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Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland

A new online survey aims to collect changes in sea anglers’ catches in Ireland’s coastal waters over time.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says anglers participating in the survey will contribute towards understanding changes in angling species here.

Ireland’s sea angling resource ranges from tope in the Irish Sea to bass on the surf beaches of the Dingle Peninsula.

These fisheries attract many local anglers along with visitors from around the world. The new survey aims to track and inform possible long-term changes in the coastal fish populations targeted by anglers.

Dr William Roche, senior research officer at IFI, said: “We are looking for sea anglers of all ages and experience to take part in our new survey programme to help us to understand possible trends and changes in catch over the years.

“We know that anglers have expert localised knowledge from spending time outside observing nature and the fish they catch.

“Over a sea-angling career, this experience becomes a unique insight into the state of coastal fisheries and we want to reach out to those who have localised knowledge and care about the future of our fisheries resource to help us to understand how it has changed.”

IFI says the success of the study “relies on the knowledge, experience and observations of citizen scientist anglers. The survey has been carefully formulated to capture this knowledge and allow it to be expressed as indicators of the current state of our important fish populations.”

Each unique respondent will also be entered into a prize draw to win a voucher of up to €200 for their local angling tackle shop.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has teamed up with Leave No Trace Ireland to launch an outdoor recreational guide for angling based on the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace.

As custodians of our natural fisheries resource, anglers can refer to this short guide on how they can minimise the impact their fishing trip can have on the environment.

The guide is also a useful checklist for anyone enjoying the outdoors with the 7 Principles being key reminders of how to reduce the effects we have on the natural world. They are:

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Be Considerate of Others
  • Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Ground
  • Leave What You Find
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Minimise the Effects of Fire

Suzanne Campion at IFI said: “320,000 Irish people enjoy fishing in Ireland and this guide will help them with their role in protecting the environment.

“Anglers are important stewards over the waters they fish. The guide we have prepared with Leave No Trace Ireland outlines what to consider before going on an angling trip.

“The angling community have a role in protecting the environment they fish in and to help nurture it for future generations to enjoy our fisheries resource.”

Maura Kiely, CEO of Leave No Trace Ireland, said she is delighted at the partnership for this new guide and added: “We have tailored the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace to work as a checklist for anglers when they are embarking on a fishing trip.

“Anglers are caretakers over the environment they fish in and they understand the need for healthy aquatic systems for fish populations to thrive. The guide will help anglers to make decisions that will minimise any impacts on nature when fishing.’

The guide is available on the IFI website HERE.

Published in Angling

Building on the success of pilot programmes in 2019 and 2020, the Tuna CHART (CatcH And Release Tagging) fishery to collect scientific data on bluefin tuna will return in 2021, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

Tuna CHART is a collaborative scientific programme between Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Marine Institute in partnership with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC).

In 2020, the Tuna CHART programme authorised 22 charter skippers to operate a scientific fishery — in which anglers participated fully — to catch, tag and release bluefin tuna. These professional skippers were trained to tag, measure and record bluefin data.

Despite the limitations of the pandemic, 685 bluefin tuna were caught, tagged and released around the Irish coast — a 230% increase in bluefin tagged on the previous year.

File image of bluefin tuna in Donegal Bay (Photo: David Morrissey)File image of bluefin tuna in Donegal Bay Photo: David Morrissey

The most productive sites were the North-West and the South coast, mainly the waters of the Cork coastline. As many as 11 bluefin were tagged on one angling trip, a new Irish record. The largest tuna tagged was 275cm, weighing an estimated 822lbs.

All tuna were carefully handled subject to strict guidelines set by the Tuna CHART programme and all were released alive. Data from the tagging programme has been collated by the partnership for reporting to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT).

This year a maximum of 25 authorisations may be granted to qualifying vessels and skippers around the Irish coast for fishing between 1 July and 12 November. Applications are now open and will be accepted until 1pm on Friday 9 April.

