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Displaying items by tag: Aran Direct

The Mainport Group, an Irish owned integrated marine services company have bare-boat chartered the AHTS Dina Alliance from Norwegian interests, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Dina Alliance is a supply seismic support vessel which is currently on duty servicing three other seismic vessels operating in the North Sea on behalf of Mainport clients. She was built in 2009 by Fujian, China as an anchor handling tug supply (AHTS).

On board the 60m vessel there is an aft clear working deck space used for supplies which is capable of handling two 20ft reefer containers and a single 20ft storage container. The vessels' powerplant is provided by 2 x Caterpillar 3516B main-engines of 1920kW (5150bhp) at 1500 rpm which drive twin kort nozzles propellers and equipped with a corresponding pair of high-lift rudders.

Accommodation is for 42 berths (11 for officers and crew) and other marine personnel (numbering 31) in addition to two hospital berths. All of the cabins are air-conditioned with washrooms/WC.

Dina Alliance brings the Mainport Group fleet total to 24 vessels (for list click HERE) which are deployed in various sectors engaged in offshore support vessels covering safety standby, tugs, tanker assist, towage, bunkering and seismic support services.

Earlier this year the company's Foynes based tug Celtic Isle was requested to assist in refloating the stricken combi-heavy lift vessel Pantanel which had dragged its anchor in stormy seas after running aground in Cashla Bay, Rossaveal. The German-owned vessel was to load two former Aran Direct owned fast-ferries that operated from the Connemara harbour on a delivery voyage bound for Mauritius.

Mainport is a Cork based operation with offices located in Foynes, Limerick, Drogheda in addition to operations overseas in Durban and Johannesburg in South Africa and Aktau in Kazakhstan.

Published in Ports & Shipping
The saga of Thor Gitta's prolonged stay in Galway to load two former Aran Islands ferries bound for Mauritius, culminated with the cargoship's departure this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Due to a series of incidents, mishaps and delays the Thor Gitta has been at the centre of attention. Crowds of Galwegians witnessed the loading of both ferries during the past week.

First to be loaded was the Clann na nOileáin on Wednesday in an operation than took four-hours while on Friday her sister Clann Eagle I took six-hours to be winched safely onto the cargo-deck during freshening winds.

It is ironic that since Thor Gitta 's arrival to the port's Dún Aengus Dock on 5 April that it would also nearly be the same time taken for the estimated 25-day delivery voyage of the ferries to the Indian Ocean island.

During the 8,300 mile journey Thor Gitta will make several port of calls with the first call to La Rochelle. The Bay of Biscay port is the next largest port south of Les Sables d'Olonnes, where the fast-ferries where built at the OCEA boatyard for her original owners Bád Arann Teoranta which traded as Aran Direct on routes from Rossaveal to the islands.

Thor Gitta was built in 1996 and is also designed to carry 364 TEU (twenty-foot equivilant unit) containers and belongs to an-eight strong fleet operated by the Danish company, Thor Rederi A/S of Svendborg.

One of the reasons why the heavylift vessel was delayed in loading was to ensure the correct positioning of the ferries so not to further disrupt other port call cargo allocation while on the long repositioning voyage to Mauritius.

The 4,078 tonnes cargsoship is also scheduled to make en-route calls to Pointe Noir in the Congo, Cape Town and Pemba in Mozambique before finally reaching the southern Indian Ocean destination.

When the ferries were completed in 2005 and 2006 they were valued between €5-6m but they only served up to September 2008 when the 243 passenger aluminium built craft were laid-up at the Connemara harbour due to financial difficulities.

This led to the company going into receivership and the vessels were put up for auction in Galway last February. Despite bids reaching €950,000, they were withdrawn at the auction hosted by the Cork based auctioneer, Dominic J. Daly.

In the following month the fast-ferries were sold to the French owner for a new career based from the island state which is in the Mascarene Islands. Mauritius is neighboured by the smaller islands of Agalega, Cargados Carajos, Rodrigues and the French island of Réunion some 200km to the southwest.

Published in Ports & Shipping
The loading of the second former Aran Island ferry, Clann Eagle I onto the cargoship Thor Gitta in Galway has finally been completed today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 4,078 tonnes vessel is scheduled to depart the mid-western port tomorrow evening on the 8,300 mile delivery voyage to Mauritius.

