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Displaying items by tag: Arklow Shipping

The UK government's Brexit ferry programme was "rushed and risky", according to a cross-party group of MPs, who confirmed the botched project had cost £85m.

As BBC News reports a procurement process to provide extra ferry services was held in anticipation of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March.

But MPs said taxpayers had "little to show" for the cost after the UK failed to leave the EU on that date and had to cancel deals reached with three firms.

The government defended the contracts, calling them an "insurance policy".

The contracts had to be cancelled after the date for Britain to leave the EU was pushed back from 29 March to 31 October.

For much more click here from the Public Accounts Committee report covering the ferry contracts and Out of Court settlement concerning EuroTunnel. 

Published in Ferry

The Port of Galway is where Afloat.ie takes an impromtu look in at the city's dock where the focus on shipping movements concentrates on cargoships involved up to the end of this month, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In port this afternoon is Arklow Shipping's Dutch flagged short-sea trader, Arklow Valley which arrived yesterday from Belfast Harbour to engage in scrap steel. The 5,158dwat vessel was launched in 2016 as the fourth of 10 Royal Bodewes Eco-Traders commissioned by ASL.

It is somewhat unusual to see an ASL in the Port though what is a common sight is the Bláth na Mara, a domestic cargoship serving all three of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. The operator Lasta Mara Teoranta is based at The Docks but at the pier beyond the enclosed single basin of the Dun Aengus Dock that forms the main  port.

Typical cargoes carried on board Bláth na Mara range from food stuffs chilled and frozen, household goods, furniture, coal, cars, transit vans, tractors, horses in addition to various types of lifestock.

Recently, Islands Ferries announced plans to restore a direct passeger service from next year. The last such service which included freight was operated by O'Brien Ferries using the custom built Oileáin Árann. 

At sea today is Bithav (6,834dwat) which is off the south Cork coast having departed with bitumen from Port Jerome, (Rouen) France. Likewise of Arklow Valley, this Dutch flag vessel will too remain in port until tomorrow when both vessels set sail in the morning.

On Sunday, Corrib Fisher is to make another arrival having loaded oil products from Cork Harbour at the Whitegate Refinery. The 6,090dwt tanker of UK firm, Jas Fisher Everard has in recent months taken over the routine duties of a fleetmate the aptly named Galway Fisher.

The 10 year-old replacement vessel is also on standby as an emergency oil spill response vessel for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

Published in Galway Harbour

#dublinbay- It was a busy scene in Dublin Bay during the May Bank Holiday as up to seven ships were at anchorage among them an Irish flagged cargo which stood out with its distinctive green painted hull, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The ship Arklow Dusk is the fourth and final of a quartet of 11,000dwt sisters acquired last year by Arklow Shipping following the bankruptcy of the Dutch based Flinter Group in 2016. The remaining sisters include Arklow Dawn, Dale and Day. 

Acquisition of the former Flinter America and fleetmates as secondhand tonnage is unusual for ASL as the Co. Wicklow based company notably in recent years have taken delivery of newbuilds of various designs from Dutch and German shipyards.

Arklow Dusk had previously docked in Dublin Port after a voyage from Bilbao, Spain. On board was a cargo of cement products that were discharged alongside Ocean Pier. This was the first time the 132m double-hold cargoship made a call to the capital.

On completion of unloading, Arklow Dusk proceeded 'light' to Dublin Bay to anchor in the early hours of Thursday night. On the Bank Holiday Monday, the arrival of cruiseship Norwegian Pearl stood out and as the inaugural caller of the season to Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The presence of these seven ships on Monday was short lived as by mid-morning Arklow Dusk having awaited orders departed. The 'D' class ship was bound again for Spain but this time to Carino located in north-west of the Iberian nation.

As Arklow Dusk set a southbound course along in the opposite direction came Schelde Highway from Zeebrugge, Belgium. The vehicle-carrier headed into the bay to occupy the same area where the Arklow-registered cargoship had taken up anchorage for more than four days.

