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Displaying items by tag: New Valentia ferry

#NewFerry - The future of the Valentia Island ferry in Co Kerry remains in doubt as God Met Ons III dating to 1963, easily the country’s oldest domestic ferry, will no longer meets marine safety requirements, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The seasonal service linking Reenard Point on the mainland to Knightstown on Valentia, last year handled an impressive 250,000 passengers and 100,000 cars. The traffic handled by the 15 car capacity ferry on the crossing takes just five minutes to complete.

Commenting to Afloat, Richard Foran of Valentia Island Ferries cited costs to avoid decommissioning the ageing ferry with modification works would be too expensive. This compared to a replacement ferry in the region of €3 million.

Mr. Foran added that they have already consulted a naval architect on the Isle of Wight for designs of a custom-built but larger 18 car capacity ferry. In addition the new ferry would be capable of transporting large coaches unlike the current ferry. He also added to Afloat that they are looking at an Irish yard to build the new ferry. 

Islanders say that without a ferry replacement funded by the Irish Government, the tourism sector would collapse. The €3 million figure is beyond the reach of the island community from which five families established Valentia Island Ferries in 1996, however the operator said they can only contribute €1 million towards the cost of the newbuild.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross and local independent T.D. Michael Healy Rae last month travelled to Valentia to meet the board of directors of Valentia Island Ferries to discuss possible funding of the new ferry. The ferry firm had previously applied to Fáilte Ireland for €2 million but this failed. Should the newbuild be granted state funding it would be built in time for the 2018 season

Originally, God Met Ons III ran for Dutch owners on the River Maas, but was sold to Valentia Island Ferries to operate the island’s first ever car-ferry service. Previously there had been a cargo boat service on the same route until a bridge was constructed in 1970, towards the west of the island linking Portmagee on the mainland.

Despite the bridge, islanders and tourist alike benefit from the ferry service that reduces 13 miles the distance to Cahersiveen, the nearest large mainland town.

The loop created by both bridge and ferry has been a boost to tourism in recent years since the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way that includes the Skelligs.

Published in Island News

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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