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We wish our followers in Ireland and worldwide a very Happy Christmas, a prosperous New Year, and great sailing and boating in 2023.

Whether inshore or offshore, on sea, river, lake or canal, and whether local, regional, national or international, we look forward to covering your many enthusiastic specialities in 2023 and thank you for your high level of interest and warm support during 2022.

Nollaig shona daoibh go léir.

Published in News Update
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Dear Reader,

It was another busy year at Afloat.ie in 2022, and we want to express our thanks for your continued support.

Because of your generous backing and our other supporters, Afloat.ie reached 1.9m unique readers last year.

Our website dedicated to Irish sailing, boating and maritime issues reached this high watermark by informing and entertaining our engaged boating audience, something we aim to repeat as we head into 2023.

All of this is a testament to our tight-knit and active community of readers and Afloat. ie's combination of opinion, hard news and features put it at the very heart of the national — and increasingly international — conversation on sailing, boating and maritime affairs.

It's proof that our mission — to provide Irish sailing and boating clubs, classes and the wider maritime community with a comprehensive, reliable and independent platform promoting our great sport to the broad and connected audience only the internet provides — is genuinely working.

As we've said before, this success would not be possible without our full–time marine journalists, web developers, and, indeed, our advertisers and supporters dedicated to promoting Irish sailing and boating. Progress, like we have achieved to date, would not have been achievable without it.

As previously acknowledged, it remains a challenging climate for online media, particularly when it comes to monetisation.

Thanks to your support, however, we have not resorted to putting our content behind a paywall like other news websites — because we want to keep our marine journalism open to the widest possible audience, which we believe is one of the keys to our growth. The figures bear this out.

All of us at Afloat wish you the best for 2023, and we hope you will continue your valued support in the new year to come.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

Dear Reader,

Because of your and our other supporters' generous backing, Afloat.ie has had another record year for visitors, with a significant 13% increase on 2020 figures.

Our website dedicated to Irish sailing, boating and maritime issues reached another high watermark, informing and entertaining a larger boating audience than ever before, and is now set to repeat that as we head into 2022.

The latest statistics show unique visitors to the site are over 1.9 million — an unprecedented number in what remains a challenging climate for online media.

Afloat remains by far the most popular boating website with Irish readers.

The 2021 statistics for Afloat readership show unique 'visitors' to the site (top) and (above) the number of 'actions' (or 'hits') of those visitors.The 2021 statistics for Afloat readership show unique 'visitors' to the site (top) and (above) the number of 'actions' (or 'hits') of those visitors.

Ironically, despite the challenges in 2020 and 2021 with event cancellations due to COVID, interest in our boating and marine stories increased, which is reflected in many sections of the site. Afloat's popular online format has a strong returning readership, with nearly half of daily visits being repeat readers, and with strong social media engagement across our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.

Based on analytics, 75% of our traffic is from Ireland, with an excellent geographic spread across the Irish Sea and into the west coast of Britain.

Most encouragingly, nearly two-thirds (65+%) of Afloat.ie traffic now comes from mobile devices — an essential return on investment in the mobile site by our journalist and developer team.

What's more, our website bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page) of 22% is well below the industry average of 40% to 60%, according to HubSpot.Together, those numbers make a strong argument for Afloat.ie growing as the go-to resource for an engaged audience with sailing, boating and marine interests.

Our high authority in the boating market is reflected, too, in Google and other search engines indexing of our stories, giving them valuable reach beyond our core readership.

All of this is a testament not only to our tight-knit and active community of readers, but also Afloat.ie's combination of opinion, hard news and features, which puts it at the very heart of the national — and increasingly international — conversation on sailing, boating and maritime affairs.

This year's growth is the sixth consecutive year of increase since the site broke the one million readers marked in 2015.

It's proof positive that our mission — to provide Irish sailing and boating clubs, classes and the wider maritime community with a comprehensive, reliable and independent platform promoting our great sport to the wide and connected audience only the internet provides — is genuinely working.

This success, as we've said before, would not be possible without our full–time marine journalists and web developers, and indeed our advertisers and supporters who are dedicated to promoting Irish sailing and boating. Progress, as we have achieved to date, would not have been achievable without it.

Thanks to your support, however, we have not resorted to putting our content behind a paywall like other news websites — because we want to keep our marine journalism open to the widest possible audience, which we believe is one of the keys to our growth. The figures bear this out.

Wishing you the best for 2022

Stay safe

The Afloat team

Published in News Update
Tagged under

The Marine Institute has announced funding of €0.24 million for the first two Eoin Sweeney PhD Scholarships to run over the next four years.

This Scholarship Programme has been established by the Marine Institute and Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN) in memory of Eoin Sweeney (1947-2017), who made a significant contribution to developing Irish marine industry, particularly the ocean energy sector, including the establishment of test-bed sites off the west coast of Ireland that provides sea-state testing opportunities for researchers and technology developers.

This Scholarship Programme provides a unique training opportunity for the students using the state-of-the-art scientific facilities at the Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN) in Gran Canaria, Spain.

