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Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland

31st August 2012

Down On Derg

For the last couple of years, we've done some long-distance boating; indeed in 2011 we didn't get to Lough Derg until the end of September. So we decided that, this year, we were not going anywhere north of Portumna: we would spend the year down on Derg.

Here are some of my impressions of the season. Some of them I may be able to check later, by looking for statistics or reports; some can't be checked because there are no statistics.

 

Weather

My first impression is that summer ended some time around May, with relatively little sunshine after that.

Even the nature of bad weather seems to have changed: the Royal Canal ran out of water in Spring but the Shannon had rather a lot of water throughout the summer. From time to time reports came from upstream of strong flows that made navigation difficult; down on Derg, Killaloe seemed to have strong currents quite a lot of the time, with water being pulled down the headrace to Ardnacrusha.

Met Éireann's report for the summer (June, July, August) seems to support that view: rainfall above average, sunshine and temperatures below average. It also seemed to me that we had more northerly winds than usual: the south-westerlies didn't seem to be the prevailing winds. However, the report says nothing about winds.

 

Numbers

My second impression is that lots of people have disappeared: that very few boats were moving on the lake this year: it was as if we were back to the early 1980s. I'll get the traffic figures from Waterways Ireland later: they cover only passages through locks and moving bridges, so they don't say anything directly about lake traffic, but they do give an idea of volumes.

Now, I may not be the best judge of numbers of boat movements because, if I hear there's a big boaty event on, I go somewhere else. But there seemed to be times when there was nothing moving on the middle of the lake, except sailing boats racing from Dromineer, Garrykennedy or Mountshannon. There weren't even many jetskis or speedboats around.

There were rumours of larger boats being sold to overseas buyers and transported out of the country, but I don't know how to check that. Even checking the total number of Shannon boat registrations wouldn't help: as there is no annual registration fee, there is no incentive for former owners to de-register boats that have been sold.

 

Dromineer

My third impression is that shore-based activity has diminished too.

As we keep our boat in the Shannon Sailing marina in Dromineer, we don't often use the public harbour, but we drive by it en route to the marina. It seemed to me to be pretty lifeless. Numbers of visiting boats seemed to be down (while numbers of resident boats rose), as did numbers visiting by land. (I don't know of any source of statistics for this; if there is one I'd like to know.)

I imagine that the poor weather kept land visitors away, except on the few sunny days. But I don't think that the improvements made a few years ago — path, pebbles, seats and so on — have done much to attract people. Dromineer needs to do more to establish itself as a place to visit, with things for people to do when they get there.

 

Harbour hoggers

My fourth impression is that harbour-hogging — leaving boats in public harbours for more than the permitted numbers of days, instead of paying for berths in private marinas — is on the increase. I don't know of any statistics on this, although I suspect that Waterways Ireland may have some. Its staff do patrol the harbours and record registration numbers, occasionally applying stickers to errant boats, so I imagine that they keep records of the numbers.

The problem is that WI has very little power, under the current bye-laws, to do anything effective. It needs a simple, cheap method of imposing ever-increasing charges on harbour-hoggers — and of enforcing payment. Experience with both the household charge and the mineral oil tax suggests that drastic steps may be required.

 

Other privatisers

The same may apply to other services that WI provides. Its very welcome supply of electricity can at least be controlled, with charges paid by card. However, I suspect that, when water charges are introduced, WI will have to devise a method of charging for water. Whether or not it wants to subsidise boaters, it is unlikely to want to supply folk who drive to its harbours to fill barrels and bottles with water (I have photographed folk doing just that).

And then there's the rubbish problem. Bins have been removed from some harbours on the west side of Lough Derg; a WI notice says that it has a "Leave No Trace" policy, or some such thing. That doesn't explain why there are still bins at harbours on the east side; I suspect that the explanation is in different arrangements with different local authorities. However, overseas tourists (if there are any) are likely to find it a little inconvenient to bring their holiday rubbish home with them, especially if they're flying by Ryanair.

But you can see WI's problem: if it makes free bins available, folk will drive from miles around to avoid paying charges. So, given that Irish folk are unlikely to develop civic-mindedness in the near future, the best solution is to use smart-card controlled bins, with each opening of the lid traceable to the individual boat-owner (or camper-van-owner). The same cards could control the other services and provide WI with a way of tracing user movements.

