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Displaying items by tag: Dublin Bay

Race 1

Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Wow, 2. D-Tox

Cruiser 0 Echo: 1. Wow, 2. D-Tox

Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. White Mischief, 2. Gringo, 3. Bon Exemple

Cruiser 1 Echo: 1. White Mischief, 2. Gringo, 3. Bon Exemple

Cruiser 1 J109: 1. White Mischief

31.7 One Design: 1. Prospect, 2. Levante, 3. Attitude

31.7 Echo: 1. Fiddly Bits, 2. Attitude, 3. Levante

Cruiser 2 IRC: 1. Peridot, 2. Windjammer, 3. Rupert

Cruiser 2 Echo: 1. Springer, 2. Windjammer, 3. Peridot

Cruiser 2 Sigma 33: 1. Rupert, 2. Springer, 3. Pastiche

Cruiser 5 NS-IRC: 1. Persistence

Cruiser 5 Echo: 1. Spirit, 2. Persistence

SB20: 1. Carpe Diem, 2. Venuesworld.com, 3. Sea Biscuit

Flying 15: 1. No Name, 2. Ignis Caput II, 3. Glass Half Full

Ruffian: 1. Ripples, 2. Ruffles, 3. Alias

Shipman: 1. Barossa, 2. Viking, 3. Jo Slim

B211 One Design: 1. Yikes

B211 Echo: 1. Yikes

Mermaid: 1. Red Seal

Race 2

SB20: 1. Venuesworld.com, 2. Carpe Diem, 3. Sea Biscuit

Flying 15: 1. No Name, 2. Ignis Caput II, 3. Betty

Published in DBSC
Tagged under

Whitbread Race competitor Angela Heath will join regular Dublin Bay helms Jean Mitton and Alison Clarke among the inspiring and influential Irish women taking part in the first Pathfinder Women at the Helm event next month.

This new event “encourages women to embrace a role of leadership on the water, and set an example for future female sailors so that helming becomes the norm”. Registration is open HERE.

Despite boys and girls competing against each other in single-handed dinghies, it’s still uncommon to see women leading their own crew, says Irish Sailing. Yet there are many strong women quietly pursuing their passion for sailing.

Among them is Jean Mitton of the Royal St George, who when she started out was often the only woman on a crew outside of family outings.

Jean Mitton 1339Jean Mitton (second from left) on board the family 31.7 Photo: Afloat

“Facing challenges while on the boat has given me the full sailing experience and made me confident in my ability to be at the helm,” says the now 12-year veteran.

CrI Cri 3430Alison Clarke (left) onboard the Quarter Tonner CrI Cri Photo: Afloat

It’s a feeling shared by Alison Clarke, who will be helming the boat she regularly crews — Paul Colton’s Cri Cri — in the event over the weekend of Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August at the National Yacht Club.

“Sailing has taught me things about leadership that you can’t learn in a classroom or from a textbook,” she says.

Both Jean and Alison surely took inspiration from the likes of Angela Heath, who was part of the pioneering all-woman crew of Tracy Edwards’ Maiden. And now they will have the opportunity to test their skills against Angela as she helms the Beneteau 31.7 Crazy Horse.

Crazy horse 1211The Beneteau 31.7 Crazy Horse with Angela Heath in white top, second from right Photo: Afloat

Angela will also be taking part in a Q&A following a screening on Friday 16 August (National Yacht Club, 6.30pm) of the documentary Maiden, which charts the highs and lows of Edwards and crew in the 1989 edition of the world’s most challenging round-the-world sailing race.

Published in ISA

The Muglins light off Dalkey which marks the southern approaches of Dublin Bay has recently been inspected and recieved routine maintenance, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to the Commissioners of Irish Lights, the light is an effective and conspicuous aids to navigation (AtoN) for the approaches to Dublin Bay from the south, both during the day and at night.

ILV Granauile, the Irish Lights aids to navigation tender which visits The Muglins (p.13) on an annual basis this year took an anchorage closer to Lamb Island. This is the largest of several smaller islands that form a protective chain leading off Dalkey Island which is closer to the mainland (300 metres) compared to The Muglins which is more exposed been some 500m north-east and situated further out in Dublin Bay.

