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Displaying items by tag: Dinghy

#cityone – This year's Gandelow Races to be held at Howley's Quay, in Limerick City Centre at 1.30pm Saturday 20th September includes a special event: The CityOne Limerick Sailing Challenge, which involves the launch and racing of the new, spectacular performance sailing boats designed for racing between the bridges of Limerick. As Afloat previously reported the design of the boat is from the drawing board of Theo Rye.

The event is also attracting big interest from Gandelow teams in Limerick City and County and County Clare.

The first race starts at 1.30pm at Howley's Quay, Limerick.

Published in Inland Waterways
Tagged under

#dinghycruise – As previewed by Afloat.ie, last Saturday four visiting and five local GP14 dinghies crewed by 21 seafarers and two sea dogs set off from Youghal quay in County Cork at low water on the second annual Y2V Blackwater river cruise writes Norman Lee.

Molly the younger sea dog soon got the hang of scrambling to windward on almost every tack but sometimes preferred to stay to leeward to view the wildlife better and she probably set the tone for the many pre teen crews getting a taste for competitive/fun sailing in their respective dads racing machines.

The youngest boat was a beautiful Duffin built this year for Simon Culley and Libby Tierney of Blessington and the oldest, a lovely Bell Woodworking boat nearly 60–years–old and still in perfect fettle, now owned by 16–year–old Jack Nolan of Youghal.

One Mermaid and one Feva came along for the trip which included forming part of the backdrop for a society wedding in Ballintra House a classic yellow mansion, where a band serenaded us as we sailed by on a wide sweep of the river.

Villierstown Boating & Activities Club members at their brand new three week old facility on the riverbank couldn't do enough to make us welcome with hot soup tea and sambos and home cookies when we arrived and a massive fry on Sunday morning and free run of their facilities for the duration.

The value these guys have got from their sports council grant is unbelievable and great credit to all concerned and the welcome the GP visitors get in both Villierstown and Youghal makes it very possible this will be a well attended new addition to the annual GP circuit where the utility design of our boat comes to the fore.

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GP14s berth on the river bank

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Molly, just one of two seadogs on the cruise keeps a look out

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Getting the tents ready at the new Villierstown clubhouse

 More on dinghy cruising possibilities here:  Is 'Adventure Sailing' a New Tack for Dinghy Sailors?

Published in GP14

#Rescue - Lifeboat volunteers on the Dorset coast went to the rescue of a man attempting to sail to America in a 14ft dinghy, as NewsTalk.ie reports.

Mudeford RNLI were launched after reports from a passing yacht that had concerns about the solo offshore boater.

On arrival, the lifeboat crew found the Bulgarian national on the dinghy was "exceedingly cold, wet and violently ill" yet was refusing their assistance.

They soon ascertained that the 30-year-old man, who has a US visa, had bought the dinghy earlier that day, packed it with some meagre supplies – without any suitable safety equipment or navigation aids – and set out to cross the Atlantic.

"He would have died [if we left him there," said lifeboat crewman Pete Dadds. "He was severely sea sick, he had the first signs of hypothermia and his boat was filling up with water."

NewsTalk.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#abersochdinghyweek – The dinghy is dead? Think again. Across the Irish Sea in North Wales, Abersoch dinghy week has had its biggest entry since 2007.

It promised to be bigger and better and, with 273 entries across 51 fleets the Crewsaver Abersoch Dinghy Week 2014 was certainly an event not to be missed.

The extremely warm weather enabled the competitors to top up their sun tans! This did however result in light winds all week. This did not dampen the sailors' spirits with hot sun, sea & sand there was still plenty of fun to be had.

This year saw the successful introduction of a smaller course with committee boat starts for the Topper, Tera and Optimist fleets, resulting in the spectacular sight of 50 youth boats enjoying the competitive side to sailing.

Crewsaver Abersoch Dinghy Week Organiser Andy Teague says 'I am amazed at the number of entries with competitors coming from as near as Pwllheli and as far as Dubai. I would like to thank everyone for making it such a great event.'

