Displaying items by tag: Boating
Crookhaven Harbour Sailing Club
CHSC was founded in 1979 to provide sail training for junior sailors. ISA courses (level 1–5) are held every July. A new modern clubhouse with showers facilities available to all visitors. Pontoon berths available. Laser all rigs, Mirrors and 1720s.
Dinghy courses offered up to Improving Skills, Advanced Boat Handling, and Racing 1.
(The above information and image courtesy of Crookhaven Harbour Sailing Club)
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Blessington Sailing Club
Blessington Sailing Club is located on the shores of the 5,600 acre Pollaphuca Reservoir, near Blessington, Co Wicklow. The sheltered bay, with its two slips and sandy beach, faces east and is protected from the prevailing winds.
The Clubhouse, built in 1988, has a recreational area, kitchen, and full changing and shower facilities.
Dinghy sailing predominates in the Club. There are strong fleets of GP14s and Catamarans, as well as Lasers and Mirrors. In recent years, we have a growing fleet of Toppers in which many of our younger members begin their sailing careers. There are also some small cruisers and day boats based at the Club.
Blessington Sailing Club is family orientated and its location is safe and secure for younger family members.
(The above information and image courtesy of Blessington Sailing Club)
Have we got your club details? Click here to get involved
Bantry Bay Sailing Club
It is not known when Bantry Bay Sailing Club was founded, but it is thought to have been in the late 19th century. The club was active during the 1920s and ‘30s but lapsed during the Second World War, probably in 1946, but has been continuously active ever since.
The club was always based near the Abbey area due to the location of the sheltered mooring (inside the Abbey Point), the availability of the Bantry House slipway (known then as Curleys/Cons Slip) and convenience to the town. There was no clubhouse until about 1970, when a prefabricated wooden structure was obtained from Whiddy Island after the terminal construction work.
During the 1960s club membership had increased dramatically, especially among young members owning their own boats and it was necessary to provide better facilities. The plot of ground between the cemetery and the strand was donated by the late Paddy O’Keeffe on condition that a slipway be built suitable for launching and hauling ashore larger boats. The Abbey slip was built by the County Council and Bord Failte. The plot adjoining was designated a leisure area for public use and the temporary clubhouse was sited there until it was burned about ten years later.
At that stage the club decided to build a permanent structure and the only suitable location was the old Bantry House boatyard. After the Whiddy Disaster in 1979, the Government provided funds to the Bantry area to compensate for economic loss, provide jobs and fund projects and facilities. The Club availed of this and a lease of the boatyard was acquired, the old boathouse demolished and the new clubhouse was built (facing stone from old boathouse). It was officially opened in June 1988 by the late Denis Doyle.
The club would like to acknowledge the generosity of the Shellswell White family (Bantry House).
Facilities include storage (temporary with temporary membership), shower and toilet facilities, navtext, phone, waste bin, water and free visitors moorings provided by Bantry Harbour Commissioners.
(The above information and image courtesy of Bantry Bay Sailing Club)
Bantry Bay Sailing Club, Abbey Road, Bantry, Co. Cork. Tel: 027 51724
Have we got your club details? Click here to get involved
Inniscarra Sailing and Kayaking Club
Inniscarra Sailing and Kayaking Club was set up in 2002. We operate from a recreation area called Innisleana with the kind permission of the ESB. In 2004 the club put in its own dedicated slipway and boat holding area and plans further improvements in the years ahead.
The club is just three miles from Ballincollig (six from Cork City) on the Lee Valley reservoir. We have a small but very keen local membership. Kayaking and sailing events take place throughout the year, mainly at weekends, with some mid-week sailing.
The flagship event of the year is the Commodore's Cup. Kayak races in the morning are followed by a sailing race up the lake from Innisleana to Farran.
The Inniscarra Sailing Club runs ISA accredited sail training in the summer months.
(The above information and images courtesy of Inniscarra Sailing & Kayaking Club)
Inniscarra Sailing & Kayaking Club, Innisleana, Ballincollig, Co. Cork. For membership information contact: 021 4873994
Have we got your club details? Click here to get involved
Inland Boating and Sailing Holidays
Experience the freedom of the Shannon and Erne waterways. Captain your own cruiser and discover the hidden corners of Ireland. Over 800 kilometres of navigable waterways are awaiting your arrival, with rivers to explore, towns and villages to discover and acres of lakes to relax on.
Heritage and cultural sites are around every corner, from ancient standing stones, castles, sixth century universities, cathedrals, round towers, monasteries and industrial archaeology sites. Witness at first hand the engineering marvels of Ireland’s canal systems and experience time travel through a forgotten age, at a leisurely pace.
Discover the country and the local culture, admire the passing scenery and experience traditional music and arts.
Engage in a variety of active pursuits from golf, walking, cycling, archery to horse riding and trekking. Why not do some relaxed fishing as you travel through the centre of Ireland.
Freedom to come and go as you please. An inland waterways holiday allows you to set the pace. Stop and take a break when you want, see the sights, put the rod in the water and fish a little or hit a golf ball.
Relaxation, stretch your legs on a forest walk or simple put your feet up and watch the world pass by.
