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Displaying items by tag: Ron Holland

This week’s slot in the Royal Irish Yacht Club’s ‘Home Together’ series of online talks sees yacht designer Ron Holland headline a new mini-series featuring some of the best known names in international yacht design.

Julian Everitt, Mark Mills and John Corby are some of the other legendary figures who will give their own virtual talks over the coming weeks, following Holland’s introductory talk tomorrow evening (Wednesday 13 May)

And what’s more, Holland will be joined on this panel by Ireland’s own veteran sailing superstar Harold Cudmore.

For over 50 years, Ron Holland’s innovative designs have repeatedly shaken up the world of sailing.

Renowned as one of the most successful and sought-after designers in the highly competitive world of international ocean racing, he later brought his influence to — and continues his success in — the superyacht industry.

Holland’s online talk is set for 6.30pm on Wednesday 13 May. Contact [email protected] to register to attend.

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club

One time Irish based yacht designer Ron Holland has won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Superyacht Design Symposium 2019, and Boat International Design and Innovation Awards

The competition included a total of 61 nominated yachts with 19 receiving recognition. In addition to the boat categories, the ceremony honoured two individuals, Yihharn Liu for Young Designer of the Year, and Ron Holland for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Last June, the designer was reunited with one of his first boats 'Silver Shamrock' at Royal Cork Yacht Club as reported here.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#Superyachts - has learned that superyacht Christopher is moored in Dun Laoghaire Marina this morning (Monday 13 August) after passage from Belfast.

The 46m Ron Holland-designed cruising ketch previously sailed into Dublin Bay in June 2014, when it was considered Dun Laoghaire’s largest ever visiting yacht.

Since then the marina has hosted various other super-sized vessels — including the 35.8m Arcadia, a yacht sturdy enough to transit the Northwest Passage — which prompted to ask whether a dedicated superyacht berth could be a realistic proposal for Dun Laoghaire.

Published in Superyachts

A unique gathering at Royal Cork Yacht Club last night brought yacht designer Ron Holland's tour of south coast Irish yacht clubs to a close.

Midsummer night’s brought together old Crosshaven shipmates from way back but the star of the show was the first Irish-produced World Champion of them all - Silver Shamrock of 1976 Half Ton World Championship fame, now owned by the current Irish “Sailor of the Year” Conor Fogerty of Howth who was also in attendance in Crosshaven. 

Master of Ceremonies John McWilliam saluted the Kiwi designer's role in Irish sailing success down the years and a packed RCYC clubhouse – that included an audience of sailors from the very young to the very old – heard the Kiwi designer speak about his life in boats.

Spotted among the crowd for Ron's talk were Cork Harbour locals Naomi James, the first woman to have sailed single-handed around the world via Cape Horn, Commodore's Cup-winning captain Anthony O'Leary, Neil Kenefick, Eddie English and former yacht broker Donal McClement. 

Ron Holland royal cork2The packed clubhouse at RCYC for John McWilliam's introduction Photo: Bob Bateman

Listen to a podcast with's Tom MacSweeney here and read's WM Nixon on the Ron Holland story here.

Photos by Bob Bateman of last night's gathering below

Ron Holland royal cork2Ron Holland signs a photograph for Dick Gibson (right) Photo: Bob Bateman

Ron Holland royal cork2Ron Holland speaking about his life in boats at Royal Cork Photo: Bob Bateman

Ron Holland royal cork2Ron Holland with Master of Ceremonies John McWilliam (right) Photo: Bob Bateman

Ron Holland royal cork2Hugh Gibson, Anthony O'Leary and Eddie English Photo: Bob Bateman

Ron Holland royal cork2World beater – Ron Holland's 1976 Silver Shamrock alongside in Crosshaven

Ron Holland royal cork2Georgina Campbell and Afloat's Willliam Nixon Photo: Bob Bateman

Ron Holland royal cork2Neil Kenefick (left), Ron Holland (centre) and Stuart Brownlow Photo: Bob Bateman

Ron Holland royal cork2John McWillian (left) with RCYC Vice Admiral Colin Morehead Photo: Bob Bateman

Ron Holland royal cork2April English with RCYC CEO Gavin Deane Photo: Bob Bateman

Published in Royal Cork YC
Tagged under

Ron Holland has been back in Ireland this week, at two yacht clubs he knows well - Kinsale Yacht Club and the Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven, across the Owenabue River from Currabinny where he designed race-winning yachts.

