Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

A Sigma 33 One Design keelboat racing on Dublin Bay Photo: AfloatA Sigma 33 One Design keelboat racing on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

Displaying items by tag: Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club

Although the beautiful Lough Corrib is one of the most important features of County Galway and has played a key role in the life and transport in the West since time immemorial, it is not connected to Ireland's main inland waterways system network based around the Shannon, Erne and Barrow.

As Afloat reported previously, this has always added to a certain air of mystery to the large and handsome western lake, but Karl Brady, Senior Archaeologist with the Underwater Unit of the Heritage, has been researching it in detail over many years, and some of his and his team's most remarkable discoveries will be revealed in a Dublin Bay Old Gaffers' Association. "All Are Welcome" lecture this Thursday, April 18th at 8.0pm in the usual venue, Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club.

The talk in aid of the RNLI will take place at the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on April 18th at 8 p.m., and all are welcomeThe talk in aid of the RNLI will take place at the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on April 18th at 8 p.m., and all are welcome

Published in Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

Logboats and craft dating from 2,500 BC to the 11th century on Galway’s Corrib is the theme of a lecture by State archaeologist Karl Brady to the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers' Association later this month.

Brady is a senior archaeologist with the State’s Underwater Archaeology Unit and has worked on many discoveries in Irish inland and coastal waters over some years, including cannon recovered from Spanish Armada wrecks.

Viking axes and Bronze Age spearheads are among the items found, along with vessel remains, after a hydrographic survey of Lough Corrib in which he was involved.

The talk in aid of the RNLI will take place at the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on April 18th at 8 p.m., and all are welcome.

The talk in aid of the RNLI will take place at the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on April 18th at 8 p.m., and all are welcomeThe talk in aid of the RNLI will take place at the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on April 18th at 8 p.m., and all are welcome

Published in Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

There was a Lffeyside handover on Friday of the 'All in a Row' cheque of €13,000 raised in aid of the Irish Refugee Council at the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club in Ringsend, Dublin.

The much-needed funds raised came from May's Charity Concert featuring Phelim Drew and House Band and will go towards the needs of Ukrainian children who sadly arrived in Ireland without parents this year.

Published in River Liffey

The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers (DBOGA) two-day regatta at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey was also a casualty of the weekend's nor'easter.

Disappointingly, the planned Parade of Sail on the capital's river had to be cancelled in the gusty winds. 

As regular Afloat readers know, the strong winds also cancelled the entire Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Saturday Programme at Dun Laoghaire. The big seas on Saturday led to a reduced start for the annual Lambay Race but nevertheless vintage edition as part of the successful staging of the three day Wave Regatta at Howth Yacht Club. 

Afloat understands plans are now afoot to incorporate the cancelled DBOGA Poolbeg event into September's Howth DBOGA Round the Island (for the Leinster Plate) outing in early September. 

Meanwhile, the season will now see a cruising emphasis for PYBC with members heading off on summer cruises. The PBYC yacht Paradiso has already departed for Norway via the Faroes.

Published in Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

These past few days have been purest serendipity for historic Irish boatbuilders. Just two days after the 1926-vintage West Cork-built Limerick ketch Ilen was celebrated beside the River Thames in London on Wednesday, the 1937 Tyrrell of Arklow 43ft ketch Maybird was being honoured last night beside the River Liffey in Dublin Port. In fact, the legendary Arklow boat-builder Jack Tyrrell was up in lights twice over, as last night’s (Friday) gala Awards Ceremony of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association in the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club also saw the inauguration of a new trophy, celebrating the memory of a former owner of the 1963 Tyrrell-built vintage Bermudan sloop Tjaldur.

We’d best take things chronologically. As Ilen’s date with destiny beside Tower Bridge for a first London cultural-exchange visit came up the agenda on Wednesday, not all the ducks were staying neatly in a row. Award-winning actor Dominic West of Glin Castle on the Shannon Estuary was finding serious diary problems in taking up his role as MC.


But not to worry. Ilen Marine School Director Gary Mac Mahon has a contacts book worth much more than its weight in gold. So you’ve a problem? You can’t get a BAFTA-winning thesp from a castle on the Shannon for your long-planned big event in London? No problem. Get an Oscar-winning superstar from a castle in West Cork instead, and the show is even more firmly on the road.

Dr Mick Brogan, Gary Mac Mahon, Sinead Cusack and Jeremy Irons at the Ilen London ReceptionDr Mick Brogan, Gary Mac Mahon, Sinead Cusack and Jeremy Irons at the Ilen London Reception. Photo: Claire Frew

In fact, as Jeremy Irons – who would call over betimes from nearby Kilcoe Castle to see Ilen while she was being restored by Liam Hegarty in the boatyard at Oldcourt – also brought his wife Sinead Cusack with him to the Ilenfest at St Katharine Docks on Wednesday, it was a stardust event, with the marine element including the distinguished Chairman of Crunnui na mBad in Kinvara on Galway Bay, Dr Mick Brogan, while the exchanges of goodwill were headed by speeches from Alison Gowman, Sheriff of the City of London, and Councillor Daniel Butler, the Mayor of Limerick.

