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Displaying items by tag: Dublin Bay 21

The continuing restoration of the Mylne-designed Dublin Bay 21 class of 1902-1908 origins, undertaken by Steve Morris of Kilrush Boatyard for Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra, has deservedly won several awards, including recognition for the project’s use of modern techniques and materials to re-create different parts of the original detail designs.

A particular case in point is the rudders, where the plain wooden stock of the original design was simply topped by a bronze rudderhead which incorporated the tiller fitting. But in the new version, the stocks are epoxy-laminated iroko, topped by a greenheart button or cap above the Marine Grade 316 stainless steel sleeve about a foot long, and running very smoothly on a Delrin bearing just under the deck.

The new rudderhead on Naneen incorporated the use of epoxy, top-grade stainless steel, and a Delrin bearing.The new rudderhead on Naneen incorporated the use of epoxy, top-grade stainless steel, and a Delrin bearing.

Thus the original rudderheads are now surplus to utilitarian requirements. Yet they’re eminently collectable. Not all had been accounted for as the fleet and its equipment were itemised before the move westward for restoration to Kilrush, and this now explains how an Afloat.ie reader recently came upon Naneen’s original rudderhead, apparently long-stored on a dusty shelf in a renowned Dublin salvage yard 

Naneen’s original rudderhead as discovered this month in a Dublin salvage yard, and here scaled by a pintNaneen’s original rudderhead as discovered this month in a Dublin salvage yard, and here scaled by a pint

However, an original rudderhead which did make it to Kilrush is the only one with which I have had any direct personal contact, and that is the white boat Geraldine’s original piece of tiller-controlling kit. Steve Morris has sent along a photo, as Geraldine is currently undergoing re-creation in Kilrush, and it all brings back memories of 1963 when the DB21s were making what was their last stand under their original rather demanding jackyard-toting gaff cutter rig, for the remorseless process of changing to Bermudan rig was about to begin.

Geraldine’s original rudderhead, first personally studied in detail in 1963, and seen here this week in Kilrush. Photo: Steve MorrisGeraldine’s original rudderhead, first personally studied in detail in 1963, and seen here this week in Kilrush. Photo: Steve Morris

Back in 1963, there was a long weekend of universities team racing under way in Dun Laoghaire, and sailing magazine editor Hugh Somerville was also in town. So the DB21 class deployed their generous hospitality and entire fleet of seven boats on the Friday night to give all the sailing student teams and the lone journo what looked like being a last chance to race the DB21s as originally conceived.

At the time I was much involved with the Queens University Belfast SC team, a group of which it might be said that while a whiff of Asperger’s was not mandatory, it was regarded as normal. Notwithstanding this, our very tolerant host-owner Paul Johnston gave us the free run of Geraldine – the white boat - and we managed to finish second, close astern of Hugh Somerville.

Tactician (left) and helmsman of the QUBSC 1963 DB21 Campaign Crew. While a whiff of Asperger’s wasn’t mandatory, it certainly helped. Photo: Russell O’Neill Tactician (left) and helmsman of the QUBSC 1963 DB21 Campaign Crew. While a whiff of Asperger’s wasn’t mandatory, it certainly helped. Photo: Russell O’Neill 

This meant we became Old Original Dublin Bay 21 Intervarsity World Champions for Life, and while it was not enough to inspire us in preventing UCD from becoming the Irish Intervarsities Team Racing Champions next day, it seemed to do something for us in Sunday morning’s two very special back-to-back team races in Fireflies against TCD.

This was for the Elwood Salver, donated back in the 1920s for TCD-v-QUB sailing competition by a distinguished Belfast sailing family, the Elwoods, whose links with TCD went back several generations. Despite its lengthy history, the Elwood Salver – which has probably long since disappeared into a cupboard of traded antiques – had never ever been won by QUB.

Until 1963, that is. Which explains why, for all that Naneen is the only DB21 actually built in Dun Laoghaire, as far as the QUBSC Class of ’63 is concerned, it is Geraldine – built by Hollweys of Ringsend – that is The Special One, for she is the most tangible reminder of one of the most extraordinary weekends that our little club ever experienced.

Published in Dublin Bay 21
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Any images of the award-winning restored Dublin Bay 21 Naneen show a traditional rudderhead which you'd assume to be the original, going all the way back back to first owner T. Cosby Burrows in 1905. But Afloat.ie
reader Richard Dixon wonders if he hasn't found an alternative one.