“If you want to be famous in Ireland, beat the English,” he told me when we talked in Kinsale.

“We took these boats, Golden Apple and Irish Mist, to England and beat the hell out of the English. So I became quite famous in Ireland in the 70s and that was fun.”

Ron HollandRon Holland signs a copy of his new book for KYC Commodore Dave Sullivan Photo: Bob Bateman

This is one of the stories he recounts in his book, ‘All the Oceans,’ from Cardinal Publishing, which he has been promoting on his book tour in Cork. Over 400 pages and with 200 photographs it recounts his life journey from his first sailing dinghy, a 7-footer, yes just seven feet, in New Zealand, to the designing of superyachts.

Kinsale Yacht Club BarThe gathering for Ron Holland at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

He is photographed with the 7-footer at the end of the book – “Quite a nice way to finish the story of a sailing lifetime.”

Ron will be back in Ireland in September, visiting clubs in Dublin.

For this week’s Podcast, I started by asking him what was the attraction of sailing for him. In the interview, he has a strong message for young people - not to fear educational failure, but to be determined and to grab opportunities, which has been his personal experience, leading not only to Irish but international fame…

Listen to my Podcast interview with Ron Holland below.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tagged under

Like many New Zealanders, the young Ron Holland was mad keen about boats and sailing. And like several eventually distinguished fellow-countrymen, he has found his life path through a successful career in the international yacht design industry, right up to the dizzy heights of visualising some of the most remarkable superyachts in the world writes W M Nixon.

But while the other young would-be Kiwi boat-creators went forth to become associated with already-established international centres of the global marine industry, the twists and turns of life in the early 1970s saw the young Ron Holland being encouraged to settle in Crosshaven.

There, after the success of the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Quarter Millennial Celebrations in 1969-70, the growing confidence and developing enthusiasm of local sailors was to see the rapid development of the local marine industry. It came about through a dynamic interaction between newly-arrived talents such as sailmaker Johnny McWilliam and designer Ron Holland, and the brilliant boat-building abilities of renowned Crosshaven-based families such as the Bushes and Leonards.

original 1973 eyghtene2Ron Holland, aged 26, helming his own-designed-and-built 24ft Eyghthene to the Quarter Ton World Championship in 1973

Development and expansion of this quality could not have taken place without the support of the growing band of great Cork sailing families, veritable dynasties such as the Coveneys, the Loves, the O’Learys, the Cudmores, the Doyles, the Keneficks and the Mansfields – all these renowned names at some stage found themselves racing a new Ron Holland-designed boat. And some – such as Hugh Coveney, Archie O’Leary and Harold Cudmore Jnr - pioneered the way into the winning frame in international competition.

Thus although Ron Holland-designed boats had been a force to be reckoned with ever since he came to world prominence by topping the Quarter Ton Worlds in England in 1973 with his own-skippered-designed-and-built 24ft Eyghthene, getting involved with the vibrant Crosshaven of the 1970s saw his career move up several gears.

eyghthene 24 poland3A production Eyghthene 24 built in Poland
He’d built Eyghthene while working in Florida, but the focus for the Ton Cup championships was to be found in Europe, with his American friend Doug Peterson’s One Tonner Ganbare showing the way forward in 1973 in the One Ton Worlds Italy while Ron was doing his winning on the south coast of England.

The One Ton level was what interested Hugh Coveney in Cork, and between the jigs and the reels, by the late Autumn of 1973 Ron Holland found himself in Crosshaven, involved with a team which included the hyper-talented though still very young Killian Bushe, building the 36ft One Tonner Golden Apple. She may, in the end, have taken the runner-up slot in the One Ton Worlds at Torquay in Devon in England in 1974, but with her many innovative features including a Bergstrom-Ridder rig, she attracted every bit as much attention as the winning Doug Peterson-designed Gumboots.

golden apple4A boat of real charisma: Hugh Coveney’s One Tonner Golden Apple of 1974

The Holland reputation was further enhanced when one of his early production designs, the 33ft Nicholson Three Quarter Tonner Golden Delicious, was overall winner of the 1975 Fastnet Race.

