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House or Boat Rental on Ireland's Inland Waterways

3rd December 2009

House or Boat Rental on Ireland's Inland Waterways

There are plenty of companies in Ireland that have boats, barges, canoes, houses, and accommodation near waterways to hire for holiday recreation, relaxation and fun. Have a look at the guide below and see if there's anything there that catches your eye...


Hiring a Cruiser

Generally, boats hired on the Erne can travel the Erne, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the entire Shannon system as far south as Killaloe, essentially all of the waterways covered by the online map. There are some restrictions for larger boats entering the Lough Allen canal and the Shannon-Erne Waterway. Check with the company you rent from.

On the Erne

A clickable map of the Shannon-Erne Waterway is online. Click here for articles and other useful information on the Shannon-Erne Waterway

Generally, boats hired on the Shannon-Erne waterway can travel the Erne system, and the entire Shannon system as far south as Killaloe - essentially all of the waterways covered by the online map.

Here are some companies that provide rentals:

Aghinver Boat Company Ltd., Irvinestown, Co Fermanagh, N. Ireland BT94 1JY. Tel: Mickey McCaldin +44-(0)28 6863 1400 • Fax: +44-(0)28 6863 1968 • Website:

Established in 1973 with a fleet of modern, clean and reliable boats, Mickey now has 20 boats of between 2 and 8 berths for use on Shannon and Erne.

Belleek Charter Cruising, Belleek, Lower Lough Erne, The Erne Gateway Marina, Corry, Belleek, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland, BT3 3FU. Tel: Noel Coyle +44-(0)28 6865 8027/6865 8249 • Fax: +44-(0)28 6865 8793 • Website:

Plenty of marina facilities including berthing for 12 visiting boats, fuel, water, power points, lifting out facilities and workshop, laundry facilities, tourist information centre and exhibition, pub and restaurant, shop, etc. Belleek village is only 5 minutes walk from marina. Noel has six 6/8 berth Waverunner 38ft and six 4/6 berth Morrell 36ft.

Carrick Craft, Tully Bay, Lower Lough Erne, Blaney, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland. Tel: Dublin +353 (0)1 278 1666, NI +44 (0)28 3834 4993 • Fax: NI +44 (0)28 3834 4995 • Email: [email protected] • Website:

Carrickcraft is one of Ireland's largest privately owned cruiser hire companies with two marinas on the Shannon and one on Lower Lough Erne. Special offers available throughout the year. Cruisers range from the luxurious Waterford class (6+2 berth) to the more traditional Kerry class (2+2 berth).

Carrybridge Boat Company, Carrybridge, Lisbellaw, Co Fermanagh, N. Ireland. Contact: Robert McClean +44 (0)28 6638 7034 • Fax: +44 (0)28 6638 7651.

Emerald Star Line, Belturbet, Upper Erne, HQ address is The Marina, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim. Tel: +353-(0)71 9627685• Fax: +353-(0)71 9621433 • Email: [email protected] • Website:

Emerald Star is one of Europe’s most prestigious cruiser hire companies with over 25 years experience on Ireland’s inland waterways. The onshore facilities at our bases include comfortable reception foyers, instructional videos, showers, laundrette, clothes dryer, TV, telephone and free parking. We've a total fleet of over 200 cruisers ranging in size from intimate 2 berth up to double family size 10 berth cruisers located at three convenient and centrally positioned marinas.

Manor House Marine, Lower Lough Erne, Killadeas, Co Fermanagh, N. Ireland. Contact Trevor Noble +44-(0)28 6862 8100 • Fax: +44-(0)28 6862 8000 • Email: [email protected] • Website:

Our well looked-after fleet of Haines motor cruisers are one of the most modern in Ireland and are available for charter through Lough Erne, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the River Shannon. They are all attractively designed and are fully equipped with galleys (including refrigerator and gas cooker with oven and grill), hot/cold water, heating, toilets/showers and lighting. No experience required. We give full tuition and provide charts/binoculars. Coloured brochure on request. Our fleet of Haines motor cruisers range from our 29' 2/4 berth Noble Cadet up to our 39' 6/8 berth Noble Commander.

Locaboat Ireland, The Marina, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, Ireland. Tel: +353-(0)71 9645300 • Fax: +353-(0)71 9645301 • Website:

Locaboat design and build all their own boats, called 'Penichettes', a cross between a small compact barge and a cruiser, in their factory in France. Locaboat have a fleet of 350 boats in 24 marinas in France, Germany, Holland and now Ireland. Additional services such as airport transfer, bicycle hire and shopping provisions can be arranged. Technical assistance is also available 7 days of the week. Private berthage is available. We've got 18 French style Penichettes ranging in size and style from spacious 2 to 12 berth. All boats are fitted out to a very high standard with central heating, showers, fitted kitchen and radio CD on all boats.


On the River Shannon

A clickable map of the Shannon is online. Generally, boats hired on the Shannon can travel the whole Shannon system, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Erne system - essentially all of the waterways covered by the online map. There are some restrictions for larger boats entering the Lough Allen canal and the Shannon-Erne Waterway.  Check with the company you rent from. Click here for articles and other useful information on the River Shannon.

Carrick Craft, Carrick-on-Shannon, Upper River Shannon, The Marina, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, Ireland. Tel: Dublin +353 (0)1 278 1666, NI +44 (0)28 3834 4993 • Fax: Dublin +353 (0)1 2789217, NI +44 (0) 2838 344995 • Email: [email protected] • Website:

Ireland's largest privately-owned cruiser hire company with two marinas on the Shannon and one on Lower Lough Erne. Special offers available throughout the year. Cruisers range from the luxurious Waterford class (6 + 2 berth) to the more traditional Kerry class (2 + 2 berth).