Depending on the successful operation and review of this year’s fishery, it is intended that a scientific catch-and-release fishery may also operate in 2022.

The partnership says a core aspect of the Tuna CHART programme is the welfare and successful release of the bluefin tuna. Authorised skippers will be required to have high specification rods, reels and line in advance of the open season in order to ensure that the fish is brought alongside the vessel to be measured and tagged in the water in a timely manner.

Data collection for scientific assessment is the primary purpose of the fishery and will continue to be a key requirement for skipper participation in this scientific catch-and-release fishery, the partnership adds.

Skippers will be required to collect data on every bluefin trip undertaken and each bluefin tuna they catch, tag and release, and their angling and data recording expertise is an important part of the overall survey programme.

Anglers will have an opportunity to participate in this fishery and contribute to this important scientific study by chartering and fishing from authorised vessels only. Unauthorised vessels are not permitted to target or catch bluefin tuna, and any unauthorised person found to be targeting bluefin tuna will be prosecuted. Applications for authorisations are open to charter skippers only.

Published in Marine Science

For the first time ever, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) launches a virtual Go Fishing Week — a national celebration of angling with a programme of online events taking place.

Running from Sunday 25 April to Monday 3 May, Go Fishing Week provides an opportunity to connect with people across the country to encourage them to try fishing by making information accessible to all.

The programme of events will spread awareness of a series of themes during the course of the week, including sustainability, protecting habitats and wellbeing benefits.

IFI chief executive Francis O’Donnell said: “This year Go Fishing Week aims to encourage people to learn more about angling while also having important conversations around sustainable fishing, climate change and the cultural significance of our inland waters here in Ireland.

“We are delighted this year to be able to bring our events into a virtual capacity and make them accessible to everyone by doing so. From webinars, podcasts and videos to virtual competitions we hope that people of all ages will get involved and join us in celebrating Go Fishing Week 2021.”

All events will be free to join but registration may be required. Some of those scheduled for the week include:

  • Specimen Fish: Join the Irish Specimen Fish Committee in a webinar to learn all about specimen fish and the records of Irish specimen fish. The webinar will take place on Sunday 25 April.
  • Free a Flounder: Watch a video to show you how to safely remove a hook from a flounder and release it back into the water.
  • Safety on the Water: Join a webinar on all things around how to be safe around water especially as we come into the peak angling season and raise awareness of safety among all new anglers.

 As part of the event, IFI is also running a video competition. ‘Why I Love to Fish’ is an initiative to get more people to spread the word about fishing by sharing a short video clip of their angling adventures online and telling the world what angling means to them.

To learn more about what is happening and how you can get involved, visit the IFI website and catch up with social media updates in the run-up to the week on Facebook and Twitter.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) recently secured two separate convictions for illegal netting of salmon on the Barrow and Nore rivers respectively.

At a sitting of Kilkenny District Court on Tuesday 23 February 2021, Richie Lennon of New Ross, Co Wexford was fined €300 together with a €500 contribution towards costs following a prosecution taken by IFI.

Lennon pleaded guilty to the offences of illegal netting, the possession/control of four salmon and the refusal to give the name and address of another person when lawfully demanded.

The breaches of fisheries legislation occurred on 22 July 2020 on the River Barrow near Bauck in Co Carlow.

IFI fisheries officers outlined the facts of the case to the court and how Lennon had been observed in the act of illegal netting on the River Barrow, attempting to capture salmon.

Evidence in relation to the offence was given before Judge Carthy. Following the conviction, details of a previous prosecution against Lennon which had been dealt with at Wexford District Court on 15 April 2014 when the Probation Act had been applied was identified.

Judge Carthy made it clear to Lennon that if he appears in court again on similar offences, she will consider a prison sentence.

‘On the River Barrow and the River Nore, salmon stocks are well below their conservation limit and require protection’

On the same day in Kilkenny District Court, Michael Hynes of Ballybeg, Co Waterford was fined €300 together with a €500 contribution after he pleaded guilty to the offences of illegal netting, the possession of seven salmon and the refusal to give the name and address of another person when lawfully demanded.

