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Displaying items by tag: Europe

#COASTGUARD - Greater co-operation between Europe's coastguard organisations is inevitable, according to the Irish Coast Guard director.

Chris Reynolds was speaking at Search and Rescue 2012, the EU Heads of Coastguard conference in Dublin last Thursday, at which he outlined a feasibility study being conducted by the European Commission on a standardised coastguard service across Europe.

As Shephard Media reports, Reynolds admitted that some challenges stood in front of any effective change in the sector, noting that SAR policy at member state level is often spread across many departments.

But the Costa Condordia disaster off the Italian coast recently may focus governments to develop a "sense of urgency" on the issue, he said.

In the keynote address at the conference, Italian coastguard chief Giuseppe Troina said it was fortunate that the death toll in that incident had not been much greater, emphasising that more than 4,000 people survived the cruise ship's sinking.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Northern Ireland faces a whopping £8 million (€9.6 million) fine from the EU over its failure to protect horse mussels.

According to BBC News, "little has been done" to protect horse mussel reefs in Strangford Lough despite promises from two government departments as far back as six years ago.

Last year Afloat.ie reported on a study from Queen's University Belfast that revealed the extent of damage to horse mussel reefs in the lough by fishing activity.

Strangford Lough is officially protected as a Special Conservation Area and a Marine Nature Reserve, as well as an Area of Special Scientfic Interest, but as BBC News states, "in reality there has been little protection put in place".

Horse mussels are pivotal to the lough's ecosystem, as some 100 other species rely on the reefs formed by the mussels in the seabed for their habitat.

NI officials now have just a few months to persuade the European Commission that they are taking strong action to protect the species, otherwise they will be charged with breaking EU directives.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will host the 26th annual European Cetacean Society Conference in Galway on the weekend of 24-25 March this year.

The Galway Bay Hotel will be the site for the main conference sessions, while workshops will also be held at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).

This year's gathering is being held under the theme 'Communication: Information and Ideas Worth Sharing'. Participants will be exploring communication between marine mammals as well as between marine scientists, and between scientists and the public.

As Ireland's Wildlife reports, the conference "offers a offers a great opportunity to find out more about whales and dolphins, their conservation, the cetacean research being carried out in Europe and to meet the researchers who are working to uncover the mysteries of these most enigmatic of creatures."

Registration is now open for the two-day event. For full details of the conference programme, venues and booking information, visit the European Cetacean Society Conference micro site HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#FISHING - The licence application for a proposed new deep-sea fish farm in the Aran Islands is expected to be lodged in January.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Bord Iascaigh Mhara's (BIM) planned 15,000-tonne organic salmon farm off Inis Oírr would be the largest of its kind in Europe, and would create hundreds of jobs in the area.

Commenting on the plans, Galway West Senator Fidelma Healy Eames said it was "a major opportunity for Galway and would represent a very significant economic boost for our coastal communities."

She added: "Deep sea fish farming has proven to be very economically beneficial in countries such as Norway, Chile and Scotland. It is timely that Ireland would capitalise on our fantastic marine resources as these countries have."

According to Healy Eames, the project is expected to "meet all environmental standards and will be barely visible from 2km away and effectively not visible from land.

"It would take up a negligible amount of inshore fisheries ground in the bay (0.22%) and would not interfere with existing fishing routes or Galway Bay ferry routes."

Published in Fishing
The US Coast Guard's training barque Eagle returned to her home port of New London, Connecticut last week after a summer-long voyage to Europe.
Last May the ship and its crew paid a visit to Waterford ahead of this year's Tall Shps Races, where it met a contingent of Connecticut residents, before sailing on towards Hanover, Germany where she was first constructed 75 years ago.
Other ports of call included London, Reykjavik, Halifax in Nova Scotia and a final stop in New York City.
"The cadets had an incredible chance to sail the Atlantic as it was meant to be sailed," Captain Eric Jones told Connecticut's The Day.
The captain noted that it was also a voyage of remembrance, referencing the history of the ship - which the US received in reparations after the Second World War - and the laying of a wreath to memorialise the Coast Guard cutter Alexander Hamilton, torpedoed by a German U-boat off the Icelandic coast in January 1942.
The Day has much more on the story HERE.

The US Coast Guard's training barque Eagle returned to her home port of New London, Connecticut last week after a summer-long voyage to Europe.

Last May the ship and its crew paid a visit to Waterford ahead of this year's Tall Ships Races, where it met a contingent of Connecticut residents, before sailing on towards Hanover, Germany where she was first constructed 75 years ago.

Other ports of call included London, Reykjavik, Halifax in Nova Scotia and a final stop in New York City.

"The cadets had an incredible chance to sail the Atlantic as it was meant to be sailed," Captain Eric Jones told Connecticut's The Day.

The captain noted that it was also a voyage of remembrance, referencing the history of the ship - which the US received in reparations after the Second World War - and the laying of a wreath to memorialise the Coast Guard cutter Alexander Hamilton, torpedoed by a German U-boat off the Icelandic coast in January 1942.