Yet it wasn’t until 1976 that one of the growing and developing Cork lineup of locally-built new Ron Holland designs was to win a major world title. But as this was the Half-Ton Worlds at Trieste in Italy in 1976, when rising superstar Harold Cudmore Jnr did the business with Silver Shamrock, the Holland-Crosshaven show was really on the road, and Silver Shamrock’s crew memorably celebrated their victory by sailing up the Grand Canal in Venice with spinnaker set.

silver shamrock venice5The only way to celebrate being Half Ton World Champions at Trieste in 1976 - Silver Shamrock sails up the Grand Canal in Venice with spinnaker set

The Holland-designed production-built Shamrocks – in both their racing versions as the Golden and Silver Shamrocks, and in the popular Club version with improved accommodation – were widespread in Ireland in Crosshaven. Kinsale, Dun Laoghaire, Howth and other centres.

irish mist11 1975 oleary6Archie O’Leary’s Two Tonner Irish Mist II was another consistently successful performer. Photo courtesy RCYC

Notable in this golden era for Crosshaven campaigners working with Ron Holland and Johnny McWlliam and the rising talents emerging with them were the O’Leary family with their fabulous 40ft Two Tonner Irish Mist II, and the Clayton Love/Hugh Coveney/Ray Fielding triumvirate in the utterly gorgeous 44ft Big Apple, winner of the Concours d’Elegance (and many races) in the 1977 Admiral’s Cup.

big apple6aMen at work…aboard Big Apple, on her way to a race win in the 1977 Admirals Cup, with Johnny McWilliam on the helm and Harry Cudmore keeping a close eye on things, crouched on the weather quarter. Photo courtesy John McWilliam

This enthusiasm reached another peak in 1979 when the new Ron Holland-designed 42ft Regardless – for Ken Rohan of the Royal Irish YC on Dublin Bay – joined the Holland-design-dominated flotilla at Cork for the 1979 Admirals Cup selection trials. With a broader transom which moved away from the more pin-tailed earlier Holland designs, Regardless was a brilliant all-rounder - in fact, many reckon she was probably the best all-round offshore racer Ron ever designed, a lovely boat to sail, and a guaranteed winner.

So although a broken rudder meant she had to pull out of the 1979 Fastnet Race (which Ireland had gone into leading the Admirals Cup series), Regardless came back for the next Fastnet in 1981, and won Class I going away.

ken rohan regardless7Ken Rohan’s Regardless of 1979, seen here racing in Dublin Bay with Sean Flood on the helm and Harry Byrne on mainsheet, is widely regarded as the best all-round racer ever designed by Ron Holland. Photo: W M Nixon

By this time, not only had Ron’s hyper-busy design office expanded to take on many talents, such as Tony Castro who in time went on to establish their own firms, but the level of work required ever-larger premises. So the company moved from its base in the Strand Farmhouse in Currabinny across the river from Crosshaven, to a handsome Georgian house right next to the yacht club in Kinsale.

perseus racing8A highlight of Ron Holland Superyacht success – the 212ft Holland-designed sloop Perseus being skippered by Nin O’Leary of Crosshaven to runaway overall victory in the Lora Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta, March 2017
There, the firm was well-placed to handle the increasing stream of orders for much larger craft including Superyachts – both sail and power. The story becomes ever more complex, but fortunately for those who want to follow it in full detail, Ron Holland – who turned 70 last year – has been working on his memoirs for the book “All The Oceans – Designing by the seat of my pants” which has gradually been released on a worldwide basis, starting (as reported in here) with New Zealand and Australia in February.

johnny mcwilliam ron holland9Johnny McWilliam and Ron Holland promoting the new book in Australia in February.
Other places such as the US and of course Canada have come into the loop, for Ron has been based in Vancouver since 2011, his design office in Kinsale having been taken over by Rob Doyle. In Vancouver, he keeps his own superyacht moored (Dun Laoghaire sailors please note) in the Coal Harbour, and he is so well settled into the thriving local sailing scene that when the International Classic 6 Metre Worlds was staged on his home waters last September, he had bought himself the vivid red Peter Norlin designed 6 Metre Nuvolari to race in the 45-strong fleet drawn from centres worldwide. And though he didn’t get himself into the frame, he and his crew enjoyed themselves enormously.

six metre nuvolari10Ron Holland’s pet boat in Vancouver – the International 6 Metre Nuvolari, designed originally for Italian owners by Peter Norlin of Sweden. With a distinctive hull colour like that, you need to be very sure you’re not pushing it on the starting line…...