The breaches of fisheries legislation here occurred on 22 June 2020 on the River Nore, in the townland of Clonamery, Co Kilkenny.

Evidence in relation to the offence was given before Judge Carthy sitting at Kilkenny District Court. IFI officers outlined the facts of the case to the court that Mr Hynes was apprehended and found to be in possession of seven dead salmon in his vehicle.

Lynda Connor, director of the South Eastern River Basin District at IFI, said: “I would like to commend the fisheries officers’ efforts and continuous commitment to protecting salmon.

“On the River Barrow and the River Nore, salmon stocks are well below their conservation limit and require protection. This type of illegal activity can have devastating effects on future stocks of salmon.

“These two convictions highlight the ongoing issue of illegal netting for salmon and IFI’s zero tolerance of this serious misconduct.”

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland is seeking applicants for the 2021 recruitment campaign for seasonal fisheries officers nationwide.

The positions will see the successful applicants support the development and protection of Ireland’s angling and fisheries resource during the summer period.

There are numerous roles available across six operational districts on a six-month basis, with contracts commencing from Monday 31 May and training provided to all new recruits. Interviews will take place on 14, 15 and 16 April 2021.

The locations for the new positions will be based across the country in the following districts:

  • Eastern River Basin District: CityWest, Co Dublin; Kilcoole, Co Wicklow; Virginia, Co Cavan; Drogheda, Co Louth.
  • South Eastern River Basin District: Enniscorthy, Co Wexford; New Ross, Co Wexford; Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary.
  • South Western River Basin District: Bantry, Co Cork; Farnanes, Co Cork; Tralee, Co Kerry; Kenmare, Co Kerry.
  • Shannon River Basin District: Listowel, Co Kerry; Limerick City; Co Clare; Lough Sheelin, Co Cavan; Drumsna, Co Leitrim.
  • Western River Basin District: Galway City, Lough Corrib, Co Galway; Erriff Fishery, Co Galway; Moy Fishery, Co Mayo; Bangor, Co Mayo; Ballina, Co Mayo.
  • North Western River Basin District: Cavan, Co Cavan; Ballyshannon, Co Donegal; Letterkenny, Co Donegal; Clady Crolly, Co Donegal; Northern Co Donegal.

Francis O’Donnell, chief executive of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), says: “Our seasonal fisheries officers are an important asset to Inland Fisheries Ireland during our busiest operational time of the year.

“We invite applications for these seasonal positions which will support the ongoing protection, conservation and maintenance of our fisheries resource. I encourage all those interested in playing a critical role in helping to protect and develop Ireland’s precious fisheries resource to submit an application.”

Roisin Bradley, head of HR at IFI, says: “We are looking for applicants who are passionate about developing and protecting our fisheries resource, have an appreciation for the natural environment and who have excellent interpersonal skills.

“Our fisheries officers ensure we have the capacity to carry out necessary work as custodians of this precious resource. We look forward to welcoming the new members to our team in the summer.”

The closing date for applications is Monday 22 March. To find out more about the roles and how to apply, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie/careers

Published in Jobs

Primary school pupils across Ireland are once again being asked to get poetic as the Something Fishy poetry competition returns for 2021.

Started last year by Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Blackrock Education Centre to keep pupils engaged while out of the classroom during coronavirus restrictions, the contest asks school children to write a short verse about fish and their environment.

This year, however, the poem must be an acrostic, in which the first letter of each line spells out a word — in this case ‘STREAM’.

Pupils are also encouraged to illustrate their poems with their own artwork to complete their submissions across three categories — fifth class, sixth class and Irish language — and be in with a chance to win some great prizes.

These prizes include fishing kits to the value €100 and outdoor field trip kits worth as much as €50.

Suzanne Campion, head of business development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: ‘We are delighted to launch this competition for the second year in a row and we are looking forward to seeing the imaginative works the young poets create.

