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Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland advises that the electricity supply to power pedestals and the supply of water to taps on public moorings on the Shannon Navigation will soon be disconnected for the winter period.

The move is being made for environmental reasons and to reduce maintenance costs. Services will be restored prior to the commencement of the 2019 boating season.

Shore power supply at the Round ‘O’ and Carrybridge public moorings on the Erne System, as well was water supply to taps throughout that system, was already disconnected or winter as of Wednesday 7 November.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - Tools created by local Fermanagh craftsperson Albert Robinson were a key feature during this year’s World Canals Conference.

The tools, displayed in archive exhibition ‘Reflections, the Lasting Legacy of the Waterways’, brought to life the story of the strong men who powered the construction of Ireland’s canals system over 200 years ago.

Commissioned by the Directors General of Inland Navigation in 1813, the final section of the Royal Canal in Ireland to connect with the Shannon River was an extraordinary feat of ingenuity, engineering and sheer hard labour.

The contract to build the canal — complete with 21 locks, an aqueduct, 38 bridges, 40 tunnels, and numerous quays and harbours — was undertaken by Henry, Mullins and MacMahon in 1814 under the direction of the pre-eminent Irish engineer of that time, John Killaly.

Remarkably, that final section was completed within three short years at a cost of £198,110, covering a distance of some 24 1/2 miles.

What is most striking is that the tools available to the canal builders at this time, the world-famous ‘navvies’, were so basic.

Under the building contract, a detailed design specification was prepared for the manufacture of these tools to the company standard.

Local man Albert Robinson, a carpenter with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, meticulously recreated these tools – a hand barrow and a wheelbarrow – using the specific wood types, elm for strength and ash for flexibility.

Patterson’s Spade Mills, owned and run by the National Trust, is the last remaining spade mill in daily use in Britain and Ireland. They, too, faithfully recreated objects from the original drawings, producing a spade and shovel.

The tools were on display throughout the World Canals Conference — which attracted over 320 delegates from 12 countries across three continents over its three days last month — and provoked much positive comment and requests for further displays of this quality work.

Commenting on the unique collection of handcrafted tools, Dawn Livingstone, chief executive of Waterways Ireland, said: “Working in partnership with Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and the National Trust, we have brought back to life a remarkable era of canal construction and created objects that tell the story of the men who built the amazing waterways that we continue to enjoy today.

“I commend the skill of the craftspeople involved from Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and Patterson's Spade Mill and would encourage visitors to see this extraordinary collection for themselves.”

Speaking about the exhibition, chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton, said: “I am tremendously impressed by the craftsmanship shown by Albert in the recreation of the tools used in the construction of the final section of the Royal Canal.

“Albert’s ingenuity and craftsmanship have often been utilised in his work with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and I am delighted that his talent has been showcased to a wider audience at such a prestigious event.”

Nathan Domer, visitor experience officer with the National Trust, added that “this type of project is at the forefront of our core aims as a charitable organisation to conserve our heritage on land and on water for all to enjoy for ever, for everyone."

The tools and the original blueprint drawings in the exhibition can be viewed at Waterways Ireland HQ at 2 Sligo Road, Enniskillen weekdays from 9.30am to 5.15pm till Friday 9 November.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - This week Waterways Ireland has launched new corporate pages on Facebook and Twitter.

The social media accounts draw together all the messages around marine notices, job vacancies, construction works, corporate events and public consultations into a single location where interested parties can more easily find the information they need.

Waterways Ireland Notifications is the page name for both Facebook and Twitter.

All the posts will link back to the Waterways Ireland website where further detail, application forms, and options to participate will be more fully explained.

The current Waterways Ireland Facebook and Twitter pages “will continue to promote the enjoyment, scenic beauty, leisure travel and activities that form the pre-eminent experiences that bring waterway communities to life,” the cross-border agency says.

Published in Inland Waterways

#HistoricBoats - Waterways Ireland is seeking tenders to restore a legacy canal barge as an office space for Dublin’s Silicon Docks.

According to the tender document, Waterways Ireland intends to clean out the vessel, further inspect its structural condition and convert it into “an open plan office for 6 workers with galley, meeting room and WC”.

The vessel would be moored at Grand Canal Basin alongside other similar floating work spaces.