Or if he hasn't, what has he found? He obligingly includes a photo of this mysterious artefact - inscribed "Naneen RStGYC - and thoughtfully shows it beside the remains of a rather good pint of Guinness to give a sense
of scale.

Has anyone any idea how this came about?

Maybe it was kept as a spare? The mysterious "free-floating" Naneen rudderhead found by Richard DixonMaybe it was kept as a spare? The mysterious "free-floating" Naneen rudderhead found by Richard Dixon

Published in Dublin Bay 21
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When Hal Sisk of Dun Laoghaire was awarded the International “Classic Boater Of The Year” Award in London on April 12th, the brief outline of his major achievements in preserving maritime heritage may have high-lighted his current project - with Fionan de Barra and Steve Morris – of restoring the Dublin Bay 21 Class. But even a quite detailed outline of his other successes, such as the internationally-awarded restoration of the 1894 Watson cutter Peggy Bawn in 2003-2005, inevitably missed out some other visionary projects like the 1984 Centenary revival of the 1884 Fife cutter Vagrant, and the re-creation of the Dublin Bay-tested (and proven) catamaran Simon & Jude, originally of 1663 vintage.

As to his determination in undertaking the completion and publishing of major works of maritime historical reference, here again the sheer weight of output has overshadowed some works. The definitive guide to the traditional craft of Ireland – published in 2008 – is now a standard reference, but equally the Peggy Bawn Press’s beautifully produced and profusely-illustrated work about the Scottish designer G L Watson – the first yacht designer to function as a stand-alone specialist – is now a book of major international significance. Yet typically it is just another part of the remarkable creative output encouraged and organised over many years by Hal Sisk.

Published in Sailor of the Month
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Hal Sisk of Dun Laoghaire has tonight (Tuesday) received the International Classic Boater of the Year Award in London for his decades of inspired service to classic craft and sailing history, while his colleagues Fionan de Barra of Dun Laoghaire and Steve Morris of Kilrush Boatyard were also personally awarded - at a ceremony in the Royal Thames Yacht Club - for their exceptional work in the trio’s current shared project, the restoration of the Dublin Bay 21 Class.

Hal Sisk’s involvement with classic craft – which includes his current role as Chairman of the International Association of Yachting Historians - came after an active offshore racing career. He was one of the creators fifty years ago of ISORA in 1971-72, while his first significant vintage project was the restoration of the 1884-vintage Fife cutter Vagrant in 1984.

Many other interests and classic boat types were explored before - in 2003 - he initiated the successful 2005-completed restoration of the 36ft 1894-vintage G L Watson designed cutter Peggy Bawn (built by Hilditch of Carrickfergus), while another avenue of thought was explored with a glassfibre version of the 1890s Dublin Bay Colleen class.

Hal Sisk sailing his first major project, the restoration of the 1884 Fife cutter Vagrant in 1984.  Photo: W.M.NixonHal Sisk sailing his first major project, the restoration of the 1884 Fife cutter Vagrant in 1984. Photo: W.M.Nixon

Two other special interests – the glassfibre version of the 1890s Dublin Bay Colleen sailing with the 2005-completed restoration of the 1894 Watson cutter Peggy Bawn. Photo: W M NixonTwo other special interests – the glassfibre version of the 1890s Dublin Bay Colleen sailing with the 2005-completed restoration of the 1894 Watson cutter Peggy Bawn. Photo: W M Nixon

He served as Class Captain of the Dublin Bay Water Wags (with whom he has actively raced for many years) when the 1887/1900 class finally achieved a turnout of 30 boats on the starting line, and meanwhile he was starting to work with Fionan de Barra, custodian of the 1902-founded Dublin Bay 21s, on developing a meaningful way of restoring the seven boats as a viable proposition to suit contemporary circumstances.

The DB21 project gets under way with Naneen delivered to Kilrush with (left to right) Fionan de Barra, Steve Morris, design consultant Paul Spooner, and Hal Sisk.The DB21 project gets under way with Naneen delivered to Kilrush with (left to right) Fionan de Barra, Steve Morris, design consultant Paul Spooner, and Hal Sisk.