Published in Dublin Bay

#shipping - Following last month's media headlines on Arklow Shipping and its relationship with Seaborne Freight which the UK Government had earmarked among firms to alleviate freight capacity in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Irish company today added another newbuild, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The newcomer, Arklow Wind (see YouTube) was launched this morning after a christening ceremony was held in Leer, Germany. The shipbuilder, Ferus Smit Leer GmBH is where Arklow Wave the leadship of a quartet (or 'W' class), as Afloat previously reported was launched last year and entered service in October.

Arklow Wind at 16,500dwt is an enlarged version of the 8,500dwt ships that Ferus-Smit delivered to ASL in the past. The 149m newbuild bulker has two box shaped holds with a cargo capacity of 700,000cft hold volume.

Propulsion is achieved through a 3840kW main engine in order to achieve low fuel consumption. As for the associated propeller, this involves a duct for enhanced thrust at lower speeds and reduction of maximum installed propulsion power.

Arklow Wave which has been given an Iceclass 1A certification, is set to be delivered in April to the expanding Co. Wicklow based dry-cargo operator whose fleet exceeds more than 50 vessels. The name revives a predeccessor which was disposed as the final of the older W class all built outside Europe. This was a first for ASL when the order was contracted to a South Korean yard.

The majority of the fleet is Irish flagged while the rest of the ships are part of ASL's Dutch division, Arklow Shipping Nederland B.V. based in Rotterdam. Europe's largest port is also used as a port of registry for these vessels.

On a related note to the Seaborne Freight saga, the Dutch flagged Arklow Bank likewise built by Ferus Smit (Westerbroek yard in The Netherlands) featured on Channel 4's News coverage on Seaborne Freight. Controversary arose following the UK's Transport Secretary's cancellation of a contract to Seaborne to operate the Ramsgate-Ostend, Belgium route.

In addition Arklow Bank the leadship of the 'B' class series dating to 2014, this week docked in Dublin Port. By coincidence the vessel berthed at the same South Bank Quay to where Afloat's follow-up (photo) coverage was taken in relation to the Seaborne story broadcast on the UK TV news programme. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ferries - The UK Prime Minister, reports Channel 4 News, has once again backed the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling as he faced further criticism in parliament over the awarding of a contract to provide ferries in the event of a no-deal Brexit to a company with no ships.

Theresa May insisted that due diligence was carried out before start-up company Seaborne Freight was given a – now rescinded – contract.

But (yesterday) afternoon MPs grilled a senior Department of Transport (DfT) civil servant about how rigorous the checks into Seaborne’s main investor (Arklow Shipping) really were.

For much more featuring footage of Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons and the Parliament Select Committee hearing of the Dft official click here. 

In addition to a report by the Irish Times earlier this week which also delved into Arklow Shipping's 'no contract' with the no-deal Brexit ferry firm plan of a Ramsgate-Ostend (Belgium) service.  

Published in Ferry

#ferries - The UK Transport Secretary reports Channel 4 News, has been facing mounting calls for his resignation after he cancelled a £14 million contract with ferry company Seaborne Freight.

The government pulled the rug on the contract yesterday after revealing that Arklow Shipping – a firm which was set to be a majority shareholder in Seaborne – had itself backed out.

But Channel 4 News (tonight) revealed that that company had never agreed any contract and blamed the UK government for pushing the deal through too fast.

For more on the proposed Ramsgate-Belgium service click report along with footage of Arklow Shipping's 8660dwat leadship 'B' class Arklow Bank and Bay when launched in the Netherlands, which Afloat reported of both back in 2014. 

Published in Ferry

#ferries - UK prime minister Theresa May faced cross-party calls to sack her transport secretary, Chris Grayling, last night, after the calamitous collapse of a no-deal Brexit ferry contract handed to a company with no ships.

As The Guardian reports, senior tories said the prime minister had turned “a blind eye” to Grayling’s decision to award the £13.8m contract to Seaborne Freight to run ferries between Ramsgate and Ostend, despite widespread derision and accusations that it had been awarded illegally.

