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As soon as the sea fog lifted on Dublin Bay this evening, it revealed a magnificent 112–foot Swan type yacht, Song of the Sea, at anchor in Scotsman's Bay on the south side of the capital's waters.

The sailing yacht with a €5m price–tag can accommodate six guests in three cabins with an interior design by Nautor Swan and an exterior design by German Frers.

The British registered 2002–built navy hulled yacht travelled up the Irish Sea before anchoring just off Dun Laoghaire and moving later into the town marina. 

It's the second exotic nautical visitor to Dun Laoghaire this week. On Monday, an exclusive classic motor-yacht at 262–ft long and almost 90–years–old, arrived into the harbour and remains berthed there at St. Michael's Wharf.

Published in Dublin Bay

Last week, Boat Sales Blogger was looking at a Rival 41 with proven ocean-going and world-girdling credentials, and an accommodation layout with serious seafaring in mind writes W M Nixon. This week, we look at a boat of broadly similar overall size, yet although this particular vintage of the Bavaria 42 is well able for seagoing and several have crossed oceans, her layout is such that she will give best value when cleverly cruised along beautiful coastlines with comfortable nights berthed in port or at anchor in a snug haven.

As she dates from 1989, she’s from the period when Bavaria’s in-house designer Axel Mohnhaupt was producing relatively hefty craft which weren’t afraid of having that inbuilt level of displacement which brings it own reassuring comfort and seakindliness with it.

Twenty-eight years ago, nearly all the volume boatbuilders were providing craft which were generally heavier than those that they build nowadays. And though the newer boats may please the company accountants, as weight is expensive, while the marketing folk might like to promote the zippier performance which lighter displacement may provide, for a sensible cruising person a bit of weight in the right place makes all the difference to day-in, day-out liveability.

That said, the reason we suggest this boat gives of her cruising best when port is made each night is because the main stateroom is forward. And that stateroom does indeed provide affordable luxury. But it wouldn’t feel at all luxurious when the boat is thrashing to windward out at sea at night, whereas nights in port would have real style to them.

She’s located plumb in the middle of an area where a host of anchorages can be reached with a comfortable day sail, for although Hugh Mockler of Crosshaven Boatyard is the agent, this Bavaria 42 is in Lawrence Cove Marina on Bere Island in Bantry Bay. As Spring begins to creep in, you could have a most enjoyable scenery-laden weekend just going to see her. And with a price of €54,500, there’s more of interest than just spectacular scenery. Then too, she’s a classically handsome boat with it. For although the in-house design team looked after the details, I’ve a feeling she’s of that generation of Bavarias where the hulls were designed by Doug Peterson, no less.

See the full advert here

Published in Boat Sales

The Howth Yacht Club hosted the Classic One-Design Regatta - incorporating the National Championships of the Dublin Bay Mermaid and Howth 17 Footer classes. Download Mermaid results below. Even before you could see them, the vapour of varnish bumbled over the hills and lowlands into Howth. Facebook updates from sailors on motorways passing shiny timber creations confirmed that the Mermaids were officially on tour. Some arrived under cover of darkness and were only noticed early on Thursday morning with a full dinghy pen. Little sailors, just starting out on their sailing careers, couldn't even see over the gunwhales of these big dinghies. They oohed and ahhed at boats made from "actual timber?"

Twenty-three Mermaids were weighed and plopped into Howth Harbour. Some of them had been here relatively recently (1953!) and wondered who had stolen Howth Sailing Club. HYC's Jedi, Neville Maguire was on hand with fellow Mermaid aficionados Gerry and Ian Sargent to poke and point and raise eyebrows at things called "Cleats".

Under the care of National Race Officer Scorie Walls, Thursday's racing started at a polite 1400. Keeping the Northside flag held high, "Azeezy" from Skerries did the business with two wins from three races. Not content with competing with eachother on the water, the Annual Mermaid Table Quiz followed rehydration. In a show of poor manners, a table made up almost entirely of Howth 17 Footers won. A prize was awarded for the best answer to "What is the capital of Mongolia?" "Don't know, but it's got a lot of vowels and sounds fierce foreign".

Two races for the Mermaids on Friday saw "Wild Wind" (Rush SC) and "Tiller Girl" (National YC) equal "Azeezy"'s daily tot of 6 points. The gap wasn't closing.