Next week, it’s Ireland’s turn for the launching of “All the Oceans”, which is being done with a sort of south coast book tour at Kinsale YC and Royal Cork YC.

It is truly a Midsummer Night’s Dream, for in addition to old Crosshaven shipmates from way back with the strong possibility of attendance by Harold Cudmore and Johnny McWilliam among others, the star of the show will be the first Irish-produced World Champion of them all - Silver Shamrock of 1976 Half Ton World Championship fame, and now owned by the current Irish “Sailor of the Year” Conor Fogerty of Howth.

If they can all manage to get together in Crosser, there won’t be a dry eye in the house. 

Silver Shamrock11Still going strong. Ireland’s current “Sailor of the Year” Conor Fogerty of Howth’s vintage Ron Holland Half Tonner Silver Shamrock, World Champion in 1976 under Harold Cudmore’s command. Photo:

Published in W M Nixon
Tagged under

International yacht designer Ron Holland of New Zealand became renowned in 1973 when he won the Quarter Ton Worlds in England with the 24ft Eygthene, which he’d designed himself and then skippered to success writes W M Nixon. The first of hundreds of winning designs, the original Eyghthene is now lovingly-maintained and sailed in Poland, but Ron’s success has been such that today you’ll find Holland designs of all types and lengths up to super-mega-yacht size in every corner of the world where special boats gather.

Ron’s own career saw him based for many year in the Cork area, first in Crosshaven and then in Kinsale, while more recently he has operated his worldwide design business from Vancouver in Western Canada. It has been a long and complex story, involving many remarkable people and hundreds of fabulous boats - it would take a book to do it justice. So most appropriately, the man himself has been giving some time in recent years to put his multiple memoirs in order, and they recently appeared in book form: All The Oceans, intriguingly sub-titled “Designing by the Seat of My Pants”.

eyghthene in poland2The successful little boat which started it all - the 24ft Eyghthene of 1973 is these days lovingly maintained and sailed in Poland 

It’s intriguing because Ron and his notable team were pioneers in the use of Computer-Aided Design (CAD), yet despite that use of the latest technology, you can nearly always tell a Ron Holland design by some sixth sense. Like all great designers, he has his own individual trademark style which shines through the potentially anonymising effects of computers.

He also realises that even the most modern methods of communication cannot match the effectiveness of personal contact, so he is launching the book in a several-months-long tour for a series of events at global venues which reflect the extraordinary and peripatetic nature of his career. It began last month at the Royal Akarana YC in New Zealand, and yesterday it was the turn of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.

Being Australia, Ron was able to produce a secret weapon. In his early time in Crosshaven, much of his work was done in close collaboration with sailmaker Johnnny McWilliam. These days, however, Johnny’s great passion is gliding, in which he is skilled beyond international standards - before becoming a sailmaker, he was a jet fighter pilot. And as he likes to be able to go gliding on a year-round basis, Johnny spends the northern winters in Australia. So there he was, ready and willing to join Ron Holland in launching All the Oceans in the RYCV yesterday. As for the Irish launch, the word is that it is currently pencilled in for June.

perini navi seven3The kind of design Ron Holland is now most closely associated with – the Perini Navi Seven

Published in Book Review
Tagged under

#Trade - Kinsale-based yacht designer Rob Doyle has announced the 'takeover' of the staff and offices of Ron Holland Design.

According to Superyacht Times, the 42-year-old issued a statement on Wednesday (27 March) outlining the changeover to his new yacht design, naval architecture and engineering business Rob Doyle Design, which is expected to take the previous company's work in a new direction with new design and refit projects.

"To have had the opportunity to work with Ron Holland over the past 18 years has been both a rare privilege and an eye opener as to what is possible," said Doyle.

"The experience I have gained and the lessons I have learnt make me want to explore more paths and develop further exciting projects with my team and build on Ron’s yacht design legacy."

Ron Holland, meanwhile, is still very much in the game - concentrating on his new centre of activity in Vancouver, where his company opened an office two years ago.

The mentor commented: "I look forward to continuing to collaborate with Rob on the projects that will carry the Ron Holland label and I also wish him all the best for the future of his own design firm and its projects."

