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Shipman 28s Surge Again as the 'Affordable Cruiser-Racer'

26th September 2017
Versatile veterans. Shipman 28s are found in many ports, and they selected Howth as the venue for their 2017 championship. Closely leading the fleet off Ireland’s Eye is eventual overall winner Jo Slim (John Clarke, Royal St George YC) with the nearest challenge coming from Invader (Gerry Glynn, Dun Laoghaire MYC), which went on to place second overall. Versatile veterans. Shipman 28s are found in many ports, and they selected Howth as the venue for their 2017 championship. Closely leading the fleet off Ireland’s Eye is eventual overall winner Jo Slim (John Clarke, Royal St George YC) with the nearest challenge coming from Invader (Gerry Glynn, Dun Laoghaire MYC), which went on to place second overall.

The Shipman 28 is a classically-styled veteran of the Irish marine industry of the 1970s and 1980s, when she was built in considerable number in Limerick by Fastnet Marine writes W M Nixon.

But there’s still plenty of life in these Olle Enderlein-designed glassfibre sloops of Swedish origin, and in Ireland Class Captain Brendan Finucane and Honorary Secretary Neil McSherry (he’s from the National Yacht Club) are encouraging and co-ordinating a revival in community spirit among the owners, promoting the class as “the Affordable Cruiser-Racer”.

The boats certainly come with an impressive pedigree, as over the years they’ve logged several Transatlantic crossings. On top of that, way back in 1975, Richard and Johnny Burrows of Malahide campaigned a Shipman 28 in the Round Britain and Ireland Race. It was an event of several long stages that combined to make up a total course of 2,000 miles, and the Malahide brothers won their class, a magnificent achievement. shipman building2

Shipman 28s under construction in Limerick in the 1970s. The Class Association are leading the research into the boat’s history.

The new wave of enthusiasm for the Shipman 28s is based on more modest targets, but the class have found that while cruising in company has its adherents, running an annual championship added to the impetus provided by Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in July, and they staged the 2017 Shipman 28 Nationals in Howth in August.

The interest in racing has seen four boats move out of cruising mode into racing tune this past season, and a convivial fleet of eleven Shipman 28s saw a total of 68 enthusiasts enjoying the championship dinner in Howth Yacht Club. Dun Laoghaire boats dominated the overall results, with John Clarke (RStGYC) with Jo Slim winning from Gerry Glynn of DMYC with Invader, while RStGYC boats filled the next two slots with French owner Alain Deladiennee taking third in Poppy and David Freeman with Twocan placing fourth.

The class revival has led to a renewal of interest in its origins. Neil McSherry has traced some noted qualified boatbuilders who worked in the Limerick factory, and they’ll be guests at the Class’s Annual Dinner in Dun Laoghaire this winter, ready and willing to answer questions from owners who want to know more about their much-loved boats.

neil mcsherry3Shipman 28 Honorary Secretary Neil McSherry

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