Dr José Joaquín Hernández-Brito, CEO said, “PLOCAN are delighted to collaborate with colleagues in Ireland on this Scholarship Programme. We are looking forward to hosting the students in due course, and wish to strengthen our existing research networks between Spain and Ireland together with exploring opportunities for future co-operation in ocean observation.”

The students will also benefit from access to the Marine Institute historical datasets, equipment and infrastructures including access to the national marine research vessels such as the new RV Tom Crean.

Congratulating the award recipients, Mick Gillooly, Director of Ocean Climate and Information Services in the Marine Institute said, “This is an exciting collaboration between the two Universities, PLOCAN and the Marine Institute that enables international collaboration and testing of novel technology, gliders and data buoys, to better understand our ocean ecosystems through long-term observations. Forecasting Ocean and Climate Change is a strategic focus area in the Marine Institute’s Strategic Plan and these scholarships will provide research data from a variety of locations and sea conditions, which will contribute to scientific advice to stakeholders backed up by high-quality peer-reviewed research.”

The awards funded are as follows:

PhD Project Title

Lead Organisation

Grant-Aid Funding Awarded  (for 4 years)             

Application of AUVs to studies on Diel cycles of ocean plankton and biogeochemistry in the Northeast Atlantic

NUI Galway

€120,000           

Wave-powered data buoy

Maynooth University

€120,000  


The students are expected to have commenced by July 2021, with their first visit to PLOCAN expected to take place in 2022 (dependent on government restrictions).

Funding for the Eoin Sweeney Scholarship Programme is provided by the Marine Institute and the Irish Government, funded under the Marine Research Programme. PLOCAN will provide support and host the scholars for two to three months per annum.

Published in Marine Science

Dear Reader,

At the end of another busy year at Afloat.ie in 2020, we want to express our thanks for your continued support.

Because of the generous backing from you and our other supporters, Afloat.ie is looking at another record year for visitors, with a significant 14% increase on 2019 figures.

Our website dedicated to Irish sailing, boating and maritime issues reached another high watermark, informing and entertaining a larger boating audience than ever before, and is now set to repeat that as we head into 2021.

The latest statistics show unique visitors to the site are over 1.6 million by year-end — a phenomenal number in what remains a challenging climate for online media.

2020 Stats for Afloat readershipsThe 2020 Statistics for Afloat readership showing unique 'visitors' to the site (top) and (above) the number of 'actions' or 'hits' of those visitors

Ironically, despite the challenges in 2020 with event cancellations due to COVID, interest in our boating and marine stories increased and this is reflected in many sections of the site. Afloat’s popular online format has a strong returning readership, with nearly half of daily visits being repeat readers, and with strong social media engagement.

Based on site analytics, 75% of our traffic is from Ireland, with a good geographic spread across the Irish Sea and into the west coast of Britain.

Most encouragingly, nearly two-thirds (65+%) of Afloat.ie traffic now comes from mobile devices — an important return on investment in the mobile site by our journalist and developer team.

What’s more, our website’s bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page) of 22% is well below the industry average of 40% to 60%, according to HubSpot.Together, those numbers make a strong argument for Afloat.ie growing as a go-to resource for an engaged audience with sailing, boating and marine interests.

Our high authority in the boating market is reflected, too, in Google and other search engines’ quick indexing of our stories, giving them valuable reach beyond our core readership.

All of this is a testament not only to our tight-knit and active community of readers, but also Afloat.ie’s combination of opinion, hard news and features which puts it at the very heart of the national — and increasingly international — conversation on sailing, boating and maritime affairs.

The growth this year is the fifth consecutive year of increase since the site broke the one million readers mark in 2015.

Last year marked the first time reader numbers broke the 1.5m barrier, and now that figure is climbing even higher. It’s proof positive that our mission — to provide Irish sailing and boating clubs, classes and the wider maritime community with a comprehensive, reliable and independent platform promoting our great sport to the wide and connected audience only the internet provides — is truly working.

This success, as we’ve said before, would not be possible without our full–time marine journalists and web developers, and indeed our advertisers and supporters who are dedicated to promoting Irish sailing and boating. Progress, like we have achieved to date, would not have been achievable without it.

As previously acknowledged, it remains a challenging climate for online media, particularly when it comes to monetisation.

Thanks to your support, however, we have not resorted to putting our content behind a paywall like other news websites — because we want to keep our marine journalism open to the widest possible audience, which we believe is one of the keys to our growth. The figures bear this out.

All of us at Afloat wish you the best for Christmas and 2021, and hope you will continue your valued support in the new year to come.

Stay safe

The Afloat team

Published in News Update
Tagged under

There will be two Afloat newsletters over the Christmas period. One on Friday, December 27th and the other on Friday, January 3rd.

The e-news highlights the latest content from popular sections of our website. Read previous editions here.

The daily enews returns on January 7th. 

Keep an eye out for regular boating updates on Afloat.ie and our social media channels over the festive season.