Hannah Burywood, Marketing Coordinator for Crewsaver comments 'Crewsaver Abersoch Dinghy Week is an extremely well organised, enjoyable event that every dinghy sailor should have noted in their calendar.'

With this in mind jot the 2015 date in your calendar: Registration, 25th July 2015 Sailing, 26th - 31st July 2015. Could Ireland revive its own dinghy week concept?

Complete results here

Published in Racing
Tagged under

#GP14World – There's less than a month to go before the start of the GP14 World Championships to be held at East Down Yacht Club.

This biennial event will see one of the biggest fleets of single class twin crew dinghies assemble in Northern Ireland this year. With an international following the event has attracted around 200 competitors (Helm and Crew) some from as far away as Australia. Hosted by East Down Yacht Club (EDYC) the event will take place on Strangford Lough with races being held daily over the week-long event. The main sponsor of the event is Down District Council with Exe Sails the title sponsor and to mark their involvement Exe Sails are offering a promotional discount on their GP14 Sails especially for the event.

With previous World Championships being held in locations such as Sri Lanka (2011) and future Championships planned for Barbados (2016) this it is a brilliant opportunity for Northern Ireland to showcase Strangford Lough and the surrounding area. Designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty and an area of special scientific interest, Strangford Lough is one of Northern Ireland lesser known "Hidden Gems" Strangford Lough while almost totally landlocked is completely tidal, providing a sanctuary for seals, porpoises, terns, horse mussels, and many other species of wildlife. With moderate currents and sheltered from ocean swell, the mid-lough provides some of the best waters for dinghy racing anywhere in the world.

The Exe Sails GP14 world Championship event will consist of two races held each day, and with approximately 100 boats jostling for starting position this should make for some fantastic and exciting racing. This will be an amazing spectacle especially when the fleet has hoisted their multi-coloured spinnakers on "a run" between marks. Prizes will be awarded daily and on the final Friday the Grand Prizes will be awarded prior to the Gala Dinner event held at EDYC.

Much preparation has been ongoing behind the scenes with volunteer teams dedicated to logistics, accommodation and catering for both competitors and organisers. A dedicated fleet of around 10 safety boats (RIBs) will also be on the water each day, all of which should provide for a smooth successful safe and enjoyable event.

The good news is it's not too late to enter as the closing deadline has been extended to the 1st August 2014 Application forms are available from the GP14World Face Book or East Down Yacht Club web site. Each Crew will be given a registration pack on arrival and having seen a sneak preview there are some nice goodies in there.

Lying in the shelter of Taggart island, a couple of miles north of Killyleagh at the south end of the lough, East Down Yacht Club provides will provide superb facilities for the expected 100 plus GP14s, with hard standing for 150 dinghies, a wide gentle slip, bar and dining facilities, along with grounds for camping this will be one great event. Contact East Down Yacht Club directly for accommodation availability at the club or at nearby facilities.

The GP14 Dingy was designed by Jack Holt in 1949. The idea behind the design was to build a General Purpose (GP) 14-foot dinghy which could be cruised, raced or rowed, capable of being powered effectively by a small outboard motor and able to be towed behind a small family car and able to be launched and recovered reasonably easily. Such was the effectiveness of the design the GP14 Class has continued to this day with active fleets in the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and parts of north-eastern USA.

For more information and promotional offers, along with daily race results, photographs and video of each day's events you can follow the 2014 GP14 World Championships on twitter @GP14World or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/gp14world

Published in GP14

#cityone – The Ilen School CityOne Design Competition invites designers to submit designs for the sails and hull of a new CityOne performance sailing dinghy. Four of these CityOne dinghies are currently under construction through an innovative social educational programme in Limerick City.

As Afloat reported previously, The CityOne dinghy is a new performance dinghy, developed by the Ilen School and designed by naval architect Theo Rye as a legacy project of Limerick City of Culture 2014.

This exciting and challenging competition is open to all designers and high levels of creative freedom are encouraged for the task of designing a concept for application to the hull and sails.