The collapse of the contract comes amid growing unease in the international business community about Britain’s preparedness for a no-deal outcome, with less than 50 days until Brexit is due to take place.

Several MPs suggested Grayling should now consider his position after his department revealed the contract had been cancelled, and Bob Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, said the saga would “just confirm the view of many that this country is in a mess”.

Anna Soubry, a former Tory business minister, said Grayling “should be quietly considering his position”.

“Chris Grayling holds a critical position in government, trying to mitigate what would be a very serious crisis for the country if we leave the European Union without a deal,” she said. “He has no grip on the very serious nature of his job. The prime minister should also be considering whether there is not someone else who could do the job better.”

Another senior Tory MP said Grayling was a “walking disaster zone”, adding: “A no-deal Brexit would be a major national crisis and stories like this suggest we have not got the people in place who are capable of responding to it.”

Another said: “Grayling never has a grip on the detail, as the Seaborne mess shows. His Heathrow proposal will be just the same but way more costly. The PM just turns a blind eye, for some reason.”

Andy McDonald, the shadow transport secretary, said: “While Theresa May needs the few friends she has right now, we cannot have this incompetent transport secretary heaping humiliation after humiliation on our country. He has to go.”

Joining the attacks, Vince Cable, the Lib Dem leader, said: “I very rarely call on ministers to go, but failing Grayling has made too many crass mistakes. He has already lost the confidence of the civil service as they now require a ministerial directive for the government to spend money on ferries.”

Downing Street last night said the prime minister had full confidence in Grayling.

The Department for Transport said the deal was terminated after Irish company Arklow Shipping, which had backed Seaborne, stepped away from the deal. “It became clear Seaborne would not reach its contractual requirements,” a spokeswoman said. “We have therefore decided to terminate our agreement.”

For more on this ferry development, click here.

Published in Ferry

#ferries - RTE News reports that the UK's Department of Transport has cancelled a contract with a company to provide extra ferries in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Seaborne Freight was awarded a £13.8m contract in December even though it had never run a ferry service, nor had any ships.

The British Government has cancelled the order after one of Seaborne's backers, the Irish (dry-cargo shipping) company, Arklow Shipping, withdrew from the deal.

The UK's Department of Transport said it was clear that Seaborne would not be able to meet its contractual requirements.

For more on the story click here in addition to related coverage on the Port of Ramsgate in Kent, from where the proposed route would serve Ostend in Belgium.

Published in Ferry

#shipping - The newest merchant ship under the Irish flag arrived to Belfast Harbour on Wednesday, writes Jehan Ashmore

Since delivery to owners Arklow Shipping Ltd in October 2018, Afloat has tracked the 16,500dwt Arklow Wave (see launch) initially operate in the Baltic Sea.

This latest call to Belfast involved the leadship of a new quartet of dry-cargo ships ordered by ASL from Ferus-Smit's GmbH yard in Leer, Germany.

A total 13,000mts of wheat was discharged from Arklow Wave according to COFCO a leading UK grain merchant. The cargo having been loaded in the UK's biggest grain port, ABP's Port of Ipswich on the Suffolk coast.

Discharging of the near 150m long cargoship followed after the W class newbuild took anchorage in Belfast Lough off Bangor, Co. Down.

Other recent ASL callers to the port included newbuild fleetmates, Arklow Villa also launched in 2018 whereas Arklow Clan was delivered the previous year.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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#ShannonEstuary - The recent return to the Shannon Estuary, almost 100 years later of restored ketch trader Ilen, which Afloat highlighted, sees the sole surviving Irish built ocean-going timber sailing vessel back home in Limerick Docks, writes Jehan Ashmore

After a 20 year restoration project, the 56ft 'small tall ship' Ilen, returned last month to the estuary after an absence of 92 years as focused by Afloat's W.M. Nixon. The Illen, built to a Limerick design where such vessels traded on the estuary in Munster, had docked in the mid-west city port's Ted Russell Docks. Take note as Afloat previously reported, today's (Thursday) conivial Come-all-Ye party to celebrate the restoration at the Ilen Exhibition in the city's Hunt Museum (between 5.30 to 8.00pm). All are welcome.