It will also be self-propelled to enable it to move to other locations within the inland waterways network, and as such a P2 passenger boat licence will be required.

The Heritage Boat Association has more details on the barge, which was extensively rebuilt in at Shannon Harbour in a community project from 1996 to 2003 and renamed Cluaine Uaine Bheag.

Originally built as a general motorised trade boat by Vickers for the Grand Canal Company in 1928, the barge – then known as 48M – would have carried Guinness and other cargo until the canal’s commercial closure in 1959.

Published in Historic Boats

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland has welcomed last week’s launch of the National Greenways Strategy by Tourism Minister Shane Ross.

The strategy sets out how national and regional greenways in Ireland should be planned and constructed, and is backed by a fund of €53 million for the years 2019 to 2021.

“I am delighted to be launching this strategy today in our Hidden Heartlands,” Minister Ross said last Friday 20 July, “That brand, and indeed our other tourism brands all identify activity tourism as a key sector for sustainably growing tourism numbers in Ireland.

This strategy, is, I know, eagerly awaited around the country. People have seen the benefits that have accrued to towns along our greenways to date, examples such as Newport on the Great Western Greenway, Kilmacthomas on the Waterford Greenway and here in Moate along the Old Rail Trail.

“Our goal is to replicate the success of those towns and those greenways in other locations around the country. That is why we are focussing our investment on projects of scale, the common denominator of successful projects to date is that they are in the order of 40km and thus provide the opportunity to overnight in a new area.”

The strategy sets out the importance of early and widespread consultation with landowners and communities along and adjacent to proposed greenway routes. It also emphasises the need to minimise the impact on landholdings by minimising severance as far as possible and providing accommodation works such as fencing and underpasses where required, and sets out the importance of access to scenery and things to see and do in order to attract tourists.

Brendan Griffinm Minister of State For Tourism, added: “We are lucky to live in such a beautiful country and greenways provide an opportunity to experience that beauty up close and at a slow pace.

“Our strategy will help us fund the spine of a network of greenways that can, over time, provide links to the rest of the countryside through quiet roads that will prove attractive to many people cycling. I know that Longford County Council is looking to identify a quiet route from the end of the Royal Canal Greenway in Clondra to Athlone; this will provide a wonderful triangular route from Mullingar along the Royal Canal to Clondra and then to Athlone returning to Mullingar on the Old Rail Trail.

“We must also remember that greenways are for more than people cycling. Statistics from our current greenways show that in towns such as Moate there are more people walking than cycling and the important health benefits that accrue to users are another huge benefit for our country.”

Minister Ross concluded: “I am looking forward to examining the many worthwhile project proposals that we expect to receive over the coming months under the funding call, and I would urge local authorities and state agencies to consult widely with landowners and communities along proposed routes to bring agreed routes to fruition. This strategy sets out how that consultation should take place and suggests the components that make for a successful greenway.”

Published in Inland Waterways

#WaterSafety - Waterways Ireland has warned over the dangers of swimming and diving in and around navigation infrastructure such as bridges, locks, weirs, pontoons and harbour jetties.

The possibility of a swimmer being struck by a vessel, its propeller or being run over is ever present while powered craft are manoeuvring at such locations.

Swimming is therefore prohibited at these locations.

Waterways Ireland also advises all participants engaged in open water swimming training of the inherent dangers attached to this activity in locations where there is boating traffic.

A swimmer in the water wearing high visibility head gear will always remain a very small target to see to the master of a powered craft particularly if:

  • the water surface is choppy
  • there is strong glare reflected from the water surface
  • there is difficulty in sighting due to slanting sunshine in early morning or late evening
  • visibility is poor due to fog, mist or rain

Swimmers should risk assess their swimming location prior to entering the water, for boat traffic, entry and exit locations, availability of life saving appliances, weather and water conditions.

The presence of a safety boat or kayak will always give enhanced safety and security.

Earlier this week, two men lost their lives in separate incidents while swimming in Lough Derg on the Shannon Navigation, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Water Safety

#InlandWaters - Mike Palmer of the UK’s Waterway Recovery Group has been announced as a keynote speaker at the World Canals Conference in Athlone this September.

Chair of Britain’s national co-ordinating body for voluntary labour on inland waterways, Palmer will address the conference on the topic of ‘Waterways in Progress - the Waiting Gain’ — how restoration schemes are not just a means to an end, and can bring quantifiable benefits at every stage of their development.