Submissions must be sent by email to [email protected] There is no entry fee.

Three designs will be chosen by a judging panel and each single participant and group design chosen will receive €500* and enjoy the opportunity of seeing their designs creatively applied to the City One sail and hull before they take to the water for racing on the River Shannon, Limerick. The judging panel may also award additional non-monetary, special mentions.

Closing date for submissions Friday 25th July 2014. More on this on the City One competition page here.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#laserforsale – A vintage 1977 example of one of the most popular single-handed dinghy designs in the world is for sale on Afloat boats for sale site at €950. Fully equipped and with top cover this Laser dinghy (Sail number 43338) is ready to sail away, according to seller Michael, who also offers delivery for a modest fee. Click for more details and specification on this retro Laser for sale.

Published in Laser
Tagged under

#woodenboat – The wonderful world of Ireland's wooden boats is a winding trail. W M Nixon went to West Clare to see one boat, but unexpectedly happened upon another with which he was totally smitten. Then he found the original objective of his travels was even better than expected. And finally back home, he found the project to re-create Asgard's 10ft dinghy from 1905 has produced a gem of classic boat-building.

With Sally O'Keeffe, it's love at first sight. I defy anyone to resist the allure of this shapely beauty.

You may have heard of this community project in southwest Clare, to build a replica of the working cutters which used to ply their trade in the demanding waters of the Shannon Estuary. And like me, you may even have noted with pleasure that the designer to the project was Myles Stapleton of Malahide, the great unsung star of Irish naval architecture, who has never drawn an unharmonious line in his life.

Yet like me, while you may have been aware that the boat was first launched in 2012, somehow neither of us has ever been in the presence of this remarkable little ship. And this despite the fact that she has been cutting a swathe through the fleet at classic and traditional events between Galway Bay and Baltimore for the past year and more.

Even with all this, I was actually trying to find the whereabouts of another new wooden boat entirely when I stumbled upon Sally O'Keeffe - newly-launched in Kilrush last Saturday - and was instantly smitten. For she's only gorgeous. She looks so utterly right, she's mad keen to sail which she does very well indeed, and she brings much pleasure to everyone involved. This has to be the community project par excellence. But then, Querrin in West Clare is a genuine community par excellence, an idea and vision as much as a place.

It's spread out on your left down towards the Shannon Estuary as you enter the Loop Peninsula, which is Ireland's ultimate place apart. Loop Head's island atmosphere is very marked, with the extensive but shallow Poulnasherry Bay west of Kilrush pushing northwest deep into the land, almost to Kilkee. Thus places like Querrin, until well into the 19th Century and even later, were much reliant on goods being landed at and exported from their little quays.

The Shannon Estuary is a mighty highway, but with the biggest tides in Ireland – 5.6 metres range at top of springs – the workboats carrying the vital goods had to be multi-functional and capable of taking aboard diverse cargoes. Not least of the requirements was a good all-round sailing ability, for although the Galway Hookers away to the north largely plied their trade by reaching back and forth across Galway Bay from Connemara to the Aran Islands, the Shannon Hookers had to excel in windward ability in order to sneak along inside the inevitable foul tides, and weather the increasingly difficult headlands which they encountered as they made their way west. Thus the boats which regularly sailed to Querrin were among the most able on the estuary, and long after the last of them sailed, the folk memory of their significance lingers on.

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Querrin at the heart of things. Once you get west of Poulnasherry Bay, you're in the remote island-like atmosphere of the Loop Head Peninsula. Loop Head itself is another six miles west of the left edge of this map

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Sally O'Keeffe provided a formidable design challenge for Myles Stapleton, as he had to create a roomy and high freeboard hull which still managed to incorporate elegant curves, yet all within an overall hull length of only 25ft. And of course, she had to sail very well too. Photo: W M Nixon

It was thought that the ribs of one of the old sailing workboats were sticking out of the mud at Blackwater Bridge on the road approaching Querrin from Moyasta. So as a local Querrin Sailing group began to gain traction, they got the notion of getting those last remains out of the mud, and restoring a proper Shannon Hooker to be the flagship of their little fleet, and the focus of a worthwhile community project in boat-building.

