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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Historic Boats
First day at school: the trading ketch Ilen in her new role as the Ilen Marine School, getting under way on Bank Holiday Monday.
When the 56ft Conor O'Brien-designed trading ketch Ilen - built in Baltimore in West Cork in 1926 - was retrieved and brought back to Ireland by Gary MacMahon of Limerick from the Falkland Islands in November 1997, it was the…
Let's hear it for the Classics - the 55 metre schooner Elena – the re-creation of a 1910 classic – makes a cracker of a start with only a couple of "little" 15 Metres ahead of her at the weekend, close in off the harbour in the 22nd annual staging of Voiles de Saint-Tropez
You might well think that trying to stage the annual sailing classics megafest of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez without the usual razzmatazz is about as likely to succeed as an attempt to stage Wagnerian Grand Opera in a low key…
Ready for launching - with the mast stepped right in the eyes of the ship, the link between the Bray Droleen and American cat-rigged sloops became clearer
Every summer since 1997, the historic and picturesque English Jurassic Coast town of Lyme Regis (think Jeremy Irons & Meryl Streep in the 1981 multiple Oscar-nominated movie The French Lieutenant's Woman) has enjoyed the quaint ceremony of the Launching of…
 Floating on air…..the new 12ft Bray Droleen, built to a design of 1896, is of a remarkably powerful shape - with 6ft beam, her width is half of her length
When small boat sailing enthusiast W Ogilvy of Bray in County Wicklow persuaded seven of his friends to join him in 1896 in creating a new 12ft sailing dinghy class to his own design for local beach use, even the…
Sheep-shape & Bristol fashion, or a time for woolly thinking……? For 64 years from 1926 until around 1990, deck scenes like this were a regular part of the Ilen's long working life
When we contemplate the 56ft 1926-vintage Limerick ketch Ilen today in her superbly-restored form, making her stylish way along rugged coastlines and across oceans on voyages of cultural and trading significance between places as evocative as Nuuk in West Greenland…
While her wardrobe is not yet complete, John B Kearney's 1925-built Mavis - restored by Ron Hawkins in Maine - has enough cloth available to take her first new steps under sail in September 2020
In this time of increasing uncertainty with its frustration of sailing plans, we find reassurance in soothing thoughts of well-restored or new-built classic boats. And traditional vessels in handsome and workmanlike order have the same heartening effect. We've an instinct…
The River Class racing at Strangford Lough
Scottish yacht designer Alfred Mylne designed the River Class in 1920 at the behest of eight members of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club (RUYC) in Bangor on Belfast Lough. Next year the design is celebrating its 100th anniversary. In all…
Irish Sailing Welcomes Galway Hookers Into The Fold
Irish Sailing has welcomed its newest affiliate in the shape of the Galway Hooker Sailing Club. The club was formed in 2017 when a group of friends came together to revive and retain the Galway Hooker tradition in Galway. The…
Ilen departs Foynes, on passage for Kilronan in the Aran Islands. Conor O'Brien – Ilen's designer in 1926 – ensured that all his major voyages essentially started from Foynes, his home port where he lived on Foynes Island
The restored 1926-built Conor O'Brien-designed 56ft ketch Ilen of Limerick found the Atlantic in a challenging mood last week as she undertook a combined educational, cultural, and commercial cargo voyage. Yet despite the vagaries of the Irish weather and the…
RCYC Admiral Colin Morehead on board the Cork Harbour One Design, Jap
Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Colin Morehead was aboard Royal Cork's Jap for some pre-race preparations before next Saturday's big race from Cobh to Blackrock.  'She's So light, so responsive, an absolute joy to sail' was the verdict from the…
A new International 12 foot dinghy this year in Ireland by Rui Ferreira of Ballydehob
As the International 12-foot class prepares to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its revived championships next week in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the historic dinghy class is also welcoming a new arrival. A new clinker-built 12 has recently been completed by…
HMS Caroline, Alexandra Dock and Thompson Dock Pump House.
A major Belfast Harbour attraction HMS Caroline could be towed back to Portsmouth "for its own protection" within the next year, it has emerged. Dr Tim Schadla-Hall, the chairman of the HMS Caroline Preservation Society, writes Belfast Telegraph, has warned…
Back at her real home after 93 years – the 56ft 1926-built restored Limerick Trading ketch Ilen takes up her berth in Foynes for the first time in 94 years yesterday (Friday) evening. On the Foynes YC pontoon are (left to right) Ilen Project Manager Gary Mac Mahon, and Conor O’Brien family relatives Rob, Alison and Stephen O'Brien. Conor O’Brien’s modest house of Barneen on Foynes Island, in which he designed both Saoirse and Ilen and spent his last days in 1952, is just visible above Ilen’s bowsprit.
The 56ft Trading Ketch Ilen has had a busy couple of days of cultural and educational activities in Kilrush during her current two-week cargo cruise, with performances including shows and workshops with noted Limerick Boy and contemporary dancer Tobi Omoteso.…
The trading ketch Ilen berthed in County Clare where traditional sail traders berthed before her, at the quayside in Kilrush
The Shannon Estuary is king size and clearly defined. Where some other great rivers gradually broaden as they near the sea, sometimes dissipating further into a delta, the Shannon Estuary affirms its individuality with a rapid change as it emerges…
The Dublin Bay 21 Naneen of 1905 vintage (foreground) and her 1903 sister-ship Garavoge, elegantly together in Kilrush Marina
The dedicated and detailed process whereby Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra are restoring the historic Dublin Bay 21 Class (founded 1903) for a meaningful role in the 21st century has taken a major step forward with the 1903 Portrush-built…
 Ilen at the quay in Baltimore yesterday (Sunday) to take on local products for delivery by sea
When - on August 4th - we previewed the planned eco-friendly "cargo cruise" by the restored Limerick trading ketch Ilen on Afloat.ie, it was emphasised that speed would not be of the essence as the 1926 Conor O'Brien-designed and Oldcourt…

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