Palmer is the latest of a growing list of keynote speakers to open the three-day conference at the Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone from Monday 10 to Wednesday 12 September under the theme ‘Restoring, regenerating, re-imagining’.

Delegates will also be welcomed by the two-day Shannon ‘Feastival’ on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September, with Athlone hosting boat tours to taste a range of food and crafts made by local artisans.

The deadline for early bird discounts has been extended to next Friday 15 June to benefit from up to 20% off the cost of registration.

Special prices are also available for accommodation on board a luxury hire cruiser before, during and after the conference, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland is extending its Smart Card system to include lock passages on the River Shannon and Lower Bann.

The service will be tested from a technical perspective at Albert Lock on the Shannon and the Cutts Lock on the Lower Bann for a two week period beginning on the 16th of April 2018. Following the technical test period and depending on the learnings taken from it, Waterways Ireland will then begin the roll out of Smart Card usage at all locks and lifting bridges on both the Shannon and Lower Bann. Marine Notice 15/2018 has been issued to this effect.

The Smart Card is already in use along the Shannon for numerous services including showers, toilets, pump-outs and electricity and on the Shannon-Erne Waterway for lock passages. The extension of the service to include lock passages will mean a one-stop-shop for waterway customers for all waterway services. The customer provides their Smart Card to the Lock-keeper to insert into a reader which deducts the units for the lock passage. The lock-keeper will then operate the lock as usual.

The pilot at Albert Lock will run from the 16th – the 30th April 2018 and boats will have the following payment options – use their existing Smart Card, pay in cash or purchase a Smart Card. Many boaters already have Smart Cards as they use them to purchase other services along the Shannon. Hire boat companies already provide the Smart Cards to their customers. Boaters can buy Smart Cards from local retailers or order online– the list of retailers is available from www.shopwaterwaysireland.org.

The remaining Shannon locks and bridges will accept payment by smart card and cash from the 1st May until the end of June 2018. From the 1st July – 30th September 2018 boaters presenting with case will be able to buy a smart card from the Lockkeeper. From 1st October payment will be by Smart Card only and the boater will need to have a valid card on board. Where bridge lifting is required at Tarmonbarry and Rooskey, a combined toll payments for the lock and bridge will be taken at the Lock.

The cost of the lock passage on the Shannon will remain the same and will take two units from the smart card. The cost of the lock passage on the Lower Bann will be 1 unit. The lock passage on the Shannon-Erne Waterway will remain at 1 unit. The 10 unit card cost €6.35/£5.55 and the 20 unit card €12.70/£11.10.

Waterways Ireland has managed over 1000km of waterways since 1999, investing significantly in improving services and facilities along the navigations including mooring, services blocks, creating and extending boating destinations along the Shannon including Killaloe, Garrykennedy, Dromineer, Ballyleague, Carrick-on-Shannon, Boyle, and Lough Key.

Further information on the pilot and the smart card system can be found by emailing [email protected]

Published in Inland Waterways
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#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland has announced revised opening hours for the locks on the Shannon-Erne Waterway for 2018.

From next Thursday 29 March to Wednesday 16 May, locks will open from 9am to 6pm daily, extending to the full summer season opening hours of 9am to 8pm from Thursday 17 May till Wednesday 12 September.

In the late season, daily openings of 9am to 6pm are set for Thursday 12 September till Wednesday 31 October, dates and times to be confirmed. Winter hours will be advised towards the end of the season.

These changes apply seven days a week. The changes in operating hours will be seen in the early and late shoulder seasons only, and reflect usage patterns recorded by Waterways Ireland.

Throughout the season a minimum of two water patrollers will be working along the waterway to ensure that customer services can be provided as swiftly as possible.

For more information contact the SEW Operations Team in Carrick-on-Shannon at 071 965 0642.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters, owners and the general public that recent rains have caused flooding at many harbours making them unsafe for pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the immediate surrounds of the harbour infrastructure. Banagher, Shannon Bridge, Mountshannon, Scarriff and Limerick harbours are severely effected.

In particular, harbour and jetty edges and access points cannot be seen due to flood water, making it dangerous to attempt to approach these facilities until the flooding has receded

Published in Inland Waterways
Tagged under
Page 9 of 28

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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