Perhaps it's as well the old wreck proved to be no more than shallow-water cot, for this seeming disappointment led eventually to designer Myles Stapleton and a magnificent but manageable project to build a new 25ft Shannon Hooker, using ancient photos and old drawings to re-create the best of the type.

In Querrin, Ned Griffin lent his fine shed up the hill for building the new boat, and as she took shape he also came up with the perfect name. In the 19th Century, Sally O'Keeffe had been the wife of a Querrin-based sailing workboat skipper, and she was a woman still remembered. It's a name of great style, but lest anyone think it's just too good to be true, let it be known that in 2012 as the new boat was making her debut, didn't Sally O'Keeffe's grandson – aged a hundred – return from America to give his blessing?

The building had started in 1910, and this Seol Sionna project drew on many sources and much voluntary labour, both within southwest Clare and further afield, to reach completion. They had the benefit of the extensive knowledge of traditional craftwork guru Cristoir Mac Carthaigh, who may be best known for his work in traditional boats, but if you've a bit of old-style thatching in mind, he can help you there too.

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Some of the team at Querrin Sailing who built and sail the Sally O'Keeffe. Seen aboard on launching day at Kilrush are (left to right) Joe Hassett, Criostoir Mac Carthaigh, Michael O'Connell, Stephen Morris, Dixie Collins, Fintan Ryan, John Kennedy and Stephen Courage. Photo: W M Nixon

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Steve Morris. Photo: W M Nixon

As for the building team, the trainee boatbuilders ranged in age from 16 to 80. It all became very possible thanks to Steve Morris, a fully-qualified New Zealand boatbuilder who came to Ireland a long time ago while taking a world backpack tour, and somehow stayed. He got involved in the building of the Jeannie Johnston on Tralee Bay in 1986, and for several years now he has lived near the shores of Poulnasherry Bay, and is a pillar of the maritime scene locally and nationally.

Steve served a full five year apprenticeship in boat-building in Auckland, so the community boat-builders of Querrin have had guidance and teaching of gold standard. In fact, thanks to Steve's input and the enormous goodwill and enthusiasm which the project engendered, it's doubtful if she could have been better built anywhere else in Ireland, while this video of him demonstrating caulking skills shows the standards to which they worked.

The ethos underlying the project has been eloquently articulated by Richard "Dixie" Collins, another of the key movers and shakers in Querrin Sailing:

"This is very much a community project from Loop Head peninsula. A keen, salty group who are sharing skills and enthusiasm for getting out on the ocean, to a place with a big sky and lots going on. There is training in seafaring skills for people who have never been out in a boat, and we provide trips to islands, and old piers which were built for boats like this in another time.

Our logo is taken from a gravestone in Scattery Island church of a boat-builder by the name of O'Mahony in 1832. In this small rural part of the western seaboard, we have built a sailing boat which we can maintain ourselves, and we offer sailing opportunities for everyone in the area for a five euro contribution to the club. An important outcome is the capacity building with new relationships, generational sharing of learning and having a right good time ourselves. It strengthens our sense of community, and is a shared credit to the collective efforts of everyone."

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Despite the robust hull's obvious sailing power, Sally O'Keeffe needs only one hand on the tiller.

As the Sally O'Keeffe was going to be kept undecked with her hull limited to 25ft overall, for safety reasons they had to ask Myles Stapleton to give her quite high freeboard. It says everything about his skills as a creator of good-looking boats that despite the high freeboard – which has proven a Godsend in both the Estuary and on some remarkable and swift coastal passages on the open Atlantic north to Galway and south to Baltimore – the Sally O'Keeffe has a tremendously vigorous style to her appearance. It lifts the spirits just to see the sweep of her sheer and the elegant way in which the transom stern is incorporated in a sweet yet powerful run aft.

