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Historic Boats
The 12 foot class meets on 6th April 2018 in the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire
There will be a dinner and reunion of the international 12 foot class on 6th April 2018 in the Royal St. George Yacht Club at 20.00hrs. The class is interested in making contact with any owners of these old but…
One of the most attractive boats to be built in Ireland in the past decade, the 25ft Shannon Estuary cutter Sally O’Keeffe will be the focal point of a pub gathering in Carrigaholt on the Loop Head peninsula on the night of Friday 23rd February.
Though it may not look it on a map which emphasises the extensive low water limits, at high water the Loop Head Peninsula in southwest County Clare is almost an island writes W M Nixon. Only a couple of small…
The last island boat builder on Lower Lough Erne was Douglas Tiernan of Owl Island who built his last boats there in the 1960s prior to his death
In the 1800s and into the 1930s, double ended Clinker built boats, yawls, were seen and used on Lower Lough Erne. These historic boats were about 17 or 18 feet in length and about 5 feet wide and were propelled…
So what else would you be doing in France on a winter’s day but launching a boat? The new 12ft cat ready to go after being built by Skol ar Mor
On America’s East Coast around Cape Cod, there’s plenty of sea. But as the locals say, it tends to be thin – sometimes very thin - in the places where you might want to go sailing writes W M Nixon.…
With the re-building of Saoirse now under way in Oldcourt, for the time being the easygoing open-house atmosphere which prevailed during the restoration of Ilen – as seen here in 2011 – has been put aside as the serious new project is set firmly in place. Photo shows (left to right) Leo McDermot, Nick Cotter, Pierce Ryan, Brendan Lennox, Fachtna O’Sullivan, and David Vurdett, with yard cat Joe keeping a wary eye on Jasper the dog.
West Cork may have the image of an easy-going paradise where life proceeds at a leisurely pace writes W M Nixon. And maybe that is indeed the case in summer, when there are more people around determined to keep things…
The modern appearance of Lady Min’s hull makes it all the more remarkable that she was designed and built in Schull in 1902
When the 30–ft gaff–cutter Lady Min was newly-launched in Schull in 1902, she was something of a sensation writes W M Nixon. Designed by local sailing enthusiast Maurice O’Keeffe and built to his requirements by local shipwrights under his own…
Boatyard re-positioning, West Cork style. Ilen is moved to her fitting-out berth by the local islands freight ferry. The next lot of bad winter weather is indicated by the high white cloud to the southwest, but by the time it arrived, Ilen was already safely ashore in her new berth
The historic 1926-built 56ft Conor O’Brien trading ketch Ilen is now comfortably under shelter again after her midwinter adventures (on the Ilen River, naturally) at Oldcourt near Baltimore writes W M Nixon. With her hull, deck and deckhouses restored in…
Peter Tangvald aboard Windflower at Terminal Island in Los Angeles Harbour, 30 December 1958
#ClassicBoats - WoodenBoat magazine has put out an appeal for any leads as to the whereabouts of Windflower, a two-masted sailboat sold in Los Angeles nearly 60 years ago and whose trace has since been lost. The EP Hart-designed, 45-foot…
Magic from above. A re-creation (above and below) of the classic Kinsale Colleen class is emerging from an Elizabethan 29 hull at Alchemy Marine’s workshop deep in the heart of North Cork.
When Bill Trafford chose the business name Alchemy Marine for his extremely individualistic combination of skills in transforming vintage fibreglass hulls into a new take on classic designs of yesteryear, he made the perfect brand-name choice writes W M Nixon.…
A Cork Harbour One Design heading seaward in style. This 1895-96 William Fife design is one of many vintage One-Designs still sailing in Ireland which are of special interest to international boat-building schools
The traditional and classic wooden boat-building movement is gaining momentum in many parts of the world. It can be part of educational and training schemes which provide skills and purpose in life, usually for young people but also for older…
Waiting for the tide. Even the normally snooty boatyard cat shows a measure of approval for the restored Ilen as everyone waits for the tide
The east coast of Ireland may have endured vile weather on Saturday, but in West Cork there was almost a touch of sunny spring in the air when the historic restored ketch Ilen completed the final stage of her short…
The bell of the liner S.S. Laurentic of the White Star Line, which sank in Lough Swilly, Co. Donegal over a century ago will be on display in an exhibition held in the Guildhall, Derry starting today and running to 24 January.
#HistoricBoats - The bell of S.S. Laurentic, one of the most significant artefacts in local maritime history, will make its return to the Derry this week, following purchase at auction by Derry City and Strabane District Council. The Bell, which…
The Ilen finally experiences daylight yesterday afternoon. Many people, not just in Limerick and Baltimore, but from other places too, have been involved in the project, and here are some of them with Gary MacMahon on left
The historic 1926-built 56ft trading ketch Ilen has been undergoing a painstaking restoration at Oldcourt near Baltimore in Liam Hegarty's boatyard for several years now for the Ilen Boat-building School, which is directed by Gary MacMahon in Limerick writes W…
Ilen as she was this morning, ready to face the rigours of a brief period in the open before a special cover can be fitted over the re-born Conor O’Brien ketch. Photo: Gary MacMahon
The historic 1926-built 56ft ketch Ilen is to exit The Old Cornstore in Liam Hegarty’s boatyard at Oldcourt near Baltimore, the building which has accommodated her re-birth, early in the New Year writes W M Nixon. Much remains to be…
Several events were held in Waterford to mark the centenary of a shipping disaster in 1917, among them along the city quays as pictured above.
#WW1ceremony - The relatives of two men who died when two merchant ships were torpedoed by a German submarine in December 1917 have spoken of their pride at seeing their family members remembered at a ceremony in Waterford. As The…
When her restoration is completed and the rigging installed, the 56ft ketch Ilen will be an impressive traditional workboat.
When we recall the exposed conditions in which some coastal boat and ship-builders had to work in the days when life and labour were cheap, and health and safety were considered more important for thoroughbred animals than for workers, then…

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