Ilen well-wishers starting to gather in the ultimate urban setting. Photo: Alistair CraigIlen well-wishers starting to gather in the ultimate urban setting. Photo: Alistair Craig


With the main event safely logged, Ilen’s Thames Estuary calendar is filling up over the next few days. But meanwhile, last night in Dublin Port saw an impressive number of boxes being ticked as the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers moved into post-pandemic overdrive, with minds well-focused by the presence of Old Gaffers Association overall President Patrick Vyvyan-Robinson.

Patrick Vyvyan-Robinson from Wales, President of the Old Gaffers AssociationPatrick Vyvyan-Robinson from Wales, President of the Old Gaffers Association

He’s a dyed-in-the-wool four-sided mainsail man who cruises the traditional-style Heard 28 Capraia out of the Bristol Channel and southwest England. But in coming to Poolbeg he was able to savour the essence of Irish Old Gafferry, for although the traditional boats of Galway Bay and Connemara continue in their own magnificent solitary splendour, in the rest of the island the Old Gaffers have rationalised themselves into the one setup, the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association. Its widespread reality is reflected in the fact that the current President is northerner Adrian “Stu” Spence with the ketch-rigged Vagabond 47 El Paradiso, while the Honorary Secretary is Crosshaven-based Darryl Hughes with the 43ft 1937 Tyrrell ketch Maybird.

OGA President Vyvyan-Robinson was there to personally present one of the main association’s top trophies - the Jolie Brise Cup - to Paul Keogh of Dublin for his tireless work over 25 years and more in keeping the Clondalkin community-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan in good order and busy afloat throughout the Irish Sea and beyond.


And as well the President was there to remind everyone that 2023 will be the OGA’s 60th anniversary. The Golden Jubilee in 2013 saw the Dublin Port stopover being one of highlights of the celebratory Cruise-in-Company, so the building blocks are being put in place to make sure that 2023 can provide the same or even better for the 60th.

The Tyrrell ketch Maybird has had several rigs and re-rigs in her 85 years, and as she is also the oldest boat ever to have completed the Round Ireland Race, Darryl Hughes reckoned that a bit of one of her discarded masts could be usefully re-purposed as a prize for future holders of the “Oldest Boat to Complete” in Round Ireland Races, and for that the “Maybird Mast” trophy was entrusted to Round Ireland organizer Hal Fitzpatrick of Wicklow Sailing Club.

The 1937 Tyrrell of Arklow-built ketch Maybird is owned and sailed by DBOGA Honorary Secretary Darryl HughesThe 1937 Tyrrell of Arklow-built ketch Maybird is owned and sailed by DBOGA Honorary Secretary Darryl Hughes

DBOGA President Stu Spence sailed many thousand of coastal and offshore miles in the 1874-vintage gaff-rigged pilot cutter Madcap, but now he has relaxed into the furling Bermuda comforts of the Vagabond 47 El Paradiso. However, the word is that he and fellow Arctic veteran Paddy Barry will have Paradiso up beyond Svalbard in the high Arctic this summer, but meanwhile in acknowledgement of the fact that classic Bermudan-rigged boats play a significant role in today’s OGA, he introduced the Tjaldur Trophy in honour of the late and much-missed Sean Whiston, who sailed the 1963 Peter Brett-designed Tyrrell-built 13-tonner Tjaldur for many happy years, the new trophy in his memory to go to the top-place Bermudan-rigged boat in the annual DBOGA Regatta.

DBOGA President Adrian Spence’s Vagabond 47 El Paradiso. His previous boat for very many years was the 1874-built Pilot Cutter Madcap. Photo: W M NixonDBOGA President Adrian Spence’s Vagabond 47 El Paradiso. His previous boat for very many years was the 1874-built Pilot Cutter Madcap. Photo: W M Nixon

The DBOGA has been exemplary in keeping things going through the lockdowns with a series of Zoom sessions on a wide variety of nautical topics, and in keeping with their traditions, they introduced the electronic equivalent of donating to the yellow welly for the Howth lifeboat, and Howth lifeboat fund-raiser Rose Michael – who will be marking forty years of raising the wind for the lifeboats next year – was there to receive the large ceremonial cheque as another highlight of the DBOGA’s many and various activities.

The late Sean Whiston sailing his 13-ton Tyrrell-built sloop Tjaldur.The late Sean Whiston sailing his 13-ton Tyrrell-built sloop Tjaldur

Published in W M Nixon

Dublin Port Company has hailed the recent Blessing of the Boats ceremony and flotilla from Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club, which was officiated by Fr Ivan Tonge.

The annual blessing of the boats and fleet is a time-honoured tradition which dates back many centuries with some origins traced back to early Greek fisherman, the port company says.

Events in ports around the world can range from a simple ceremony to a multi-day festival including church services, parades, dancing, feasting and contests.

Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club’s 2021 Blessing of the Boats flotilla at the mouth of the LiffeyThe flotilla at the mouth of the Liffey | Credit: Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club

Published in Dublin Port

The Irish National Sailing School and Powerboat School are assisting Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club (PYBC) in Dublin city centre with Easter Sailing Courses.

PYBC will offer Easter Sailing and Watersports Courses for children aged 7-17 years.The the success of our programmes is 'rooted in the dynamic of dividing children into groups of their own age', Rumball told

Headquartered in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, INSS also has a base in Malahide in North Dublin.

Published in INSS

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.

We're always aiming to build on our sailing content. We're keen to build on areas such as online guides on learning to sail in Irish sailing schools, navigation and sailing holidays. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]