In 2013 she sailed forth more than seventy times, and while the highlights were the voyages to Galway and Baltimore, the essence of her popularity is the shorter jaunts within the Estuary, captured very effectively on this brief video by John Collins taken aboard after overnighting with a camp on Canon Island.


Despite a tiller of only average length, she is easily steered – in fact, "finger-tip control" is the theme of much of her sailing. As for her speed, it has pleasantly surprised everyone involved, and the visit to Baltimore found the little 25-footer from the Shannon pacing with or even over-taking the 33ft mackerel yawls from West Cork.

The Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival (this year's is from 23rd-25th May) is the gathering of the crème de la crème of Ireland's wooden boatbuilders. The very fact that they can be up and running so early in the season is proof they're the tops, but as the Baltimore maritime calendar is so full of events, this is when the timber tribe has to take to the seas, even if many older wooden boats elsewhere in Ireland seldom put a toe out until June.

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At the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2013, Sally O'Keeffe found herself pacing with the larger 33ft West Cork mackerel yawl

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Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival gathers the crème de la crème of the traditional and classic boat-building brotherhood. This is Rui Ferreira of Ballydehob sailing the Castlehaven Ette Class dinghy which he built, with Sally O'Keeffe in the background making her Baltimore Debut

Meanwhile, nearer home, Querrin Regatta is today. That's right, Saturday May 10th. Unfortunately the weather prospects aren't great, with the jet stream squatting over Ireland like some vast demented dragon. But at least the Sally O'Keeffe is in proper order, as she demonstrated during some heavy weather sailing in the Estuary on Bank Holiday Monday. And the famous West Clare racing currachs are up for it too – last Sunday we saw one of the renowned Doonbeg racing currachs in intensive training off their little port, where the inner reaches now have a handy pontoon in a pool in the river.

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The western way. Racing currach at Doonbeg in training on Sunday morning. Photo: W M Nixon

One local boat which definitely won't be at today's Querrin Regatta is the reason we ended up in Kilrush in the first place. This is Steve Morris's own special pet, and it was Kim Roberts of Askeaton who suggested that this was worth seeing. It certainly is. He has taken a classic Harrison Butler Khamseen design, which is remarkably like an anticipation of Lyle Hess designs like Fred Schotman's Raven from the Netherlands which was in Dublin Bay last year, and is creating his dreamship at home.

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The port side of Steve Morris's 31ft Harrison Butler design looking forward, with the rich texture of the Alpine larch glowing through. Photo: W. M. Nixon

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Don't try this at home.....Steve Morris has managed to fit this 31ft hull into the garage beside his house. Photo: W M Nixon

Steve is building this honey of a boat in multi-skin, using dark dense Alpine larch, the leftovers of a consignment of timber which was brought in from Austria for the building of Jeanie Johnston. The man works so neatly that he has managed to fit the entire project into the admittedly spacious garage beside his house near Moyasta, and the workshop is one of those spiritually-enhancing places which are a balm for the soul.

Particularly impressive is the perfectly-shaped lead ballast keel which fits so well into Harrison Butler's flowing lines. And it's typical of this job too. For when I asked him who made the form and cast the keel for him, he was surprised by the question, as the answer simply is: "I did it myself, right here on site".

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"No problem". The lead ballast keel was cast on site. Photo: W M Nixon

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Even with quite a large garage, it's very difficult to get a photo showing all of a 31ft boat. Starboard side looking aft. Photo: W M Nixon

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Although the Metacentric Shelf theory of hull design to which Harrison Butler subscribed has been large disproved, he still produced hulls of balanced performance with transom sterns which didn't drag half the ocean after them. Photo: W M Nixon

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A dartboard is an essential in any boatbuilding shed. You need something to keep you well away from the job while glue is setting. Photo: W M Nixon

Using "leftover" timber for boat-building projects is an appropriate theme as we emerge from recessionary times. After John Kearon and his team had made such a fine job of conserving Asgard, there were bits and pieces of well-seasoned leftover wood, and they provided enough timber for Pat Murphy and his group of support volunteers to put in train the building of a replica of Asgard's original 1905 10ft dinghy, designed by Colin Archer himself.

