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Dun Laoghaire to Host UK Sailmakers’ 2022 Loft Managers Meeting  

11th November 2022
Barry Hayes of UK Sailmakers Ireland giving a talk on Uni-Titanium at a Sailmakers conference. Dun Laoghaire will host UK Sailmakers’ 2022 Loft Managers Meeting from November 16-18, with 21 lofts will be represented by 32 people from as far away as Hong Kong and  Australia
Barry Hayes of UK Sailmakers Ireland giving a talk on Uni-Titanium at a Sailmakers conference. Dun Laoghaire will host UK Sailmakers’ 2022 Loft Managers Meeting from November 16-18, with 21 lofts will be represented by 32 people from as far away as Hong Kong and Australia

UK Sailmakers International (UKI), a worldwide group of sailmakers with over 40 lofts and service centres around the globe, holds its Loft Managers Meeting in a different part of the world every year. This reflects the company’s international footprint as well as allowing loft managers to experience the broad range of cultures and sailing communities UK Sailmakers services.

From November 16-18, the UK Sailmakers loft managers will be meeting at The Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, overlooking Dublin Bay on the Irish Sea.

“This year, we will have 21 lofts represented by 32 people from as far away as Hong Kong, Australia, and the western U.S. and Canada,” said John Bennett, President of UKI. “In addition to having three days to share each loft manager’s thoughts on the current and future states of sailing and sailmaking, this meeting gives us the opportunity to share UK Sailmakers’ latest developments in sailmaking design, manufacturing, and marketing.”

UK Sails Managers meeting of 2017 in TurkeyUK Sails Managers meeting of 2017 in Turkey

Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, UK’s Loft Meeting has not been held in-person since 2019. “The choice of Dublin for the meeting was made back in 2019 and three years later, it is coming together. Coming to Dublin was an easy decision given the city’s well-deserved reputation as an excellent tourism and sailing destination,” noted Barry Hayes, owner of UK Sailmakers Ireland and the meeting’s host. “In addition to the members of the UK Sailmakers team, about a third of their spouses will be coming to Dublin to enjoy all we have to offer.” The last time the UKI Loft Managers Meeting was in Ireland was 25 years ago, when the group met at the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

The Managers met by zoom in 2020 due to COVIDThe Managers met by zoom in 2020 due to COVID

Hayes joined the UK Sailmakers group in the early 2000s when he worked for Des McWilliam in his loft in Cork. After that, Hayes relocated to the UK Sailmakers’ New York loft for a few years, working under the tutelage of Charles “Butch” Ulmer, before spending 14 years in Hong Kong as the sales manager for the largest loft in the UK Sailmakers group. In 2017, he and his wife, Claire Morgan returned to Ireland and bought the UK-McWilliam loft. Now, Hayes brings to his customers a wealth of knowledge, both technical and practical; some of which he has shared in the past with the readers of Afloat on UK Sailmakers Ireland dedicated page here

Hayes concluded, “We loft managers always come away from our group meeting with new ideas, new techniques, and renewed energy to bring well designed, well built, and durable sails to our customers. I anticipate the same will happen this year...only I’ll be working a bit harder during the meeting being the host! All I know is that all the attendees have told me how excited they are to come to Ireland and experience our history, culture, and sailing community.”

UK Sailmakers Winter discount banner

About the Loft

UK Sailmakers Ireland brings modern professional sailmaking to Irish Sailing.​ Formerly known as McWilliam Sailmakers; the company was started 47 years ago to bring the latest technology to Irish sailors - we continue this mission today.

Under new leadership in 2018; our loft is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of all Irish sailors. ​As sailmakers, we do not just design sails for boats. We design and build sails for your boat. Our extensive and versatile product line allows us to produce sails to suit your requirements and expectations.   

​As a core loft within the UK Sailmakers Group, we are uniquely placed to draw from a worldwide pool of knowledge and experience - these ties have been recently strengthened with the return of Barry Hayes and Claire Morgan from Hong Kong. ​Barry held a key role in our primary production facility on Hong Kong Island for the past fifteen years. With their return comes a renewed focus on technology R&D on Irish waters.  

​With a wide variety of sailing conditions and an impressive pool of talent, the Irish cruiser racing fleet is the ideal testbed for new technologies.​ 

​As with all things in sailing; the secrets will be closely guarded - but for the first time in decades Irish sailors will be at the forefront of sail technology development.​

Although much has changed; some constants remain. The same great sail and customer service we have provided in the past will continue, as does our commitment and passion for growing the sport of sailing all over the country. 

Barry Hayes [email protected]

Contact Information:

UK Sailmakers Ireland

Hoddersfield Mill

Crosshaven

County Cork

P43 EY26

Republic of Ireland

Tel: +353 21 4831505

Fax: +353 21 4831700

Email: [email protected]

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