The re-built Naneen about to launch with (left to right) Steve Morris, James Madigan, Hal Sisk, Fionan de Barra, Fintan Ryan and Dan Mill. Photo: W M NixonThe re-built Naneen about to launch with (left to right) Steve Morris, James Madigan, Hal Sisk, Fionan de Barra, Fintan Ryan and Dan Mill. Photo: W M Nixon

With four of the re-built boats expected in commission this summer thanks to the work by Steve Morris and his team at Kilrush Boatyard, the dream is becoming reality, and it means that Hal Sisk has now been very successfully involved in restoring classic craft from the three greatest Scottish designers of the “Golden Age” - William Fife, G L Watson and Alfred Mylne.

The re-built Garavogue on her way to winning the first Dublin Bay race of the restored class in September 2021 with three re-built boats contesting.The re-built Garavogue on her way to winning the first Dublin Bay race of the restored class in September 2021 with three re-built boats contesting.

Yet remarkable as that is in its own right, it is only part of the broad swathe of inspired thinking and varied projects in which Hal Sisk has been involved in his many decades of playing a leading role in the Irish and international maritime scene, not least of them being the guidance through to publication – in 2008 - of the monumental book recording all the traditional craft of Ireland.

Published in Dublin Bay 21
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It may well be that Zoom sessions will continue as a significant permanent element in communication within the sailing community. But if the emergence from the pandemic continues reasonably well on course, there are many who hope that traditional human contact gatherings – with their attendant direct benefit on clubhouse finances – will soon return in abundance.

Nevertheless, with the mood of caution which is prevailing initially, the opportunity for a good Zoom session is not to be missed, particularly if it’s based around a topic that has already given several clubs and organisations a worthwhile subject for an entertaining Zoomathon.

Hal Sisk’s meticulously researched and well-thought-through presentation of “Back to the Future”, the story of bringing new life to Dublin Bay’s most famous classics in a project with Fionan de Barra and boatbuilder Steve Morris, has already provided much food for thought in a series of online club sessions through the dark days.

The Dublin Bay 21 Garavogue making her first visit in re-built form to Howth in September 2021. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThe Dublin Bay 21 Garavogue making her first visit in re-built form to Howth in September 2021. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

But now it all has been taken to a new level with the news that the DB21 revival has been short-listed for an international classics award. So it’s timely - and then some - that this week’s Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association weekly Zoom session at 8.0pm on Thursday, January 27th is the comprehensive DB21 Back to the Future show with Hal.

DBOGA – where Adrian “Stu” Spence recently succeeded Johnny Wedick as president - have used their sessions on Zoom and live pre-covid as a fund-raiser for Howth Lifeboat, with €8,000 being presented last September, and they hope that those watching the DB21 show will continue by donating at least €5

The details of the DB21 meeting are:
• Topic: Hal Sisk Talk
• Time: January 27th 2022, at 20.00hrs
Meeting ID: 839 3901 8107

Passcode: 256648

Presentation of the DBOGA donation at Howth Lifeboat with (left to right) Fred Connolly (Howth Lifeboat cox’n) Johnny Wedick (President, DBOGA), and Capt Colm Newport (Operations Manager, Howth Lifeboat) Photo RNLI/Rose MichaelPresentation of the DBOGA donation at Howth Lifeboat with (left to right) Fred Connolly (Howth Lifeboat cox’n) Johnny Wedick (President, DBOGA), and Capt Colm Newport (Operations Manager, Howth Lifeboat) Photo RNLI/Rose Michael

Published in Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

Two classic designs with strong Dublin Bay links have been nominated for major prizes in the annual international Classic Boat Awards. Master boat-builder Steve Morris of Kilrush will of course be personally in line for the prize for his work in re-building the Dublin Bay 21 cruiser-racers, originally conceived as a class to Alfred Mylne’s design in 1902. But it is Dublin Bay’s own Fionan de Barra and Hal Sisk who have put together this complex project that currently sees the fourth DB 21 undergoing the process in Kilrush, which involves building a new boat on top of the original lead ballast keel. This fourth re-birth is Geraldine – “the white boat” - for long associated with the Johnston family of Dun Laoghaire.

“Work of international standard” – a recent photo of the Geraldine re-build under way in Kilrush. Photo Steve Morris“Work of international standard” – a recent photo of the Geraldine re-build under way in Kilrush. Photo Steve Morris

However, in the 2022 Classic Boat Awards the Dublin-Bay-to-Scotland links go beyond the DB21/Afred Mylne connection, as the 47ft McGruer of Clynder-designed-and-built yawl Rinamara of 1968 vintage, originally created in response to a detailed brief from Peter Odlum of the Royal Irish YC, is nominated for Best Restoration in a project by Stirling & Sons of Plymouth..