Slow tourism – the eco-friendly way to tour With our modern boat fleet equipped with the latest diesel engines you and your family can still cruise the Lakelands and inland Waterways of Ireland, visit new and exciting venues, engage in active pursuits yet leave only a small carbon footprint.
Clean Boating Charter to ensure that your holiday is as green and ecofriendly as possible the Irish Boat Rental Association members have introduced a Clean Boating Charter. See www.boatholidaysireland.com for details.
Experience the Unique With over 800 kilometres of navigable waterways the Shannon-Erne system of lakes and rivers offer the visitor one of the longest but least crowded waterways in Europe.
With a minimum of locks, a simple but comprehensive navigation system, the Shannon Erne Waterway offers the discerning boat cruiser a trouble free holiday and a safe cruising environment in which to enjoy the unspoilt natural amenity which is the Shannon Erne. The waterway system is a boat holiday cruising paradise, unmatched throughout the world for beauty, heritage and the unique culture of the area. Ireland’s waterways can be a place of absolute solitude and peace, or a lively holiday region where activity opportunities abound – the choice is yours.
Ireland’s waterways give you the choice and freedom to do as you please at what ever pace you want to go. The hundreds of moorings, quiet harbours, marinas, bustling towns and tranquil villages along the way provide you with the opportunity to tie up and enjoy the unique cultural experience that is Ireland.
If you are looking for a 'get away from it all' boating holiday, to float in isolated tranquillity surrounded by breathtaking scenery and fascinating heritage, you will find it in Ireland.
Lough Erne in the North, Lough Ree in the Midlands and Lough Derg in the South offer vast cruising grounds with rarely another boat in view. However, if you should want a lively choice the Upper Shannon offers you idyllic cruising waters with great waterside pubs and restaurants, nightlife and a chance to meet other cruising parties who are enjoying a boat holiday in Ireland.
Weave together a perfect holiday through the Heart of Ireland
The interconnecting rivers and lakes stretch from Belleek, the most northerly point of the vast Lower Lough Erne to Killaloe, the southern-most navigation point on Lough Derg.
The Shannon Erne Waterway can be divided into three sections;
• Lower and Upper Lough Erne. Lough Erne is connected to the River Shannon via the Shannon/Erne Waterway.
• The Upper Shannon from Carrick on Shannon to Athlone including Lough Ree and Lough Key.
• The Lower Shannon, the area from Athlone to Killaloe which includes Lough Derg.
Lower Lough Erne
Above this handsome lake the Cliffs of Magho provide a rugged contrast with wooded islands, sheltered bays and open waterways. West of the Broad Lough the hills of Donegal are a reminder of the Atlantic Ocean beyond. 29 kilometres of varied navigation meander between Belleek, the Erne system’s western most port at the Atlantic’s gate above the town of Ballyshannon and Enniskillen, the fortified island town at the heart of the Erne lakes.
Upper Lough Erne
Around Upper Lough Erne the intricacies of combining land and water work very well together. The woods, forests and farmland are in harmony with the river in this extensive inland navigation. There is a sense of privacy and individuality. Exploring the many inlets and islands is a boating enthusiast’s dream and a wonderful destination for nature lovers.
The Shannon Erne Waterway
The waterway is an intriguing region with boating and angling in abundance and history and folklore at every turn. This modern waterway is based on the line of the old Ballinamore and Ballyconnell Canal, with automated locks and other user friendly refinements reflecting the investment and planning that have gone into re-connecting the Shannon and Erne waterway systems. It leaves Upper Lough Erne through the Woodford River near Belturbet and heads southwest and then west to Leitrim Village and the Upper Shannon. The waterway has opened up an area of Ireland that was relatively unknown and this tranquil link with its gentle pace has grown in popularity.
Lough Allen and Lough Key
Lough Key and Lough Allen are both inland seas but are very different to each other. Lough Key is an islandstudded lake, while Lough Allen is determinedly rugged with the iron mountain of Sliabh an Iarainn to the east, the old coal hills of Arigna along its western shore. Lough Allen is a majestic lake, 12 kilometres long and almost 6 kilometres across on the wide northern shore. Lough Key is arguably the most beautiful lake on the Shannon System with the fine town of Boyle at its western corner. The Curlew Mountains along the lake’s northern shore seem like high mountains rising above the lush countryside and ancient woods which reach down to the shore line.
Carrick-on-Shannon to Tarmonbarry
The lordly Shannon, the longest river in Britain and Ireland, is beginning to get a sense of itself as it meanders south through Carrick on Shannon, the northern capital of this history laden waterway. The prosperous county town of Leitrim is a thriving boat centre and a welcoming place with a real buzz and an active cultural life. South of Carrick the river’s long stretches of water weave between pretty towns. On through the picturesque towns of Jamestown and Drumsna, the river widens through Lough Boffin past Dromod and narrows again through the busy town of Roosky before flowing through Tarmonbarry and onwards to Lough Ree.
Lough Ree is one of the Shannon’s three main lakes, 32 kilometres long and gradually widening to 10 kilometres across. This much indented lake has a generous scattering of islands and although it is the geographic centre of Ireland, it maintains an attractive air of remoteness. The shoreline varies – in the relatively unpopulated northeast of the lake along the Longford shore there is quality bogland. Along the eastern shore, County Westmeath has lush farmland and thriving woodland. The south of the lake is very much a water playground for the large town of Athlone. To the western shoreline lies Roscommon and the quiet town and harbour of Lecarrow, reached from the lake by its own small canal.
