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Displaying items by tag: Greystones Harbour

#greystoneshm –  Expansion plans for extra berths have been accelerated at Wicklow's newest marina at Greystones Harbour.The harbour facility that opened during Easter 2103 (see above vid) is now thriving with full capacity – and above – reached a number of times during the 2015 season. Additional berthing is proposed for 2015 and understands this maybe up to fifty extra berths.

The Greystyones facility is the latest marina to be added to a necklace of marina facilities around the coast.

Bernard Gallagher of Greystones Marina cites the 'massive visitor numbers' at the deep water marina and its fine dining and entertainment options locally, only a Dart ride from Dublin city centre, as major factors in its initial success.

Published in Greystones Harbour
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#GreystonesHarbour - As recently reported on, Wicklow County Councillor Derek Mitchell has made the case for the end of commercial fishing at Greystones Harbour, the future of which is "to be a leisure harbour and visitor destination, not a fishing port." But this was news to new campaign group Save Greystones Fishing Fleet, on behalf of whom Laurel Fiszer Storey writes here about what they maintain is the short-sightedness of abandoning the town's longstanding fishing heritage - and its future generations of fishermen...

It is strange to hear of a change of use of Greystones Harbour, which was not made clear to the public during the planning process, until Fine Gael Councillor Derek Mitchell decided to unveil it to us now. Assuredly, the majority of the community of Greystones will be surprised to hear that Cllr Mitchell has decided to change the nature of their town – a fishing village – with an unbroken cultural heritage of fishing traditions dating back several hundred years, to a ‘leisure port.’

This intended change of use most certainly wasn’t made clear in the Wicklow County Council Environmental Impact Survey prior to the development which states: “After the completion of the project, the Harbour will be more accessible from both mainland and sea… The potential for the area to redevelop its commercial fishing industry will be improved due to the increased accessibility of the Harbour to fishing boats” (EIS, p106).

And again: “The expansion of the Harbour will give increased berthage and the basin will be dredged to allow for the ease of movement of fishing and recreational vessels. The upgrading of the harbour could accommodate a higher number of fishing vessels which creates the potential for increased commercial activity in the Greystones Harbour area. The increase in commercial activity has the potential to have a significant positive effect on the economy of the area.” (EIS, p100).

So it may also come as a surprise to Fine Gael TD Simon Harris, who stated in September that he would “…urge Wicklow County Council to work with the local fishermen to ensure that the new by-laws allow them to continue to make a living in our town. 

"Common sense must prevail and resolve this matter quickly," he said, remarking on the introduction of the harbour bylaws.

Greystones Harbour is big enough to accommodate fishing boats, which is evident from the Wicklow County Council EIS: the one boat owner working full-time out of the harbour when the development commenced shall be accommodated and so should any fishing boat belonging to any person who wishes to fish out of their local harbour. As local fishermen, they have been accommodated here in this fishing community for centuries. Fishing, by nature is generational. Young people – future skippers – work on boats and learn and earn until they have either inherited a boat or saved enough to buy their own.

One of these men was working on that same Greystones boat (‘that should be accommodated’) in Greystones when he was younger. He has now saved enough to buy his own boat and bring it to Greystones, where his family has lived for generations. It simply did not occur to him that his boat would be rejected.

The owner of the last Greystones boat also has a young son and other younger men with their own families working for him. What if they want to run their own boats - will they be rejected too? And what about the local fishermen who lease boats to fish? They should also be accommodated in their own town.

This is how a tradition is passed down, how it grows and provides employment. Anything else is against economic growth, competition and good sense. What if the same reasoning was applied to coffee shops in Greystones pre- and post-development? Or barbers? Or yachts? How many yachts were ‘accommodated’ before the development? Cllr Mitchell’s reasoning on this point is inaccurate, illogical and irrelevant.

