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Displaying items by tag: Dublin dry dock

#DublinsTallship - Jeanie Johnston which became the final ever vessel to use Dublin Port's last working graving dock is to return to her usual city-centre berth this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore.

On Monday, the replica of a 19th century famine emigrant barque had departed the 200m graving dock having undergone planned maintenance.

The facility that also was a shiprepair and conversion business is to be decommissioned. Dublin Port are to in-fill the site for the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment ABR project. This will be phase one of the port’s Masterplan to permit largers ships to enter the port and expand capacity.

After been towed from drydock, Jeanie Johnston is currently at a temporary berth along the North Wall Quay Extension next to the Tom Clarke toll-bridge. The bascule-bridge lift is to be raised to facilitate the Jeanie Johnston by heading upriver.

Following this transit, Jeanie Johnston is not to directly head to her routine berth at Custom House Quay. Instead the barque will berth along Sir John Rogersons Quay. From this southside berth the tallship will await clearance subject to specific opening times, before making a transit through the Samuel Beckett swing-bridge.

Once this second transit has been achieved then the 301 gross tonnage tallship will finally reach her berth on the Liffey at Custom House Quay.

According to the operator's website, tours of the replica tallship are to begin this Friday. The original Jeanie Johnston completed 16 trans-Atlantic emigrant voyages between Ireland and north America in the years from 1847 to 1855. Over 2,500 people were transported and notably with no loss of life.

Published in Tall Ships

#PortHistory - Jeanie Johnston made history when at Dublin Port yesterday the tall ship floated out of its graving dock.

As the Irish Times writes the replica 19th century “Famine” ship is the last vessel to be worked on in the port’s graving dock as previously reported by Afloat. The dry-dock is being closed and filled in as part of the €230 million Alexandra Basin project.

The five-year project aims to allow larger ships to routinely call at Dublin, turn within Alexandra Basin and berth as far upriver as East Link Bridge.

Micheál Ó Cionna, who manages the Jeanie Johnston as a tourist attraction and museum, said the ship would return to its berth with Dublin Port tug assistance and would re-open later this week.

Mr Ó Cionna said the closure of the port graving dock emphasised the need for Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys to save the last docks of this type in the Liffey area – on the Grand Canal Basin. For on this story click here.

Published in Dublin Port

#DryDockClosure - The largest dry dock in the State and the last remaining working dry-dock (No. 2) in Dublin Port is to close marking an end of an era of our maritime heritage, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 200m dry dock is where the replica tallship Jeanie Johnston is undergoing work, however according to RTE the Dublin Port Company said the reason for the closure is due to ships on the Irish Sea are too big to fit in the dry dock. The port company also cited ships already are been repaired in UK yards, though Afloat has reported on Arklow Shipping using Cork Dockyard albeit a smaller dry-dock.  

DPC added they have expansion plans for the port which require infilling the dry dock as part of the €277m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) project, see below. This will represent phase one of the port’s Masterplan: 2012-2040 to meet growing demands of trade and port infrastructure capacity.

Afloat adds that dry-dock had actually been ‘temporarily reopened’ by the port company. This was to facilitate ongoing work of the timber built Dublin based famine emigrant floating museum-ship, Jeanie Johnston. The visitor attraction located at a berth on the River Liffey is scheduled to reopen on 17th February. 

The barque was last dry-docked at the same facility in 2014. So on this current occasion the Jeanie Johnston marks another chapter of Irish maritime marine engineering heritage as the last ever ship to dry-dock in the capital. 

In April 2016 the dry-dock closed having been run by Dublin Graving Docks Ltd 'under licence' from Dublin Port Company. The shiprepairer, maintenance, conversion engineering facility closed with the loss of a skilled workforce of 26 personnel. The last ship to use the dry-dock under the licence arrangement was Arklow Fame. Likwise of the tallship the cargoship is Irish flagged. 

A variety of vessels used the dry-dock mostly short-sea general cargoships, coasters, ro-ro freight ferries and supertrawlers.  In addition the dry dock was a customer of the ports-owned fleet of tugs and workboats.

Following the closure last Spring of Dubin Graving Docks, the Maritime Institute of Ireland expressed the closure would result in work being lost to Ireland “with the lamentable decision to close and in-fill the big Dublin Graving Dock No.2 which was in constant use by Arklow Shipping”.

The graving dry-dock was opened 60 years by President Sean T.O’Kelly where at the unveiling ceremony in 1957 the new facility was heralded as an “iconic State-funded enterprise”.

As previously highlighted the DPC are to infill the drydock to create more quay space in Alexandra Basin. This will enable considerably larger deep drafted cargoships to enter the port. In addition to accommodate giant cruiseships by berthing much closer to the city-centre near the 3Arena. The ABR project will also feature the port's first dedicated cruise terminal. This will have two berths. 

The rich maritime tradition of Dublin Port is however to become part of a new 'maritime industrial heritage' attraction site commented a port spokesperson. The site chosen will see DPC use a neighbouring disused dry-dock (No.1) which is much older. Afloat previously reported on the plans for dry dock dating to 1860’s. 

Ironically in order to create this new heritage site, the stone-cut listed dry dock is to be excavated having only been infilled during the Celtic Tiger. This was to meet the growing demands for hard-standing vehicle space associated with a nearby ro-ro ferry terminal. This been located next to the Tom Clarke (East-Link) toll-lift bridge. 

The disused dry-dock is also located beside the Port Centre, the headquarters of the Dublin Port Company. The site will be within a short walking distance of the new cruise terminal.

This area at the port entrance and headquarters is to be transformed as part of a ‘soft’ port remodelling of the architectural surroundings. Its purpose is to generate and engage a closer relationship between the port and the capital by bringing the public to interact between such spaces.

Published in Dublin Port

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.


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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