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Displaying items by tag: irish sea

#WEATHER - Met Éireann is warning that more gale force winds will affect many parts of Ireland and the Irish Sea today (28 December).

According to the forecaster, stormy conditions over Connacht, Ulster and parts of north Leinster will see gale force westerly winds with gusts of between 100 and 130 km/h.

The worst winds are expected in exposed coastal and hilly areas of Ulster and Connacht. There is also an increased risk of flooding as a result of high astronomical tides combined with very high seas.

Published in Weather

#INLAND WATERWAYS - As Derek Evans writes in The Irish Times, the recent discovery of the first Guinness merchant vessel - sunk a century ago by a German torpedo in the Irish Sea - rekindled memories of the brewery's boats on the Liffey in the 1950s.

He writes: "Living close to Stoneybatter, I often took time to stand on Queen Street Bridge as the barges, filled with Guinness barrels, slowly made their way from James’s Gate to Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

"I remember clearly the skipper standing beside the open wheelhouse in his navy blue polo-neck jumper, captain’s hat and pipe... The skipper always had a smile and a wave before he would disappear for a few moments under the white cloud."

He also recalls the hoisting of the barrells at Butt Bridge onto the Guinness cargo vessels - like the WM Barkley, the Lady Grania or Gwendolen Guinness - for transport to Liverpool.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the wreck of the WM Barkley was captured in high-resolution images taken from the national research vessel RV Celtic Voyager off the coast of Dublin.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#FISHING - Seafood lovers of Cumbria in north-west England have been urged to broaden their tastes to save depleted stocks of their favourite fish in the Irish Sea.

According to the News & Star, some 80% of Britons "insist upon eating just five types of fish – cod, tuna, salmon, prawn and haddock."

But the Cumbria Wildlife Trust says that with coastal waters facing the serious threat of overfishing, a rethink is needed among both consumers and suppliers alike.

“The Irish Sea has a wide range of edible fish species but you wouldn’t know it judging by the fish counters in supermarkets across the county," says Lindsay Sullivan of the trust's Wild Oceans project, an 18-month scheme that hopes to "turn the tide for seafood".

A big part of this is encouraging consumers to skip the usual white fish and try different species such as flounder, monkfish and red mulllet, creating demand for cheaper and more sustainable fishing.

The News & Star has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#COASTGUARD - Russia's ambassador to Britain has proposed rewarding rescuers involved in the search for missing seamen in the Irish Sea last week following the sinking of the cargo ship Swanland.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the cargo vessel - carrying 3,000 tonnes of limestone - went down some 10 miles west of the Lleyn peninsula in north Wales in the early hours of last Sunday.

Two of the eight crew, who were all Russian, were recovered from the sea. A third was found deceased, while the remaining five are still missing.

As many as 11 coastguard rescue teams were involved in the search operation, which also saw an RAF rescue helicopter - piloted by Prince William - lend assistance.

At a meeting with the two rescued sailors in London last Wednesday, Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko commented: “What if we propose [the rescuers] to be rewarded by the Russian side?”

Russian news agency RIA Novosti has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#PORTS & SHIPPING- The general dry-cargo vessel, Red Duchess berthed at Ardrishaig on Scotland's west coast at Loch Fyne today, after completion of a voyage from Waterford, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 1969-built coaster rounded the Hook Head Lighthouse yesterday around noon, having departed Belview on Waterford Estuary. She is engaged on the Irish Sea timber trade, which have been the mainstay of the cruiser stern-vessel's career (see PHOTO).This feature maybe commonplace among yachting craft, yet it is an increasing rare feature, to be found on commercial ships these days.

Her builders were Bodewes Hoogezand Scheepswerf, Bergum of The Netherlands, though the veteran vessel received a modernisation programme in 1995. In addition to the 1,285grt Red Duchess, her fleetmate Red Baroness (1979/964grt) is also actively employed on the same trade.

Each vessel has a single 80m box-hold which can also handle coal, fertiliser, salt and stone. The UK flagged vessels are owned and managed by Coast Lines Shipping based in Midleton, Co. Cork which was established in 1981. For photos of the fleet and technical details, click HERE.

The name of the Irish shipping company revives the similarly named Coast Lines which was synonymous with the British & Irish Steam Packet Co. Ltd otherwise known as B+I Line. By 1917 the Coast Lines group operated seven Irish shipping companies and held all the shares in B+I Line.

The group also had a half interest in David MacBrayne, which was together acquired in the same year by Lord Kylsant's Royal Mail Steam Packet. It was during the Kylsant period that one of their vessels, the 696 ton Lochfyne served David MacBrayne. The Kylsant shipping empire collapsed and Coast Lines regained independence in 1935.