The growth in the fishing industry and number of boats in Greystones is not only testament to the viability of the existing fishing grounds and the potential for growth in the commercial fishing industry in the town, but boats also have jobs available, and those jobs belong to Greystones, as do the skills, traditions and heritage of the men on board.

We have such an incredible opportunity here in Greystones for an integrated, functional, attractive and lucrative public amenity, inclusive of yachts, rowers, anglers, watersport enthusiasts, day-trippers and fishermen. Such an amenity naturally attracts tourists who are not only coming to see the yachts, they are coming to for the character of the fishing community: the seaside feel, the fish and chips and gourmet seafood, the seals eating bait fish, the walks, the views, the smells and the ambiance – the cultural heritage.

We have a massive opportunity here if we can work together. One lone fishing boat may not bring enough revenue to pay for the amenities needed to maintain the fishing section of the harbour: electricity points, fresh water, secure storage, waste removal, and access points. However, the more revenue the boats can earn and support each other the better able they are to maintain these areas when they work together with the council.

Naturally, a private company contracted to manage a private marina gains little or no financial benefit from acting as harbour manager to commercial fishing boats. This suggests a conflict of interest with regards to the management of the public and private usages of space. Maybe we need a neutral harbour master to manage this reasonably?

We also have an opportunity to put in the right amenities now to allow the fishermen to operate in a clean, tidy and efficient manner, and to land and distribute fish efficiently. We would urge Wicklow County Council in partnership with the developer to do so immediately.

One way or another, the Greystones fishermen, their families and traditions will continue in Greystones Harbour. Yet they would surely prefer to be out at sea working than having to fight for the right to the use of a public amenity and to safeguard their livelihoods and heritage for future generations.

Published in Greystones Harbour

#Greystones - Greystones Harbour will get its new marine clubhouses in 2015, as the Wicklow Times reported recently.

Wicklow County Council member Derek Mitchell spoke of his delight at progress being made after a meeting with developer Sisk in late September.

Previously Cllr Mitchell was behind the call to fast-track the construction of clubhouse facilities for the various bodies that use the harbour.

"I have been asking or this and am very pleased that there is a commitment to restart and give free clubhouses to five organisations," he said.

The organisations in question are the local community clubs for sea scouts, rowers, divers, anglers and sailors. Work on their clubhouses is set to begin in January with completion by the end of 2015 at the latest.

In addition, Wicklow TD and Minister for the OPW, Simon Harris, expects a new coastguard building to be constructed from the beginning of 2015.

As of yet no timeline has been set by Sisk for the completion of the rest of the harbour after work stalled many months ago.

Meanwhile, Cllr Mitchell has emphasised that commercial fishing at Greystones Harbour is no longer feasible as its focus shifts to recreational and residential use.

Writing in the Wicklow Voice on 30 October, he outlined the challenges of space in the Wicklow town's harbour that preclude commercial fishing and recreational functions working side by side.

"The overall benefit to the 18,000 people in Greystones is for [the harbour] to be a leisure harbour and visitor destination, not a fishing port."

Cllr Mitchell compared the significant contemporary use of the harbour area by locals leisure boating, partaking in watersport and walking the new pier promenade to the lone person fishing full time from the old harbour before its closure.

"A number of other people may claim to be local fishermen but until two months ago none are listed as having a fishing licence (a Certificate of Registry for Sea Fishing Boat).

"This is required to land and sell fish so they were not commercial fishermen and have not been disadvantaged," he added.

