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Afloat now in its 43rd year of production is a vibrant specialist magazine which has continually adapted to the demands of its readership, with an industry insight which is quite simply unique. Edited by David O'Brien (47), a former European and World sailing champion and Olympic sailor from the 2000 Games, it is produced by a group of dedicated watersports enthusiasts and has become essential reading for all those who have more than a passing interest in the development of Irish watersports.

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Published in Landing Pages

The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) says it sees no value registering small craft that launch from clubs and training centres on inland waterways. The sailing body comments come as part of a Public Consultation programme on proposed new Bye-laws for all seven Irish waterways. Waterways Ireland has commenced the first Phase of a review of bye-laws under its remit. Bye-laws facilitate the management of a waterway, clearly outlining the roles and responsibility of Waterways Ireland and all the people involved in using the navigation, whether for recreational or commercial purposes. The association says the new bye laws alos place an added administrative burden on volunteers when organising events. "The requirement to apply for permission to run every event on a weekly basis will create significant administrative workloads on already over burdened volunteers", it said. The full ISA submission is below:

General Observations

1. Definition of Craft Types
There are no fewer then 14 definitions describing different craft types referred to in the bye- laws. Many of the definitions do not adequately describe the type of craft they are referring to, and have definitions within definitions. It difficult to understand which byelaws are referring to which type of craft – this will lead to confusion and as a result non compliance.
For example: a. 'Pleasure Craft' includes personal watercraft and fast power craft'. Pleasure Craft would imply a craft used for pleasure purposes, and there are already definitions for personal watercraft and fast power craft described – so why duplicate?
b. 'Vessel' means every description of craft including non-displacement craft and sea planes but does not include a boat or personal water craft' A non displacement craft is included under the definition of 'craft' so why mention it? You also need to look up the definition for a 'boat' and 'personal watercraft' before you understand which types of craft are being referred to as a 'vessel'.
2. Insurance
We are fully behind the principal that every craft should have suitable insurance. However we believe this is a matter for the users, owners and organisations. We can see no good reason why Waterways Ireland need to be sent policies in 'original certificate form'. This puts the responsibility and hence the liability of adequate insurance onto Waterways Ireland and will require a significant bureaucratic overhead. It could easily be made an offence not to have insurance and leave it at that.
3. Duplication of Existing Legislation
Much of the content of the draft byelaws proposed is already covered under existing legislation. (eg the wearing of personal floatation devices, age limits for driving powered craft etc.). Duplication of this legislation within the bye laws will do nothing to encourage compliance, and will mean a revision of the byelaws every time there is a change in legislation.
4. Over Regulation/confusion
The draft byelaws as presented contain 32 pages of 'small print' regulations. Some of the terminology and definition used is legalistic and confusing. It will be a very difficult task to educate the waterways users as to their responsibilities towards the byelaws, and an even bigger task to enforce them.
There has been no mention of a plan for implementing the byelaws, and we would have concerns that Waterways Ireland do not have a plan or adequate resource to communicate sufficiently the detail of the byelaws, or to enforce compliance.
5. Safety
It has been shown time and time again that regulation used to manage activity on the water does little or nothing to improve safety standards unless there is sufficient resource to enforce it. The attempt within the bye laws to incorporate a 'one size fits all' set of regulations to manage activities on the waterways is inappropriate, unnecessary and will be impossible to enforce. As such it will lead to confusion and non compliance.
There are some 'bottle neck' areas of congestion, where more stringent control measures may be necessary in order to encourage responsible participation and enjoyment. We recommend a different set of regulations be developed for known trouble spots, leaving the majority of the waterways relatively unrestricted.
6. Link with existing Local Authority byelaws
In recent years, Local Authorities around the country have developed byelaws of their own to manage access to and activity on the waterways, harbours and beaches under their jurisdiction.
We are concerned that there appears to have been little consultation or coordination with local authorities who already have byelaws established, particularly counties which boarder Waterways Ireland navigation. This could potentially lead to one set of regulations applying whilst launching your craft from a local authority controlled slipway, whilst another set of regulations applying once under way on the water.
We strongly urge waterways Ireland to liaise with local authorities to ensure their byelaws are consistent with those already established.