South of Athlone the Shannon enters its most distinctive phase becoming a wide stream moving silently under a vast sky. For 50 kilometres the river falls through river meadows, the Callows to Portumna at the head of Lough Derg. The regular flooding of the Callows is a vital part of the ecosystem, enriching the water and sweetening the land. The rising ground at Clonmacnois, 20 kilometres downstream of Athlone, had prominence along the river and throughout Ireland. This was the site of the great monastery which became a university and the ancient Christian capital of Ireland. Although it was raided by the Vikings, it has endured as the greatest of the monuments along the Shannon.
The Shannon continues to meander south to Shannon Harbour where the Grand Canal connects Dublin and the east coast with the Shannon. You are now on the old water borne trading route connecting the capital of Ireland with a series of midland and Shannon towns such as the Georgian town of Banagher and then on to Limerick via Lough Derg.
Lough Derg is a handsome inland sea set in an attractive blend of mountain and hillside, woodland and farm. The mountains surrounding this fine stretch of water have their own beauty and variety. The shoreline has many small sheltered harbours at strategic intervals. There are 13,000 hectares of spectacular waterway, ideal for all kinds of watersports. The beautiful countryside around the lakeshore is perfect for walking, cycling, horse riding and other visitor pursuits. Lough Derg is contemporary in outlook, yet comfortable with its traditions. It is a place blessed by nature for sport and recreation. The extensive shoreline changes wonderfully in its nature between three large counties – Galway to the northwest, Clare to the west and southwest and Tipperary along the entire eastern shoreline. The lake is big enough to provide total seclusion yet there is always a bustling spot nearby.
Captain your own cruiser
Experience is not necessary and no licence is required. Training will be provided by our experienced staff.
When you book your boat holiday in Ireland your operator will send you a 'Captains Handbook' which will contain details of all you need to know about operating your cruiser.
The handbook contains details on how to prepare for your cruise, vital information on how the boat works, navigational information and how to pass through a lock.
On arrival at your operator’s base you will be shown a training video and then given on-the-water training by a fully trained, experienced instructor.
Many of our customers choosing a boat holiday in Ireland have never handled a boat before. Mastering the controls of your cruiser and understanding the navigation is quickly learnt. All of our cruisers are fully equipped with the necessary safety equipment and navigational charts to ensure that you have a safe holiday cruise.
Our fleet of modern cruisers offer accommodation from two to twelve adults.
Our operators have a boat to suit your boat holiday needs. As you will spend more time in your boat than you would in a traditional holiday cottage we recommend that you book a boat that has more space/berths than the number of people in your group. This will give you more space to live and relax in. Our operators have extensive fleets of different classes of cruisers all with their own individual characteristics and designed to suit the needs of parties of two, four, six or eight people and we can even supply boats for up to parties of twelve.
All the cruisers that are offered by our operators are designed for the Irish waterways and are fitted out to the highest standards to ensure maximum cruising comfort. We have illustrated a typical Shannon cruiser here to give you an indication of the accommodation layout, but it is important to check with the operator of your choice the exact specification of the cruiser that you book.
Plotting for going round – part I
The well-organised navigator will already have a game plan for the BMW Round Ireland Race. Course veteran Brian Mathews shares some of the secrets of this 704-mile classic
A mark on the course – the Skelligs rock off the Kerry coast is a turning point Photo: David Branigan
First steps first is the answer to sound preparation for the Round Ireland. All homework should be completed no less than two weeks ahead of the start – a stress-free approach is the hallmark of good navigation. We’ll assume for this article that the safety side of preparations is being taken care of by the skipper. Remember that survival, first aid, previous experience and other race and ORC requirements cannot be overlooked.
Basic navigation strategy follows standard practice and a good passage plan will save you from endless grief during the race. My own preference is for IMRAY charts as they fit small yachts better than Admiralty editions, are water-resistant and are latticed with Lat/Long for faster plotting. While you can correct existing charts, it’s better not to try to save the few euro that a new edition will cost.
Plot your rhumb-line course for the race, taking care to note the organiser’s stipulations on navigation. It’s not simply a case of leaving Ireland and its islands to starboard – it’s too easy to get caught out by marks on the course such as the Conningbeg and the Fastnet.
As with any passage plan, note the waypoints and the Lat/Long for each leg with the course and distance in sequence. Again in sequence, add Pilotage notes to each stage as well as transferring the complete plan to a ‘Wet Notes’ pad.
By race day, the passage plan should be finalised and committed both to paper and to memory too, if possible. Attending the official briefing with the skipper is both mandatory and essential. Expect considerable emphasis on the reporting requirements as well as the usual amendments to sailing instructions. The 72-hour forecast from Met Eireann will also be available – the fax version is preferred.