Published in Greystones Harbour
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#bartsbash – On a glorious sunny Sunday a fleet of 44 craft took to the water in Greystones, County Wicklow as part of the world-wide Bart's Bash charity event. From very modest beginnings the event had grown arms and legs in the few days beforehand leaving PRO, Fiachra Etchingham with a considerable headache as to how to manage a fleet that ranged from Picos to an Archambault 35 and 18 Foot skiff through the same start line and around the same course without any casualties. The matter was compounded by the diversity of experience of the competitors which again ran through the full spectrum from seasoned round Ireland campaigners and national champions down to the Galligan twins who had completed level 1 a few weeks earlier.
Fortunately the wind stayed light and the competitors respected the PRO's instruction that this was a "fun" event and stayed clear of each other. The start line which was of truly epic proportions caught out many of the competitors who mistook the leeward mark for the pin end and consequently started quite late. This allowed Daragh Cafferky (A35, Another Adventure) to nail the pin end and port tack the whole fleet to a take a commanding lead which (despite the best efforts of his foredeck crew) he retained to the end.
On the committee boat to act as independent witnesses were Junior minister Simon Harris and Tom Fortune, Chairman of Greystones Municipal District. This was a first experience of sailing of both of them and one which they thoroughly enjoyed.
The light wind went patchier as the race progressed but most competitors managed to finish all with smiles on their faces. The huge entry and the positive response of competitors afterwards proves that occasional fun racing can greatly add to participation in the sport. A big thank you to the organising committee of Fiachra Etchingham, Alan Jones and Ross Brennan and to everyone who helped make it a great day for sailing and a very fitting memorial to Andrew Simpson

Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystonesharbourregatta – Greystones Sailing Club Cruiser Regatta was held yesterday in sparkling conditions off the Wicklow coastline giving a large visiting fleet from Dublin Bay a new nearby race course area so very convenient to the capitals waters. 

James Kirwan's Beneteau 36.7 Boomerang from Dun Laoghaire was the class one winner in a 22–boat fleet. Austin Whelan's Quarter Tonner Solidarity was the winner of a 25–boat class 2. David Shanahan's Warrior was the White Sails division winner. Scroll down the page to download full overall results below.

The second Annual Cruiser Regatta attracted a register of 80 boats from up and down the East Coast. Boats came from from eight clubs including Wicklow, Arklow, Bray, Poolbeg, Clontarf, Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Malahide making it something of a unique, multi club event. At least five held feeder races on Saturday from their clubs to Greystones, giving the new 200–berth Greystones marina a buzz with visiting sailing boats all weekend. Significantly, the overall numbers were up on last year's inaugural event, acording to GSC.

The event – hailed by Greystones SC as the third third biggest cruiser event in Ireland this season –  benefitted from some high level race management too with London 2012 Olympic Race Officer Jack Roy in charge on the water.


Olympic race officer Jack Roy was on hand to manage the racing off Greystones yesterday

The second event fully lived up to the expectations created by last year inaugural regatta. The entry fee of €50 had included vouchers for the club bar and vouchers for pints in the Beach House as well as a free overnight berth so great merrymaking rolled well into the early hours in both establishments!

Sunday morning saw hot breakfasts in the Greystones SC clubhouse courtesy of Spendlove's Coffe Shop, followed by a short trip to the starting area in flat seas, bright sunshine and light southerly winds for the 80 competing boats. Race Officers Jack Roy and Tim Costello fired off the first gun of a three class, two race event, on a windward leeward course at 11.00 after a 15 minute postponement.

Three fleets, all sailing the same course against a strong north flowing tide which caught many unawares at the windward mark. Much excited activity and high decibel vocalising took place between the windward and wing marks.

Follow a race averaging an hour and a quarter the second race got going with a strengthening southerly wind.


Beneteau yachts (above and below) competing off Greystones. Photos: David O'Brien


The tide again caught sailors on the hop by turning and flowing south against the still southerly and now increasing wind. Rounding marks became even more frantic than the first race as the wind touched 25 knots in wind against tide sea conditions.

Boats started finishing from about 2.00 o'clock and after berthing, all competitors, marina berthholders and invited guests were treated to the BJ Greystones Harbour Marina hot lunch, salad, and wine reception. Food was provided again by Spendlove's and wine by La Touche Wines.

The BJ Marina Deck also played host for the prizegiving and speeches followed by a reluctant but steady exodus of yachts to their home ports with the buzz of an all inclusive event still ringing in their ears.