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Asgard's dinghy starts to get the finishing treatment. Photo: W M Nixon

It was Fingal boatbuilder Larry Archer (absolutely no relation to the great designer, we're told) who put the little boat together. Like Myles Stapleton when he was tidying up the original drawings of Asgard's lines for a book two decades ago, Larry was very impressed with the way Archer's mind worked, as he designed the transom of the little boat to sit clear of the water when carrying a normal load, thus enabling her to slip easily along without leaving a wake like the inside of a washing machine.

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Pat Murphy with Asgard's dinghy. After leading the creation of this little beauty, he understandably has mixed feels about putting her in rugged salt water. Photo: W M Nixon

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Classic construction and finish detail up forward. Photo: W M Nixon

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The interior in the stern – for a ten footer, she is remarkably detailed, particularly where the required twist is put into the planking to maintain a sweet run aft. Photo: W M Nixon

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With a clever design to keep the transom clear of the water when the boat is carrying a normal load, Colin Archer created an easily driven yet workmanlike hull. Photo: W M Nixon

It's a remarkable bit of boat design, but with the dry timber it was the very devil to build in the necessary twists.. However, it was done in the end, and the new boat emerged in all her glory, exquisitely finished in classic varnishwork by Pat Murphy and George Elliott, with Neville Maguire making an impressive job of restoring an old set of oars to match the style.

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Public debut – Agard's dinghy at Howth Prawn Festival. Photo: Pat Murphy

Asgard's dinghy made her public debut at the Howth Prawn Festival a fortnight ago, and was a star of the show. But the trouble is that when you get a boat finished to this standard, the very thought of putting her into rugged salt water is not appealing. Pat and his team accept the fact that the Asgard dinghy will have to go afloat for the Erskine & Molly Childers Asgard Centenary at Howth on Sunday July 27th. But for now they're much happier just admiring this gem as she shines in the shed, safe from the sea. And who can blame them?

Published in W M Nixon

#dbsc – The country's largest yacht racing club is surveying members on dinghy sailing requirements and has also moved to correct a perception that it operates an 'age bar'.

It follows a national debate on the state of dinghy racing that has led to sweeping change at the Irish Sailing Association.

Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Commodore Pat Shannon says that the perception the club does not cater for under 18s has taken hold but it is not the case. 

Writing on the DBSC website Shannon says 'The DBSC committee would like to make it clear to members, potential members, junior organisers and the wider community generally that such emphatically is not the case. It's a perception but an incorrect one.'

Shannon points to the fact that many boats on the DBSC register (of which there are over 300 and 1200 members) are crewed and sailed by young people under 18. At least three members of the current DBSC committee have sailed on DBSC keelboats since childhood. DBSC activities were recently reviewed by Afloat blogger WM Nixon.

It appears the misapprehension is perhaps understandable though, for while the Club throughout its history has welcomed all comers to membership, regardless of creed, gender or class distinctions, it no longer organises races for juniors. It did so in the past and, when support for this activity declined, joined the Dun Laoghaire clubs in organising the September Sunday series. It still provides logistical support – ribs and access to its results system and web site – but recently it decided not to be classed among the organisers.

This was prompted by the realisation that with the growing emphasis on child protection and parental involvement DBSC was not in a position to accept legal responsibility for an activity which was outside their competence and remit. The feeling was that the waterfront clubs, which were more closely and personally involved in the formation of young sailors, were in a better position to accept this responsibility.

Where some issues might arise with its present programme is with the Club's PY class. In recent times it has provided racing for a variety of Lasers (including Radials and 4.7s), OK Dinghies, RS200s and RS400s, Wayfarers and GP14s. Boats that are sailed uniquely by juniors such as Optimists and Toppers don't easily fit this particular mix. Not for reasons of safety, exactly, but because of potential race management and course setting problems on courses on which they would have to race alongside high performing boats like Flying 15s and Fireballs.