Be at the start line no later than one hour beforehand and motor to Wicklow Head to check the true wind as there’s often a different breeze off the harbour. Back to the starting line and it’s time to brief the crew on your plan and what to expect – avoid excessive detail. Having a keen picture of your plan in your mind will avoid the need for constant trips to the chart table – hatch rat navigators are bad for morale. From the gun and for the opening stage of the race, aim to sail inside the Arklow Bank, irrespective of the wind direction as the tide will be flooding this year. This should mean arriving at the Blackwater Bank with the young ebb and from here heading outside the banks to the Tuskar.
This ebb should get most of the fleet around the Tuskar Rock, one of the major tidal gates in the race, but it’s possible that some of the smaller boats won’t make it in time. If it does look like you’ll luck out on a foul tide, plan to be inshore so that you can kedge if necessary. If you have to anchor, remember your light by night and shape in daylight – the IRPCS apply to all vessels at sea, at all times.
Right about now, your homework will pay off as Rosslare is a busy ferry port and sailing times can be found on the web. Expect traffic off Dunmore East at the Waterford Estuary on the high tide and at Cork too.
By the Tuskar rounding, it will be dusk or darkness for the majority of the fleet. A reducing distance/time/ boatspeed matrix for the first stage from the start to the Tuskar Rock (approx 49nm) will enable you to plan the watch system for the crew.
The loom of the Conningbeg 20 miles away should be visible and coming abeam of it will mark your first chance to grab some rest. Navigation tactics for the south coast boil down to wind direction: following breeze equals a rhumb-line course while headwinds demand tacking for the shore, across the chop but on the paying tack as much as possible. If the former, warn the helm of the danger of straying from the course – this next leg from the Conningbeg to the Old Head of Kinsale is 75 miles, so even a five-degree error can be costly.
In previous races, we have even noticed magnetic anomalies during rain and electrical activity in this area so – be vigilant, keeping in mind that B&G systems also work off a magnetic and fluxgate system.
The silhouette of the Saltees, inshore of the Conningbeg Light followed by Hook Head, Mine Head and Ballycotton lights are useful references on the course past Roche’s Point, hopefully by dawn. Salmon nets are a significant hazard from Mine Head onwards and you shouldn’t need to be inshore before this.
The tide on the south coast is relatively light but the percentage gain improves as the wind goes light. Often a visual tide-line can be observed between headlands so plan to sail in the bays during the flood.
The stage from the Old Head to the Fastnet is a 42-mile leg and another rhumb-line course unless headwinds force you to tack inshore. Major hazards here include The Stags between Glandore and Baltimore and the wreck of the Kowloon Bridge that is buoyed.
COPYRIGHT AFLOAT 2004
Make or break – part II
Round Ireland veteran Brian Mathews concludes his guide to navigating the 704-mile classic with advice on the stages that will decide how – and if – you finish
The Kish Lighthouse marking the entrance to Dublin Bay is the final waypoint before the finish and the rhumb runs straight down the centre of the bank. If the tide is foul here, sail inshore. Otherwise take the ebb south to the finish. Our picture shows Frank Clarke’s Sapphire, well up on corrected time, passing outside the lighthouse in the last hours of the 2002 race. Photo: David O’Brien
In the last issue of Afloat, we concentrated on the importance of proper preparation and a carefully considered passage plan. Our first stage of the race has taken us to the Fastnet Rock and this usually marks the point where those with the ability to last the course begin to separate from those without it.
From the Fastnet, a series of headlands mark the entrances to the large bays of the south-west coast – the Mizen, Bull Rocks, Skelligs and Innistearacht are all clearing marks on the course and should hopefully be rhumb line sailing past each. If beating around this stage, tack into the bays for a lift off the headlands coming out, as well as taking the benefit of calmer waters inshore. Above all, strictly no flyers out to sea around here!
In your passage notes, don't forget the various isolated rocks on this stage such as the Bull Rock with its attendant Cow and Calf rocks too. Check the charts carefully and remember, these are unlit hazards.
Turning onto the west coast from Innistearacht is usually a relief and a major psychological boost for the crew. Up until now, the race has been an investment of pain – now it’s time for gain. At last the open waters of the Atlantic and their long swells stand to offer the best boatspeed potential. This is also the first time you're likely to lose sight of land after leaving the Kerry coastline until your landfall off Connemara with its back-drop of the Twelve-Bens mountains.
Ports of refuge should also be part of your planning – there is a range of options after the West Cork coast and not all will suit in every condition. Castletownberehaven must be approached from the east in strong gales whilst Smerwick Harbour after Innistearacht is a natural anchorage except in north-west gales. The marinas at Dingle, Cahirciveen and Fenit are very welcome recent developments; Kilrush Marina on the Shannon Estuary is some way off the course but is another option. After here, the leeside of Aran Mor breaks the gap between Kerry and the next shelter at Broadhaven Bay near Belmullet.
Nevertheless, previous races would suggest that if you've made it this far, the trigger has been pulled and, barring serious damage or injury, you'll be determined to reach the finish.
From the north-west coast onwards, different strategies will evolve as the fleet will have become spread out and the leaders are likely to be experiencing completely different conditions than the back-markers.
Typically, the first boats could be at Eagle Island while the last boats are still on the south-west coast. But the race decider has yet to come into play.