 

Supply and demand

The problem with free services is that they're too good to last: the provider, especially if it gets its money from an overstretched state, eventually realises it can't continue to provide them for nothing. So, just as declining income and other pressures reduce demand for its product, Waterways Ireland may find itself imposing extra charges that further reduce demand. It is not clear that any marketing campaign can compensate for the economic pressures on the sector.

Published in Brian Goggin

#InlandWaterways - Waterways Ireland wishes to advise masters and owners on the Shannon Navigation that work will commence on the lock gates at Tarmonbarry Lock next Monday 14 January.

These works will be on-going for a period of approximately eight weeks until Thursday 14 March 2013. An alternative passage maybe accessed via the Camlin river loop upstream of Tarmonbarry Lock and the Clondra Canal downstream of the lock.

The cross-border body for Ireland's inland waterways also advises that the Carrick-on-Shannon Rowing Club's Head of River race will take place on Saturday 23 February from 9am till 5pm.

Masters of vessels are requested to proceed at slow speed and with minimum wash when passing this stretch of the navigation and to heed any advice or instructions issued by the regatta officials.

Meanwhile, Waterways Ireland has published a general marine notice reminding masters and owners of their responsibilities when navigating Ireland's rivers, lakes and canals.

The notice includes information on vessel registration, canal permits, public berthing, smart cards for service payments, speed restrictions, water safety and other important details for anyone boating in Ireland North and South.

Published in Inland Waterways

#waterwaysireland – Waterways Ireland announced in June 2012 a change in the permit system allowing for year-long mooring permits on the Grand & Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation. The full list of Extended Mooring Locations has been published and is available on www.waterwaysireland.org, in the Canal Bye-Law Enforcement section.

The first four locations where the permits for extended mooring are being opened for application are Shannon Harbour on the Grand Canal, Rathangan and Vicarstown on the Barrow Line and Barrow Navigation, Clondra (East of Richmond Harbour), Confey and the 15th lock on the Royal Canal.

The application process for the Extended Mooring Permit for these locations will open on the 19th November and will remain open for 2 weeks. Boat owners with boats in the four locations with Combined Mooring and Passage Permits will be advised by letter. The Application Form and Guidance Notes for all applicants will be placed on www.waterwaysireland.org. The applicant is required to complete an application form, supply a copy of their insurance, certify that the boat complies with the byelaws and pay the €152 fee and a damage deposit of €250.

Permits will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so to receive a preferred location early applications are advised . Applications will only be accepted from owners already holding a valid annual Combined Mooring and Passage Permit. Boat owners without a Combined Mooring & Passage Permit who wish to apply for an Extended Mooring Permit can do so by ticking the box on the Extended Mooring Application Form and supplying the additional fee.

Applicants will be notified within 28 days of the success of their application. Successful applicants will be required to sign the Extended Mooring Permit license and will then have a period in which to move to their new mooring. Enforcement of the 5 day rule will begin in this area following the issue of a Marine Notice.

Applications for the next set of Extended Mooring Locations will continue on a rolling basis thereafter with Waterways Ireland intention to open sufficient locations to cover demand on all of the canals by the end of March 2013.

Boats that cruise and move (staying at a mooring for up to 5 days) will not require an Extended Mooring Permit or be in breach of the Bye-laws.

Waterways Ireland will continue to contact permit holders regularly to ensure they are kept up to date with the roll-out of the new permit. All queries about the enforcement of the current bye-laws or the Extended Mooring Permit should be directed to Shane Anderson, Assistant Inspector of Navigation: Tel no +353 (0)87 286 5726, Email [email protected] .

These changes are necessary steps to improve the management of the canals and waterway amenities for both the navigational and recreational user, so that investment in the new infrastructure and facilities which Waterways Ireland has undertaken is maximised for every user.

Published in Inland Waterways
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

#grandcanal – Waterways Ireland has confirmed that further dredging of the Dublin inner city section of the Grand Canal will commence in October 2012. This work follows on from previous dredging contracts completed on the Grand Canal between November 2009 and April 2011 from Grand Canal Basin to Lock C7 at Portobello. The work is necessary to keep the Canal navigable for a large range of boats.

To facilitate works the Grand Canal will be closed to navigation from October 2012 to March 2013 between Lock C7 at Portobello on the Circular Line and Lock 2, Davitt Road on the Main Line. The work will be executed under contract by L & M Keating Limited and will involve the use of excavating machinery working within the canal property. The works are due to be completed by end of March 2013.

