Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Towage News

A Wicklow Port based tug has completed a six day towage operation from Rotterdam, The Netherlands when it arrived off the coast of Kilmore Quay in Co. Wexford yesterday afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 18.5 tonnes bollard pull AMS Retriever operated by Alpha Marine, the tug and workboat marine services company, deployed the Dutch shipyard built Damen Shoalbuster 2409 series tug to tow the split hopper-dredger barge B302.

It would appear the tug has at least served under two previous names, Marineco Akela with Leith in Scotland as the port of registry and as the C M Kurok when working in the Caspian Sea.

Both the Belfast registered tug and the Dutch barge will be assigned to work with Marine Specialists Ltd on the dredging of the south Wexford coast harbour which is to take place throughout this month. The shallow draft tug which has a crew of 5 will prove ideal option for such near coastal works.

Kilmore Quay is homeport to a fishing fleet and a 60-berth marina. In addition the location over the years has been popular for leisure users, angling-hire craft and ferry boat trips out and to the nearby Saltees Islands.

As Afloat previously reported Alpha Marine's other tug, Husky was deployed last year to the former Stena Line ferryport at Dun Laoghaire Harbour having towed a barge laden with granite from Cornwall. This project was to replenish rock armour following Storm Emma of 2018 that mostly inflicted the East Pier and the project also involved use of a landing craft to convey heavy machinery by sea due to access issues.

Returning to the sunny south-east, where the O'Flaherty family has major fishing operations in the Wexford harbour which is homeport to their fleet of 10 beam white fish trawlers. They also have 3 twin riggers for prawns and a pelagic vessel. In addition to their fish wholesaler business, Saltees Fish has a cold storage plant located at the harbour.

Notably, the O'Flaherty's established Celtic Link Ferries in 2005, having acquired P&O Ferries Rosslare-Cherbourg route which they withdrew operations the previous year. In the deal, this included the route's ro-ro freight ferry European Diplomat (1978/16,776grt) with space for some 80 truck units and around the same capacity for passengers. This enabled the O'Flaherty's maintain their vital fishing exports to markets in mainland Europe.

CLF continued the business of providing freight hauliers on the Ireland-France link where truck drivers (including those for liverstock) were also part of the trade. Truck drivers on board the renamed Diplomat also shared dining facilities with a limited capacity of (motorist-only) passengers. This combination made the ferry operation unique on Ireland-France routes, with exception of Seatruck Ferries on their route network across the Irish Sea.

Celtic Link also had competitive rates for holidaymakers based on a 'no frills' basis compared to the more established ferry rivals, Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries though they also have their 'économie' services soon to be operating from Rosslare this month.

When making a trip in 2009 as a guest of CLF, and notably as an exception having travelling as a 'foot' passenger which provided an opportunity to observe.On that related note the aft observation lounge however was not open on that particular crossing (see Ships Monthly, Nov.2009). This feature otherwise afforded excellent views was located at the highest passenger deck of the ship's superstructure and aft over the stern.

In addition on board was a plaque dedicated to then named Baltic Ferry, which served in the Falkland's Task Force in 1982 where the war involved RAF Harrier Jump-jets (VTOL) aircraft use the freight-ferry.

Unlike conventional ferries, Diplomat like many ro-ro freight ferries had the superstructure all located aft, with the uppermost vehicle deck exposed on the weather deck ahead of the bridge. The ship was built originally for Stena as one of their successful 'Searunner' series built in South Korea and for their charter market which saw these ships deployed worldwide on deep-sea routes.

After CLF ended its Irish career of Diplomat they chartered the ro-ro to the Carribbean. Replacement tonnage saw a succession of two Visentini-built passenger ropax's, Norman Voyager (of LD Lines short-lived Rosslare-Le Havre run) and Celtic Horizon (Ships Monthly, Feb.2013) which was renamed as outlined below.

CLF's (farewell) operations proved tempting as Stena Line made a bid to take over the Ireland-France route, which in 2014 became the company's first ever such direct route connecting mainland Europe. This saw the ropax renamed Stena Horizon and compete with the then presence of Irish Ferries running to Cherbourg in addition the summer-only Roscoff service (see, yesterday's story: Rosslare's Manager Says Europort can Take One Fifth of Dublin Port Activity).

It was at the 'Europort' in 2005, the first year of CLF operations, when a fleet of scallop trawlers based from Kilmore Quay held a fisheries related protest at the Wexford ferryport. The blockade prevented all ferries of the port, though when they departed the 'unaffected' Diplomat arrived afterwards.

As for Irish Ferries cruiseferry Isle of Inishmore, this ferry was less fortunate as not only was it subject to the blockade at the Irish ferryport but had the misfortune for a second time in the same year to be embroiled in a strike and siege incident (albeit in Pembroke Dock). On that occasion the ferry was centre-stage in the protracted and bitter Irish Ferries dispute over the replacement of Irish crew with lower-cost personnel from overeas.

Published in Coastal Notes

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating