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Displaying items by tag: Last Arklow schooner

A community of Wicklow maritime enthusiasts, after many months of planning, has secured large sections of Arklow's historic last sail cargo vessel ‘De Wadden’ that were returned to the schooner’s home port, having been a static-ship exhibit in the UK.

In a race against time, Arklow locals implored Wicklow County Council last December to help them save parts of the “last Arklow coastal trading vessel under sail” before the schooner was demolished.

De Wadden was built in 1917 in The Netherlands and, from 1922, had a long serving career and an illustrious association with the port town of Arklow. As Afloat highlights, the port is the homeport of Arklow Shipping Ltd, the Republic’s largest indigenous owned ship company/owner operating an Irish flagged fleet along with a Dutch division based in Rotterdam.

For almost four decades, De Wadden, a three-masted auxiliary schooner, had formed a static exhibit in the National Museum’s Liverpool (Maritime Museum), was slated for deconstruction after their search for a new home for the vessel had proved fruitless.

One of the founders of Arklow Shipping Ltd (which formed as a co-op in 1966) Captain Victor Hall, owned De Wadden, and since 1984, the vessel, along with other vessels, has been exhibited in dry-dock at the Maritime Museum, where an ambitious restoration plan was drawn up. Among the main museum staff members involved in the project was Arklow native, John Kearon.

For more the Wicklow People (Irish Independent) reports, noting that, according to the Maritime Museum’s website, today (10 April) is closed due to industrial action.

Afloat adds the schooner according to the book: ‘Arklow-last Stronghold of Sail’ was the last to trade in the Irish Sea, calling to ports on both sides, with cargoes, chiefly, coal from Scotland, England, and on return passages, pit props, gravel, and burnt ore from Arklow.

Published in Historic Boats