The work will involve the removal of sediment deposits from the central navigation channel of the canals and the clearance of rubbish. Traffic Management Plans agreed with Dublin City Council, have been designed to keep disruption to a minimum.

Extensive discussions have taken place with National Parks and Wildlife Service on measures to minimise the impact of these essential maintenance works on the sensitive habitats established within the canals. All material removed from the canals will be transported to licensed disposal facilities.

The work is funded by the Government under the National Development Plan 2007 - 2013. For further information on the project please visit the Waterways Ireland web site www.waterwaysireland.org and check out the 'Navigation Information, Planned Works' page.

Published in Inland Waterways

#inland – Waterways Ireland 2013 Sponsorship Programme for recreational waterway and waterside activity opens on 1 October 2012 for events taking place along the Lower Bann Navigation, the Erne System, the Shannon-Erne Waterway, the Shannon Navigation, the Barrow Navigation, the Grand Canal and the Royal Canal.

Taking place annually for the past seven years the Waterways Ireland Sponsorship Programme has supported angling, canoeing, rowing, sailing and power-sports; competitions, learning experiences, historical and educational activities.

Éanna Rowe, Head of Marketing and Communications with Waterways Ireland stated that "Communities, clubs and associations in towns and villages, along rural waterways and in waterside urban centres, have participated in small and large events. Huge numbers of people have been encouraged to experience something new about the waterways." Mr Rowe added " "the myriad of events supported by Waterways Ireland play a significant role from both an economic and social standpoint in underpinning and supporting the waterway communities and recreational activity along Ireland's Inland Waterways'.

Applications are open to anyone wishing to run recreational waterway and waterside events. For an application pack please contact Damien McWeeney by email at [email protected], by telephone at +353 71 96 50787. Terms and conditions do apply. The closing date the receipt of completed applications is 9 November 2012 at 3pm.

Waterways Ireland, the North/South Implementation Body is responsible for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of the inland navigable waterway systems throughout the island, principally for recreational purposes.

Published in Inland Waterways

#inland –  Waterways Ireland announced in June 2012 that the Canal Bye-laws on the Grand & Royal Canal and Barrow Navigation are to be enforced from autumn 2012, with an accompanying change in the permit system allowing for year-long mooring permits and locations.

Part of bringing in this new location-based permit has been the identification of locations suitable for extended mooring. This process is now completed and work has begun in some areas to improve accessibility.

Waterways Ireland will roll out Extended Mooring Permit applications by area, rather than giving a date when applications for the permit will open. For boat owners this will mean that enforcement of the maximum stay rule will not commence in an area until after boat owners have had the opportunity to purchase an Extended Mooring Permit.

The initial 12 month Extended Mooring Permit will cost €152 and will only be available to boats already holding a valid annual Mooring and Passage Permit.

Boats that cruise and move (staying at a mooring for up to 5 days) will not be in breach of the Bye-laws or require an Extended Mooring Permit.

Waterways Ireland has proposed a small number of draft amendments to the current Bye-laws which date from 1988. These include proposals to provide a range of charges for mooring permits that reflect the location and services provided throughout the canals and also will take into account the size of boat. These proposals include low cost rural moorings on soft banks to ensure the canals are accessible for everyone who owns a boat and requires a mooring. Boat owners allocated an extended mooring location in key areas in villages or towns or with services should be aware that if the new Bye-laws are approved Waterways Ireland will increase the charges for moorings in the future to reflect the location, services, and size of boat.

Waterways Ireland recognises the current situation whereby a small number of boat owners use their boats as their sole or permanent residence. Proposals to make provision for this use of the navigation property have been included in the Bye-law changes.

Furthermore Waterways Ireland intends to work towards the provision of a small number of serviced house boat moorings on the canal network. Such provision will be subject to finance, land availability and compliance with requisite statutory approvals.

Waterways Ireland recognises that a transition period of a number of years will be required to implement this. In the interim these boat owners should apply for an Extended Mooring Permit.

The draft Bye Law amendments are currently being considered by Waterways Ireland's sponsor Departments. When Waterways Ireland has Ministerial consent, it will proceed to public consultation on the proposed Bye-law amendments.