Howth history in the making was being mentioned all week before the old ladies of sailing, the Howth 17 Footers, put on their Friday night frocks and took to the water for a single race from the East Pier. For the first time in history, 18 boats were afloat and jockeying for position. The busy start line was made slightly more complex when the class was given a downwind/ spinnaker start in front of the East Pier, with boats gybing and tacking simultaneously as they jockied for position with a minute to go. Almost inevitably for the class, the girls began the bumping and grinding before the start signal and "Oona" went for "Rita" like a jealous girlfriend. "Rita’s” stick-man, Marcus Lynch, found himself with a clip around the ear from "Oona's" bowsprit and was forced to retire with injured planks, cracked frames and a split rudder. Turns out that "Oona" picked the wrong girl to shout at and she broke her bowsprit in the collision. And so the anticipated race with the full compliment of the world's oldest one-design racing keelboats never quite happened. The remaining seventeen boats crossed the line with spinnakers flying and more photographers clicking than at a Justin Bieber underwear collection launch. Head girl was "Deilginis" with "Aura" and "Hera" following in her tracks.

Saturday morning saw the Howth 17 Footers dressing up in their finest gowns and bonnets and gliding like debutants to the dancefloor. "Hera" lifted up her skirt and frightened the girls by winning by over two minutes. The brazen thing. She would have to have her cough softened! "Deilginis" took back control of the crowd in Race 3, trailed by "Gladys" sporting her 2016 Spring/Summer collection.

By the middle of the day, the wind had picked up, gusting over 30kts, and it was become hard for some to keep the bonnets atop. The ladies rolled down the run more like drunken maids than the elegant princesses which left the Harbour. Half of the fleet chose to remove their topsails but not before the paparazzi had caught them on video, in full swing...

The Mermaids were on the far side of the trapezoid course and only crossed the Howth 17s at the leeward mark and short beat to the finish. It was likely that some Mermaid sailors were checking their insurance when they saw the 17s approach! Top Mermaid of the day was "Vee" (Rush SC) with a 1st and 4th. "Wild Wind" and "Tiller Girl" produced some magic to close the gap to leader "Azeezy" but it wasn't to be enough to rein in the eventual Champions.

Back on the Howth 17 course, "Leila" and "Aura" sobered and took the last two races, and "Deilginis" was to take the 2016 title. Class Captain, Tom Houlihan, took the Handicap prize aboard his "Zaida".

As the last of the Howth 17 sailors were plucked from the moorings, the Mermaids had already already been craned out and packed up, setting the scene for a packed balcony in glorious sunshine. Rehydration once more!

170 sailors and their entourages filed into the club dining room to be fed, found, watered, awarded and clapped at. Champion Mermaid sailor Sam Shiels pronounced an epic acceptance speech. His Howth 17 opposite, Luke Massey, countered it with an example of brevity and raised the trophy aloft.

The next Classic One-Design Regatta will be held at Howth Yacht Club over the weekend of 10-12 August 2018.

Published in Howth YC

Cantieri Estensi, the Italian builder of these highly appealing lobster boats and trawlers has launched its 535 Maine. After its presentation at the Düsseldorf boat show, the new model was launched this month and makes its debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September.

The company says the new 535 Maine follows in the footsteps of the hugely successful previous model, the 530, of which a total of 35 have been sold (rising to 60 when the 480 and 640 sister models are factored in).

Big side windows illuminate the three cabins below deck, while the new solution devised for the door between the cockpit and the saloon makes it possible to create a single space for even more direct contact with the sea. From a technical standpoint, the partnership with Volvo Penta brings all the benefits of electronics to cruising, while innovative fittings like the pivoting swim platform or the joystick to manoeuvre the yacht from the cockpit make life onboard 535 Maine, the ideal “home on the sea”, an even more comfortable experience.

The partnership signed by Cantieri Estensi and Volvo Penta means that 535 Maine can be fitted with all the latest propulsion and steering technology. The engines used are the familiar D6s, available with two rated power outputs and paired with shaft line transmission systems. Volvo Penta’s new Glass Cockpit screens in the helm station provide control of all navigation and monitoring parameters at the touch of a finger. The bow and stern thrusters can also be interfaced with the electronic control system, allowing the yacht to be manoeuvred simply by moving the joystick.