It is apt to have these historical associations as successors to David MacBrayne, now Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) are Scotland's largest island ferry network which includes the Loch Fyne ferry (PHOTO) route of Portavadie-Tarbert with the remote location of Ardrishaig further up the Loch.

By 1965 Coast Lines sold their British & Irish (including the associated City of Cork Co.) to the Irish Government and the remaining part of the company was purchased by P&O in 1971. This marked an end of era, with the names of several Irish Sea freight and ferry operators slipping away.

As for Coast Lines Shipping, which was established in 1981, both Red Duchess and Red Baroness are on a time charter arrangement with JST Services. The Ayr-based company provide an integrated shipping, handling and road haulage timber business in addition to the carriage of other cargoes.

Asides serving Ardrishaig, the red-hulled vessels call to their adopted homeport of Ayr, Campbeltown and Sandbank. In addition they call to Troon, where both coasters are registered (see PHOTO). From these ports they sail to Irish ports, in particular Derry, Youghal and Passage West, a privately-owned wharf in the centre of Cork Harbour.

Timber products can include logs, which are loaded by a grabber as depicted in this PHOTO taken at Passage West. The facility also deals in scrap-metal cargo, where a mounting pile is clearly evident on the quayside, awaiting to be disposed for export.

Published in Ports & Shipping
#MARINE WILDLIFE - Some 14 Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea are among the network of planned marine wildlife sanctuaries around the UK that has been postponed.
The Liverpool Echo reports that the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has shelved plans to create the conservation areas by the end of 2012 after pressure from "groups that use the coastline frequently including fishermen, yachting enthusiasts and seaside villagers".
There will now be a six-month delay while and impact assessment on the network of well over 100 proposed sites is presented to the British government.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, conservation groups have raised concerns that fewer than a quarter of the proposed sites around the UK will receive official protection.

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Some 14 Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea are among the network of planned marine wildlife sanctuaries around the UK that has been postponed.

The Liverpool Echo reports that the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has shelved plans to create the conservation areas by the end of 2012 after pressure from "groups that use the coastline frequently including fishermen, yachting enthusiasts and seaside villagers".

There will now be a six-month delay while and impact assessment on the network of well over 100 proposed sites is presented to the British government.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, conservation groups have raised concerns that fewer than a quarter of the proposed sites around the UK will receive official protection.

Published in Marine Wildlife
#MARINE WILDLIFE - Conservationists in the UK have voiced their concern that Westminster will enact fewer than a quarter of the proposed Marine Conservation Zones in British waters.
The Press Association reports that some 127 such zones - including parts of the Irish Sea - have been earmarked by regional conservation groups as areas requiring special environmental protection.
All 127 proposals were reviewed by an independent panel of scientists and government committees before they were to go on public consultation.
But it is now feared that a mere 23 of the total will get the go-ahead, due to a perceived lack of evidence to support the case for the rest.
"To only designate 23 marine conservation zones is equivalent to switching off the life support for our seas," commented Joan Edwards of the Wildlife Trusts.
The Press Association has more on the story HERE.

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Conservationists in the UK have voiced their concern that Westminster will enact fewer than a quarter of the proposed Marine Conservation Zones in British waters.

The Press Association reports that some 127 such zones - including parts of the Irish Sea - have been earmarked by regional conservation groups as areas requiring special environmental protection.

All 127 proposals were reviewed by an independent panel of scientists and government committees before they were to go on public consultation. 

But it is now feared that a mere 23 of the total will get the go-ahead, due to a perceived lack of evidence to support the case for the rest.

"To only designate 23 marine conservation zones is equivalent to switching off the life support for our seas," commented Joan Edwards of the Wildlife Trusts.

The Press Association has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
#MARINE WILDLIFE - A rare leatherback turtle washed up in Cumbria could be a sign that the Irish Sea is hiding an unknown bounty of marine wildlife.
The Cumbria Wildlife Trust told The Westmoreland Gazette that the find reinforces calls for the Irish Sea region to be designated as a Marine Conservation Zone.
Leatherback turtles are on the critically endangered list, and face any number of threats, from injury by boat propellors, to drowning in fishing nets below the surface.
The green waters of the Irish Sea are a big attraction to leatherback turtles and species from the Caribbean and other far-away climbs due to their abundance of food.
The Westmoreland Gazette has more on the story HERE.

