the harbour and to enforce and implement bye-laws within the harbour, and all regulations made by the company in relation to the harbour.

There are four ship/ferry berths in Dun Laoghaire:

  • No 1 berth (East Pier)
  • No 2 berth (east side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 3 berth (west side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 4 berth  (St, Michaels Wharf)

Berthing facilities for smaller craft exist in the town's 800-berth marina and on swinging moorings.

© Afloat 2020

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