“There are lots of fun and interactive resources available on www.somethingfishy.ie to help inspire budding poets.”

Only one entry is permitted per student and it is to be original work. The closing date for entries is Friday 28 May.

Parents/guardians are being asked to email the entry to [email protected] and to include the student’s name, class (5th or 6th) and school name and address.

The winning illustrated poems will be chosen by a panel of judges, and winners will be announced on Friday 18 June.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) investigated a pollution incident that occurred last weekend on the Carrowbeg River in Westport, Co Mayo.

IFI received a number of calls to the hotline number and had a report from the landowner where the pollution incident occurred last Saturday 16 January.

Fisheries staff responded to the report of what’s understood to be an accidental detergent discharge into the Carrowbeg River that afternoon.

The Carrowbeg River is the main river that runs through Westport town and has an abundant indigenous brown trout population, as well as being is an important amenity to the local community.

IFI officers attended the scene and worked with the landowner to identify the source and to carry out immediate remedial works.

IFI says its staff continue to monitor the site and carried out kayak and drone surveys of the catchment area over the weekend to assess implications for the fishery. Surveys to date have not found any evidence of a fish kill resulting from the incident.

IFI says it has had “subsequent engagement with the landowner regarding remediation works to be undertaken at the site” and is liaising with with Mayo County Council’s Environmental Section on analysis of samples from the affected stretch of river.

Patrick Gorman, Galway director in the Western River Basin District at IFI, says: “Inland Fisheries Ireland urges members of the public to be aware of the environmental risk posed to their local waterbodies should such discharges be made into road or car park drain networks.

“Members of the public can report suspected pollution or poaching incidents to Inland Fisheries Ireland’s 24-hour confidential hotline on 1890 34 74 24.”

Published in Angling

A farmer from Beaufort in Co Kerry was convicted and fined €3,300 plus costs following a prosecution taken by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

In a hearing at Caherciveen District Court on Thursday 10 December, Judge David Waters convicted Raymond Breen under Section 173 (d) of the Fisheries Consolidation Act 1959 for carrying out works in the Gaddagh River which damaged sensitive spawning beds.

While a charge of obstruction was struck out, Judge Waters commented that he could not ignore the defendant’s behaviour when considering the appropriate penalty.

The Gaddagh River, a tributary of the River Laune and in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), is an important spawning habitat for Atlantic salmon, a species protected under Irish and European law.

The court heard evidence that an inspection carried out by IFI fisheries officers discovered substantial amounts of spawning gravel removed from the river and stock-piled along a 250m section of bank.

Heavy machinery tracks were recorded across the riverbed, the protected spawning gravels and on both banks.

Evidence was given that the engine of a tracked earth-mover at the site was hot when discovered but the driver could not be located. The scene was described in court as a “working site”.

Sean Long, director of the South Western River Basin District at IFI, said: “This is a serious environmental crime. The removal of gravel from spawning beds will directly impact our already endangered Atlantic salmon stocks by drastically reducing usable spawning gravel.

“We urge all landowners to take responsible action and to contact their advisors or Inland Fisheries Ireland before carrying out any works that may damage watercourses on or adjacent to their land.”

Published in Angling

Volunteers from Bundoran RNLI were part of a multi-agency operation to rescue a man whose small boat ran aground on rocks in Ballyshannon yesterday afternoon (Sunday 20 December).

The man raised the alarm from his boat which had run aground off the island of Inis Saimer just before 1pm, and Malin Head Coast Guard requested the launch of Bundoran’s lifeboat as well as the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118.

However, it was determined that sea conditions would render it unsafe for the inshore lifeboat to get across the bar at the end of the Erne Estuary.

Instead, four lifeboat crew travelled by road to Ballyshannon where an Inland Fisheries Ireland patrol boat was already close to the casualty vessel.

Together the fisheries officers and lifeboat volunteers evacuated the man from his boat and brought him safely to shore and the into the care of paramedics.