Hiring a Barge

Hiring a Canoe

Hiring a Sailboat

Excursions and Day Trips

Rent for a Day

Boating Holidays

Waterside Accommodation for Rent


The Erne

The Shannon-Erne Waterway

The Shannon

The Royal Canal

The Grand Canal

The Barrow Team

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How to sail, sailing clubs and sailing boats plus news on the wide range of sailing events on Irish waters forms the backbone of Afloat's sailing coverage.

We aim to encompass the widest range of activities undertaken on Irish lakes, rivers and coastal waters. This page describes those sailing activites in more detail and provides links and breakdowns of what you can expect from our sailing pages. We aim to bring jargon free reports separated in to popular categories to promote the sport of sailing in Ireland.

The packed 2013 sailing season sees the usual regular summer leagues and there are regular weekly race reports from Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Howth and Cork Harbour on This season and last also featured an array of top class events coming to these shores. Each year there is ICRA's Cruiser Nationals starts and every other year the Round Ireland Yacht Race starts and ends in Wicklow and all this action before July. Crosshaven's Cork Week kicks off on in early July every other year. in 2012 Ireland hosted some big international events too,  the ISAF Youth Worlds in Dun Laoghaire and in August the Tall Ships Race sailed into Dublin on its final leg. In that year the Dragon Gold Cup set sail in Kinsale in too.

2013 is also packed with Kinsale hosting the IFDS diabled world sailing championships in Kinsale and the same port is also hosting the Sovereign's Cup. The action moves to the east coast in July with the staging of the country's biggest regatta, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta from July 11.

Our coverage though is not restricted to the Republic of Ireland but encompasses Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Irish Sea area too. In this section you'll find information on the Irish Sailing Association and Irish sailors. There's sailing reports on regattas, racing, training, cruising, dinghies and keelboat classes, windsurfers, disabled sailing, sailing cruisers, Olympic sailing and Tall Ships sections plus youth sailing, match racing and team racing coverage too.

Sailing Club News

There is a network of over 70 sailing clubs in Ireland and we invite all clubs to submit details of their activities for inclusion in our daily website updates. There are dedicated sections given over to the big Irish clubs such as  the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire; Dublin Bay Sailing Club, the Royal Saint George Yacht Club,  the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the National Yacht Club. In Munster we regularly feature the work of Kinsale Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.  Abroad Irish sailors compete in Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) racing in the UK and this club is covered too. Click here for Afloat's full list of sailing club information. We are keen to increase our coverage on the network of clubs from around the coast so if you would like to send us news and views of a local interest please let us have it by sending an email to [email protected]

Sailing Boats and Classes

Over 20 active dinghy and one design classes race in Irish waters and fleet sizes range from just a dozen or so right up to over 100 boats in the case of some of the biggest classes such as the Laser or Optimist dinghies for national and regional championships. Afloat has dedicated pages for each class: Dragons, Etchells, Fireball, Flying Fifteen, GP14, J24's, J80's, Laser, Sigma 33, RS Sailing, Star, Squibs, TopperMirror, Mermaids, National 18, Optimist, Puppeteers, SB3's, and Wayfarers. For more resources on Irish classes go to our dedicated sailing classes page.

The big boat scene represents up to 60% of the sail boat racing in these waters and Afloat carries updates from the Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA), the body responsible for administering cruiser racing in Ireland and the popular annual ICRA National Championships. In 2010 an Irish team won the RORC Commodore's Cup putting Irish cruiser racing at an all time high. Popular cruiser fleets in Ireland are raced right around the coast but naturally the biggest fleets are in the biggest sailing centres in Cork Harbour and Dublin Bay. Cruisers race from a modest 20 feet or so right up to 50'. Racing is typically divided in to Cruisers Zero, Cruisers One, Cruisers Two, Cruisers Three and Cruisers Four. A current trend over the past few seasons has been the introduction of a White Sail division that is attracting big fleets.

Traditionally sailing in northern Europe and Ireland used to occur only in some months but now thanks to the advent of a network of marinas around the coast (and some would say milder winters) there are a number of popular winter leagues running right over the Christmas and winter periods.

Sailing Events

Punching well above its weight Irish sailing has staged some of the world's top events including the Volvo Ocean Race Galway Stopover, Tall Ships visits as well as dozens of class world and European Championships including the Laser Worlds, the Fireball Worlds in both Dun Laoghaire and Sligo.

Some of these events are no longer pure sailing regattas and have become major public maritime festivals some are the biggest of all public staged events. In the past few seasons Ireland has hosted events such as La Solitaire du Figaro and the ISAF Dublin Bay 2012 Youth Worlds.

There is a lively domestic racing scene for both inshore and offshore sailing. A national sailing calendar of summer fixtures is published annually and it includes old favorites such as Sovereign's Cup, Calves Week, Dun Laoghaire to Dingle, All Ireland Sailing Championships as well as new events with international appeal such as the Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Clipper Round the World Race, both of which have visited Ireland.

The bulk of the work on running events though is carried out by the network of sailing clubs around the coast and this is mostly a voluntary effort by people committed to the sport of sailing. For example Wicklow Sailing Club's Round Ireland yacht race run in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club has been operating for over 30 years. Similarly the international Cork Week regatta has attracted over 500 boats in past editions and has also been running for over 30 years.  In recent years Dublin Bay has revived its own regatta called Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and can claim to be the country's biggest event with over 550 boats entered in 2009.

On the international stage Afloat carries news of Irish and UK interest on Olympics 2012, Sydney to Hobart, Volvo Ocean Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race.

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