As part of the Irish Lights' annual planned maintenance programme, work on The Muglins began last Tuesday. This involved a range of checks on the light, the solar panel system (see photo: at top of light) as well as the structure of the tower and the boat landing where Afloat observed a tender from ILV Granuaile transfer personnel and equipment onto the rockey islet.

In addition at The Muglins a risk assessment took place and checks were completed for the station which sports a distinctive white and red band scheme. Noting the inclusion of the central red band was adopted in 1883, three years after the light then designated a beacon (a 30ft stone built structure and conical in shape) was erected according to Bill Long author of 'Bright Light, White Water'. It was between the 9th to 18th centuries where Dublin was far from ideal to conduct itself as a port from which to conduct foreign trade.

Access to Dublin was dangerous due to constantly shifting sandbanks and so Dalkey, two miles south-east of Dun Loaghaire, saw during the Middle Ages for the most part ships instead of using the Port of Dublin took an alternative in Dalkey Sound which afforded relative shelter when at anchorage. This enabled transferring cargoes by lighters ashore to Dalkey's seven fortified town houses/castles built to store the goods which were off-loaded in Dalkey in the Middle Ages, when Dalkey acted as the port for Dublin. 

The Muglins forms part of the Dublin Bay aids to navigation group and it is at the islet where for a long time posed a dangerous hazard to mariners and caused many ships to flounder in these waters. This led to the harbourmaster of Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire), Captain William Hutchison in 1873 to plea for a light to be sited on 'these siren rocks'.

Despite a subesquent list of vessels numbering 12 that Captain Hutchison furnished to the respective authorities at that time, there was indecision between Trinity House, The Board of Trade and the Commissioners of Irish Lights on the plea to erect a light for seafarers. All was too change when a 13th wreck was added by the Captain which ultimately raised the issue again and saw plans to commission the light which was eventually completed in 1880.

In addition to the recent works at The Muglins, ILV Granuaile then proceeded to neighbouring Killiney Bay. Following an overnight anchorage operations took place in a central area closer to the open sea where the coastal shipping lane for Dublin Port is busy with traffic.

The work in Killiney Bay involved ILV Granuaile at an outfall buoy which was contract work that Irish Lights carry out on behalf of Irish Water and where the Shangannagh /Bray Wastewater Treatment Plant (page 3) is located on the shore of the bay near Shankill. The plant close to the Co. Wicklow border was upgraded in 2011 and is capable of treating 43,700m³ of wastewater a day and according to Water Technology is estimated to serve a population of 248,000 people.

The infrastructure upgrade at the plant was carried out by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in association with Wicklow County Council and Bray Town Council. The aim of the upgrade on the existing facility was to ensure the plant be in accordance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive and associated Irish Regulations. In addition it allowed the new facility to comply with other EU directives and national regulations meant for environment protection.

Published in Lighthouses

Yachts competing in tonight's Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) racing have been asked to avoid the Cruise Ship 'Star Pride' manoeuvring around number 2 berth and leaving the harbour at 6 pm tonight before Dublin Bay racing.

In a communication to the club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Master Simon Coate says 'please advise your sailors to keep well clear when she is sailing as she has little water underneath'.

As Afloat's Jehan Ashmore reported earlier today, Star Pride is the fourth of six scheduled callers to the harbour this year. 

According to the Harbour Master, The Star Pride is expected to "back out of the berth tonight" and "swing inside the harbour".

Published in DBSC
Tagged under

Following a first call of Ocean Altantic to Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Monday, the small yet heavily ice-strengthened hulled vessel returned to the port a mere three days later, writes Jehan Ashmore.

So why the return?... the answer lies in a round trip laid on by operator Albatros Expeditions for the cruise industry's travel trade which involved a mini-taster cruise and apt given its destination, Islay. The Scottish island renowned for it's whisky distilleries, is the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides islands located off the nation's south-west coast.

