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Restoration Work Continues Apace on Ireland's Only Remaining Sail–Trader Ilen

1st February 2017
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Ilen – restoration work continues in West Cork on Ireland's last surviving Sail Trader Ilen – restoration work continues in West Cork on Ireland's last surviving Sail Trader

The latest photos of the restoration work on Ireland's only remaining Sail–Trader Ilen reveal wonderful new Larch planked bulwarks are begining to embrace the 56–ft sailing ketch. They will be expected to shoulder many an Atlantic sea, according to Gary MacMahon, of the Ilen restoration school. 

Ilen is expected to be a show–piece attraction at July's Glandore classic boat regatta, As Afloat.ie reported earlier.

The ketch was built in 1926 in the Baltimore Fishery School Boatyard for the Falkland Islands Company.

She was designed and sailed to the Falkland Islands by Conor O'Brien, who in 1925, was the first Irishman to complete a circumnavigation of the world in the 42-ft ketch, Saoirse, also built in Baltimore.

Ilen ketchAbove and below these new Larch planks were put in place today on the Ilen. 

Ilen ketch

Published in Ilen

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The Ilen is the last of Ireland’s traditional wooden sailing ships.

Designed by Limerick man Conor O’Brien and built in Baltimore in 1926, she was delivered by Munster men to the Falkland Islands where she served valiantly for seventy years, enduring and enjoying the Roaring Forties, the Furious Fifties, and Screaming Sixties.

Returned now to Ireland and given a new breath of life, Ilen may be described as the last of Ireland’s timber-built ocean-going sailing ships, yet at a mere 56ft, it is capable of visiting most of the small harbours of Ireland.

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