Feedback on Specific Byelaws
(6) Registration The proposal set out in bye-law 6 needs a total revision.
a. Compulsory Registration
The ISA is not opposed to the principle of registration of vessels provided it is equitable, has a purpose (other than taxation) and is required only where necessary. Otherwise there will be a strong disincentive to register, and the cost of tracking down and seeking to make vessel owners compliant will exceed any possible benefit.
We do not see any value in the need for registering small craft that launch from clubs and training centres, which are under the control of and/or are participating in an organised activity.
b. ValidityPeriod
Where registration is required it is not sufficient to make it valid for a period to be decided by the Chief executive. A validity period should be clearly identified (5 years would seem appropriate) and communicated to all the keepers of registered craft.
c. Cost
Registration should not be seen as a revenue generator for Waterways Ireland. It should be administered at cost and fees set as such. Again this should not be at the whim of the Chief Executive.
d. Lettering
The proposal for all craft wishing to display their own print of the registration number to have 300mm high numbers (7)(b) port and starboard on the bow, and on the stern is completely ill-conceived. There is an assumption that the number issued by Waterways Ireland (7)(a) is the same size? For smaller craft it is simply not possible, and for larger craft will meet with huge opposition if it is implemented.
e. Insurance
We are fully behind the principal that every craft should have suitable insurance. This is a matter for the users and owners and we can see no good reason why WI need to
be sent this in 'original certificate form'. By checking an insurance policy Waterways Ireland is taking responsibility for ensuring all craft registered have adequate cover for any incident that they are involved with on the waterways. It could easily be made an offence not to have adequate insurance (putting the responsibility on the registered keeper) and leave it at that.
f. Visiting Craft
There are a number of craft that use the waterways occasionally when visiting the area. They are unlikely to have prior knowledge of the byelaws and often will not be in a position to apply for registration three weeks in advance. This will significantly restrict access, and/or encourage non compliance. Temporary visitors will need to be catered for.
g. On-LineRegistration
Waterways Ireland are proudly declaring the development of a 'computerised registration package', yet all registration applications must be submitted by hard copy 'snail mail'. This is not the modern way to do business.
h. Duplication of Registers
The ISA currently operates a Small Craft Register which is available on line and may be used to identify all types of craft. It may be has a five year validity and costs €15. We have the ability to process applications in a day. This is already being used by many local authorities that require permits to launch craft. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss the potential for combining the registers in order to help simplify registration system for the user.
(20) Zoning The ISA would ask Waterways Ireland to consult with us prior to implementing zoning, so we may help to ensure that congested areas are managed in a pro active way to encourage responsible participation, and will not cause confusion and/or unnecessarily restrict activity.
a. Restriction of Craft
Whilst we have no difficulty in 'Zoning' areas in order to pro actively manage use of the waterways in congested areas, it should be stressed that zoning may be required in congested areas in order to 'promote' responsible participation in activities. The current terminology used in the byelaws; 'restrict or prohibit craft from taking part' does not suggest Waterways Ireland is actively looking to promote activities on the waterways.
b. Consistent Markings
The ISA has been working with local authorities on implementing pro active management strategies for the management of beaches and harbours within their jurisdiction. The signage and buoyage for zoned areas need to be consistent with those used by local authorities and we would request that waterways Ireland consult with us prior to developing the infrastructure and management systems required for zoning.
(21) Commercial Operations
a. Voluntary Organisations
Byelaw 21 outlines the requirement to obtain permission to carry on any trade or business. It also mentions that there will be a charge levied in respect of this permission. There are a number of clubs and associations that organise training,
recreational and competitive events for which a charge is levied to the participants. This is not commercial activity, as the charge is to cover the costs of organising the said activity.
We believe it is not the intention of waterways Ireland that these clubs and associations will be charged for organising their activities, however this needs to be clarified.
b. Commercial Operators
The ISA has a number of accredited sailing schools and clubs that operate on the inland waterways. These organisations attract visitors and tourism to the area, whilst at the same time improving safety standards on the waterways.
There should be no charge levied for approved training activity that is carried out by an organisation that is accredited by a national authority and/or has been approved by Waterways Ireland.
(8) Owners, Masters and Crew of Craft
Paragraph (8). Carrying an anchor. It is not general practice in racing yachts to have an anchor stowed in such a position as 'to enable them to be dropped or weighed quickly'. This may incur a €150 fine depending on the interpretation of 'quickly'. This paragraph needs rethinking.
(25) Placing of objects
Clubs and training centres use temporary buoys to mark race courses, training areas etc. It is not reasonable to expect these organisations to apply for permission in writing every time they are involved in organised activity afloat.
(28) Miscellaneous Prohibitions
We note that there does not seem to be any prohibition on the causing of a nuisance for example by noise of engine, generator etc. in a public harbour to other users or any particular restriction on causing such annoyance. We believe such a prohibition should exist.
(32) Events If established organisations are forced to apply for permission for every event they organise their activities will not be sustainable.
a. Notification and Permission
An 'Event' is described as a 'regatta, race or any organised gathering of craft or people for the purpose of competition or display'.
Events in ISA organisations take place on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. They are often weather dependent and organised at short notice. It is unreasonable to expect clubs and associations to apply for permission organise every event, as this will severely restrict their ability to operate.
b. Insurance
ISA Clubs and Associations are fully aware of their responsibilities towards their liability for the organising of events, and carry insurance to cover all of their activities.
Should Waterways Ireland insist on receiving proof of insurance the liability may well be passed on to Waterways Ireland in the event the cover proves to be insufficient.
We recommend that paragraph 32. (6) (b) be removed.
c. Administration
ISA organisations are in the main run by volunteers. The requirement to apply for permission to run every event on a weekly basis will create significant administrative workloads on already over burdened volunteers.
We believe the intent of this bye law was not to restrict the activities of established clubs that organise regular events, and we recommend that for established clubs, training centres and associations affiliated to a recognised authority, a prior agreement be made between Waterways Ireland and the organisation concerned, to allow for the organising of events within agreed parameters without the need to apply for permission.