Afloat has also learnt that the 190 passenger capacity cruiseship prior to its debut call to Dun Laoghaire had made a repositioning voyage from Antarctica via Las Palmas, Canary Islands. At this location, the 12,000 gross tonnage ship received a refit in advance of the summer season and was not carrying passengers during its voyage on the Atlantic to the Irish east coast port.

Albratros Expeditions which during its 20 year career has included cruising in the Arctic, was recognisied at a reception held by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. The local authority welcomed the Greenland and Danish based operator during a reception hosted by the council's An Cathaoirleach, Ossian Smyth.

As the operator is a new customer to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, this brings to three cruise companies operating this season and in between them handling 6 calls in total. The season runs until September and is set against the backdrop of a recent decision by DLRCoCo to abandon an application for a €30m cruise-berth jetty.

It was on the second call to Dun Laoghaire that Ocean Atlantic initially took anchorage prior to calling within the embracing harbour arms last Thursday. Likewise of the maiden call to the Irish port, the former Soviet era built vessel and last of seven Dmitriy-Shostakovich-class ships took a berth alongside the Carlisle Pier.

The sturdy and businesslike vessel loaded stores using the cruiseship's starboard side ro-ro door located close to the stern. It is understood a stern door was originally fitted when built in 1986 at a Polish shipyard. The somewhat squat superstucture consists of three decks but there are a further six decks within the hull. As for passenger facilities some of which were previously described on Monday's report. 

Ocean Atlantic departed Dun Laoghaire later on Thursday having embarked cruise-paying passengers and on a much longer cruise. The Bahama flagged cruiseship set again a northbound passage through the Irish Sea to Scotland and on this occasion the first port of call was Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre.

Published in Cruise Liners

The first-ever Red Bull Cliff Diving event in the Irish Capital saw divers leap from 27m at Dún Laoghaire Harbour, in front of the highest-ever spectator turnout in the World Series’ 10-year history. The Irish stop saw a new name on the top step of the men’s podium, whilst reigning women’s champion, Rhiannan Iffland continued her winning streak on the Irish shores.

Here is everything you need to know:

Romania’s Constantin Popovici won in only his second event. He had placed second in his debut event at the 2019 season opener in El Nido in the Philippines.

Popovici’s victory ends Gary Hunt’s five-event winning streak. He beat the British seven-time champion by just 1.85 points; one of the closest winning margins in World Series history.

American David Colturi placed third in the men’s competition, over 75 points behind Hunt.

There was a more predictable result in the women’s event, with reigning champion Rhiannan Iffland of Australia claiming the win by a dominant 30-point margin.

Canada’s Lysanne Richard placed second, with Mexico’s Adriana Jimenez a further 30 point back in third.

Constantin Popovici (ROU), winning men’s diver said: “I was hoping for a podium place, and wanted to come first, but I wasn’t sure I was going to get it. Some of the athletes went for easier dives today because of the windy conditions, but I went full on and managed to perform better than everyone. Gary [Hunt] is one of the best divers in the world, so I’m really happy with my result.”

Rhiannan Iffland (AUS), winning women’s diver: “Each competition brings new challenges,” she said. “There are always ups and downs. Today went really well. I was scoring straight nines, which is what we all hope for. I went in cold [with no practice dive] to save my body a bit from the cold water and that really worked for me.”

RESULTS – STOP #2, DUBLIN, IRL

Men

1. Constantin Popovici ROU – 454.95pts

2. Gary Hunt GBR – 453.10
3. David Colturi USA – 374.50
4. Alessandro De Rose (W) ITA – 373.00

5. Blake Aldridge GBR – 365.10

Women

1. Rhiannan Iffland AUS – 341.50pts

2. Lysanne Richard CAN – 310.60
3. Adriana Jimenez MEX – 280.60
4. Iris Schmidbauer (W) GER – 275.60

5. Yana Nestsiarava BLR – 262.90

Published in Dublin Bay

Paul O'Higgin's JPK 1080 Rockabill VI gave notice of her intentions this season with a win in the first race of the DBSC season tonight on Dublin Bay.

