Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School Add Eight J80s to Fleet

31st December 2022
The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School is preparing for the arrival of a new fleet of eight J80 keelboats
The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School is preparing for the arrival of a new fleet of eight J80 keelboats

The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School is preparing for the arrival of eight J80 keelboats in January, growing capacity for training, group events and competition.

After carefully reviewing the requirements for the next phase of sail training, the team choose the J80 to accommodate 4 to 5 students with an instructor with the small cabin adding extra options not currently available to the school on the 1720s.

The fleet is replacing the school’s six-boat 1720 training fleet. Operations Manager Glyn Williams explains, “This significant investment in the future of our sail training fleet is designed to meet the increased demand for adult beginner and improver sailing that has been sustained since the pandemic. We’re excited to be able to accommodate even more students in 2023, but importantly expand our charter, racing and group events”.

The school is planning an expanded beginner training schedule, as well as new coastal sailing courses, race training courses and more cruising pathway programmes.

School principal Kenny Rumball explains that training is not the new fleet’s only focus “each boat will be maintained in a totally one-design format, allowing for race event charter as well as to act as a support fleet for the Irish Sailing League. It’s an exciting moment for the school and these boats will play their part in growing sailing participation”. Kenny Rumball is also keen to point out that this creates opportunities with six 1720s available on the market.

Upgrading the Fleet

The J80s replace the school’s six 1720 keelboats which are now available for sale. The school is particularly keen to support the growing U25 representation in the sport. Here’s a race-ready, well-maintained package that’s ideal for a U25 team. Each 1720 has it’s own road trailer and school Principal Kenny Rumball is delighted to offer a discounted sail package to U25 teams as part of his new partnership with UK Sailmakers Ireland.

The school’s maintenance team spent the week before Christmas getting all six boats winterised and ready on their trailers. They’re all available for viewing in the school’s Dun Laoghaire yard.

The school’s six 1720 keelboats are for saleThe school’s six 1720 keelboats are for sale

One Design Fleet

A key feature of the fleet is that they’ve all been operated together from new and are truly one design. This will continue in school service, with school maintenance lead Lorcan Tighe having developed an operating schedule that will see every detail from part renewal and line replacements to length of time afloat being evenly matched across each boat. The fleet will shortly be equipped with new sets of UK Sailmakers' sails.

The one design focus will allow for new services such as fleet charter for one design events as well as to expand the school’s group and corporate event programmes.

They’ll also serve as a support fleet to the recently launched Irish Sailing League with competitions beginning in the new year. The whole fleet has road trailers and can be moved to any point in the country in conjunction with the team.

Getting Afloat

The boats are currently being prepared for their journey to Ireland. The first boats of the fleet land in the middle of January and all are expected to be in by the end of the month.

Training programmes for beginners start in March and the team in Dun Laoghaire will be using the month of February to familiarise with their new fleet.

The new INSS J80 fleetThe new INSS J80 fleet Team

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The Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School is based on Dun Laoghaire's West Pier on Dublin Bay and in the heart of Ireland's marine leisure capital.

Whether you are looking at beginners start sailing course, a junior course or something more advanced in yacht racing, the INSS prides itself in being able to provide it as Ireland's largest sailing school.

Since its establishment in 1978, INSS says it has provided sailing and powerboat training to approximately 170,000 trainees. The school has a team of full-time instructors and they operate all year round. Lead by the father and son team of Alistair and Kenneth Rumball, the school has a great passion for the sport of sailing and boating and it enjoys nothing more than introducing it to beginners for the first time. 

Programmes include:

  • Shorebased Courses, including VHF, First Aid, Navigation
  • Powerboat Courses
  • Junior Sailing
  • Schools and College Sailing
  • Adult Dinghy and Yacht Training
  • Corporate Sailing & Events

History of the INSS

Set up by Alistair Rumball in 1978, the sailing school had very humble beginnings, with the original clubhouse situated on the first floor of what is now a charity shop on Dun Laoghaire's main street. Through the late 1970s and 1980s, the business began to establish a foothold, and Alistair's late brother Arthur set up the chandler Viking Marine during this period, which he ran until selling on to its present owners in 1999.

In 1991, the Irish National Sailing School relocated to its current premises at the foot of the West Pier. Throughout the 1990s the business continued to build on its reputation and became the training institution of choice for budding sailors. The 2000s saw the business break barriers - firstly by introducing more people to the water than any other organisation, and secondly pioneering low-cost course fees, thereby rubbishing the assertion that sailing is an expensive sport.