Waterways Ireland will continue to contact permit holders regularly to ensure they are kept up to date with the roll-out of the new permit. All queries about the enforcement of the current bye-laws or the Extended Mooring Permit should be directed to Shane Anderson, Assistant Inspector of Navigation: Tel no +353 (0)87 286 5726, Email [email protected] . Queries about houseboats should be directed to Property & Legal Section Tel no +44 (0)28 6632 3004.

These changes are necessary steps to improve the management of the canals and waterway amenities for both the navigational and recreational user, so that investment in the new infrastructure and facilities which Waterways Ireland has undertaken is maximised for every user.

Published in Inland Waterways

#inland – Waterways Ireland facilitates owners to keep their vessels and boats at its public harbours over the winter period on the Shannon and Shannon-Erne Waterways. The upcoming winter mooring period begins on 1 Nov 2012 and will end on the 31 Mar 2013. The fee charged for this facility is €63.50 for the five month period.

Owners wishing to take advantage of this facility are advised to write to the Waterways Ireland Inspectorate, The Docks, Athlone, indicating their intention to take a winter mooring, give the specific location, boat registration number and enclose advance payment of €63.50 by cheque, bank draft or postal order made payable to Waterways Ireland. Credit card payments can also be made over the phone by contacting 353 (0)90 9741165. Payment must be received prior to 1 Nov 2012.

Boats owners that have not contacted the Inspectorate and made the advance payment must continue to observe the mooring time limits for public harbours i.e. the "5 Day Rule", which still applies and will be enforced during this period (Bye-law 17. Mooring and Use of Harbours).

Anyone with queries regarding winter mooring or the enforcement of the Bye-laws should contact the Inspector of Navigation +353 (0)906 494 232.

Published in Inland Waterways

#INLAND WATERWAYS - Waterways Ireland has issued notice of a planned closure of the Royal Canal in Clonard, Co Meath over the winter months, as well as restrictions on the Lower Bann this coming Wednesday.

In Clonard, the stretch of the canal between Blackshade Bridge and Hill of Down will be closed from 1 October 2012 till 17 March 2013 to facilitate essential bank strengthening works.

Waterways Ireland wishes to thank all owners and masters of vessels using the Royal Canal for their co-operation in this matter.

Meanwhile, on the Lower Bann there will be an interruption to electricity supply in the Movanagher area in Co Derry this Wednesday 19 September.

All owners and masters are advised that there will be restricted access to Movanagher Lock and swing bridge on that date, and vessels of more than 26 feet (8 metres) will not be permitted to make passage.

Published in Inland Waterways

#sailraid – Not since the Vikings has a group of boats set off sailing southwards with such a challenge!

Over 20 sail boats with crews from Japan, France, Sweden England and Ireland will participate in the Lakelands & Inland Waterways International Sail Raid 2012 taking place from 14th to 21st September 2012 from Lough Erne to Killaloe Co. Clare. The crews will sail their boats the distance in 7 days in a series of race stages. An immense challenge but a fun and exciting initiative, this is the first time it has been undertaken in Ireland or Northern Ireland.

A fun, competitive sailing event for teams of 2-3 people, using Shannon One Designs, Waterwags, and an Open Class of boats including Drabscombes, the international teams will be welcomed at Lough Erne Yacht Club for the opening night and briefing before the journey begins. Domestic sailors are also welcome to participate.

Organised by Albacore/Dacmar events "Lakelands & Inland Waterways International Sail Raid 2012" will be run in close cooperation with the Lough Erne, Lough Ree and Lough Derg Yacht Clubs and with the assistance of the Dublin National Yacht Club.

Raid General Manager Jymmy Viant stated "the Lakelands & Inland Waterways International Sailing Raid 2012 is a long distance race with one or two legs every day and a different stopover every night. The "Lakelands & Inland Waterways International Sail Raid" will, to our knowledge, be the first raid run with traditional Irish Sailing Boats, among the oldest classes in the world. We expect international teams to relish this amazing opportunity to explore Ireland's inland waterways in such unique boats".

Eanna Rowe Waterways Ireland, Head of Marketing & Communications and Co-Chair of Lakelands & Inland Waterways stated "The Lakelands & Inland Waterways International Sail Raid is a superb opportunity to bring the awareness of an international audience to Ireland's inland waterways. There is a real opportunity for regular raid enthusiasts from all over the world and for sailors from all over Ireland to join in this unique experience."

Lakelands & Inland Waterways is a tourism product development & marketing initiative of Waterways Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Shannon Development, Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism and Tourism Ireland.

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 23 of 32

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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