On reaching the north coast, tide once again becomes a factor and a substantial one at that. This is the ‘Salmon Highway’ and nets up to three miles long will be everywhere at this time of year. These will normally be well-tended and best advice seems to be that if the attendant fishing boat is underway at speed, she will be shooting her nets so it should be obvious where they are. If stationary, sail for the fishing boat as it will normally mark the end of the net – monitor the radio as you are likely to receive instructions on the best way to avoid a fouling. Should this happen, a long pole with a split end can be used to push the net down below the keel and clear astern without cutting or damaging the gear.
Entering the North Channel between the Ulster coast and Scotland will see the strongest tides of the entire race. Bear in mind that the tide floods south in the stretch before reversing in the north Irish Sea. Three major tidal gates form close to Tory, Rathlin and the Maidens. The best advice in a foul tide seems to be to sail inshore and go for mid-channel with the flood. Plan ahead for where you want to be when the tide changes next. Also be prepared to kedge if the breeze dies along this leg.
The Antrim plateau often causes wind-sheer so be prepared for constant changes of wind direction. Conversely, the Mournes create shadow so Dundrum Bay on the north-east coast should be avoided at all costs. The tide is neutral in here but don't be lured by its apparent attractiveness.
From here on is where the race will be won or lost. Most likely it will be the last night at sea but don't suspend the watch system because of this – anything can yet happen and even though the finish will be in sight, the wind can and does die. The Kish Lighthouse marks the final waypoint before the finish and the rhumb runs straight down the centre of the bank. If the tide is foul here, sail inshore. Otherwise take the ebb south to the finish.
Key points to remember:
• The tidal atlas will be your bible
• Prepare a detailed passage plan
• Keep a balanced watch system
• Swing your compass and keep a deviation card handy
• Rigidly observe the race rules for radio check-in points
• Complete your safety preparations and gear checks in full
COPYRIGHT AFLOAT 2004
Please note: These tips are intended as a guide only. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher.
More on the Round Ireland Yacht Race:A Round up of 80 stories on the 2010 Round Ireland Yacht Race
Irish Marina Operators Association (IMOA), c/o Irish Federation of Marine Industries, Confederation House, 84–86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 605 1621, fax: 01 638 1621, email: [email protected]
The Irish Marina Operators Association was founded in May 2003 and represents 23 of the coastal marinas around our shores. The IMOA is a self managing special interest group within the Irish Marine Federation, the trade association affiliated to IBEC representing the marine industry in Ireland. The IMOA elects its own representative board of directors, the chairman automatically having a seat on the main IMF board.
The objectives of the IMOA are to provide a forum for discussion within the marina industry in Ireland and to represent the views of the marina operators to government in regard to legislation, regulation, training, insurance and health and safety issues.
The IMOA is an effective lobbying body and has achieved some success in relation to approved waste management plans for marinas and also with the new Development and Foreshore Act. The objectives of the IMOA are to ensure that Ireland’s marina industry develops in a sustainable way and will eventually provide for a necklace of marinas around our coastline.
In the future the IMOA will seek to have our marina infrastructure effectively marketed overseas as part of an integrated marine leisure tourism campaign.
East – Mr Hal Bleakley, Dun Laoghaire Marina. Tel: 01 2020 040, email: [email protected]
South – Mr Wietza Buwalda, Salve Marina. Tel: 021 483 1145, email: [email protected]
South West – Mr Brian Farrell, Dingle Marina. Tel: 066 9151629, email: [email protected]
IRELAND'S MARINAS, PONTOONS AND JETTIES - 60 AND COUNTING! (SUMMER 2013)
Castlepark Marina – 150 berths. Kinsale, Co. Cork. Tel: 021 477 4959, email: [email protected]
East Ferry Marina – 100 berths. East Ferry, Cobh, Co. Cork.
Kilmore Quay Marina – 55 berths. Harbour Office, Kilmore Quay, Wexford. Tel: 053 91299 or 087 900 1037.
Three Sisters Marina, New Ross – 66 berths. Tel: 086 388 9652 or 051 421284, email: [email protected] Also New Ross Town Council, The Tholsel, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Tel: 051 421284, email:[email protected]
East Coast/Dublin Area
Poolbeg Marina – 100 berths. Poolbeg Yacht, Boat Club & Marina, South Bank, Pigeon House Road, Ringsend, Dublin 4. Tel: 01 668 9983, email: [email protected]
North and North-East Coasts
Lough Swilly Marina – 200 berths, more after extension. Marina Office, Fahan, Inishowen, Co. Donegal. Tel: 074 936 0008, email: [email protected]
Foyle Pontoon, Derry – 50 berths. Foyle Pontoon, Londonderry Port, Port Road, Lisahally, Co Londonderry BT47 6FL, N. Ireland. Tel: 0044 28 7186 0313 (24 hours), email: [email protected]
Portrush Harbour – 100 berths. Portrush, Coleraine, N. Ireland. Harbour Master, Mr Richard McKay, tel: 028 7082 2307 or on VHF channel 12. Further information from Victor Freeman on tel: 028 7034 7234.
