Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: W1Da

My main interest at Cork Week was the red yacht moored at the marina, making its first appearance in Ireland and described as ‘a sailor’s yacht.’

Several years ago I met the man who is proud of that description, though not too many believed his prediction that he would build a new type of yacht that would change sailing.

We met at an ICRA conference in Limerick, where Rory Staunton was praising the attractions of sailing in Clew Bay and regretting that not enough people from other parts of the country went sailing there.

This week I sat with him in the saloon of the ‘sailor’s yacht', previously reported by here.

“It has been inspired by sailors that want to spend more time sailing and less time maintaining,” he told me. He is one of the group from Mayo which intends to build a new range of these 33-footers on Achill Island, of which the distinctive red-hulled w1Da sailing in Cork Harbour this week is the prototype. On the stern, she displays her club membership of Mayo Sailing Club.

W1da_Mayo_built_electric_yachtW1da – the County Mayo built all-electric yacht Photo: Bob Bateman

My boat is a 33ft. Sigma and he intrigued me by claiming that his boat would be a replacement.

“It is a breakthrough in sailing that has come from a consortium in Mayo"

“It is a breakthrough in sailing that has come from a consortium in Mayo. We didn’t want a flat-out racer, but a boat which could also be cruised and used by a family. It is an alternative to buying boats from England and France. This boat has been designed to be trailerable anywhere. We’ve got rid of diesel. It is the all-electric yacht. Cars have become electric, why not yachts?”

W1da_Yacht_AchillThe expected price of the W1da will be about €160,000 plus Photo: Bob Bateman

However, there are not a lot of sailors in Ireland to buy newly-built boats, so market opportunities will have to be found in Europe. Scandinavia is also being looked considered.

So, climb aboard the w1Da with me on my Podcast this week and hear Rory Staunton make the case for the new boat. It is an impressive Irish maritime development, though it will not come cheap. The expected price will be about €160,000 plus, depending on fit-out sought by purchasers. “We have done a lot of development and believe this is the future for sailing. We are also planning a production system in Mayo for our epoxy laminate systems which are significantly lighter than GRP.” Yacht production has been dominated by GRP for many years.

A 28-foot version is at the design stage and may also begin building next year.

With a few major names in yacht building having left the business, this is a challenging undertaking.

Listen to the Podcast below:

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tagged under

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

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

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating