Displaying items by tag: Marina
Irish sailors don’t need their attention mesmerized by the horses and people clattering around the Galway Races Week to be well aware that in sailing matters too, it’s not a question of whether or not the West’s awake writes W M Nixon. On the contrary, you’d wonder do the hyper-energetic sailors around Galway Bay ever sleep as they implement one bright new idea after another, for these days the coastal facilities are being developed at a pace which few other popular sailing areas can match.
Until recently in southeast Connmemara, Rosamhil (or Rossaveal as the East Coast might know it) was mainly thought of as a busy fishing port and the ferry port for the Aran Islands. But a while back, it acquired a 34-berth marina which has proven so popular that in October this year the Harbour Master, Captain John Donnelly, will be overseeing the official opening of a brand new facility, a fully-serviced 160-berth marina which will be attractive both to locals and those from further afield and abroad who are taken with the notion of berthing their boats on the threshold of some of the most enchanting sailing waters in the world.
But while this is now almost completely in place, towards the head of Galway Bay the port of Galway itself is contemplating another expansion with marina facilities, while across the bay at Renville, as we’ve mentioned on Afloat.ie, Galway Bay SC has recently made a very clever job of improving its clubhouse, and it is surely only a matter of time before developments in waterfront berthing take place there too.
But the extra-special breakthrough which has best expressed the Spirit of the West has been the installation of the long L-shaped pontoon in the much-extended Kilronan Harbour on Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. This was planned to be done in time for the mighty successful West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association Championship just over three weeks ago, and the new setup accommodated the 44-strong fleet in such style that a casual observer might gave though that this was all a permanent new fixture.
Certainly the way that the WIORA sailors partied for their après sailing there and in downtown Kilronan would if anything have reinforced such a view. Yet in theory those pontoons are just a temporary arrangement. And they were put there in a shared voluntary effort which would put some of our more hidebound maritime communities to shame for its sheer enthusiasm and energy.
Those who were promoting the Kilronan Berthing Project - not least WIORA Championship Organiser Cormac Mac Donncha – argued that with all of the new berthing capacity in the city and in Rossaveal, those boat owners would need somewhere to visit and berth safely. This is where the pontoon in Kilronan comes in, with the benefits going well beyond recreational sailing. The users will include the small ‘pot haulers’ owned by the local fishermen, commercial angling boats, commercial charter sailing yachts, visiting motor vessels, and yachts.
Galway County Council were very supportive of the project. Patrick McDonagh, Kilronan Harbour Master, provided supervision and advice throughout. Ciarán Wynne, Harbours Engineer, Galway Co Co, provided the promoters with the various permissions to go ahead with the project. The pontoon was installed by the voluntary effort of local business men and volunteers, in a heartening community spirit.
The pontoons themselves were supplied on loan by Inland & Coastal Marinas, based in Banagher on the Shannon. Iggy Madden Transport of Galway, provided the transport without charge. Galway Harbour Board supported the storage and crane operations at Galway Docks and Lasta Mara Teo transported the cargo to the Islands and dropped 16 mooring blocks. LM Keating installed the pier beams, and OceanCrest Marine supplied the special pontoon to H-Beam bracketry. ThermoKing, the Beatty family and Club Seoltóireacht Árainn provided the skilled crew to install the pontoons and make them safe.
Inland & Coastal has extended the loan of the pontoons so that the local committee can attempt to put a plan together to purchase and upgrade them to form a permanent facility. A very significant proportion of the project’s cost lies in the selection, transportation and installation of the pier beams and pontoons. Galway Co Co are working with the committee to try to find a funding solution to upgrade the existing ‘marina’. It has been recognised that, if the pontoons are returned to Inland & Coastal at this stage, then a large percentage of the cost will need to be duplicated in order to reinstate the marina at a later stage.
So efforts to seek funding are currently underway. You just can’t see it not happening, and a longer term objective might be the installation of an access bridge, as the 5 metre tidal range can make that quay wall seem very high. Once the sportsmen and revellers of WIORA had gone on their way, there was ample and much-valued space for local boats of all type, and then a week later the Drascombe Association of Ireland arrived in a fleet from Roundstone in the midst of their week-long Galway Bay Cruise-in-Company. Even though a Drascombe can be hauled up a beach if need be, every last one of them was delighted with the convenience and comfort which the new pontoon provided.
Seen from a go-anywhere Drascombe, Galway Bay becomes the cruising paradise its advocates have always insisted is there, waiting to be discovered. The Drascombes, co-ordinated by Jack OKeeffe of Cork and Brian Park of Limerick, had mustered at Kilkieran, and then cruised along the coast to Finnish Island before heading for Roundstone. Mac Dara’s island came up on the programme, and then there was an open water passage out to Kilronan and the luxury of a secure marina berth at the end of it.