Despite freshening winds the 169 gross registered tonnes ferry was winched out of the waters of the port's Dún Aengus Dock. In total the operation took six-hours which saw the delicate positioning of the 27m long ferry between the ship's two deck-mounted cranes and lowered onto the cargo-deck.

Yesterday proceedings to load the ferry were suspended due to delays in relocating other cargo so to accommodate the 243 passenger capacity ferry. This followed the loading of her sister Clann na nOileáin on Wednesday.

Several previous attempts to hoist the Clann Eagle I onto the deck of the Danish-flagged vessel have been hampered. At one stage due to complications in efforts to transport the vessels, the 100m Thor Gitta was temporary detained by the admiralty marshal.

Procedures to load the 29 knots fast-ferry pair have been beset with incidents notably the grounding and subsequent damage to the first chartered cargoship, Patanal, off Rossaveal. It was originally planned to sail the ferries out into Casla Bay where the German-flagged vessel would load them onboard.

As a consequence the ferries were transferred to Galway where the Clann na nOileáin did not escape attention either. On the first attempt to load the ferry one of the ship's slings snapped from the crane-cradle causing the 172 tonnes ferry to fall into the water.

Minor damage was caused to the ferry, though three men who remained onboard at the time of the incident were taken to hospital but were later released.

Last month the ferries were sold to a French buyer after the company that owned them Bád Arann Teoranta (trading as Aran Direct) went into receivership. The ferries operated on several routes between Rossaveal to the islands but are now destined to serve on an inter-island service from the Indian Ocean island.

Published in Ports & Shipping
In the process to load two fast-ferries onboard a heavy-cargo liftship in Galway port the operation has taken on yet another setback, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Despite successfully loading the first ferry, the 172 gross tonnes ferry Clann na nOileain yesterday morning, which took four hours, the time to secure the vessel on the cargoship's deck continued much longer than anticipted.

As a consequence this led to further delays in the the clearance of existing cargo so to enable sufficient space to load the second ferry onboard the Thor Gitta.

THOR_GITTA

The 4,078 gross tonnes heavy-cargo liftship was due to have started loading the second ferry the 169 tonnes ferry Clann Eagle I yesterday afternoon but this has been delayed until 12 noon today.

The Danish-flagged Thor Gitta has been in Galway for over a fortnight. She berthed with her starboard side facing alongside the quay. With this orientation the cargoship's two-deck mounted cranes swing out on the opposite port side which were used to raise the first ferry out of the water on 7 April.

On that ocasion the forward sling snapped causing the Clann na nOileain to plunge into the waters within the port's single dock named the Dun Aengus Dock.

In recent daysThor Gitta has shifted berths which has resulted in the 100m long vessel berthing on her starboard side again next to the dock's quayside. The deck-mounted cranes on the port side continue to face out overlooking the open water of the dock.

The loading of Clann na nOileain is all the more skillfull considering that the 27m length of the ferry had to be hoisted and swung at an angle between the narrow span of the two deck mounted cranes.

For file photos of vessels in loading mode from the Rederi A/S fleet owners of the Thor Gitta click here.

Thor Gitta is the second chartered vessel called in to assist in the transportation of the two former Aran Islands fast-ferries.

The other cargoship, the longer 120 metre Patanal, ran aground at the end of March during stormy seas after dragging its anchor in Casla Bay, at the entrance to Rossaveal harbour. The 7,002 tonnes vessel sought initial repairs before leaving Galway Bay last week for further work in Germany.

The monuhull fast ferry pair were custom built in France for Bad Teoranta (trading as Aran Direct) but the company went into recievership.

At an auction held in Galway last month the vessels did not sale despite bids reaching €950,000, they were withdrawn at the auction. The ferries were later sold for a sum believed to be seven-figures to an operator based in the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

Published in Ports & Shipping
A 7,837 tonnes heavy cargo-liftship Pantanal which was to collect two former Aran Island fast ferries, ran aground this morning in rough seas off Rossaveal, according to RTE.ie
The Danish-owned vessel got into difficulties around 06.00 when it ran aground in Casla Bay at the entrance to the Connemara harbour. The Pantanal which has a crew of 14 are trying to establish it the 2004 built vessel can be refloated later today.