The cruisers zero competitor from the Royal Irish Yacht Club was the winner on both IRC and ECHO beating clubmates Rodney and Keith Martin sailing the Beneteau 44.7 Lively Lady in both handicaps.

Although entered, George Sisk's new XP44 WOW did not race in the cruisers zero division tonight. Instead, her crew were sail testing the smart new marque in Scotsman's Bay.

Meanwhile, Rockabill is entered for Saturday's first ISORA race of the season, the Viking Marine sponsored Coastal Race now the subject of Storm Hannah forecast for Saturday.

Force three to four winds from the south made for a brisk start to the season on both the DBSC Red and Blue courses tonight, especially with an ebb tide that produced a wind against tide chop on Dublin Bay.

In class one, another RIYC boat, Andrew Craig's J109 Chimaera, was the winner in IRC beating John Hall's sistership Something Else from the National Yacht Club. On Echo, it was an RIYC boat again, the Mills 36 Raptor (Denis Hewitt) that took the win from Paul Kirwan's Beneteau 36.7 Boomerang from the Royal St. George Yacht Club. 

On the Freebird course, in Scotsman's Bay, there was a mixed turnout of one designs with disappointing turnouts for some classes including a single Dragon and only two SB20s. However, the Flying Fifteens made up for this with a fine turnout of 12 boats for the first race that was won by Glass Half Full. Second was Keith Poole's The Gruffalo and third David Mulvin's new Ingis Caput II.

DBSC Results for 25/04/2019


Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Rockabill, 2. Lively Lady, 3. Hot Cookie

Cruiser 0 Echo: 1. Rockabill, 2. Lively Lady, 3. Hot Cookie

Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. Chimaera, 2. Something Else, 3. White Mischief

Cruiser 1 Echo: 1. Raptor, 2. Boomerang, 3. Chimaera

Cruiser 1 J109: 1. Chimaera, 2. Something Else, 3. White Mischief

31.7 One Design: 1. Prospect, 2. Camira, 3. Crazy Horse

31.7 Echo: 1. Levante, 2. Camira, 3. Bluefin Two

Cruiser 2 IRC: 1. Rupert, 2. Springer, 3. Peridot

Cruiser 2 Echo: 1. Enchantress, 2. Springer, 3. Peridot

Cruiser 2 Sigma 33: 1. Rupert, 2. Springer, 3. Enchantress

Cruiser 3A IRC: 1. Running Wild, 2. Starlet, 3. Supernova

Cruiser 3A Echo: 1. Running Wild, 2. Starlet, 3. Supernova, 1. Wynward

Cruiser 5A NS-IRC: 1. Persistence, 1. Cevantes, 2. Gung-Ho, 3. Molly

Cruiser 5A Echo: 1. Spirit, 2. Persistence, 1. Sweet Martini, 2. Gung-

SB20: 1. Venuesworld.com, 2. Carpe Diem

Sportsboat SptBt. Hcap: 1. Jester, 2. Zelus, 3. RIYC 1

Flying 15: 1. Glass Half Full, 2. The Gruffalo, 3. Ignis Caput II

Ruffian: 1. Bandit, 2. Shannagh, 3. Ruffles

Shipman One Design: 1. Jo Slim, 2. Curraglas, 3. Viking

B211 One Design: 1. Chinook, 2. Small Wonder, 3. Beeswing

B211 Echo: 1. Small Wonder, 2. Beeswing, 3. Plan B

Published in DBSC
Tagged under

#irishports - A most unusual caller to Dun Laoghaire Harbour took place recently with the arrival of a tanker marking a rare event that has not occurred in three decades, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Early on Sunday afternoon the 4,107 gross tonnage tanker Thun Gemini had arrived into the south Dublin Bay harbour.

According to Afloat sources the 2003 built ship is in port for maintenance reasons. Otherwise the 114m Dutch flagged tanker is a regular on the short sea route between Milford Haven, south Wales and the Irish capital.

It was soon after the arrival of Afloat to the port yesterday that came an unexpected surprise as the ship's stern free-fall lifeboat was launched. This led to the splash generated as the lifeboat made contact with the water close to the Carlisle Pier head. 

