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Displaying items by tag: Tallship's Dublin drydocking

#DryDocking – A replica 19th century famine emigrant tallship built to retrace Irish-north American history, Jeanie Johnston also made her own mark in Dublin Port yesterday as the final ship to use the capital’s last graving drydock, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Following the float-out of Jeanie Johnston from the largest dry-dock in the State at 200m long, the barque’s departure ended another era in Irish maritime industrial heritage. The dry-dock's outer caisson gate was opened for the 301 gross tonnage vessel to ease along to the adjoining Lead-In Jetty.

As the name of this berth suggests, this will no longer be required as since 1957 (opening of graving dock No.2) ships would use this berth in preparation prior to passing through the caisson gate.

In the case of this historic occasion, Jeanie Johnston lay alongside the jetty awaiting tugs to tow the 47m (154ft) overall barque out of Alexandra Basin. The drydocking was to facilitate contractors carrying out planned maintenance. Work however notably remained to be completed towards the stern with final timbers to be put in place to cover exposed timber framework.

As reported in the The Irish Times today, 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.

According to the visitor attraction website, the tallship is to reopen this Friday.

Asides this structural area of incompleted work, Jeanie Johnston emerged gleaming with fresh paint on the barque’s distinctive smart black and white hull scheme.

The closure of the dry dock is due to Dublin Port Company’s Masterplan (Review) which includes infilling the drydock. This is to increase more quay space as part of a major €230m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment ABR project. The project is phase one of an ambitious plan to permit considerably larger deep-draft cargoships and cruise liners to enter the port. In addition the works are to increase capacity requiring the new port infrastructure.

As Afloat reported in April 2016, the facility closed having been leased to Dublin Graving Docks Ltd. The port company terminated the lease and as alluded required the drydock site for the ABR project. The final chapter in shiprepair and maintenance in the capital however as it transpired involved Jeanie Johnston which after dry-docking was towed back on the Liffey yesterday afternoon.

The tallship is not at her usual berth along Custom House Quay nearer the city-centre. In the meantime, Jeanie Johnston is berthed upriver beyond the Tom Clarke toll ship-lift bridge. This followed a tow from the dry-dock by the port’s owned tug sisters, Beaufort and Shackleton. The crew's demonstrated skilful manoeuvres despite strong winds to edge the tallship gingerly to quayside.

 

Published in Tall Ships

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. 

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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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