Ballycastle Marina – 74 berths. Contact: John Morton, 14 Bayview Road, Ballycastle BT54 6BT, N. Ireland. Tel: 028 2076 8525
Rathlin Island – 30 berths. Ballycastle, N. Ireland. Contact Moyle District Council, Sheskburn House, 7 Mary Street, Ballycastle BT54 6QH, N. Ireland. Tel: 028 2076 2225, email: [email protected]
Glenarm Marina – 40 berths. Glenarm Harbour, Glenarm BT44 0EA, Co Antrim, N. Ireland. Tel: 028 2884 1285
Carrickfergus Marina – 280 berths. 3 Rodgers Quay, Carrickfergus BT38 8BE, N. Ireland. Tel: 0044 28 933 66666
Phennick Cove Marina – 55 berths. 19 Quay Street, Ardglass, Co Down BT30 7SA, N. Ireland. Tel: 0044 28 4484 2332, email: [email protected]
Proposed New Marinas (as at March 2009)
Dip your toe in
Starting off in boating is easy – the difficult bit is deciding what part of the sport to try. We publish Tips For Those Buying And Selling Boats on our dedicated boats for sale site. This part of the website provides you with invaluable tips and advice from people within the new and second hand boat industry. We provide information about the types of boats that are out there and what to look out for when buying a new or used boat. We also list some of the precautions you might want to consider before buying a boat. There are lots of things to look out for which do not always immediately meet the eye. We aim to give you relevant information regarding the negotiations involved in selling or buying a boat and also provide guidance on how to finance the purchase of your dream boat.
Below you'll find extra information and articles about how to get started in Irish boating.
Above: Malahide Marina, the site of several On The Water boat shows and the venue for this October's Used and Demo Boat Show 2009
If anchoring in a secluded cove or a BBQ from the deck of a yacht sounds like a far-fetched idea this summer, then it might be time to think again.
More and more people across Ireland are discovering that the shoreline represents a border but also a means of escape.
The romantic freedom of sailing is as true today as it has been throughout maritime history. Harnessing the elements for propulsion is one of the most appealing things about an afternoon afloat.
You don’t need a licence, insurance or experience to own and operate a pleasure craft in this country. And what’s more, the wind and the waves are free!
The sailing principles used by the Vikings when they sailed up the Liffey are the same as those used today on an afternoon potter around Dublin bay. Over the centuries, man has fine-tuned his ability to use the wind. Indeed, it’s now possible to sail faster than the wind. However, most people going afloat are not focussed on speed – they simply want to watch the world go by.
The boats may have changed since the Vikings but the view around the coast – except for the cities – is pretty much the same as a thousand years ago.
Nowhere was this point more clearly made than last year when the world’s top offshore sailors called in unexpectedly to our south and west coasts.
They came principally in search of wind in leg eight of the Volvo Round the World race. They found little wind, unusually, but before they left they wrote prose worthy of a Failte Ireland copywriter.
In his log, navigator Simon Fisher from ABN AMRO Two wrote: “Our day started sailing in and out of the mist rolling down off the hills and, as the sun rose and the mist burnt off, it gave way to spectacular views of rolling green hills and a weather-beaten rocky coastline. With castles and towers stationed on each headland, it gives you the feeling of sailing through a scene out of ‘Lord of the Rings’.”
So far our waters remain remarkably unspoilt and it’s one of the reasons French and German sailors have been enjoying our coastline for decades. But it’s only quite recently that there has been any kind of increase in the Irish pleasure boat numbers with more and more people sticking their toes in the water. The marine industry is also playing its part, attempting to break down the preconception that crusty old yacht clubs rule the seas.
Figures from a report commissioned by the Marine Institute in 2005 show that 142,000 adults were involved at that time in boating activity – ranging from sailing and boating at sea to boating on inland waterways. The survey confirmed a large rise in numbers in coastal and inland boating and water sports since the last survey ten years previously.
Unfortunately, unless you have a background in sailing, getting started can be anything but easy. Even at this year’s boat show, there will be a bewildering amount of information about many different types of boats. Websites, dealers and magazines all have their merits but often the best place to start is an honest conversation with yourself.
Are you buying a boat on a weekend whim or is it something you’ve been planning to do since lodging your first SSIA money?
A boat with a cabin, no matter how small, is just one practical way of escaping the worst of a showery day. It’s also a great way to extend the boating season that runs typically from St Patrick’s Day through to the end of September and it’s no accident that the most successful brands in Irish harbours all have some form of cover.
Going afloat is not just about racing yachts at Cork Week nor is it just about early morning trolling for trout on the river Shannon. It’s also about coastal kayaking, diving and windsurfing and many other forms of boating to boot. But most of all it’s about experiencing our coastline or inland waterways, something that has its own appeal and is proving as much a form of stress relief as any round of golf or Spanish holiday apartment.
Out on the water, sailing can be many different things to different types of people. It can be exciting, invigorating, relaxing or challenging. And you need to decide is what you really want from a boat.
There are reasons why people might stay off the water in Ireland. The sun doesn’t always shine and, more to the point, there appears to be a gale somewhere around our coast every fortnight.
And then there’s the perceived high cost of entering the sport of boating and, until recently, a complete the lack of public berthing facilities.
But if you can deal with all these questions and are still keen to go afloat, any one of a range of schools can advise you on the right way to get started. A good information website is www.sailing.ie and search for a school in your area. Lakes, rivers and seas are a great resource but anyone going afloat in Ireland needs to realise that it can be a potentially dangerous environment and take steps to educate themselves in safety measures before going afloat.