For many years Peter Odlum was a mainstay of the International 8 Metre Cruiser/Racer Class, with his Cruisers Eights Nahmara (1955) and Inishmara (1963). Both were designed and built by McGruer, and both were keenly campaigned in the Clyde, at Dublin Bay regattas, and occasionally in the West Cork regattas.

The restored Rinamara of 1968 vintage. When sailed by first owner Peter Odlum of Dublin Bay, her hull was dark green. Photo: SandemanThe restored Rinamara of 1968 vintage. When sailed by first owner Peter Odlum of Dublin Bay, her hull was dark green. Photo: Sandeman

The Cruiser Eights were around 42ft in overall length. But for his dream cruiser – created after a long racing career which had included the Dublin Bay 21s where he’d campaigned Maureen - the 47ft yawl Rinamara for 1968 gave so much more in comfort and speed, and for many years he cruised her extensively in Europe.

Subsequent owners if anything accelerated the pace, as Rinamara’s CV now includes a global circumnavigation. So if you’re posting a vote for Steve Morris and the DB 21s, you’re also entitled to post one in the separate category which includes Rinamara – let’s hear it for Dublin Bay….

Vote here

Published in Historic Boats

Coming as it does from David Tasker - an Afloat.ie reader from the Isle of Wight - a typically Autumnal query received a day or two ago from this new owner of an interesting and much-loved vintage boat is one of those gems that could well trigger lines of enquiry which will still be trundling along at Christmas, such that before you know it, the days will be getting longer, and it will be time to think of fitting-out, with the Boat History File consigned for the summer to the top shelf - as it should be.

He attaches three photos, and tells us:

"I have just purchased what I believe to be a Dublin Bay 21. I understand she was bought back from Ireland in the 80s and restored around about 1994. I am trying to find her earlier history and wondered if you could help please".

It emerges that a previous owner, an English sailing enthusiast based for a while in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, had spotted the boat in a run-down state in Killyleagh on the shores of Strangford Lough. He fell in love as one does, and in trying to buy her, was assured by the owner that she was a Dublin Bay 21.

A Ballyholme Bay OD in another guise – Iolanthe on the slipway in the Isle of Wight in 2021. Photo courtesy David TaskerA Ballyholme Bay OD in another guise – Iolanthe on the slipway in the Isle of Wight in 2021. Photo courtesy David Tasker

The boat – Iolanthe is her name – was indeed just over 21ft long. And the members of Dublin Bay SC can be rightly proud that their time-honoured reputation for setting the gold standard in One-Designs as visualised by creative legends of the calibre of William Fife and Alfred Mylne is such that the "Dublin Bay" name was invoked as redolent of quality in a place like Killyleagh.

For in normal circumstances, a favourable attitude to Dublin is emphatically not part of the Killyleagh mind-set. This is despite the fact that the little town is indirectly but tangibly linked to William Rowan Hamilton (1805-1865). He's the astronomer and mathematical genius who, during a stroll along the Royal Canal in Dublin in 1843, had such a flash of insight into a solution to the problem of quaternions that he immediately scratched his new formula into the stonework of Broom Bridge in Cabra.

Eureka Killyleagh style….Broom Bridge on the Royal Canal in Dublin, where William Rowan Hamilton inscribed his new theory……Eureka Killyleagh style….Broom Bridge on the Royal Canal in Dublin, where William Rowan Hamilton inscribed his new theory……

…..a piece of inspired graffiti which has now been given retrospective respectability through proper commemoration.…..a piece of inspired graffiti which has now been given retrospective respectability through proper commemoration.

It has to be said that the Killyleagh owner of Iolanthe back in the 1980s had a flash of best Rowan Hamilton-quality inspiration in describing Iolanthe as a Dublin Bay 21. The DB21s – now in process of restoration through Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra working with Steve Morris of Kilrush Boatyard – are unmistakably an Alfred Mylne design, 21ft on the waterline and 31ft in hull overall length. But Iolanthe is none of these things.

Classic Mylne…..the restored Dublin Bay 21 Garavogue racing in the Royal Irish YC end-of-season Pursuit Race 2021. Photo: Gilly GoodbodyClassic Mylne…..the restored Dublin Bay 21 Garavogue racing in the Royal Irish YC end-of-season Pursuit Race 2021. Photo: Gilly Goodbody

For she, on the other hand, may potentially be a little sit-in weekend cruiser. But at 21.75ft LOA, 15.5ft LWL, 5.75ft beam and 3ft draft, her dimensions are put in perspective when we realise they aren't that much larger than those of a Flying Fifteen, which is a very sit-on sort of boat, but comes with the aura of being an Uffa Fox design.