They’d hope to cruise among the Aran Islands in detail, but the weather was going to pot and they decided to get on with the next stage of their programme. So as pre-arranged, the open boats headed back to Kilkieran and the cabin Drascombe boats made a passage across to Ballyvaughan in the foothills of The Burren in County Clare, which left them well-placed for detailed exploration to fresh places such as Leenane’s renowned seafood bar at New Quay, followed by the winding waterways of Bell Harbour.
Kinvara was a natural stopover port, and they finally brought it all to a successful conclusion back at Galway Bay SC at Renville, firmly convinced of the unique attractions of the greater Galway Bay area as a cruising ground, and one hundred per cent supportive of the notion that the new pontoons at Kilronan should be a permanent feature.
A Lough Derg marina at Kylenashee, near Portumna in County Galway is on the market for the first time with vacant possession.
The lake front property, that is suitable for a variety of uses, has been in use in recent years as a marina with berthing for 25 boats.
The property is advertised on Afloat's marine market and has 'substantial lake frontage' on approximately seven acres.
Read the full announcement here
Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton has welcomed the funding announcement of €112,500 for the development of a pontoon and gangway in Youghal.
News of the proposal broke on Afloat.ie last March here.
“The announcement is great news for Youghal and will allow for the supply and installation of a pontoon and gangway in Youghal Harbour. Cork County Council has done a huge amount of work to get this project underway and has already secured the necessary planning permission and foreshore licence to allow the development to proceed”, said Minister Stanton.
“Last year eight visitor buoys were put in place in Youghal harbour and these have been very successful in attracting marine leisure tourism to the town. I am confident that the pontoon will build on the success of these buoys and greatly enhance Youghal’s marine tourism offering and lead to an increase in visitors to this historic town.
“This funding is another substantial investment in Youghal’s tourism product. In addition to the development of Youghal’s heritage trail which includes the Raleigh Quarter, the medieval town walls, St Mary’s Collegiate Church and gardens next door, Youghal Clock Gate was opened to the public at the end of last year and is proving very popular. The refurbished boardwalk is also widely used by locals and visitors alike.
“Youghal wastewater treatment plant is also due to be completed by the end of this year and this project along with the other wastewater infrastructure works will allow for further development in the town into the future.
“I am very pleased that Youghal pontoon project has been awarded funding under the Local Authority Harbour programme. This scheme provides for 75% funding by the Department of Marine with the balance being supplied by Cork County Council. I would hope that, if this project is as successful as expected in attracting visitors to the town, this project would lead to further investment in marine leisure facilities in Youghal in the not too distant future.
The Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour achieved second place in a strong international field at the International Marina of the Year Awards and, as previously reported by Afloat.ie, were just pipped to the post by the Karpaz Gate Marina, located in northern Cyprus.
Gavin Deane, General Manager at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, said: “We are delighted to receive this significant award from TYHA. This is as a result of the hard work of the Executive Committee and Club Staff since the Royal Cork attained the Five Gold Anchor Status in late 2011. The award means so much to everyone at the Club as it is voted for by both our berth holders and visiting boats”.
For more on this story click here
Royal Cork Yacht Club recently became the first Yacht Club marina in the country to receive the Fáilte Ireland Welcome Standard accreditation for accommodation on its marinas and facilities. “The Club are delighted to have received this accreditation from Fáilte Ireland and we hope the ‘Welcome Standard’ will help attract even more visiting boats from around Ireland, the UK and further afield to visit Cork Harbour. There is plenty to see and do around the harbour as in recent years there has been a huge increase in infrastructural development, with Camden Fort Meagher and Spike Island being two great examples” commented General Manager, Gavin Deane.
Fáilte Ireland's (FI) role is to support the tourism industry and work to sustain Ireland as a high-quality and competitive tourism destination.
With the Quality Assured banner FI have developed new standards to allow for greater innovation, individuality and authenticity in their approved tourist accommodation businesses.
The standards recognise accommodation businesses of all types and styles that are committed to tourism and to maintaining high standards and practices throughout their business. It is targeted at atypical tourist accommodation businesses who do not fit in the existing approval frameworks such as glamping, pods, shepherd huts, yurts, lighthouses and marinas.
The standards identify the strengths of businesses, without taking away any of the character and style of the individual property.
The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference in Amsterdam (17-19 November 2016) provided the ideal backdrop for the presentation of the latest two Global Marina Institute (GMI) certificates.
Michelle Hitchcock, Head of Business Development at MDL Marinas Ltd, was awarded the Certified Marina Professional (CMP) certificate. Michelle is the first woman in the world to be accredited as a CMP, since its inception in 2012.
Designed to recognise the skills and experience of those working in the marina sector, but not directly managing marinas, Michelle is the perfect candidate to receive this accolade. She has worked at MDL Marinas Ltd since 1999 in a variety of roles but is now Head of Business Development.
Working at one of Europe’s leading marina groups, she is responsible for the company’s training development and delivery, the monitoring of customer service and quality and overseeing all operational aspects of business systems throughout the group’s 100+ marinas located across the UK, France, Italy and Spain.