Doyle has worked on a number of memorable projects under the Ron Holland brand, including the world's largest sloop Mirabella V and Ethereal, considered the most technically advanced superyacht yet developed.

Superyacht Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Trade
28th February 2011

Kinsale's Ron Holland Expands

One of the world's best known and most highly regarded names in international superyacht design who is based in Kinsale Co. Cork officially opens its doors in Vancouver on March 3rd, marking a carefully planned expansion to the western seaboard.

New Zealand-born Ron Holland established a reputation for designing exceptionally fast and successful racing yachts during the 1970s, working from his rapidly-expanding studio at Cork in the south of Ireland. Loyal owners soon asked him to design large cruising yachts too – they wanted comfort and style, but they wanted Ron to inject his talent for achieving performance and sea-keeping ability.

By the mid 1980s Ron had designed the world's first 100ft performance superyacht and after that he did not look back. He and his team have created a wide range of sail and power yachts for some of the world's wealthiest, most experienced and discerning clients. They include the 247ft/75m sloop Mirabella, which features the world's tallest single-masted rig; and the award-winning 150ft/46m Transocean Explorer, Marco Polo, which broke new ground with her innovative and energy-efficient propulsion systems.

Ron Holland Design's new Vancouver office is stunningly situated overlooking Coal Harbour and beyond to the snow-capped mountains surrounding Howe Sound. Here, Ron and his team will collaborate with their colleagues in Kinsale, led by Head Designer Rob Doyle, to provide an active and accessible platform for doing business with European, North American and Asia-Pacific clients and their advisers.

Ron Holland Vancouver already has projects in construction, out to yard tender or in advanced stages of design whilst, in the UK, the 150ft/46m custom ketch Christopher has just been launched at Pendennis Shipyard. Immediately following sea trials, Christopher will sail to the Caribbean island of St Barths where Ron Holland will join her enthusiastic owners to compete in the annual St Barth's Bucket. Christopher will be in good company at this special, 25th anniversary, edition of the Bucket Regattas as there will be at least five Ron Holland-designed superyachts also competing. In addition to Christopher, these are Mirabella V, Ethereal, Helios and Charlatan.

Ron Holland Design, Freedom Marine and Platinum Marine look forward to welcoming visitors to the RHD Open House at 100-510 Nicola St., Coal Harbour, Vancouver from 4 – 7pm on March 3rd 2011.

For further information and images, please contact: [email protected]

Published in Kinsale

The Quarter ton fleet is sailing back to the Sovereigns Cup in 2011. The event runs in Kinsale from June 22-25th.

The Quarter ton fleet made its debut at the 2009 event where a total of seventeen boats competed for the 'Keane's Jewellers perpetual Quarter Ton trophy'. Boats travelled from all over Ireland for the event with seven boats making the journey from the UK.

The four-day regatta was sailed on windward leeward courses, with one coastal race along the beautiful West Cork coastline. The coastal race proved memorable as the fleet short tacked their way along the shore to gain tidal relief in twenty knots of breeze and blazing sunshine with the race culminating in a long planning run back towards the mouth of the harbour.

After eight races the Cowes based yachtsman Peter Morton on 'Anchor Challenge' won the event on count back from Rob Gray's beautifully presented 'Aquilla' which was testimony to the close racing experienced within the fleet. The Ron Holland prize for best production boat was awarded to Kinsales' Ian Travers on his Bolero 'Bandit'.

The inclusion of the class in the 2009 regatta developed a lot of interest both during and after the event. Since then the Irish Quarter ton fleet has developed with the addition of some new boats with others currently undergoing refit for next season. With the recent announcement by the Quarter ton class in the UK to yet again include this event on their calendar for next year, it is highly likely that even in these recessionary times, the class numbers will grow for this truly enjoyable event. (See )

If you are interested in bringing your quarter tonner to Sovereigns Cup 2011 please contact Ian Travers @ +35387 9481576 or [email protected] or see HERE for further details.

Published in Sovereign's Cup

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 of sailing and boating from the port, making it Ireland's marine leisure capital with a harbour fleet of between 1,200 -1,600 pleasure craft based at the country's largest marina (800 berths) and its four waterfront yacht clubs.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Bye-Laws

Download the bye-laws on this link here


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 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