In the meantime, the Bundoran lifeboat was transported by road under Garda escort to Ballyshannon, where it was launched and towed the casualty boat away from the rocks.

Bundoran lifeboat helm Michael Patton said: “This was another good outcome with the cooperation of our colleagues at Rescue 118, Inland Fisheries [Ireland], the National Ambulance Service and the Garda Siochana.

“We were glad to be able to get the man safely off the boat and return his boat to him.

“He was also wearing a lifejacket, and we would remind anyone taking to the water that this is an essential piece of equipment anytime you set sail.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Ireland's offshore islands

Around 30 of Ireland's offshore islands are inhabited and hold a wealth of cultural heritage.

A central Government objective is to ensure that sustainable vibrant communities continue to live on the islands.

Irish offshore islands FAQs

Technically, it is Ireland itself, as the third largest island in Europe.

Ireland is surrounded by approximately 80 islands of significant size, of which only about 20 are inhabited.

Achill island is the largest of the Irish isles with a coastline of almost 80 miles and has a population of 2,569.

The smallest inhabited offshore island is Inishfree, off Donegal.

The total voting population in the Republic's inhabited islands is just over 2,600 people, according to the Department of Housing.

Starting with west Cork, and giving voting register numbers as of 2020, here you go - Bere island (177), Cape Clear island (131),Dursey island (6), Hare island (29), Whiddy island (26), Long island, Schull (16), Sherkin island (95). The Galway islands are Inis Mór (675), Inis Meáin (148), Inis Oírr (210), Inishbofin (183). The Donegal islands are Arranmore (513), Gola (30), Inishboffin (63), Inishfree (4), Tory (140). The Mayo islands, apart from Achill which is connected by a bridge, are Clare island (116), Inishbiggle (25) and Inishturk (52).

No, the Gaeltacht islands are the Donegal islands, three of the four Galway islands (Inishbofin, like Clifden, is English-speaking primarily), and Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire in west Cork.

Lack of a pier was one of the main factors in the evacuation of a number of islands, the best known being the Blasket islands off Kerry, which were evacuated in November 1953. There are now three cottages available to rent on the Great Blasket island.

In the early 20th century, scholars visited the Great Blasket to learn Irish and to collect folklore and they encouraged the islanders to record their life stories in their native tongue. The three best known island books are An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers, and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin. Former taoiseach Charles J Haughey also kept a residence on his island, Inishvickillaune, which is one of the smaller and less accessible Blasket islands.

Charles J Haughey, as above, or late Beatle musician, John Lennon. Lennon bought Dorinish island in Clew Bay, south Mayo, in 1967 for a reported £1,700 sterling. Vendor was Westport Harbour Board which had used it for marine pilots. Lennon reportedly planned to spend his retirement there, and The Guardian newspaper quoted local estate agent Andrew Crowley as saying he was "besotted with the place by all accounts". He did lodge a planning application for a house, but never built on the 19 acres. He offered it to Sid Rawle, founder of the Digger Action Movement and known as the "King of the Hippies". Rawle and 30 others lived there until 1972 when their tents were burned by an oil lamp. Lennon and Yoko Ono visited it once more before his death in 1980. Ono sold the island for £30,000 in 1984, and it is widely reported that she donated the proceeds of the sale to an Irish orphanage

 

Yes, Rathlin island, off Co Antrim's Causeway Coast, is Ireland's most northerly inhabited island. As a special area of conservation, it is home to tens of thousands of sea birds, including puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots. It is known for its Rathlin golden hare. It is almost famous for the fact that Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, retreated after being defeated by the English at Perth and hid in a sea cave where he was so inspired by a spider's tenacity that he returned to defeat his enemy.