For most people, anchoring a boat in the lee of Ireland’s Eye for a picnic or island hopping on a sun-kissed day on Roaringwater Bay are not really unrealistic ideas at all if they are determined to get afloat. If you want to get started, start asking questions now. Very soon, you could be sitting back to hear the ripple of water off the bow.
Sailing – the bluffers guide
How easy is it to learn?
You can leave your slippers on. Anyone can pick up the basics in a week’s tuition and can continue on their own after that.
Will I know it all then?
They don’t call it the lifelong sport for nothing. Even old salts learn something knew every time they go afloat.
Do I need a licence?
No, one of the reason people enjoy sailing so much is that it is regulation free.
What does it cost?
The wind and waves are free but everything else you pay for. You can rent for a few hundred for a weekend charter. You can buy a sailing dinghy for three grand. A 25-foot yacht can be bought second-hand from 15 grand upwards.
What’s the typical size boat here?
Between 25 and 35 foot.
What’s the biggest?
It is in Dun Laoghaire and it’s an 80-footer costing over E2m.
How long is our coast?
8,960 kilometres of coast but about 704 miles sailing distance. It takes two weeks to cruise round but the record is less than three days!
How many harbours and piers?
The Department of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources say there are 900 so there’s plenty of places to call into.
How many marinas are there?
Only 26 around the entire coast. There is a real shortage and none between Kerry and Donegal. All of them are full.
Where is the biggest marina?
Dun Laoghaire with over 800 berths.
What about inland waters?
There are 700 kilometres of navigable rivers and lakes and freshwater sailing is very popular too.
How many sailing boats are there?
No one knows. The Irish Marine Federation reckons there are approximately 27,000, based on number of boats registered with Waterways Ireland, marina berths, swinging moorings, sailing and sea angling club boat parks.
Last but not least, do I need a cravat?
Well, you won’t be alone in Dun Laoghaire. Everywhere else it’s a t-shirt and jeans. Sailing is trying to shed its crusty yachting image and most yacht clubs welcome new members with open arms.
Even in recession there are good reasons to buy a boat, writes David O'Brien (reprinted from February/March 2008 Afloat)
Edward Heath famously grumbled about the cost of boating 30 years ago when he complained that “ocean sailing is like standing under a cold shower tearing up five pound notes”. Three decades later, boat dealers are quick to point out that as luxury products go, depreciation on boats is not such a black hole even in this economic climate.
Walk along the waterfront of Ireland’s biggest boating centre at Dun Laoghaire on any summer Saturday and repeat Sir Ted’s comparison to the growing band of boat owners and it’s sure to draw a telling smile.
Those passionate about boating normally avoid any talk of cost. From Monday to Friday they may be wage slaves but boyhood dreams are relived at weekends, and it has become an unwritten law of the sea that the boat account is never scrutinised.
Heath, a great yachtsman, was being unnecessarily harsh. In examining the contents of his wallet, he forgot about the pleasures of boating. It’s there, from the simple smell of sea air to the sense of adventure offshore, but most of all the good times on board with friends and family.
If you want to make money, buy a house; if you want to lose money, buy a car; but if you want to keep your money, buy a boat. At least, that’s the story your local boat dealer is likely to advance.
Thanks to the lower cost of mass-produced boats and equipment in recent times, there has never been a better time to get involved. As leisure pursuits go, sailing in Ireland represents surprisingly good value for money – if only the facilities were there to back it up.
Take a look over the breakwater at Dun Laoghaire’s public marina and it’s pretty clear that both the size and style of pleasure craft berthed there – particularly motorboats – is impressive. If you wanted a snapshot of the former Celtic tiger era, here it is.
Since the marina opened 400 berths in 2001, it has grown to become an 820-berth facility, has transformed boating in Ireland and led to an influx of new blood where access to the water was previously controlled by private yacht clubs.
Above: Dun Laoghaire Marina has grown from 400 to 820 berths, and transformed boating in Ireland
In doubling Dun Laoghaire’s size over the past six years, the facility that took sceptics 20 years to build became an overnight success. It is the country’s largest marine leisure centre by a long chalk. It is also the shining jewel in an otherwise flawed necklace of marinas still to be built around the coast.
Providing facilities takes considerable investment – from the State or from private investors, or a combination of both in public-private partnerships – because marinas need expensive breakwaters or sea walls to protect pleasure craft from the open seas.
“Ireland has largely turned her back on the sea despite being an island nation,” says Bernard Gallagher, a marine dealer in this country for the past 30 years. “We have simply failed to recognise the true value of the marine environment for leisure purposes.”
But even with such obvious infrastructural deficits, there is a surge of interest in the freedom of the seas and a lot of it is being driven by novice boaters.
You don’t need a licence to own and operate a boat in this country. And what’s more, in these recessionary times, the wind and the waves are free. But for everything else you will need a cheque book.
Growing numbers of the Irish public are demonstrating, in many cases for the first time, that boat ownership is no longer beyond their financial reach, particularly over the past ten years, a period in which the flow of newcomers has been tracked by official figures.
