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Historic Boats
A currach on the shore on Inishbofin, which sees the launch of its latest community-build traditional boat this May Bank Holiday weekend
#Currach - The first of four new community-built currachs launches from Inishbofin this afternoon (Sunday 30 April), as Galway Bay FM reports. Young people from the Connemara island have been heavily involved in the traditional boat-building project, funded via the…
It takes a bit of effort to work out that somewhere in there is an Etchells 22
Some boats are Classics from birth, others acquire Classic status over time, and there are others beyond that again which have had imaginative things done to them in order to confer a new Classic status writes W M Nixon. Back…
SAVE SHIP: A date of Monday 13 March was given to start dismantling Naomh Eanna, but has not yet happened. The historic Dublin built revited vessel is berthed in Grand Canal Dock Basin's disused Georgian graving dry-dock that are owned by NAMA. There are plans to redevelop this land, and this will require needing Naomh Eanna to be removed.
#SaveShip! - Time is running out to save iconic Naomh Eanna, a former Aran Islands ferry and freight ship, writes Galway Independent. A voluntary group which hoped to return the ship to Galway into a maritime attraction at the Long…
Postcard from John Madden, a sailor on board the Laurentic who wrote postcards to his family while the ship stopped in Liverpool before its final voyage. This is marked the 18th of January 1917, one week before the fateful sinking.
#Laurentic - History lovers on Thursday 6 April will get a closer view of some of the fascinating artefacts recovered from the tragic sinking of SS Laurentic in Lough Swilly as part of a unique workshop. The artefacts from the…
The former CIE operated Aran Islands passenger/freight ferry Naomh Eanna languishes in Dublin (Grand Canal Dock Basin). A campaign is underway to return the veteran vessel to her original homeport of Galway.
#NaomhEanna - The Minister for Transport is being urged to back a campaign to bring Naomh Eanna back to Galway, writes The Connacht Tribune. The ship once carried passengers (and freight) between the city and Aran Islands, before being withdrawn…
The newly-restored 1937-vintage Arklow-built Maybird racing in the Fastnet in 2011
The 43ft 1937 Tyrrell of Arklow-built gaff ketch Maybird has become a familiar sight in Irish waters in recent years writes W M Nixon. Bought in New Zealand in 2002 by Darryl Hughes (who hailed originally from Wales, but carved…
Ilen's hull will soon be painted grey or green, you decide in our poll below
The new Larch hull of the ketch Ilen nearing completion in West Cork has had its first coat of primer, only after much plugging, filling and sanding. Preparation, as all painters know, is the difference between a good job and…
How about this for the Editorial Office? The 55ft steel cutter Annabelle J is cruised extensively by incoming Irish Cruising Club Annual Honorary Editor Maire Breathnach of Dungarvan and her husband Andrew Wilkes
Cruising is the side of sailing which sometimes finds it difficult to make its voice heard. Its essence is in the quiet enjoyment of seafaring and the peace of secluded anchorages. Unlike the absolute clarity of racing results, which create…
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 Conor O'Brien-designed, Baltimore-built 56ft ketch Ilen back in Irish waters in 1998 for the first time since 1927. She is seen here in Dublin Bay and will be afloat again this summer in time for the  25th Glandore Classic Boat Festival in West Cork
Glandore Classic Boat Regatta celebrates its 25th anniversary this July with a Parade of Sail that will feature the fully restored AK Ilen, Ireland's sole surviving Sail Trader. There will be four days of first class racing, with eight different…
The Laurentic during her service in the First World War
#Laurentic - Last Wednesday (25 January) saw Donegal commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the SS Laurentic off Lough Swilly by German mines during the First World War. Just 121 of the 475 people on board survived the tragedy,…
At 106 years old, the former Irish lightship, Penguin, now Arctic Penguin of Glasgow berthed with the stunning backdrop of Inveraray, Loch Fyne. The veteran vessel is to undergo a refit project to offer 'sailing' charters along the Scottish Western Isles
#HistoricBoats- A rare example of an Irish built ship dating more than a century and listed on the UK Historic Ships Registry, is to undergo a major refit for ‘sailing’ excursions in Scotland, writes Jehan Ashmore. The historic ship Arctic…
WW1 Battle of Jutland veteran light cruiser, HMS Caroline under tow from current location in Alexandra Dock to Harland & Wolff, Belfast, for a scheduled dry-docking involving a hull inspection and repair.
#HMScaroline - For the first time in 32 years, HMS Caroline departed from its moorings in Belfast Harbour. The Belfast Telegraph reports that the last remaining vessel from the World War One Battle of Jutland gently eased from its Alexandra…
RStGYC Commodore Justin McKenna entered totally into the spirit of the evening with his Gala Dinner outfit at the IDRA14 70th Anniversary Dinner in the RStGYC last Saturday night. Class Commodore Ian Sargent is presenting him with his special pennant to mark an outstanding year for this historic class which had its first race at the RStGYC in 1946.
When you’re among friends at a major anniversary celebratory dinner for a dinghy class of national historic significance, it’s something of a gamble to allow a roving microphone to be taken into the midst of the gathering at the height…
Creative celebrities at the Ilen deck-closing ceremony on Saturday. Aboard the ship are renowned traditional boat-builder Liam Hegarty (left) with West Cork residents Lord David Puttnam and his wife Patsy. Noted film producer Lord Puttnam was guest speaker at the deck completion ceremony. All photos Kevin O’Farrell, Baltimore
The restoration of the 57–ft traditional multi-cargo ketch Ilen, built in Baltimore in 1926, has taken a significant step forward through the formal closing of her deck with the ceremonial fastening home of the final plank at Liam Hegarty’s boatyard…
Ilen's bowsprit
A 22–foot long bowsprit is an impressive sight. ‘Wow’ was my first reaction as I stood on the deck of the historic Ilen looking at it during the ‘decking-out’ ceremony for the vessel which I report on the new edition…

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