The exersise to launch the enclosed orange lifeboat rekindled personal memories on the occasion of the previous tanker that visited the harbour. This took place in April 1989. More shall be revealed on Afloat next week on the 30th anniverary of that unique event which is among numerous chapter's that have enriched the harbour's maritime heritage. 

Thun Gemini today remains berthed in port having sailed at the weekend the short distance from one of the four berths at the oil jetty terminal in neighbouring Dublin Port. The terminal has a 330,000 tonne facility handling oil products, bitumen, chemicals and liqued petroleum gases that are linked to a common user pipe line system.

The tanker is operated by Thun Tankers, part of Erik Thun AB as previously reported on Afloat.ie. The family owned shipping business is located in Lidköping on the southern shores of Lake Vänern, the third largest lake in Europe, which is connected to the sea by a shipping canal.

Published in Irish Ports
Tagged under

At the halfway point of the DBSC Spring Chicken Series, it is the Irish National Sailing School 1720 that leads the 40–boat fleet overall. 

Another exciting and breezy race last Sunday saw one dismasting as the fleet raced a tough course around Scotsman's Bay.

Below are results for last Sunday together with Handicaps and Starts for next Sunday.

Published in DBSC
Tagged under

Dublin Bay has an unrivalled continuous history of One-Design sailing and racing writes W M Nixon.

It runs in a golden thread all the way back to 1887, when Ben Middleton launched his little class of Water Wag dinghies to establish an ideal and a tradition which has grown and developed to be comfortably at the core of sailing not just from Dun Laoghaire itself, but on all of the coasts of the Greater Dublin area.

Over the years, different One-Design classes have lasted for varying periods of time. But there has always been the thought that once a size has proven popular, then its successor class will reflect this. Yet even with new classes arriving, boats of the older types have sometimes survived, and this has created an unexpected consequence which is now having an international spinoff.

In many maritime parts of the world, boat-building schools and academies have been springing up for all sorts of reasons, including historical meaning, sociological needs, skills training, creative challenge, hobby teaching, and the simple pleasure of working with wood – you name it, it can be found as part of the thinking behind establishing a boat-building school.

dublin bay 24 adastra2The sheer style of the Dublin Bay classics has global appeal – this is the Martin brothers having a bit of sport with Adastra in a wayward gust at the entrance to Dun Laoghaire Harbour in the 1950s. Photo courtesy Martin family
These schools have found a treasure trove in Dublin Bay’s unrivalled collection of One-Design boat plans, a selection whose creators have included such distinguished names as William Fife and Alfred Mylne, not to mention Irish designers such as Maimie Doyle and John B Kearney. Their legacy is historic wooden boats of varying size and type, each of which can be used as perfect subject matter for their pupils.

wag apprenticeshop3Early stages of building a Water Wag at the Apprenticeshop
Thus at the moment the famous Apprenticeshop in Maine under the direction of Kevin Carney is re-building the Dublin Bay 24 Zephyra for David Espey of Dun Laoghaire – a project so total that the main part of the original boat is virtually only the ballast keel - while nearby, a completely new Water Wag (to the 1900 Maimie Doyle design) is also under construction.

Meanwhile in Brittany at Douarnenez, the remarkable Paul Robert and his team at the impressive complex which is Les Ateliers de l’Enfer have two Irish-related projects under way – a re-building of the 1900 Howth 17 Anita from the ballast keel up, and the making of sails traditional-style for the 1896 Herbert Boyd-designed 26ft Marguerite now owned by Guy Kilroy, which is currently undergoing restoration back in Ireland by Larry Archer in his very rural shed in the depths of Fingal.

anita rebuild4Planking under way on the re-build of the Boyd-designed Howth 17 Anita at Douarnenez in Brittany. Photo: Ian Malcolm

marguerite archer5Another Boyd design, the 26ft Marguerite of 1896, is being restored for Guy Kilroy by Larry Archer in rural Fingal. Photo: W M Nixon

South down the Breton coast, Mike Newmeyer’s famous Skol ar Mor is busy on some French craft this winter, but in times past they’ve worked creative wonders on designs as diverse as the Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle, the Howth 17 Orla, and Water Wags and Shannon One Designs, such that they hope to get back with one of the Irish designs next winter.