Shannon adds: 'I should add that DBSC, in common with sailing clubs everywhere, is having to review its dinghy programme. As part of this process, dinghy boat owners and others who might be concerned are currently receiving an on-line questionnaire asking for feed-back on the service provided'.  The questionnaire is here.

Another dimension is that, with continuing austerity and the need to control its cost base, DBSC committee early this year decided to undertake a long-term strategic review of its racing programme – aiming perhaps for a consolidation of courses, with keelboats and dinghies racing from the a single committee vessel on adjoining or perhaps concentric circuits.

Published in DBSC

#cityone – A new Irish sailing dinghy design, the LC1, is under construction in Limerick which promoters say will have a 'lively performance but at the same time, the relatively broad beam and inherent stability should mean it is not difficult for the inexperienced.

The City One Limerick Dinghy from the AK. Ilen Company is designed for use on the Shannon as it passes through the city and opens into estuary on its way to the Atlantic. The LC1's launch will tie in with celebrations of Limerick's 2014 City of Culture celebrtations.

The design of the boat is from the drawing board of Theo Rye.

The keel of the LC1 is laid and according to the latest progress reports the keel of the prototype is laid, and within the next few weeks, some of the world's 'finest craftsmen' from New Zealand, North America and elsewhere will be in the Ilen Boat Building School working in conjunction with Limerick's boatmen on the project.

The design marries traditional and modern design elements. Most modern dinghies are factory made in fiberglass or plastic. The LC1's hull is specifically for relatively simple construction in timber and plywood with a hard chine and constant radius underside.

Many thousands of dinghies of this type were built in the 1950s and 60s, often by amateurs at home. The relative simplicity of the design means no especially difficult boatbuilding skills will be necessary, so the satisfaction of construction is brought into the reach of nearly anyone with enthusiasm and time. The pride of achievement in helping build a boat and then sailing it will excite and interest children and adults, and there are numerous benefits and educational opportunities associated with this process. The materials specified are reasonably cheap and easy to source.

The use of epoxy to coat the timber and fillet the ply together, and the painted finish, will help reduce the maintenance and upkeep often associated with wooden boats, and any repairs necessary should be simple to do as well. The design is also intended to quickly self-drain after righting from a capsize, a feature of many modern designs; "coming up dry" has the benefit of allowing the boats to be left safely on moorings afloat without covers if necessary.

The raked stem reflects that this design is not driven by a rating rule;the stem allows the bow to retain buoyancy when driven hard, and it often means a less abrupt stop in the event of a collision, too. That points to the intention that the boat should be user friendly both for novices as well as more experienced sailors.

In the right hands, the design should enable lively performance and keen racing; but at the same time, the relatively broad beam and
inherent stability should mean it is not difficult or intimidating for the inexperienced or less confident.

The hull shape is intended to be tolerant of crew weight, and allow crews of two, three or even four people, making it a design suitable for teaching sailing with an instructor on board. The high boom and "gnav" mean there is less likelihood of knocking heads with the boom or kicking-strap, and the clear Mylar sails enable good visibility.

The size of the jib is such that even relatively small crew members should find it easy to trim, and without a trapeze no special athleticism is required. The simple layout and lack of complexity in the rig should also mean rigging is quick and easy, helping get people onto the water rapidly and easily.

The Shannon river has always been central to the history and life of Limerick, and sailing right in the center of the city should reawaken an awareness of its fundamental marine and riverine dimension and perspective.

The unique topography of the area brings its own challenges: balancing the need for a relatively generous sail plan to keep the boat moving in the lee of the city buildings with the requirement for a user-friendly and safe boat to sail in relatively confined waters.

The confines of the river mean short legs and lots of manoeuvres, so the hull is rockered to enable quick tacks; there is no spinnaker. The design is also intended for safety in less sheltered waters like the lower Shannon estuary. The relatively high freeboard and built in buoyancy should make it safe under reasonable conditions on any stretch of water from sea to lake to river.

More on this from the AK. Ilen Company here: www.ilen.ie

Published in Irish Sailing Classes
Page 5 of 13

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