No. The Aran islands have a regular ferry and plane service, with ferries from Ros-a-Mhíl, south Connemara all year round and from Doolin, Co Clare in the tourist season. The plane service flies from Indreabhán to all three islands. Inishbofin is connected by ferry from Cleggan, Co Galway, while Clare island and Inishturk are connected from Roonagh pier, outside Louisburgh. The Donegal islands of Arranmore and Tory island also have ferry services, as has Bere island, Cape Clear and Sherkin off Cork. How are the island transport services financed? The Government subsidises transport services to and from the islands. The Irish Coast Guard carries out medical evacuations, as to the RNLI lifeboats. Former Fianna Fáíl minister Éamon Ó Cuív is widely credited with improving transport services to and from offshore islands, earning his department the nickname "Craggy island".

Craggy Island is an bleak, isolated community located of the west coast, inhabited by Irish, a Chinese community and one Maori. Three priests and housekeeper Mrs Doyle live in a parochial house There is a pub, a very small golf course, a McDonald's fast food restaurant and a Chinatown... Actually, that is all fiction. Craggy island is a figment of the imagination of the Father Ted series writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, for the highly successful Channel 4 television series, and the Georgian style parochial house on the "island" is actually Glenquin House in Co Clare.

Yes, that is of the Plassey, a freighter which was washed up on Inis Oírr in bad weather in 1960.

There are some small privately owned islands,and islands like Inishlyre in Co Mayo with only a small number of residents providing their own transport. Several Connemara islands such as Turbot and Inishturk South have a growing summer population, with some residents extending their stay during Covid-19. Turbot island off Eyrephort is one such example – the island, which was first spotted by Alcock and Brown as they approached Ireland during their epic transatlantic flight in 1919, was evacuated in 1978, four years after three of its fishermen drowned on the way home from watching an All Ireland final in Clifden. However, it is slowly being repopulated

Responsibility for the islands was taking over by the Department of Rural and Community Development . It was previously with the Gaeltacht section in the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

It is a periodic bone of contention, as Ireland does not have the same approach to its islands as Norway, which believes in right of access. However, many improvements were made during Fianna Fáíl Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív's time as minister. The Irish Island Federation, Comdháil Oileáin na hÉireann, represents island issues at national and international level.

The 12 offshore islands with registered voters have long argued that having to cast their vote early puts them at a disadvantage – especially as improved transport links mean that ballot boxes can be transported to the mainland in most weather conditions, bar the winter months. Legislation allowing them to vote on the same day as the rest of the State wasn't passed in time for the February 2020 general election.

Yes, but check tide tables ! Omey island off north Connemara is accessible at low tide and also runs a summer race meeting on the strand. In Sligo, 14 pillars mark the way to Coney island – one of several islands bearing this name off the Irish coast.

Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire is the country's most southerly inhabited island, eight miles off the west Cork coast, and within sight of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse, also known as the "teardrop of Ireland".
Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast, which has a monastic site dating from the 6th century. It is accessible by boat – prebooking essential – from Portmagee, Co Kerry. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, it was not open to visitors in 2020.
All islands have bird life, but puffins and gannets and kittiwakes are synonymous with Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. Rathlin island off Antrim and Cape Clear off west Cork have bird observatories. The Saltee islands off the Wexford coast are privately owned by the O'Neill family, but day visitors are permitted access to the Great Saltee during certain hours. The Saltees have gannets, gulls, puffins and Manx shearwaters.
Vikings used Dublin as a European slaving capital, and one of their bases was on Dalkey island, which can be viewed from Killiney's Vico road. Boat trips available from Coliemore harbour in Dalkey. Birdwatch Ireland has set up nestboxes here for roseate terns. Keep an eye out also for feral goats.
Plenty! There are regular boat trips in summer to Inchagoill island on Lough Corrib, while the best known Irish inshore island might be the lake isle of Innisfree on Sligo's Lough Gill, immortalised by WB Yeats in his poem of the same name. Roscommon's Lough Key has several islands, the most prominent being the privately-owned Castle Island. Trinity island is more accessible to the public - it was once occupied by Cistercian monks from Boyle Abbey.

©Afloat 2020

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