Further south again down the Biscay coast, and at San Sebastian in Spain’s Basque country, one of the most beautifully-built Water Wags ever seen – David Williams’ Dipper - emerged last year from the Abeola boat-building school under the direction of Brian McClelland. There’s another one currently under constriction for Mary Chambers, while the word is that other more distant places have been enquiring of the class about acquiring plans, and what they need to do in order for their finished product to be recognized as a true Water Wag.

And here we find another of the advantages of drawing on Dublin’s treasure trove of One-Design plans in order to launch a boat-building training exercise. For as the job progresses, today’s economical air travel means that the builder can get the class measurer to come and give the project his approval and encouragement.

water wags6Today’s Water Wags – seen here in close contention in Dun Laoghaire Harbour – have become pace-setters in the classic boat movement in Ireland. Photo: W M Nixon
Thus the trainee boat-builders – sometimes adults as much as young people – not only learn how to work with timber and put a seaworthy boat together in classic wooden boat style, but they also learn to build with precision if they use a living Dublin Bay design.

Of course, not all contemporary re-creations of Irish wooden boats are taking place outside Ireland, and in Ireland not all such projects use Dublin designs. At Oldcourt near Baltimore, Liam Hegarty and his team – having finished their work on the restoration of the 56ft Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen of Limerick back in the Spring – are now into the re-building of O’Brien’s world-girdling 42ft Saoirse.

And just up the road at Ballydehob, Tiernan Roe is restoring the famous Lady Min, originally designed and built by Maurice O’Keeffe of Schull in 1902. Nearby, Rui Ferreira’s workshop may be best-known locally as the spiritual home of the clinker-built Ette Class from Castlehaven, but he is also completing a Water Wag for Martin Byrne of Dublin Bay to a standard which will rival the San Sebastian boat.

ballydehob water wag7A work of art – the new Rui Ferreira-built Water Wag for Martin Byrne nears completion in Ballydehob

Moving northwards along the western seaboard, at Kilrush on the Shannon Estuary, Steve Morris has finished one hull of the Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra project to re-build three of the legendary Dublin Bay 21s of 1902, and another is on the way, while across at Foynes, the thriving Mermaid class has seen new boats being built by the voluntary effort for which Foynes Yacht Club is deservedly famous.

db21 rebuild8The Dublin Bay 21 Naneen was re-built with the hull inverted, and is seen here at Kilrush shortly after being turned. Photo: Hal Sisk

Further north, it’s very seldom that there isn’t at least one major re-building project underway on a Galway Hooker in Connemara or in Galway city itself, while along the Shannon, boat-building legend Jimmy Furey has – with Cathy MacAleavey’s encouragement – continued to build Shannon One Designs and Water Wags, while the same historic clinker-built classes have also benefited from the boat-building skills of Dougal MacMahon of Belmont in County Offaly, and the future should see a further combination of these three remarkable talents.

Although the Shannon One Designs may be indigenous to the great river and its lakes, the Water Wags are Dublin Bay through and through, and we find a sort of circle around their home port which has seen Jack Jones of Anglesey building Wags, while at the Elephant Boatyard on the Hamble in the heartlands of the Solent, there’s another Dublin Bay 21 coming back to life.

Thus there’s an underlying sense of ever increasing circles rotating around the re-building of classic Dublin Bay classes, initially taking in western Ireland and Fingal and Wales, then broadening to include France and Spain, and now expanding still further to include North America.

dougal macmahon9Dougal McMahon at Belmont in County Offaly with restorative joinery work on the 1915 Water Wag Barbara. Photo: Ian Malcolm

Yet at the very heart of these circles in Dublin Bay, we find a desert for classic wooden boat-building. Certainly, there was a fine new coastal skiff completed recently at St Michael’s Rowing Club in Dun Laoghaire. But nearby, the ever-busy maintenance, repair and modification facility of the Irish National Sailing School is very much a place where plastics and chemistry are dominant.