#MARINE WILDLIFE - A rare leatherback turtle washed up in Cumbria could be a sign that the Irish Sea is hiding an unknown bounty of marine wildlife.

The Cumbria Wildlife Trust told The Westmoreland Gazette that the find reinforces calls for the Irish Sea region to be designated as a Marine Conservation Zone.

Leatherback turtles are on the critically endangered list, and face any number of threats, from injury by boat propellors, to drowning in fishing nets below the surface.

The green waters of the Irish Sea are a big attraction to leatherback turtles and species from the Caribbean and other far-away climbs due to their abundance of food.

The Westmoreland Gazette has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
One year countdown begins for Ireland's first electricity interconnector to Great Britain

The largest state energy infrastructure project, connecting the Irish electricity grid and Great Britain advanced significantly today as work began to lay cables under the sea bed of the Irish Sea. The €600m East West Interconnector project is being developed by EirGrid – the independent electricity transmission system operator in the Republic of Ireland.

The Interconnector is essential strategic economic infrastructure linking Ireland to the much larger energy markets of Britain and Europe.

It involves the laying of 180 kilometres of undersea and approximately 80 kilometres of underground cables to enable the flow of electricity in both directions between Ireland and Great Britain. This means that when Ireland needs extra electricity it can import it but crucially, it opens a new export market for Ireland's abundant renewable energy.

With most of the underground cables now laid, the cable-laying ship the Nostag 10 anchored itself at North Beach, Rush Co. Dublin to lay the marine cables of the €600 million project partly funded by the European Union. This unusual vessel, off the North Dublin coast, is already attracting curious onlookers.

Yesterday the ESRI issued a report which confirmed that the creation of a single EU-wide electricity market offers significant benefits for Ireland. The report, entitled the Internal EU Electricity Market: Implications for Ireland concluded that 'the single EU electricity market should result in lower electricity prices and increased competition as suppliers from Great Britain and beyond will be able to enter the Irish market. This should spur efficiency and increase consumer choice.'

As the cable laying got underway, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD was present to observe this key milestone for the project with just one year to completion when trading will commence on this interconnector.

Commenting on the project, Minister Rabbitte said, "The interconnector will improve security of supply, as well as increasing competition and assisting in achieving our ambitious renewable targets. I am delighted that EirGrid are on track to complete the project within budget and on time, by the end of next year.

"Witnessing the laying of the marine cable across the Irish Sea is symbolic of linking Ireland, a geographically isolated Island, to the single European energy market which will ultimately benefit all electricity consumers and generators."

As the Nostag 10 makes its way across the sea, the cable will be carefully lowered into the water and laid in a narrow trench which will be opened and closed by a remote controlled vehicle operating on the sea bed. The cable laying work is expected to take approximately eight months to complete.

Andrew Cooke, EirGrid's Director of Grid Development, said "This is a very exciting stage in the project and probably one of the most challenging. Before work started, EirGrid carried out a detailed marine survey to identify a route for the undersea cable that would have the least impact on marine life.

"With over 600 people currently working on the project, it is great to see the interconnector cable finally beginning to be laid at sea. Europe's electricity future will be reliant on interconnector projects of this nature and currently EirGrid is investigating the feasibility of further interconnection to Europe."

The Interconnector is scheduled to be operational in late 2012 and will be capable of carrying power to supply the equivalent of 300,000 homes.

Published in Power From the Sea
Strong winds on the Irish Sea, has led to cancellations of Irish Ferries Dublin-Holyhead fast-ferry Jonathan Swift today, though passengers will be accommodated on the cruiseferry Ulysses.
Tomorrow mornings fast-ferry sailings from Dublin and the corresponding return sailing from Holyhead, have also been cancelled. The subsequent second round-trip sailings later that day are scheduled to operate a normal service. For the latest sailing schedules click HERE.

Stena Line's Dublin-Holyhead sailings are on schedule in addition to services on the Rosslare-Fishguard, Belfast-Stranraer (incl. HSS sailings) and Belfast-Liverpool. P&O's Dublin-Liverpool and North Channel Larne-Cairnryan route are also on schedule.

On the Celtic Sea, Fastnet Line's Cork-Swansea is unaffected as there are no sailings on Monday's, Tuesday's and Wednesday's during this month and November. The next sailing is this Thursday from Cork at 20.30hrs and returning Swansea on Friday at 21.30hrs.

According to Met Eireann, this afternoon will be extremely windy, especially across the southern half of the country, with southwest gusts of between 90 and 120km/h. For more detailed and updated weather forecasts visit www.met.ie

Published in Ferry
Page 11 of 17

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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