The Day has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships
The US Coast Guard cutter Eagle has set sail on its 75th anniversary voyage to Europe - with Ireland being its first port of call.
Captain Eric C Jones, who pilots the US Coast Guard's training vessel and goodwill ambassador, said the trip was a special one for him and the more than 140 cadets on board, as it will be revisiting the shipyard in Hanover, Germany where it was built in 1936.
Other stops include London, Reykjavik, and Halifax in Nova Scotia before a final stop in New York on 5 August, according to The Day.
Dignitaries and residents from the Eagle's home port of New London, Connecticut will be heading to Waterford - host of the Tall Ships Races this summer - to welcome its arrival in 27 May.

The US Coast Guard cutter Tall Ship Eagle has set sail on its 75th anniversary voyage to Europe - with Ireland being its first port of call.

Captain Eric C Jones, who pilots the US Coast Guard's training vessel and goodwill ambassador, said the trip was a special one for him and the more than 140 cadets on board, as it will be revisiting the shipyard in Hanover, Germany where it was built in 1936.

Other stops include London, Reykjavik, and Halifax in Nova Scotia before a final stop in New York on 5 August, according to The Day.

Dignitaries and residents from the Eagle's home port of New London, Connecticut will be heading to Waterford - host of the Tall Ships Races this summer - to welcome its arrival in 27 May.

Watch some video of the Eagle in action:

 

Published in Tall Ships
Mini sailboats could soon be spotted in Irish waters if a US school project goes according to plan.
The Bangor Daily News in Maine reports on the Educational Passages programme, through which middle school students will equip miniature sailboats with GPS trackers and set them out to sea to follow their progress across the Atlantic.
In previous years the programme - which is designed to give youngsters hands-on experience in maritime professions and skills such as oceanography and chart reading - has sent its self-steering boats as far as Portugal.
This year's students are hoping to catch the Gulf Stream to send their boats to Europe. The boats will be launched by trainees on the Maine Maritime Academy's training vessel State of Maine, which will also be retrieving a boat from a previous project that was recovered in Ireland.

Mini sailboats could soon be spotted in Irish waters if a US school project goes according to plan.

The Bangor Daily News in Maine reports on the Educational Passages programme, through which middle school students will equip miniature sailboats with GPS trackers and set them out to sea to follow their progress across the Atlantic.

In previous years the programme - which is designed to give youngsters hands-on experience in maritime professions and skills such as oceanography and chart reading - has sent its self-steering boats as far as Portugal. 

This year's students are hoping to catch the Gulf Stream to send their boats to Europe. The boats will be launched by trainees on the Maine Maritime Academy's training vessel State of Maine, which will also be retrieving a boat from a previous project that was recovered in Ireland.

Published in Marine Science
Yachts in Europe, Russia or Canada will face new marine safety inspections from 2011 following the implementation of the Paris MOU's New Inspection Regime (NIR), Sail World reports.
http://www.sail-world.com/UK/Yachts-in-Europe:-new-marine-safety-inspections-from-Jan-2011/78723
Previously only 25% of ships and very few yachts were inspected at ports in countries signatory to the Paris Memorandom of Understanding on Port State Control, which includes most maritime countries in Europe as we as Russia and Canada.
But the introduction of the NIR sees a shared commitment to inspect all ships and boats visiting ports in the Paris MOU region.
Vessels will be inspected under such categories as type of vessel, age, flag, class society, owner and/or manager and inspection history.
A Ship Risk Profile will also classify vessels as either low risk, standard risk or high risk, requiring inspections every two years, 12 months and six months respectively.
The NIR has courted controversy among boat owners due to the requirements for classification as a Low Risk Ship, which state that the flag in which a yacht is registered must be included on the Paris MOU's approved 'white list'. At present only 16 flags have such approval.
Meanwhile, the region's 'black list' - which represents flags of countries considered high risk - lists a number of Caribbean states.

Yachts in Europe, Russia or Canada will face new marine safety inspections from 2011 following the implementation of the Paris MOU's New Inspection Regime (NIR), Sail World reports.

Previously only 25% of ships and very few yachts were inspected at ports in countries signatory to the Paris Memorandom of Understanding on Port State Control, which includes most maritime countries in Europe as we as Russia and Canada. 

But the introduction of the NIR sees a shared commitment to inspect all ships and boats visiting ports in the Paris MOU region.

Vessels will be inspected under such categories as type of vessel, age, flag, class society, owner and/or manager and inspection history. A 'Ship Risk Profile' will also classify vessels as either low risk, standard risk or high risk, requiring inspections every two years, 12 months and six months respectively.

The NIR has courted controversy among boat owners due to the requirements for classification as a Low Risk Ship, which state that the flag in which a yacht is registered must be included on the Paris MOU's approved 'white list'. At present only 16 flags have such approval.

Meanwhile, the region's 'black list' - which represents flags of countries considered high risk - lists a number of Caribbean states.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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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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