It was far from the exalted world of Uffa Fox and William Fife and Alfred Mylne that the design of the little Iolanthe emerged, but it's an intriguing story nevertheless. That said, it's told here from memory and inference while we let various researchers do things in their own time.

Thus we're winging it, and not for the first time. But it is a fact that in the latter half of the 1930s the British Royal Family was going through some turmoil, and when a reasonably normal couple saved the dynasty by having their Coronation as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937, the marine industry celebrated with some boatbuilders describing their broadly standard products as the Coronation Class.

One such was a little Scottish firm in the Firth of Clyde called James Colhoun & Co, who are recalled as being based in Dunoon, but nobody remembers them there, so it may have been Troon. That they existed there's no doubt, for in Lloyds Register of 1964 they're listed as having become Colhoun & Sons, but without an address – they're only in the Register because the greatest success of their own-designed new Coronation OD was as the Ballyholme Bay Class.

In 1938, Ballyholme YC on Belfast Lough took an option on 12 of the boats, eventually reduced to nine which successful raced as the Ballyholme Bay Class for many years. With understandable pride in their new senior keelboat OD class, they emphatically described them first as the Bay Class, and later as the Ballyholme Bay class.

The Ballyholme Bay ODs shaping up for some club racing – the design origins as the Coronation OD by Colhoun & Co were submerged in local pride. Photo: W M NixonThe Ballyholme Bay ODs shaping up for some club racing – the design origins as the Coronation OD by Colhoun & Co were submerged in local pride. Photo: W M Nixon

Thus when two or three of the Coronation Class (possible originally intended for Balyholme) found their way to Strangford Lough as individual boats, the thriving Ballyholme Class ignored their existence as they put through their own hectic annual programme on Belfast Lough.

A highlight was their annual visit to the Regatta at Carrickergus, where the Bay Class provided some of the strength for an informal but brutal rugby match between Bangor and Carrick sailors on the green between the Anchor Inn and the historic castle, while the social pace in the Inn itself was set by the Bay Class's most heroic toper, a gnarled character of magnificently colourful nasal architecture whose day job was the sacred task of supplying and tuning the finest church organs in Northern Ireland.

It's difficult to say exactly why the Ballyholme Bay class are either defunct or at the very least in mothballs, though some would argue that their surviving rivals of the Waverley Class had deeper local roots, as they were designed by John Wylie of Whitehead, and built at yards on the shores of Belfast Lough.

Yet the 29ft River Class on Strangford Lough are – like the Ballyholme Bays - entirely Scottish in origin, having been designed by Alfred Mylne and all twelve built either at his own yard at Ardmaleish on Bute, or in the boatyard next door. But this has in no way hindered the Rivers' increasing good health in recent years, with all twelve in action for the class's Centenary in 2021.

As for Iolanthe, by 1997 the enchanted owner who had bought her in Killyleagh had brought her home to the Isle of Wight for a very thorough restoration with Will Squibb and Eddie Wade at Bembridge in one of those workshops which are mini-temples to the arts and crafts of the shipwright.

A mini-temple to the arts and crafts of the shipwright – Iolanthe being restored in the Bembridge workshop. Photo courtesy David TaskerA mini-temple to the arts and crafts of the shipwright – Iolanthe being restored in the Bembridge workshop. Photo courtesy David Tasker

And since then, Iolanthe has proven her seaworthy credentials by cruising down channel as far as Dartmouth in Devon, which is rather further and more exposed than the passage to the Narrows Regatta in Strangford Lough occasionally achieved by the Ballyholme Bay Class.

Iolanthe's latest owner may have to accept that he doesn't have a Dublin Bay 21, or a Dublin Bay anything. But in fact, he may have something rather more special, as there's now a charming corner of the Isle of Wight that is forever Ballyholme.