The regatta organising committee of Mark Usher, Daragh Cafferky, Joe Taylor and Graeme Noonan look forward to welcoming even more boats to the GSC "Taste of Greystones" Cruiser Regatta next year !" Check back for dates for 2015 on

Results below for download

Published in Greystones Harbour

#Greystones - Though further development of Greystones Harbour remains stalled for the time being, two local councillors hope progress can be made in building marine clubhouses to complement the town's successful new marina.

As the Wicklow Times reported recently, Cllr Tom Fortune says he welcomes the call by Wicklow County Council colleague Cllr Derek Mitchell to fast-track the construction of clubhouse facilities for the various bodies that use the harbour.

Citing his own five-year campaign "to ensure that the elements of this project that benefit the community be completed urgently", Cllr Fortune said that public pressure was necessary to avoid the undeveloped sections of the harbour being left "a wasteland for the foreseeable future".

Meanwhile, the same newspaper reports that Greystones Sailing Club is one of 31 sports bodies in Co Wicklow to receive funding under the Sports Capital Grants scheme for 2014.

GSC will receive €9,000 out of the total €1 million funding awarded to the county, the biggest share of which is the €150,000 granted to Wicklow-based Triathlon Ireland.

Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystonesharbour – Greystones Sailing Club will be hosting their second Annual Cruiser Regatta this Sunday morning starting at 10am. Over 70 boats from up and down the East Coast will participate and lunch and prize-giving will take place after racing, at approximately 2.30pm.

As Afloat previously reported, entries have already been received from eight clubs including Wicklow, Arklow, Bray, Poolbeg, Clontarf, Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Malahide making this a unique, multi club event in Ireland. At least five of the clubs are holding feeder races on Saturday from their clubs to Greystones, so the sea around Greystones will be buzzing with sailing boats all weekend.

Daragh Cafferky from Greystones Sailing Club said that "this will be the third largest sailing regatta in Ireland this year, in what is only our second year to run this annual event. We will have all kinds and sizes of sailing boats from 17 feet to over 50 feet, coming to Greystones and using our great facilities and town over the weekend. We believe that this race will bring over 400 sailors into Greystones over the next few days."

"From a sailing point of view, this race is unique - there is no other event that has such a large representation from so many East Coast Clubs and we in Greystones Sailing Club are delighted to be able to host this great event in our town. There will be also be a display from the RNLI helicopter on Sunday at approximately 2.30pm and the Wicklow lifeboat will be present (provided there is no emergency callout)," he added.

The boats and crews will be hosted by Greystones Sailing Club and will avail of berths in Greystones Marina for the weekend.

Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystonesharbour – Greystones Sailing Club's annual "Taste of Greystones" Cruiser Regatta will take place on Sunday 31st August. The inaugural event last year attracted 72 cruisers registered with 68 actually racing. This year organiser Joe Taylor hopes to make it even bigger

The entry fee of €50 includes your overnight berth and of course the much talked about BJ Marine Greystones Harbour Marina lunch and refreshments. Also included are various vouchers for the Club bar and for the Beach House.

Hot breakfasts will be available on site Sunday morning followed by two races starting at 10.45. Racing should be completed by about 14.30 and followed by that lunch and the prizegiving. The big bonus is everybody will be home by tea time, says Taylor.

Feeder races on the Saturday for those who would like to race down will have their prizeging in the Greystones Sailing Club clubhouse around 19.30.

More details downloadable below

Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystones – Greystones Harbour Marina is looking forward to a record year, well surpassing the planned 3,000 visitors it had expected in 2014 and, in the process, bringing much-valued tourism to a thriving town, which last year was voted one of the best places to live in Ireland. (Irish Times June 2013 Readers Survey).

Alan Corr, Harbour Marina Manager says that "our overseas visitors especially, talk favourably about the peaceful surroundings of Greystones and the easy access to a lively town. They love the ambiance, the huge variety of good restaurants, coffee shops, bars and retail outlets, all within an easy stroll of the marina, making it such an attractive place to stay."

