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Displaying items by tag: WINTER

While some Afloat.ie readers plan to keep sailing through the colder months, and have surely taken note of UK Sails’ recent heavy weather sailing tips, most will have seen or will see their boats lifted out this month.

Either way, this is still an opportune time to maintain your vessel and ensure you’re still ready to sail once spring comes around — and Yachting Monthly has a guide to the essentials you should know for midwinter maintenance.

While modern boatbuilding has made for a hardier product, boat-owners should resist the temptation to simply lift and let live, as frost and cold can affect even the most durable boat.

Don’t put off the small jobs: get your rigging washed and dried, and mend those worn ends. Check your sails over for stitching and any spots of wear or chafing. And remove sensitive electronics like your chart plotter for safer storage at home.

Indeed, clear out your boat as much as you can to keep old and mildew to a minimum. If you’ve lifted out for the winter, be sure to remove all freezable liquids, too, on the off chance a leak leads to hull damage in sub-zero temperatures.

Yachting Monthly has much more HERE.

Published in How To Sail
Tagged under

#NYC - Lift-out day on the National Yacht Club platform is scheduled for Saturday 13 October, weather permitting.

Platform space is limited and applications for keelboats should be returned as soon as possible, with a cheque made payable to the National Yacht Club and confirmation of intention by email to [email protected]

The winter storage application form should be returned by Wednesday 3 October at the very latest.

Applications for platform parking for dinghies this winter are also available on the NYC website.

Dinghies taking part in either the junior training sessions or the DMYC Frostbite series must complete the relevant form prior to bringing their boats back on the platform.

The club asks members to note that platform parking does not reopen before Saturday 20 October, as the boathouse still has to lift many keelboats on trailers and position them on the platform following the main lift-out.

Published in National YC
Tagged under

#weather – This Winter 2013/14 may be cold again according to the latest ideas coming from a UK weather guru. 

If the latest indications are correct then Ireland is more likely to experience a cold winter than a normal or milder one. Frost and snow would likely be above normal levels across the southern half of Ireland, whilst the north is drier.'

Weatherweb.net Managing Director, Dr Simon Keeling, who produces weekly forecasts for Ireland's largest marina at Dun Laoghaire, stressed to afloat.ie that this was not a forecast for winter, but just a statement as to how models and comparisons with previous years pointed to likely weather this winter.

'For sailors it means that the easterly winds are more dominant than usual. However, it's still early days and weather patterns are constantly changing. But for now it's probably best to plan for a cooler than normal winter.

The guidance notes issued by Keeling details his latest ideas for the coming winter (1st December to 28th February) and discusses the likely weather scenarios that will emerge.

'There has been a change in my thinking over the past few weeks. Initially I was of the opinion that the coming winter would be milder than last year, and that 2012/13 was the winter everyone would remember'.

However, this opinion has been changing recently and this evidence was presented to his clients this morning.

Published in Weather
Tagged under

#INLAND WATERWAYS - Waterways Ireland is advising all masters and users of the Erne navigation that a fireworks display will take place at Castle Island in Enniskillen on Hallowe'en night around 8pm.

Masters of vessels are advised that in there interest of public safety, there will be no mooring permitted at the Waterways Ireland head office mooring nor at the Henry Street public jetties on the day of the event.

Navigation in the vicinity of Castle Island is also prohibited for the duration of the event.

Alternative mooring is available at the Forum and Regal Pass jetties with easy access to event vantage points. Instructions from safety vessels must be adhered to at all times.

Further information may be had from the Lough Erne manager/warden at the Waterways Ireland head office at +44 48 66 322 836.

Meanwhile, Waterways Ireland also reminds masters and users of the Lower Bann and Shannon waterways that the winter schedule for lock and bridge opening times will take effect from this coming Thursday 1 November, running till Sunday 31 March 2013.

Full details of opening times are available on PDF format for both the Lower Bann Navigation and the Shannon Navigation.

Published in Inland Waterways

#RESCUE - A Donegal-born skipper joined in the dramatic rescue of a fishing trawler crew in Alaska recently, the Donegal Democrat reports.

Seamus Hayden Jr, who captains the fishing vessel Clyde, was berthed in Lazy Bay at the southern end of the Kodiak peninsula when he responded to a call from fellow vessel the Tuxedni to assist the stricken Heritage, which was sinking a mile east of nearby Tanner Head.

“I rousted my crew and fired our main engine to join the Tuxedni in the search," he said. "I did not know at that time if the Heritage crew had abandoned ship.

“I informed everyone onboard my vessel to dress for extreme weather and to use utmost caution and a buddy system at all times around the vessel."

Visibility was low due to ice fog and the darkness of the Alaskan winter nights, and as they got closer to the Heritage's location - where the US Coast Guard was attemping a helicopter rescue - conditions were "horrendous", with ice-cold winds of 60 knots.

I was very worried for the safety of all involved, including our own," said Hayden.

The Donegal Democrat has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#SURFING - The second Billabong Tow-In Surf Session will not sadly run this year, following the end of the four-month waiting period yesterday.

Organisers decided to postpone the invitation-only event till next winter after conditions off Mullaghmore Head in Co Sligo failed to reach the minimum height requirement, as Magicseaweed reports.