From a construction standpoint, 535 Maine is infusion laminated for maximum structural rigidity, weight for weight. Like the previous 530, the peculiarity of the hull is its ability to deliver cruising comfort in both displacement and planing modes. The relatively small deadrise (14.5 degrees at the bow) makes it possible to cruise at reduced speed without putting much load on the engines, offering a theoretical range of 1,000 nautical miles at 8-9 knots. The variable geometry of the hull, which has a fin running the entire length of the keel and a chine of up to 50° in the forward section, offers maximum directional stability and a soft impact even on rough sea, for fast cruising at peak speeds of up to 25 knots.
A 140 L/h desalinator and a more powerful 12 Kw generator are also available so that 535 Maine can be used for very long voyages, with all the confidence offered by the yacht’s unusually solid construction and category A type approval.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Overall length 17.00 m
Beam 5.00 m
Fuel tank capacity 2,800 l
Fresh water tank capacity 800 l
Engines 2 x Volvo Penta D6-435
Reverse gear HS80AE
Transmission Shaft line, 12° inclination
Deadrise 14.5°
Maximum speed 25 kn
Cruising speed 14 kn
Maximum passenger capacity 12
CE design category A
Construction Hull, sides and superstructure: vacuum infusion
Design Maurizio Zuccheri Yacht Design

Published in Boat Sales

Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat launched at 10.53pm last night to a small yacht aground at White Bay on the East side of Cork Harbour.

At the scene, the crew found one person in the water attempting to hold the yacht off the beach in the swell and another person on the beach.

One RNLI crewman swam ashore to assess the situation and attach a towline to the yacht. As the casualties were cold and wet, they were handed into the care of Guileen Coast Guard unit for transportation, while the lifeboat brought the vessel to Crosshaven.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A much-admired ongoing restoration project, which had resulted in the full return to original condition of the classic sloop-rigged 26ft South Coast One Design Pegasus, almost ended in tragedy with an explosion aboard the newly-launched boat on the Galway Bay SC moorings at Rinville near Oranmore at the weekend.

What would have been the boat’s second full season after her restoration ended before it had properly begun. She was rigged and ready to have her sails set, but an attempt to boil a kettle resulted in the gas explosion which blew the deck and cabin off the hull, set the hull on fire, brought the mast down, and sank the boat within one and a half minutes.

Fortunately both sailors on board were wearing lifejackets, and despite their burns and injuries, were able to get to a nearby boat. But while one of them was later released from hospital after treatment for burns, the other has been kept in for observation, though it is thought his injuries are not serious.

Published in News Update

The wingsail on ORACLE TEAM USA’s racing yachts and the wings on airplanes operate in similar fashion. As Ian “Fresh” Burns explains, a significant amount of force is generated to propel the boat faster or lift a plane off the ground.

And, the team is utilising the aerodynamic know-how of Airbus to help achieve optimum performance on the water.

Who needs an engine, these days?

 

Published in America's Cup

An Irishwoman has died after a yacht capsized and broke into pieces in South Africa. The 49-year-old woman was on-board the boat Tara in the early hours of yesterday morning with two other crew members when the incident occurred according to the Irish Sun

The boat turned over between Melkbosstrand and Yzerfontein on the West Coast in Western Cape. 

A 66-year-old Irishman, who is a resident in the area, managed to swim to the shore and raise the alarm.

However the Irish woman and a Scottish male were killed in the incident.

The Irish Sun has more on the story here

Published in News Update

The recently-published ISA Survey of Club Racing commissioned and supervised by Board Member Jack Roy has started the process of putting together a realistic picture of how we sail and go afloat for recreation, and it was analysed on publication here in Afloat.ie.

It’s logical to have made the beginning with club racing, as racing provides its own narrative and a straightforward set of entry numbers and results. But it will become more complex as the national authority tries to provide realistic figures for day sailing’s less competitive aspects. And of course, once we enter the world of cruising as defined by sailing and boating projects which include passage making, both coastal and offshore, together with overnight on-board stops, then it can become much more difficult to get meaningful data.

Yet with the ISA’s Cruising Conference for February 20th already booked out within a few days of being announced on Afloat.ie, clearly that is an area in search of services and support, a section of sailing which is difficult to quantify yet obviously of strong interest to a significant number of boat enthusiasts. W M Nixon takes a look at how the complexity of our sport’s many specialities makes it difficult to provide a clearcut picture for possible recruits to sailing.