A little corner of the Isle of Wight which is forever Ballyholme – with an enlarged headsail, Iolanthe is providing improved performance. Photo courtesy David TaskerA little corner of the Isle of Wight which is forever Ballyholme – with an enlarged headsail, Iolanthe is providing improved performance. Photo courtesy David Tasker

Published in W M Nixon

The three 1903 Dublin Bay 21s newy-restored for Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra by Steve Morris and his team in Kilrush Boatyard have been back in Dun Laoghaire for six weeks now. But in the late season’s perverse weather, there have been few if any days when pleasant conditions have combined with a decent sailing breeze to allow them to give of their best. However, a brief weather window on Friday evening for the Royal Irish YC’s traditional end-of-season pursuit race made the re-born DB 21s the Belles of the Ball. And though there at first seemed to be a complete informational blackout as to which boat of the total fleet actually won the pursuit race, everyone immediately knew that Garavogue, helmed by Joe Conway and crewed by Alex Conway and Hal Sisk, was looking absolutely splendid as she came in first of the the Dublin Bay 21s, followed by Naneen helmed by RIYC Commodore Pat Shannon - he and his crew had enjoyed the experience so much that they extended it by adding a couple of extra marks to the prescribed course……….

A balmy Autumn breeze on Dublin Bay - Garavogue leading on Friday evening...Photo: Gilly GoodbodyA balmy Autumn breeze on Dublin Bay - Garavogue leading on Friday evening...Photo: Gilly Goodbody 

…..while Naneen so liked the experience of good sailing that she unilaterally extended the course for her personal enjoyment wit a couple of extra marks. Originally constructed in 1905, Naneen was the only DB21 actually built in Dun Laoghaire, with the job done by James Clancy. Photo: Gilly Goodbody…..while Naneen so liked the experience of good sailing that she unilaterally extended the course for her personal enjoyment wit a couple of extra marks. Originally constructed in 1905, Naneen was the only DB21 actually built in Dun Laoghaire, with the job done by James Clancy. Photo: Gilly Goodbody

Garavogue on her launching day at Portrush in 1903 with builder James Kelly, while owner W.R.Richardson is accompanied by many friends up from Dublin up for the day. Photo courtesy Robin RuddockGaravogue on her launching day at Portrush in 1903 with builder James Kelly, while owner W.R.Richardson is accompanied by many friends up from Dublin up for the day. Photo courtesy Robin Ruddock

Garavogue emerging with flawless black topsides from the restoration process in Kilrush Boatyard in 2021. Photo: Steve MorrisGaravogue emerging with flawless black topsides from the restoration process in Kilrush Boatyard in 2021. Photo: Steve Morrs

Published in Dublin Bay 21
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In times past before they ceased racing in 1986, the 1903-founded Dublin Bay 21s were regular participants in regattas at Howth. With three of the boats newly-restored under the class revival project inspired by Fionan de Barra and Hal Sisk, it is now possible to revive the tradition, and this Sunday (September 12th) the three boats will be crossing Dublin Bay to re-introduce themselves to their Howth admirers.

It will be a busy day in Howth with the Annual Provident Junior Regatta underway, but the welcome presence and availability of the three DB21 classics will add to the festive buzz of sailing gradually getting back up to speed after the slowdown of the pandemic period.

Published in Dublin Bay 21
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When the three newly-restored Dublin Bay 21s fulfilled the dream of Fionan de Barra and Hal Sisk by racing last Tuesday, they did so off a coastline much-changed since they last sailed on the bay in 1986. Admittedly the unmistakable and rather elegant Poolbeg smokestacks had been in existence since the 1970s, but even so the buzz around the bay - despite the pandemic restraints - now has a different feel to the mood of the 1980s. Yet it’s a comparison to our lead photo from the 1950s with this second photo from last Tuesday evening which talks most eloquently of a completely different world.

The Irish economy was almost paralysed in the 1950s, with a nadir being reached in 1956 when some of the best boats in Dun Laoghaire were sold off to dollar-waving Americans. As for those who were getting by with the help of old money or an established and virtually indispensable profession, after a day’s sailing there were few if any televisions to go home to for an evening’s entertainment, and with one or two honourable exceptions, opportunities for exciting dining-out were very limited. Yet for the favoured few, life could be very agreeable indeed in an uncrowded and unhurried country, in which you only needed to apply for a driving licence in order to get one without a test of any kind, it was generally accepted that most car drivers - particularly nervous ones - actually drove much better with some pints of stout on board, and it was of course the case that smoking quality cigarettes was good for preventing lung infections.

Restored Dublin Bay 21s Naneen, Estelle and Garavogue in Dublin Bay, Tuesday August 24th 2021Restored Dublin Bay 21s Naneen, Estelle and Garavogue in Dublin Bay, Tuesday August 24th 2021

Published in Dublin Bay 21
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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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