At a cost of E425 per metre as one of the top rates for mooring fees, it’s pretty easy to work out how much it costs to park an average 40-footer (12-metre) in Dun Laoghaire or at one of 22 other coastal facilities around the country. But boat ownership costs don’t stop with an annual berthage fee.
A typical new 40 footer will cost an owner (with modest cruising plans of 100 hours) E13k–E14k per annum. This includes berthing, fuelling, servicing and insurance.
Even if a boat owner has signed his cheque for all this, that isn’t the end of the story.
The romantic freedom of boating is as true today as it has been throughout maritime history. The seas might be free to roam but finding a berth is not quite as easy.
In fact, demand was so high until the credit crunch that a lack of berths was hampering further growth of the marine leisure sector. Downturn aside, the industry is capable of growing by around 30% over the next three years – if the government and local authorities decide to unlock the potential that lies in Irish waters.
The west coast of Ireland is hardest hit with no marina facilities between Kilrush Creek, Co Clare and Fahan, Co Donegal. Thankfully a small facility in Galway now has the green light compliments of the Volvo Ocean Race.
“On the east coast significant gaps exist between Arklow and Kilmore Quay and on the south coast between Kilmore Quay and Cork Harbour”, says Steve Conlon of the Irish Marina Operators Association.
Users are calling for government action to cut the bureaucratic red tape that surrounds foreshore development for marine leisure usage. The trade body fears that the run of new boat sales could be short-lived as a shortage of berths around the coast hampers the growth of the sailing industry.
In the major sailing centres on Dublin Bay and Cork Harbour – representing 3,000 craft – all five marinas are full or nearing capacity.
The Irish Marine Federation estimates the number of berths needed to bring Ireland up to the EU average is 22,826 berths. To accommodate existing waiting lists and boats located on existing swinging moorings, an extra 2,000+ berths are required immediately.
Motorboats remain the big growth area and the evidence at the national boat show in 2007 bore this out when ‘bling bling’ replaced the sea shanty as the new wave in boating.
Eighty-five per cent of the exhibits were powerboats – from jetskis to James Bond super yachts – and a sign that there has been a shift in the market away from its traditional musty yachting base.
This is no real surprise to the marine industry, however. The wind of change has been blowing through the world’s boat shows for the past decade. Put simply, power boating is perceived to be much more accessible than sailing for the newcomer.
“Power boating has a ‘jump in and go’ image whereas sailing – whether it is true or not – appears more complicated,” says Irish Marine Federation’s Brian O’Sullivan whose own company, O’Sullivans Marine of Tralee, sells both types of craft.
O’Sullivan’s comment is backed by Irish Sailing Association (ISA) training statistics. Figures point to a 33% rise in power boat instruction, as opposed to only a 6% rise in sail training – and these figures are merely the tip of the iceberg because they represent only those who opted for the voluntary certification scheme.
In spite of our miles of coast (and a further 500 miles of navigable rivers and lakes), Ireland has one of the lowest ratios of boat ownership in Europe: one boat to 158 people. The European average is one boat to 42 people.
Industry figures argue that low participation in watersports is not because Irish people don’t like boats; it’s because a lack of facilities prevents both residents and tourists from getting access to the water and enjoying a coastline that is arguably our greatest natural asset.
There are only three public slipways between Dublin city centre and Bray in County Wicklow – serving a population of 750,000 or more. The situation in the rest of the country is not much better, with a Department of the Marine estimate of 900 piers and harbours around the coast.
Growing participation and competition among boat builders means there has never been a better time to get involved. In spite of Ted Heath’s grumblings over fivers, a boat is not just a black hole into which you pour your hard-earned cash. But if you do splash out on a boat this summer, just remember you also need somewhere to berth it.
Copyright Afloat magazine/Baily Publications Ltd./David O'Brien 2009
Irish 5O5 Association, c/o Ewen Barry, President, Monkstown Bay Sailing Club, Monkstown, Co Cork. Tel: 086 823 6864, fax: 021 427 3849, email: [email protected]
5O5 History – A One Design Class
The development of the Class began at the IYRU trials in l953, held at La Baule to find the 'best possible two-man centreboarder', an 18 footer Coronet showed clearly superior to all her competitors.
That winter the Caneton Association, the most important small boat racing body in France, asked the designer of Coronet, John Westell (UK), if he could modify her to suit their rules. Reducing the overall length, lightening the hull and modifying it a little, together with cutting the sail area to 17,24 sq mtrs, produced a new design which retained the good features of the larger craft. By a remarkable far-sighted decision members of the Caneton Association, at their AGM in Paris in January 1954, voted unanimously to adopt the new class, even before the first boat had been built. The Five-0-Five was born!
With strong organisation already existing in France, the 505 started life on an International basis. The Class expanded rapidly and in November 1955 the IYRU accorded it official International status. Fleets developed in many parts of the world, most of these are still very active today, 18 Countries have active fleets.
Although any material and type of construction may be used, current boats are now using carbon fibre and epoxy resins. The hull shape is strictly controlled with minimum weights both for the bare hull and the complete boat in sailing trim.
By January 2007, 8,930 boats had been registered.
The above information and image courtesy of the International 505 Class Association website