Where would we be without the International Optimist Dinghy? The little solo-sailing boxes and their attendant support teams of mum and dad and the dog and the old 4X4 or station wagon or people carrier or whatever may seem to take up an awful lot of space and time, and all just so that one little person can go sailing.

But at least that one little person does go sailing. The ISA figures are brutally straightforward. In terms of genuine turnouts afloat at clubs throughout Ireland, in boat numbers the active Optimists are exceeded only by the Lasers, and this is arguably because Lasers aren’t age-limited, whereas the Optimists most definitely are.

Optimist sailing2
Optimist airborne. This is Ireland's second most popular class

Laser dinghy 3
Ireland’s most popular dinghy class, the Laser is seen here at the Zhik Irish Nationals at Ballyholme

So we give a qualified cheer for the success of these two little boats. But it’s qualified because they’re single-handers which fail to provide any crew-relating sailing skills. Leading sailing figures as diverse as Des McWilliam of Crosshaven and Norman Lee of Greystones have been eloquent in promoting the notion that we should be doing more – much more – to encourage two-handed boats, and if we can persuade people into three-handed boats, well, so much the better.

Certainly that’s one of the reasons why our header photo says so much. A lone sailor in an Optimist or Laser promotes too much of a solitary, even an isolated image. And a two-handed boat like the GP 14, whose strong fleet figures in the ISA survey show the class’s vigour, is arguably just an act for a dynamic duo – it’s Strictly Come Dancing goes sailing…..

But getting three together to race a characterful boat like the National 18 with style – now that’s something special, that really is a superb combination of people skills interacting with sailing talent. And it’s a joy to behold. Yet anyone can see that for a complete beginner to sailing, this extraordinary silhouette of Tommy Dwyer’s National 18 against the November sky above the Hill of Howth will have an otherworldly air about it – “That’s not for me” is as likely a response as “Let’s have a go at that”.

Even those of us who have been in sailing for longer than we care to remember find the image decidedly thought-provoking, for we have some idea of what has been involved in creating the circumstances for this seemingly effortless balancing act, this lighter-than-air effect in the unlikely setting of a November afternoon.

Over the past year or so we have been recounting in Afloat,ie how the Cork Harbour National 18 Class, with very tangible backing from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, have been in the forefront of the development of the new ground-breaking Phil Morrison take on the long-established National 18, which is a developmental class which from time to time takes a leap in hull design, and moves forward in order to keep the spirit alive.

National 18 4
The National 18s are part of the fabric of Cork Harbour sailing. Before the new Morrison boats arrived in July, the old fleet were seen here in May 2015 after their annual race to Ballinacurra in northeast Cork Harbour in company with the Dwyer brothers’ cruising ketch. Photo: W M Nixon

Acceptance of this is something which seems to be bred into Cork’s National 18 enthusiasts, many of whom have the advantage of being firmly of the opinion that a proper dinghy needs three people to sail it. But the social matrix which has built up around Cork Harbour over many decades with this concept at its heart is not something which will necessarily travel easily to other areas, and although the six boats of the National 18 flotilla which visited Howth for the Open Day got a great reception and gave many people from other classes a marvellous time afloat, it’s probable that the very different mood around sailing in Dublin means that something so technically and socially challenging as a three man dinghy is a step too far.

Sailing in the greater Dublin area seems to exist within a framework of independent balloons. While there are those who will happily move from one boat type to another and cheerfully spread their talents and enjoyment about, by contrast there’s the Dublin Bay Sailing Club Thursday Evening Phenomenon.

Thursday is when the DBSC cruiser classes go out to race. And there’s an entire cohort of people, mostly folk who work in offices in the city, who on a Thursday evening go straight to Dun Laoghaire, get aboard a pontoon-based cruiser owned by someone else, go out and race in some very specific crewing job, then come back in and have supper in club or pub with their shipmates, and then that’s it until next Thursday. Just one evening each summer mid-week is their entire sailing programme. Weekends are for something else. And as for the hassle and mixed joys of boat ownership and maintenance, that’s not their department at all.