Published in Inland Waterways

South East Cruising School is no longer operating in Irish waters and in a letter to Afloat magazine, Principal Charlie Kavanagh, outlined his reasons for closure. The letter is reproduced below. The Marine Survey Office (MSO) was offered a right of reply but to date we have had no response.

 

Sir,

Having operated my business, South East Cruising School, under the auspices of the Irish Sailing Association for the last 14 years, I am very sorry to say that due to adverse circumstances, I now find that I can no longer operate in Irish waters.

In that time, I have assisted well over a 1,000 sailors to learn about our sport and improve their skills in a safe environment. I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to each and every one for their custom and friendship over the years.

I recently submitted my boat for inspection under the Commercial Sail Passenger Boat Regulations and the Marine Survey Office (MSO) conducted an initial survey last May, which has completely stalled over a number of issues. As it is my opinion that these matters will not be resolved amicably, I have no choice but to suspend things for now and look at other options.

For those of you not familiar with the process, the Department of Transport's MSO has drawn up a set of Regulations that, in my opinion, do not help to promote safer sail training.

They have refused point blank to consider adopting the UK's MCA Code of Practice, administered by the RYA, the world leaders in most matters relating to sail training and from whom I hold my Yachtmaster Instructor qualification.

Five years ago, we had close to 15 schools offering cruiser sail training, but this is now down to five or six, and it's unlikely any more will get through this process without severe cost to themselves and the security of their boat(s).

Also, to the best of my knowledge, we have no powerboat school for those wishing to learn big boat power handling. Not content with banishing Asgard II to remain in her watery grave, cruiser sail training in Ireland is fast being sunk by the State too, as it reduces the number of outlets that teach safe practices to the general public wishing to go to sea in our island nation.

In 1997, I set out to operate my school under the watchful eye of Paddy Boyd of the ISA and subsequently Tony Wright, both of whom worked hard to aid and supervise us under the ISA Cruising Scheme. My thanks go to them and all in the ISA for their help over the years. It is with a heavy heart that I have to let go of my dream, having suffered the highs and lows over the years, but 2010 has been a nightmare, thanks to the MSO.

As an Irish taxpayer and committed community person, I - like many others in the commercial marine community - am disgusted at the State's attitude towards sailing and the sea.