Pantanel which is equipped with two deck-mounted cranes was due to lift the 170 tonnes fast ferry sisters Clann Eagle I and Clann na nOileáin. The pair which were owned by Bád Arann Teo (trading as Aran Direct) went into receivership and were sold last month to new owners in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. For further details click  here.

The Antigua Barbuda registered vessel specialises in transporting heavy project cargo around the world. To see a photo of the vessel with boat-cargo onboard click here.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Two former Aran Islands fast-passenger ferries have been sold to a buyer in Mauritius, the island nation which lies southeast off the African continent in the Indian Ocean, and some 900km east of Madagascar, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The ferries Clann Eagle I (2005/169grt) and Clann na nOileáin (2006/172grt) were sold for a seven figure sum by the auctioneer, Dominic J. Daly.

The sale follows a previous attempt to dispose of the 234-passenger capacity ferries at an auction in Galway last month. Despite bids reaching €950,000, they were withdrawn at the auction which was also hosted by the Cork based auctioneer.

The vessels remain in Rossaveal but they will be transferred onto a cargoship as 'deck-cargo' to make the long delivery journey across the high seas for the new owners. Mauritius is neighboured by the smaller islands of Agalega, Cargados Carajos and Rodrigues which together form the Mascarene Islands, with the French island of Réunion some 200km to the southwest.

ARAN_FERRIES

Sisters Clann na nOileáin and Clann Eagle I moored at Rossaveal. Photo
Jehan Ashmore / ShipSNAPS

With a streamlined aluminium 26m mono-hull design the vessels are capable of 19.7 knots. When the craft were constructed in 2006 they were worth between €5 and €6m. The pair were built in France by the OCEA boatyard at Les Sables d'Olonne, on the Bay of Biscay coastline, for Bád Arann Teo (trading as Aran Direct).

The company which went into receivership, operated on routes between Rossaveal and the Aran Islands (Oileáin Árann) of Inishmore (Inis Mór) Inishmaan (Inis Meáin) and Inisheer (Inis Oírr).

In recent years, Aran Direct had intended to introduce a larger passenger-only catamaran ferry on a new route between Galway and Kilronan, the capital of Inishmore and the largest of the three islands.

The fast-craft catamaran envisaged for the route was the U.S. based, 37m Harbour Lynx (2003/427grt) formerly Angel of Freedom, with a capacity for 300 passengers.To be renamed Aran Princess, the vessel was scheduled to take only an hour's passage time across Galway Bay.

In addition the revived route would have been the first direct 'passenger' carrying link between Galway City to the Aran Islands, since the closure in 1988 by CIE (Córas Iompair Éireann) of the three-hour route operated by the Naomh Éanna (1957/438grt).

Published in Island News
Two passenger ferry vessels which operated on routes to the Aran Islands will be put up for auction next month, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The sister vessels are the MV Clann Eagle I (2005/169grt) and MV Clann Na N'oileain which was built a year later and is slightly larger at 172 gross registered tonnes. French-built, the fast-ferries are capable of 19.7 knots and have an aluminium monohull and a two-deck superstructure with accommodation for 243-passengers.

Aran Direct (which was the trading name for Bád Arann Teoranta) operated on routes between Rossaveal to Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr. The company competed in an intensely competitive market with at least 10 other vessels combined from the fleets of Aran Doolin Ferries, Aran Island Ferries and the Doolin Ferry Company.

In September 2008, Aran Direct ceased operations and the vessels were laid-up at Rossaveal, where they remain, as seen (if not previously sold) prior to the public auction.

At the instructions of Liam Dowdall Esq., Receiver & Manager, Bád Arann Teoranta (in receivership), the vessels are to be sold in one or separate lots. The public auction is to be held at 12 noon on Thursday 24th February at the Harbour Hotel, The Docks, Galway.

An outline of the vessels details can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking HERE. For further details, photographs and conditions of sale contact Dominic J. Daly, Auctioneer, Cork Tel: (021) 4277399 or E-mail: [email protected] and logging on to www.dominicjdaly.com

For further technical details, you can contact Noel O'Regan of Promara Ltd on 087 3435666 or email [email protected]

Published in Island News

Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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