Sign up for the enews in the right-hand column of Afloat's home page.

Happy Christmas to all our readers.

Published in News Update
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This 64-page full-colour A4 magazine includes a review of 2019 plus all the details for 2020 Afloat and all your latest sailing news in time for Christmas! BUY IT HERE!

Order your copy online now at €8 plus €2.50 shipping fee in Ireland and UK – click HERE to order.

We'll post all orders received daily up til December 23rd! for Christmas delivery!

Published in News Update
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In a survey of competitors at the 2019 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay, 60% of respondents said the Irish boating portal 'Afloat.ie' was their 'go-to' website for Irish sailing & boating news.

Nearly 200 sailors were polled from the 500-boat international regatta fleet that attracts sailors from across Ireland and the UK.

In reply to the single question: 'What's your go-to resource for Irish sailing and boating news?', 117 or 60.31% responded 'Afloat'.

The popular UK magazine site 'Yachts and Yachting' accounted for 30 or 15.46%.

Club or association websites totalled 26 or 13.4%.

Last December, Afloat reported statistics showing unique visitors to the site were heading for 1.3 million per annum.

Afloat’s popular online format has a strong returning readership, with half of daily visits being repeat readers, and with strong social media engagement.

Based on-site analytics, 70% of Afloat web traffic is from Ireland, with a good geographic spread across the Irish Sea and into the west coast of Britain. It is a result that tallies with the weekend survey at Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

Read more on Afloat here.

Published in News Update
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#Rowers of the Month: Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan are the Afloat rowers of the month for June. Both brothers showed outstanding form at Cork Regatta. Paul O’Donovan won the single sculls. In the heats, Gary had not been the next fastest, but come the final the elder O’Donovan brother was second only to Paul. The two raced in the double, where they were tested by Fintan and Jake McCarthy, but came through with the win.

 The O’Donovans were run close by David O’Malley and Shane Mulvaney. The UCD pair were outstanding at Cork Regatta. They won the pairs title, beating world lightweight champions Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan, and they slotted into the UCD four which also won. O’Malley and Mulvaney form the Ireland lightweight pair in a strong team for the World Under-23 Championships this month. The O’Donovans, who went on to reach the final at Henley Royal Regatta, head for the World Cup in Lucerne next weekend (July 13th to 15th). Good luck to all those competing in this busy month.

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2018 champions list grow.

Published in Rower of Month

#Rower of the Month: The Afloat Rower of the Month for February is Paul O’Donovan. The Skibbereen quartet of Mark O’Donovan, Shane O’Driscoll, Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan warmed slowly to their task in competing in the New Zealand Rowing Championships. The arrival of coach Dominic Casey helped. When finals came around, they won a bronze medal as a four. But topping this achievement was that of Paul O’Donovan in the Premier Single Sculls. The lightweight world champion mixed it with two of the top heavyweights in the world: O’Donovan finished third, just a few boat lengths behind Robbie Manson, who in 2017 set the world’s fastest time, and ahead of Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale.

 The achievement makes Paul O’Donovan the Afloat Rower of the Month.

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2018 champions list grow.

https://www.facebook.com/WorldRowing/videos/10160199271930651/

Published in Rower of Month
Page 1 of 7

As an island economy, a healthy maritime sector is key to our national competitiveness. Virtually all our imports and exports pass through Irish ports.

Ireland is dependent on ports and shipping services to transport goods and 90% of our trade is moved though Irish ports. Shipping and maritime transport services make a significant contribution to Ireland’s ocean economy, with the sector generating €2.3 billion in turnover and employing over 5,000 people in 2018.

Ireland’s maritime industry continues to grow and progress each year with Irish ports and shipping companies making significant investments. The ports sector in Ireland is currently undergoing a number of expansions and developments with Dublin Port’s Alexandra Basin development, the development of Ringaskiddy in Cork by Port of Cork and the development of Shannon Foynes Port. Along with these major investments, shipping companies are also investing heavily in new tonnage, with Irish Ferries, CLdN and Stena leading new build programmes.

These pages cover the following sectoral areas: shipowners, harbour authorities, shipbrokers, freight forwarders and contractors, cruise liner operators, port users, seamen, merchants, academic institutions, shipyards and repair facilities, naval architects, navy and defence personnel.

Our pages are covering some of the most notable arrivals around our coast and reporting too on port development and shipping news.

This section of the site deals with Port and Shipping News on our largest ports Dublin Port, Port of Cork, the Shannon Estuary, Galway Harbour and Belfast Lough.

A recent study carried out for the Irish Ports Association (IPA) totalled 75.7 billion during 2004 and their net economic impact was some 5.5 billion supporting around 57, 500 full time employees.

Liam Lacey, Director of the Marine Institute’s Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) said, “The Irish maritime industry can look to the future with confidence. It has shown itself to be resilient and agile in responding to challenges. Over the past decade, it has had to respond to the challenges of the financial crisis of 2008, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and recent challenges. Ireland’s maritime sector has continued to underpin our economy by maintaining vital shipping links for both trade and tourism.”