Yours in Sailing,
Charlie Kavanagh,
ISA/RYA Yachtmaster Instructor

Published in Cruising

Following the abandonment of the All Ireland Sailing Championships at Royal Cork last weekend due to lack of wind the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) has yet to announce dates for the rescheduled event. An autumn date to accomodate all concerned is the objective, the association said yesterday. The eight finalists involved are; Anthony O'Leary, Neil Kenefick, Nicholas O'Leary, Garrett May, Niall Henry, James Espey, Nick Walsh and Ewen Barry.

Published in ISA

Lack of wind in Cork harbour forced the abandonment of the All Ireland sailing championships this afternoon. Although each flight had been able to sail two rounds since the competition began on Friday the invited class champions had a long wait for wind before Royal Cork organisers scrubbed the event at 4p m today. The Irish Sailing association say the event will be rescheduled. Discussion on the forum HERE.

Published in ISA

The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) has issued its entry list and flight draw for this weekend's Helmsmans or 'All Ireland' Sailing Championship at the Royal Cork YC. All three helmsmen from this year's victorious Irish Commodores' Cup team are competing. In a lunch time press release the ISA's Ed Alcock said: "The pre-race favourite will be Nicholas O’Leary of host club Royal Cork with dad Anthony hoping to seal his season with his first win in this event. Anthony O’Leary was the captain of the victorious Irish team in the Rolex Commodores Cup helming Antix while Nicholas was on the helm of Marinerscove.ie." Forum comment on the fixture HERE.

 

The entry list is:

 

classes

The flights drawn are as follows:

flight

Published in ISA

Sixty-four of Howth Yacht Club's junior sailors were treated to an evening of race training in the ISA Sailfleet J80s on a fresh Monday evening, under the guidance of Laura Dillon. 

A host of support vessels and RIBs facilitated the running of the evening which saw all the children (ranging in age from 9 to 15) taking part in two short windward-leeward 'races' with two senior volunteers on each of the eight J80s. 

The moderate southerly wind facilitated exciting conditions in the flat waters of Howth Sound and gave many of the children their first taste of one-design keelboat racing. More than thirty-five volunteers escorted the exhilarated sailors back to the club after their experience. 

Published in Howth YC
Spiddal Sailing Club (Cumann Seoltóireacht an Spidéil) is holding an open day to lure more potential sailors onto the water ahead of the Volvo Oceanr Race's return for 2012. The cumann is throwing open its doors to anyone who harbours an intent to get on the water in the next 12 months, and will welcome newcomers to the club on Sunday afternoon 16 May.

The club is recognised by the ISA, and runs ISA-approved youth training courses for its members every year, ranging from an introduction to sailing to more advanced techniques. Its course programme this year runs from 28 June to 9 July.

Weather permitting, there will be opportunities to try your hand at crewing or helming in Spiddal harbour from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.
Published in Boating Fixtures
Tagged under

Today is the last day for applications for the Irish Sailing Association development officer post, to be based in its Dun Laoghaire offices. The role involves supporting clubs and teaching establishments in growing their activities and membership and promoting the ISA's training agenda nationwide.

Details are here.

Published in ISA

The ISA is national governing body for all forms of recreational and competitive activities involving sail and engine powered craft in Ireland.

CLICK FOR THE LATEST IRISH SAILING ASSOCIATION NEWS

At the recent UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) general assembly, the ISA was formally (and unanimously) approved as the recognised UIM member governing powerboat racing in Southern Ireland.

This is another step towards developing our commitment to promote motor boating activities in Ireland.

The ISA constantly monitors and reviews developments in sailing and boating and represents the interests of its members and other sailing and boating enthusiasts with government and international agencies.

The ISA has initiated the process of developing our third strategic plan (2009–2013) so that they can work to improve our services for the benefit of all boaters and sailors in the future.

The ISA also develops and administers a range of training and other services to support both members and all those involved in sailing and boating of all types, which currently includes:

   Dinghy sailing
   Sail cruiser sailing
   Motor cruiser sailing
   Motor cruising (Inland Waterways)
   Powerboating
   Windsurfing
   Personal watercraft

Irish Sailing Association, 3 Park Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. Tel: 01 28 00 239, Fax: 01 2807 558, Email: [email protected]

Published in Organisations
Page 16 of 17

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