In a weird sort of way, it is generally accepted that there is no classic yacht building tradition in Dun Laoghaire – the view seems to be that it is always outsourced. Yet surely there’d be welcome extra life put into the Dun Laoghaire waterfront if – as an integral part of it – there was an active and accessible Boat-Building Academy?

It could incorporate the ideals which boat-building training gurus such as America’s Lance Lee (best known in Ireland for his links to the Bantry Boat movement) have been articulating so determinedly and successfully for decades, such that the local community and wider sociological benefits of establishments like this no longer need to be argued – rather, it’s a matter of specific location and size.

marian maid10One of the last larger classics to be built on Dublin Bay, the 41ft Knud Reimers-designed Marian Maid (John Sisk) was launched in 1954, and was restored in 2002
And as for the argument that Dun Laoghaire and its immediate area have no tradition of classic building, that’s not so. Admittedly it was all of 65 years ago that the last yacht of significant size, the 41ft yawl Marian Maid, emerged from the Dalkey Yacht Building Company for John Sisk Senr of the noted contracting firm. He owned the boatyard as a sideline, and their main trade was in building Folkboats. But in 1953 he approached the famous Swedish designer Knud Reimers for his take on the new International 8 Metre Cruiser/Racer, and the result was a design which Reimers liked so much that while John Sisk had Marian Maid built on the shores of Dublin Bay, Reimers had a sister-ship built for himself in Sweden.

Marian Maid had a restoration in northwest England in 2002, and made a ceremonial return to Dun Laoghaire to remind everyone that, once upon a time, such classics were built locally. But of course if we go back to the hyper-active days of One-Design growth and development in Dublin between 1895 and 1910, we find that there were several yards such as Doyle, Clancy and Hollwey producing work of the highest quality to create classes like the Dublin Bay 25s, the Dublin Bay 21s, the Howth SC/DBSC 17s, and of course the Water Wags.

1901 granuaile11jpgMaimie Doyle’s plans for the 1901-built 9-tonner Granuaile
The Water Wags of the 1900 design were a James Doyle speciality, but equally in his Dun Laoghaire workshop he could turn out keelboats such as the Dublin Bay 25s, and in 1901 his daughter Maimie finalized the design for a 9-ton cruiser which, although named Granuaile, was based far indeed from the home waters of the Pirate Queen Granuaile on Ireland’s western seaboard, as her home port was Burnham-on-Crouch in the Thames Estuary.

The new boat was such a success that in 1905 the two owners ordered a significantly larger sister-ship, a 52ft fast cruiser also called Granuaile. She may have originally followed her predecessor to the Thames Estuary, but this larger Granuaile has had a colourful life since, and after a period in America, in 1968 she fetched up in Australia, and Limerick ex-Pat Lee Condell alerted us to the fact that she is currently Tasmania-based.

1905 granuaile12The 52ft Granuaile of 1905, designed and built by Doyle of Kingstown. Constructed of teak planking on teak frames, she is currently based in Tasmania.

So the largest yacht built by the legendary James Doyle of Dun Laoghaire is still very much with us after 115 years, partly attributable to the fact that she was built of teak planking on teak frames, which even in the high-spending days of 1905, wasn’t exactly an everyday specification.

So if some determined group sought to set up a boat-building academy on the Dun Laoghaire waterfront, it would be the revival of a time-honoured tradition rather than the introduction of something totally novel. And certainly several people over the years have promoted the idea, but the obstacles have always proven too great, and inevitably you’ll ultimately come up against the realities of the frenetic Dublin property market.

For if a useful and attractive waterside location could be identified for such a project, as sure as God made little apples someone will see that it would be much more profitable as a residential development. And so we who find classic boats irresistible are left with the fact that, while great Dublin Bay boat designs are being built at locations in ever-increasing circles which now cross oceans, right at the centre of the circle in Dun Laoghaire, there’s a boat-building void as far as the Harbour’s classics are concerned.

Published in Dublin Bay
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