It’s a very metropolitan, very citified yet specialized way of doing things, and Dublin is one of the very few cities whose location facilitates it. It will be fascinating to measure it, for Dublin’s way of sailing is steeped in history and tradition. But for now it’s refreshing to look at a place which has had a sailing tradition in times past, but somehow lost it, yet it’s coming back again, and one of the good news stories towards the end of 2015 is that the new Youghal Sailing Club has been accepted into the ISA fold.

Youghal at present is a difficult place for sailing, as the tidal power of the mighty Munster Blackwater sweeps straight through the estuary and along the old town’s waterfront, and the creation of any meaningful modern facilities will have the immediate difficulty of silting by incredibly adhesive black mud.

Youghal 5
With the sun out, and the tide in, Youghal looks to be an ideal location for the easy installation of a marina….....Photo: W M Nixon

youghal harbour tide out 6
….but with the sun in and the tide out, the mud problem is revealed. Photo: W M Nixon

Thus, as dedicated Afloat.ie readers will have recently observed, no sooner had one group announced that a marina in Youghal was on the way than another longer-established group quietly suppressed the story, as they’re well aware of the engineering and dredging difficulties involved, and premature announcements will only slow any project in the long run.

In the fullness of time, a marina at Youghal will be a godsend for any cruiser plugging along the south coast. It’s not always the easiest coast in the world to make a passage along, sometimes it can seem an awfully long way to Cork from Dunmore East or Kilmore Quay even if you do make stopovers at Dungarvan or Helvick, and there are times when the hardiest seafarer is glad enough to get his boat secured to a good big pontoon.

But that’s for the future. Meantime, the locally-based keelboats are using either the restless anchorage off the town, or the more serene pool across the estuary at Ferry Point on the east shore, while the new club’s flotilla of GP 14s are stored in spare warehouse space during non-sailing time, and when they do go sailing it turns out their clubhouse is a moveable feast - it’s a caravan which can be towed to a choice of sailing locations.

Youghal Sailing Club caravan 7
A moveable feast. Members of the newly-affiliated Youghal Sailing Club with their caravan HQ, Adrian Lee in doorway. Photo: W M Nixon

On the national stage, it is young Youghal GP 14 sailor Adrian Lee who has been among those flying the club’s flag, and there’s hope in the air. When we were there in May on a fine day that promised a summer which never arrived, we couldn’t help but think that when they do get their facilities and maybe even a clubhouse, they’ll look back to the days of the caravan and ad hoc racing arrangements with sweet nostalgia. For sometimes, it’s much better to be travelling than it is to arrive.

But for the rest of us, the message from Youghal is simple. The sea is for sailing. Use it or lose it. By all means get proper people surveys done which indicate the way numbers are shaping up and things are going. But really, if you want to persuade people to go sailing, the best way is by example, getting afloat as much as possible yourself. And maybe then you’ll find the time to welcome aboard newcomers too.

Youghal public slip9
Reviving Youghal sailing – on race days, the club’s caravan is simply towed down to the pier and the races are started from there. Photo: W M Nixon

youghal slipway9
Youghal’s massive public slip provides launching for the YSC sailing dinghies, but during 2015 the boats had to be stored at the other end of town when not in use. Photo: W M Nixon

Adrian Lee Youghal SC 10
The pace-setter. Adrian Lee of Youghal SC with his Duffin-built GP14. Photo: W M Nixon

Click to download: ISA Survey of Club Racing 

Published in W M Nixon

Lifeboat crew with Larne RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat this afternoon (Saturday 5 September) at 3.05pm following a report that a 24 ft yacht with three people onboard was in difficulty south of Muck Island. The request to launch was received from Belfast coastguard.

The all-weather lifeboat, Dr. John McSparran, under Coxswain Robert Rice was immediately launched and underway. The yacht with three people onboard was experiencing engine difficulty in challenging conditions.

Once on scene a lifeboat crew member was transferred onboard the yacht and a tow line was set up. Conditions were challenging with winds registering force 6 and a rough sea. The yacht was then towed to safety into Larne lough and secured to a mooring.

Commenting on the callout Larne RNLI Coxswain Robert Rice said, ‘While the yacht was suffering engine difficulties, the weather made the callout extremely challenging. Thankfully an experienced lifeboat crew were on scene to ensure that a tow could be safely established and the vessel brought to safety quickly and with no casualties.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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