On completion of Ilen in 1926, Conor O’Brien's ketch, built with an auxiliary engine, departed Limerick for Falklands Islands owners where for the majority of time served 60 years in inter-island cargo trade deep in the South Altantic Ocean. Last month, however Ilen would finally sail up the Shannon Estuary again having made a delivery passage from Baltimore (where built), retracing a preparatory journey to Foynes made by O'Brien in advance of the ocean delivery to the Falklands Islands Company.

The small cargoship having become abandoned, eventually returned as deck cargo to Ireland when loaded ashore in Dublin Port in 1997. In the following year work began to restore the unique Irish built sail ocean going cargoship.

Close to Baltimore is where Ilen, mid-way through its restoration, in 2008 was given a new lease life thanks to the ketch receiving the skilled craftmanship at Liam Hegarty’s boatyard in Oldcourt, upriver on the River Ilen from Skibberean. Much of the restorations detailed work of mast and sail work, though took place at the Ilen Boat-Building School in Limerick.

Also in 2008, a personnal visit took place to the city's Ted Russel Docks to examine the commercial shipping scene, albeit then no sail traders of the past but motorised ships such as Celtic Spirit. The general cargo short-sea trader (pictured above) in the port's single dock basin is seen in October just over a decade ago with Inland Fisheries Ireland patrol cutter Costantoir Bradan.

As W.M. Nixon also alluded in recent coverage of Ilen (scroll down to photo) which sparked memories as the scene included a blue hulled cargoship (likewise of Celtic Spirit). The shipping scene shows the stark contrast in the Dock between the restored ketch complex foredeck and completely differs to those experienced by sailors on the modern ships nearby.

The unidentified blue hulled ship is similar in size to Celtic Spirit, which then had opened up a new service in trading round timber (logs). Trees felled from commercial forests in Co. Tipperary were the source and if recalled correctly, also involved plantations from some of the neighbouring counties. A dockside grabber crane would seize several logs at a time before swung speedily into the hold of Celtic Spirit whose cargo was bound for a European port.

Celtic Spirit no longer forms part of the current 9 strong fleet of Welsh based operator, Charles M.Willie & Co.(Shipping) Ltd located in Cardiff. A successor of the same name serves alongside a fleetmate, Celtic Freedom acquired last year from Arklow Shipping Nederland B.V. as their Arklow Rally. Also sold but in 2016 was Arklow Shipping Ltd's (ASL) Irish flagged Arklow Rose which was renamed Celtic Venture.

At the time of that report another of ASL oldest R-class short sea traders, Arklow Raider had called to Limerick Docks. The dock basin is one of six terminals operated by Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) which recorded a third consecutive year of record profits as 2017’s return in turnover was close to €14 million.

The presence of Ilen in Limerick's Ted Russell Dock (completed in 1853) brings the past and the present to co-exist in terms of demonstrating traditional Irish maritime heritage and modern day shipping and aptly Arkow Shipping, Ireland's largest indigenous shipowner-operator. 

As previously alluded in the year Ilen was built (1926), Ted RusselI Docks that same year reported around 100 importers and exporters using the port. At that time, the dock's principle client were the flour millers, John Bannatyne & Sons. 

The activities of Bannatyne contributed to approximately half of the revenue to Limerick Harbour Commissioners (from 1994, SFPC). Only last year, SFPC's Limerick Docklands Framework Strategy announced plans to reinstate historical buildings over time such as the large Ballantyne Mills building that occupies the main quay lining Ted Russell Docks. 

Exports from Limerick Docks more than tripled imports in 2016, which shows how the dock basin asset has contributed to business in the city and the wider mid-west region. Another recent caller last month to the Dock was again from ASL whose Arklow Cadet (also dating to 2016) which docked in the inland port located on Ireland's largest estuary.

 

Published in Shannon Estuary
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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