“We’ve had a few swells that have come close,” said contest organiser Paul O’Kane of the Irish Surf Rescue Club. “However we set the standard incredibly high with the first event and were determined to only hold the event if the conditions were as good as that, if not better.”

Magicseaweed’s Ben Freeston concurred, saying that “the conditions needed for Mullaghmore to show it’s real face are so specific you might only see them a handful of times in the best years.

“This year we have had four or five swells that were big enough to be interesting, but not quite competition standard.”

The inaugural session was organised in an effort to dispel the myth that tow-in surfing, where surfers are towed by jetski to bigger offshore waves, is an irresponsible activity.

Last year's contest was also immortalised in an upcoming documentary from Mully Productions.

Published in Surfing
#WEATHER - Met Éireann has issued a weather warning for the Irish Sea for the next 24 hours due to expected gale force westery winds.
A small craft warning has also been issued, with west to southwest winds continuing to reach force 6 tonight on the Irish coast from Carlingford Lough to Roches Point to Slyne Head.
The high winds marks the first wave of real winter weather after a milder-than-average November, the Evening Herald reports.
A forecaster told the paper that strong winds have "reached storm force on the Irish coasts from Belfast Lough to Wicklow Head to Mizen Head and on the Irish Sea.
"We expect that by tonight they will slightly drop but may still reach a strong gale force."

#WEATHER - Met Éireann has issued a weather warning for the Irish Sea for the next 24 hours due to expected gale force westery winds.

A small craft warning has also been issued, with west to southwest winds continuing to reach force 6 tonight on the Irish coast from Carlingford Lough to Roches Point to Slyne Head.

The high winds marks the first wave of real winter weather after a milder-than-average November, the Evening Herald reports.

A forecaster told the paper that strong winds have "reached storm force on the Irish coasts from Belfast Lough to Wicklow Head to Mizen Head and on the Irish Sea.

"We expect that by tonight they will slightly drop but may still reach a strong gale force."

Published in Weather
New evidence is indicating that wild salmon are adapting to climate change by feeding in colder waters, The Irish Times reports.
According to salmon expert Dr Ken Whelan, wild salmon are now diving as far as 800m below the surface - normally the preserve of the sperm whale - to feed for periods of up to 24 hours during winter months.
They are also travelling closer to the polar ice fields, in response to the warming of the Atlantic Ocean.
The change in behaviour was noted at a salmon summit in France attended by more than 100 fishery managers and scientists from across Europe, which was convened to discuss the threat of climate change to wild salmon stocks at sea.
Plankton levels are particularly affected by the changing wind and ocean currents, said Dr Whelan of findings from the EU-funded Salsea programme, which he led.
“Surviving the first winter at sea seems to be the key challenge for these stocks, and the salmon in the northern states like Norway and Russia, seems to be less affected,” he said.
But the recent return of wild salmon to the Tolka in Dublin, as well as healthy returns along other inland waterways, highlighted that the news was not all doom and gloom.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

New evidence is indicating that wild salmon are adapting to climate change by feeding in colder waters, The Irish Times reports.

According to salmon expert Dr Ken Whelan, wild salmon are now diving as far as 800m below the surface - normally the preserve of the sperm whale - to feed for periods of up to 24 hours during winter months.

They are also travelling closer to the polar ice fields, in response to the warming of the Atlantic Ocean.

The change in behaviour was noted at a salmon summit in France attended by more than 100 fishery managers and scientists from across Europe, which was convened to discuss the threat of climate change to wild salmon stocks at sea.

Plankton levels are particularly affected by the changing wind and ocean currents, said Dr Whelan of findings from the EU-funded Salsea programme, which he led.

“Surviving the first winter at sea seems to be the key challenge for these stocks, and the salmon in the northern states like Norway and Russia, seems to be less affected,” he said.

But the recent return of wild salmon to the Tolka in Dublin, as well as healthy numbers along other inland waterways, highlighted that the news was not all doom and gloom.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Masters and owners on inland waterways have been advised that the winter mooring period ends on Thurs 31 Mar 2011 thereafter Navigation Bye-law No. 17(3) applies i.e. Vessels should not be berthed in the same harbour for longer than the statutory period of five consecutive days or more than a total of 7 days in any one month.
Published in Inland Waterways

Owners and masters availing of winter mooring facilities for their vessels on any of Waterway Ireland's navigations are advised to choose a sheltered berth within the harbour, place adequate fendering between the vessel and the harbour wall and secure the vessel with double mooring lines.

The vessel should be monitored on a regular basis in the event that it should be taking or making water and particularly so after a period of stormy or frosty weather.

Owners visiting harbours during this period and who intend to work on their vessels should bear in mind the changed environmental conditions at this time of year and to take the appropriate measures necessary to reduce risks associated with working on or near water.

It is advised that personal protective clothing, to guard against the cold and the wet, including a personal flotation device, should be worn and all items checked for serviceability beforehand, bearing in mind:

• Low air temperatures
• Low water temperatures
• Reduced daylight
• Inclement weather
• Raised water levels
• Flood conditions including increased rates of flow

Working on or near water should preferably be undertaken in the company of a colleague. Lone working should be avoided if possible and especially at remote locations. Ensure that someone has been informed of your whereabouts and expected time of return.

Further, carry a mobile phone and/or a handheld Marine VHF, fully charged, for keeping in contact while being aware that full phone coverage is not available everywhere.

Published in Inland Waterways
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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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