David and Jeff Behan, owners of Vino's Restaurant & Café on Church Rd, have seen first-hand the benefits of the new marina to local businesses. David says that "since the beginning of this summer, we have seen an increase in visitors from the marina, browsing the local shops and amenities and popping in to us for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but now it is becoming more the norm that they book ahead. Many of the diners that have come to us from their boats are first-timers to Greystones and all have said that they will be back to visit and hopefully for longer next time."

Jeff Behan said that "they have even requested Loyalty Cards from us, which is a sure sign that they plan on visiting again! There is a huge selection of places to eat in Greystones, and we are the furthest restaurant from the marina, but if visitors fancy fresh seafood alfresco, followed by a cocktail, while listening to live music, then Vino's is the choice for that night".

Alan Corr added that "not only do we see record number of tourists staying in the marina this year but we also see the phenomenon of friends and family visiting these boats during their stay. For every boat in the marina we get between 5 to 8 people either staying on the boat or visiting, not just the marina, but the town and surrounds as well. The tourism success of the marina can be measured by the numbers of boats and people staying for days and weeks at a time, but more importantly on the positive affect it is having on the shops, pubs and restaurants in the town. Our marina visitors are also planning their returns, booking ahead before they leave, as they have grown to appreciate the marina and the wealth of facilities in the area, all within walking distance."

Visitors to the marina also have easy access to the airport via the Aircoach service and to Dublin city via the DART and bus, and can also avail of a great car rental service by Enterprise Rent-A-Car as they pick up and drop off back to the Marina when you are finished with your car. Alan said that "we had one family spend a week with us and used their new Greystones base to tour around the south of Ireland for a few days."

Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystonesharbour – Following the installation of life saving rings on the North Pier at Greystones harbour in County Wicklow, the walk around the marina and to the North Beach has opened to the public.

Cllrs. Derek Mitchell and Grainne Mcloughlin walked this when it opened. 'This adds an attractive walk around the marina to the town's facilities and has been long awaited.

The walk is over a kilometre long and the pier is wide and attractive' said Cllr Derek Mitchell. 'As there is no electricity on the pier for safety lighting it will be closed before dark. During the summer it is open from 9 am to 8 pm'.

Published in Greystones Harbour
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The GP14 is a popular sailing dinghy, with well over 14,000 boats built.

The class is active in the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and parts of north-eastern USA, and the GP14 can be used for both racing and cruising. 

Designed by Jack Holt in 1949, with the assistance of the Dovey Yacht Club in Aberdyfi. The idea behind the design was to build a General Purpose (GP) 14-foot dinghy which could be sailed or rowed, capable of also being powered effectively by a small outboard motor, able to be towed behind a small family car and able to be launched and recovered reasonably easily, and stable enough to be able to lie to moorings or anchor when required. Racing soon followed, initially with some degree of opposition from Yachting World, who had commissioned the design, and the boat soon turned out to be an outstanding racing design also.

The boat was initially designed with a main and small jib as a comfortable family dinghy. In a design philosophy that is both practical and highly redolent of social attitudes of the day the intention was that she should accommodate a family comprising parents plus two children, and specifically that the jib should be modest enough for "Mum" or older children to handle, while she should perform well enough to give "Dad" some excitement when not taking the family out. While this rig is still available, and can be useful when using the boat to teach sailing, or for family sailing, and has some popularity for cruising, the boat is more commonly seen with the full modern rig of a mainsail, genoa and spinnaker. Australian boats also routinely use trapezes.

At A Glance – GP14 Dinghy Specifications

Crew 2
Draft 1,200 mm (47 in)
Hull weight 132.9 kg
LOA 4.27 m (14 ft)
Beam 1.54 m
Spinnaker area 8.4 m2
Upwind sail area 12.85 m2

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