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Historic Boats
The restored ketch Ilen makes her public debut at the Baltimore Woodenboat Festival
In 1926, Tom Moynihan and his shipwrights on the waterfront in Baltimore built the 56ft ketch trading Ilen to Conor O’Brien's designs at their boatyard in the heart of the West Cork fishing village writes WM Nixon. However, Baltimore nowadays…
Fully rigged and full restored and finished in  a bright new style, the Ilen is afloat in time to be pride of place at the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival this weekend
The hard-working boat building team behind the restoration of the historic ketch Ilen in West Cork have successfully launched the 1926–built vessel in time for this weekend's Wooden Boat Festival at Baltimore. As Afloat.ie reported earlier this week, the final touches were being…
Worthy of celebration and support. Cork City’s own Bantry Boat, the Fionnbarra, sailing in style on Lough Neagh, the setting for this year’s biennial Atlantic Challenge in July
Poetry with a seafaring flavour by Theo Dorgan, Paddy Bushe, Mick Delap and the late Richard Murphy will bring a distinctive nautical mood to an evening of absorbing interest at the National Maritime Museum in Dun Laoghaire next month in…
A ship transformed. While she is still very much a serious seagoing proposition, the restored 1926-built 56ft Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen will take to the waters this weekend in Baltimore with her new and positive educational purposes emphasised by a fresh colour scheme and a brighter style
The restoration of the 56ft 1926-built ketch Ilen by Liam Hegarty and Fachtna O’Sullivan and their team in the boatyard at Oldcourt near Baltimore in West Cork, working in concert with the Gary Mac Mahon-directed Ilen Boat-Building School in Limerick,…
Work continued on Ilen over the weekend and her appearance at Baltimore is eagerly awaited
The final touches are being put to the Ilen at Hegarty’s boatyard in Oldcourt, Skibbereen, prior to her going down the Ilen River this week, heading for Baltimore. There, on Saturday afternoon, at the Wooden Boats Festival, will be her first…
A memorial perforated picture installation was unveiled on the headland by Fred Graepel, whose company donated the installation. Scroll down for more photos
A ceremony took place at the Old Head of Kinsale in Cork at the weekend to commemorate the sinking of the Lusitania and its 1,191 victims 103 years ago. The ocean liner was torpedoed at 2.10pm on 7 May 1915…
Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival (May 25th-27th) Has Historic Ketch Ilen as Flagship
The 1926-built 56ft Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen, painstakingly restored in a visionary joint operation by the Gary MacMahon-directed Ilen Boat Building School in Limerick working in concert with master shipwrights Liam Hegarty and Fachtna O’Sullivan at Oldcourt Boatyard near Baltimore,…
After the longest winter in memory, Spring comes slowly to Connemara, and a new boat is berthed at Letterfrack Pier. Photo: W M Nixon
The wind is at last from the west, the easterlies of the longest winter in memory have finally relented, and it’s time to be in the west of Ireland and Connemara, time to eavesdrop on two senior boat restorers as…
Removing the tarpaulin from Ilen as work continues on the historic vessel
Away back in 1997 I stood on the quayside at Alexandra Basin in Dublin Port, watching a very old boat being unloaded from a freighter … I was the only reporter there. The media generally weren’t interested in the story…
The form of the re-born Saoirse is now sufficiently complete for meaningful comparisons to be made with the original
While the 56ft 1926-built restored ketch Ilen is a flurry of activity at Oldcourt near Baltimore in West Cork with the final stages of work before her re-launching late next month, in the Top Shed nearby where Conor O’Brien’s pioneering…
The essence of effective simplicity – the schooner America as she was in 1851, when her victory in the race round the Isle of Wight resulted in the trophy becoming the America’s Cup.
There must be very few people in sailing who don’t know something of the America writes W M Nixon. She was the “low black schooner” which came across the Atlantic from New York in 1851, and won a race around…
(Top) The restored Aigh Vie was moved gently down the beach at low water…….and then (above) floated out of the trailer by the rising tide
It’s a long story of the sea and ships, a story which began with the World War I sinking of the luxury Transatlantic liner Lusitania by torpedoes from a German submarine off the Old Head of Kinsale in 1915 writes…
The transformed Etchells 22 Guapa has this week received well-earned international recognition for the quality of her conversion
The standard and well-worn Etchells 22 which Bill Trafford of Alchemy Marine in County Cork transformed into an immaculate fast weekend cruiser has been awarded first prize in the Spirit of Tradition category in the International Classic Boat Awards 2018…
With new projects under way for the development of Limerick Docks, it was timely to post a reminder that this will be Ilen’s home port
The restoration of the 56ft ketch trading ketch Ilen (1926) and the re-build of world-girdling 42ft Saoirse (1922) at Oldcourt in West Cork has become a focal point of interest of what might seem to an outsider to be a…
Conor O’Brien’s Saoirse comes back to life in West Cork, as seen on Friday night. The installation of the temporary moulds on the oaken backbone has given the Saoirse project an encouraging glimpse of what the future will bring. Photo: Gary MacMahon
In recent weeks, much of the attention on the traditional boat-building Mecca of Oldcourt in West Cork has been focused around the complex moves involved in vacating the 56ft ketch Ilen from the boat-building shed writes W M Nixon. This…
As part of the Merchant  Schooner ‘Result’ Exhibition the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum kindly offer registered conference delegates free admission for two persons to the Museum on  Thursday 26th or Saturday 28th April
The second in a series of maritime themed conferences jointly organised by National Museums Northern Ireland, National Historic Ships UK, Robin Maesfield, (Author) and Gerry Brennan, (Silvery Light Sailing), highlights Ulster's Maritime Heritage.  The seminar is being organised by a…

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