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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Historic Boats
An image captured by drone of one of two logboats spotted in the River Boyne by Anthony Murphy on Sunday 2 May
It’s been confirmed that two of three logboats spotted by drone in the River Boyne in recent weeks are new discoveries, and could date from medieval times. As previously reported on, citizen archaeologist Anthony Murphy captured the first of…
1938-vintage Blue Hills newly afloat in Milford Haven, with owner-restorer Robbie Mason in thoughtful mood on the foredeck
Veteran skipper Rob Mason, from Milford Haven in southwest Wales, made a dramatic impact on the Irish sailing scene in 2017, when he turned up at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta during its special year of the Kingstown Bicentenary, sailing…
The Shared Shannon Estuary - the Trading Ketch Ilen approaching Limerick upriver as a Women's Four from St Michael’s Rowing Club heads downstream in Sunday morning’s good weather
Most people’s memories of the already pandemic-constricted Bank Holiday Weekend will be of Monday's wet and windy storm. But the training crew on the restored Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen of Limerick have only pleasant memories, as a fair weather passage…
The former lightship ALF Kittiwake that last served on station off the Co. Down coast, was withdrawn by Irish Lights in 2005. The vessel however remains berthed in Dublin Port's Alexandra Basin. In AFLOAT's above file photo, Kittiwake is within the Basin alongside the now demolished Bulk Jetty (Boliden Tara Mines) but replaced with a new terminal at the entrance of Dublin Dry Docks that closed in 2016.
The Dublin 'docklands' developer, Harry Crosbie is launching a campaign for the return of the 134ft (floating) landmark, Kittiwake. The former lightship which he (had berthed) alongside the Liffey and (opposite) of The Point Depot, now the O2, then one…
In Making a Currach – Michael Conneely, Michael’s daughter Máire Conneely recalls the excitement from the week the Museum visited their home on Inisheer; “The currach was being made on the sand outside the house, so we children were able to keep an eye on all the work. We were surprised they were so interested in the work, they were writing down every word that my father said. Of course, pictures were being taken of the work. My mother had a job chasing us away, telling us not to be getting under their feet!”
The currach, with its primitive design of wooden frame and waterproof skin, is the best known of all the Irish boats. By the mid-twentieth century this once common boat was noticeably disappearing from our shores, and rarer still were the…
The newly-built Ilen at Foynes on 22nd July 1926, as recorded in his own highly personal style by Harbour Master Hugh O’Brien
Global circumnavigator and sailing ship designer Conor O’Brien (1880-1952) inevitably saw his most noted vessels, the 42ft world-girdler Saoirse and the 56ft trading ketch Ilen, being closely associated by the rest of the world with their birthplace in Baltimore. But…
Dinghy Week 1950 at Dunmore East, with the rapidly-expanding IDRA 14 Class present in strength and lying to a line of moorings afloat, while the harbour is dominated by the sky-scraping mast of Aylmer Hall's 12 Metre Flica from Cork, and the picture is made complete with a Naval Service guardship
Every so often a photo flashes across the screen, its origins unknown and its destination a mystery, yet its reality is abundantly clear. This header pic is one such. I've no idea how it came to pop up, or who…
The good ship Ilen, the 56ft Trading Ketch of Limerick, has been in the slipway cradle at Liam Hegarty's boatyard in Oldcourt upriver of Baltimore in West Cork this week, enjoying the relatively dry weather and the attention of her…
The 100-year-old River Class was looking forward to celebrating its centenary last year, but the Pandemic scuppered that
As previously reported on, James Nixon's Strangford Lough Yacht Club's River Class history was published in December last and has proved so popular that a re-print of another 100 copies has been ordered. Already 50 of these have been…
Professor Felix Muller of Berlin's newly-acquired veteran Kerry Mark II gets a brief sail on the Baltic last summer. He envisages a major up-grade of the boat, and is urgently seeking copies of a proper set of plans.
Eccentric boat designer O'Brien Kennedy's picaresque life story attracted fascinated attention when we ran a Sailing on Saturday feature on it ten days ago. But for Professor Felix Muller of Berlin, it was like stumbling on an unexpected oasis in…
The currach made by artist Mark Redden in Barcelona for St Patrick's Day.
 An Irish currach made entirely from recycled and salvaged material is to be launched by artist and boatbuilder Mark Redden in Barcelona, Spain on St Patrick’s Day. As The Times Ireland reports today, “Saoirse” has been built over the past…
The gleoiteog Manuela has been decorated with lights by Bádóirí an Cladaig, the city association dedicated to training and restoration of the traditional craft
St Patrick’s festival is being marked with an illuminated gleoiteog in Galway’s Claddagh basin this week. The gleoiteog Manuela has been decorated with lights by Bádóirí an Cladaig, the city association dedicated to training and restoration of the traditional craft.…
The Old Head of Kinsale Napoleonic Tower and Memorial Garden in the foreground
The community group at the renowned South Coast landmark, the Old Head of Kinsale, plans to build a major, new Lusitania Museum to replace the present small museum at the site, where they have also constructed a memorial garden. The…
Man of the West – Dr Mick Brogan
Dr Mick Brogan is very much at home in the west of Ireland, with his life as a country GP in Mayo neatly balancing his life as a traditional boat sailor, home-ported in Kinvara. In fact, he is so much…
Maritime Heritage in the North welcomed a boost for the Cherbourg registered SS Nomadic and Titanic Belfast with Covid Recovery Grants. The tender occupies the oldest Queen's Island dry dock, Hamilton Dock, (built 1864-1867). AFLOAT adds what about the scene in the south? and our historic maritime infrastructure? notably Dublin's Grand Canal Dock Basin's (older) graving dry-docks (1790's) as Waterways Ireland plan to sell (see link below 'Inland Waterways' story, 20th Feb). At the dry-dock for 'safekeeping' is the former Aran Islands ferry Naomh Éanna, a rare survivor of an Irish built 'ship! aptly constructed in the capital.
The tender that served RMS Titanic at Cherbourg, France, which forms part of the liner's visitor attraction centre in Belfast Harbour, have both received £1.63m from a total £5m plus funding from the UK's Heritage Recovery Fund, writes Jehan Ashmore.…
Shackleton's ship Endurance embedded in the Antarctic ice of the Weddell Sea – one of Frank Hurley's remarkable photos which have done so much to immortalise an extraordinary expedition.
In almost every crisis or period of exceptional and continuing difficulty - such as we're living through now - people will hope to relate to the ultimately successful example of survival to be found in the experiences of Polar explorer…

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