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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Historic Boats
Trading ship, sailing ship, school ship – the Ilen goes about her business in Kilrush, County Clare
The restored 1926-built 56ft Limerick trading ketch Ilen's project of education through action and involvement continues to be developed with the Ilen Marine School's Community and Cargo 2020-21 Programme. Transportation of cargo to coastal communities was the original purpose of…
Classic boat-building from an 1896 design – the 12ft Bray Droleen built by Michael Weed of Donegal during a recent course at the Boat Building Academy in Dorset
The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association winter talks series on Zoom continues on Thursday (November 26th) with a deeper insight into a classic boat-building story that has featured recently on Afloat.ie DBOGA member and a graduate of the Boat Building…
The start of an IDRA 14 race at the Sutton Dinghy Club Regatta on Dublin Bay
Virtual meetings, which are part and parcel of life now, are nothing new to the team of IDRA 14 dinghy sailors who have just completed the task of formatting the IDRA 14 Class rules to comply with those of World…
Better than a Health Farm……the soothing setup in the McMahon shed in Athlone, with the "new-old" Dublin Bay Water Wag Shindilla (original built in 1932) nearing completion beside a useful little clinker-built dinghy, while a multi-purpose canoe with sailing potential is stored by suspension from the roof
In times of stress like this, there is nowhere more soothing than a well-organised but not unduly fussy timber workshop where each day's harmonious effort shows a tangible result. And of all such workshops, there's nowhere so healthily absorbing –…
Local products….the 25ft Shannon Hooker Sally O'Keeffe (left) was community-built in 2015 in Querrin on the Loop Head Peninsula near Kilrush under the guidance of Steve Morris, while the new 24ft Galway Bay Gleoiteog Naomh Fanchea has been built in Steve's busy boatyard in Kilrush itself.
Steve Morris of Kilrush Boatyard and his lead boat-builder Dan Mill are busy these days, as their team have two further Dublin Bay 21s under construction for the Hal Sisk/Fionan de Barra project, and this week they launched the new…
The 1937 Tyrrell-built 43ft ketch Maybird is now Crosshaven-based, but her owner-skipper Darryl Hughes somehow manages to be the new Honorary Secretary of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association. In 2018, Maybird became the oldest boat ever to complete the Round Ireland Race
The recent 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association was a successful exchange of proposals and decision-making among enthusiasts who share a delight in classic and traditional craft which set rigs of the most ancient style.…
The Lady Min is being carefully restored in Ballydehob, West Cork
"The Lady Min is pretty special, and she performs really well…." The world was a great place to be when the Lady Min was an idea, and there was a 'can do' attitude in West Cork. Simon O'Keeffe is carrying…
The 1893 25ft 6ins Heir Island lobster boat Hanorah (Nigel Towse) was restored at Oldcourt in 2003, and had her lines taken off by the Traditional Boats of Ireland Project. The lines have now been used to build a sister-ship, Fiona, at Manitowoc in Wisconsin on Lake Michigan
You can take the boy out of West Cork, but you can't take West Cork - and its boats and sailing - out of the boy. That's especially so if he's one of the O'Keeffes, whose great names in sailing…
WW1 veteran battle-cruiser HMS Caroline, which like many attractions, has been closed to stop the spread of coronavirus during the pandemic.
Belfast Harbour based HMS Caroline museum has won a reprieve following months of uncertainty over its future. The Battle of Jutland veteran vessel turned tourist attraction faced a major loss of income after closing during lockdown. The National Museum of…
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…

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