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Schull’s Own Classic Lady Min Sails Again, Re-born in West Cork

18th August 2021
Back where she belongs - the restored Lady Min has her first sail in her re-born form at Schull on Sunday
Back where she belongs - the restored Lady Min has her first sail in her re-born form at Schull on Sunday Credit: Ivan Wolfe

The 30ft gaff-rigged Lady Min - designed and built for his own use by Maurice O’Keeffe of Schull in 1902 - was re-launched for his descendant Simon O’Keeffe at the weekend by restorer Tiernan Roe of Ballydehob, and a flotilla of four traditional and classic craft associated with West Cork were there to greet her on Sunday when she took her first sail in a squally northerly. The “welcoming committee” included Nigel Towse's sailing oyster boat Hanorah from Heir Island and Cormac Levis’s Saoirse Muirrean from Ballydehob, plus two Baltimore boats, Ivan Wolfe’s Rose of Baltimore and Brian Marten’s cruising cutter Guillemot.

While Lady Min was originally gaff-rigged, her hull in many ways was very modern in type, and at 119 years old it needed some very skilled craftsmanship to bring it back to full seagoing order.

This has been successfully achieved, and the abiding memory of Sunday’s first outing is not only of how beautifully she sailed, but also how remarkably fast.

She was always fast - Lady Min in the 1950s.She was always fast - Lady Min in the 1950s.

Lady Min after an upgrade in the 1970sLady Min after an upgrade in the 1970s. Gently does it….Tiernan Roe in the midst of the stripping-back stage in the restoration of Lady MinGently does it….Tiernan Roe in the midst of the stripping-back stage in the restoration of Lady Min Photo:Kevin O'Farrell

Published in Historic Boats
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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