Upon receiving her certification, Micelle Hitchcock commented: “I am honoured and proud to be awarded my CMP accreditation by the GMI. This is a major highlight of my career, made more special as the presentation was in front of an audience of my peers at the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference.”
Can Akaltan was also presented with his Certified Marina Manager (CMM) certificate during the Conference. Can is General Manager at Cesme Marina in Izmir, Turkey. Building on his successful career as a yacht captain, he joined Cesme Marina as the Marina Manager and has since been promoted to the position of General Manager.
Can Akaltan also remarked: “I feel privileged to be awarded the only internationally recognised certificate in the marina industry for marina professionals. It is also a great pleasure to become part of a very special group of industry pioneers.”
John Hogan, Chairman of the GMI, added: “It is good to have our first female CMP, particularly as she is from Europe, to add to those marina professionals already certified in Australia and Asia. I am hopeful that Michelle will pave the way for others who work in the industry to look to CMP as a way of developing and recognising their talents. It is also good to see another CMM recognised in Turkey.”
Today the GMI has awarded 130 active CMMs and CMPs across the globe and looks to continue this growth into 2017.
British Marine contributes to this by running a series of GMI marina management courses in locations across the UK and Europe.
New navigation buoys have been installed at the entrance to Lawrence Cove, near the village of Rerrin on Bere Island, one of the most sheltered harbours in Bantry Bay on Ireland's South–West coast.
A marina at Lawrence Cove is located opposite the fishing port of Castletownberehaven at the North side of Bere Island. Lawrence Cove Marina is the only fully serviced marina between Kinsale and Cahirciveen making it an important stop–over location for cruising yachts.
With aerial views of the Charles Fort, James Fort, visiting Super yacht 'Grace E' and the town marina, Kinsale is filmed by drone pilot Daniel Foran with spectacula results for the harbour that marks the start of the Wild Atlantic Way.
#Rowing: Alan O’Keeffe of Presentation College had less than a length to spare over Conor McCarthy of Cork Boat Club in one of the two Cork Sculling Ladder challenges held at the weekend. Kieran White of Cork beat Jack O’Donovan in the other race. The Ladder continues until Sunday, March 28th
Cork Sculling Ladder Challenges, Saturday, March 5th.
Race 1. (29) Alan O’Keeffe, Presentation College Rowing Club bt (31) Conor McCarthy, Cork Boat Club 4 feet.
Race 2. (46) Patrick Kennelly, Presentation College Rowing Club r/o. (50) Conor Twohig - Cork Boat Club. Did not race. Ill.
Race 3. (77) Kieran White, Cork Boat Club bt (60) Jack O’Donovan, Presentation College Rowing Club 5 lengths.
Sunday, March 13th
09.00am. (41) Cian O’Sullivan - Cork Boat Club v (33) Eoin Gaffney - Shandon Boat Club.
Date and times to be arranged for the following :
(8) Barry O’Flynn - Cork Boat Club v (6) Sean Lonergan - Shandon Boat Club.
(12) Liam O’Connell - Cork Boat Club v (10) Cathal Merz - Shandon Boat Club.
(13) Barry Connolly - Cork Boat Club v (11) Thomas Murphy - Lee Rowing Club.
(21) Cormac Corkery - Cork Boat Club v (18) Hugh Sutton - Lee Rowing Club.
(23) Evan Curtin - Cork Boat Club v (22) Luke Guerin - Lee Rowing Club.
(59) Ross Cudmore - Cork Boat Club v (57) Noel Carey - Shandon Boat Club.
(88) Conor O’Callaghan - Cork Boat Club v (81) Jack Aherne - Cork Boat Club.
Rugged Donegal in the far northwest of Ireland is unknown territory for many Irish people whether by land or sea - and even more so for people from further afield writes W M Nixon. Yet for people who live in this picturesque but challenging region, it’s the hub of the universe, and for Donegal-located sailing enthusiasts, it can be a cruising paradise.
This was brought home to the rest of us at the recent Irish Cruising Club prize-giving, when the Glengarriff Trophy for the best cruise in Irish waters went to Dr Paul McSorley, who sails from Lough Swilly. Despite 2015’s mixed weather, he made a very detailed cruise of the Donegal coast with his daughter Eimile in the 27ft International H Boat Wild Cat. While the H Boats were developed in Finland as a fast weekend cruiser with genuine race potential (they’re now an International Racing Class), it’s unlikely that designer Hans Groop envisaged them cruising the monumental Donegal coast with its challenging location on the Wild Atlantic Way.
An H Boat in cruising mode. Paul & Eimile McSorley’s cruise in Donegal in 2015 with with the H Boat Wild Cat was awarded an ICC Trophy
A Land Apart – Donegal is Ireland’s ultimate cruising challenge
Yet on a good day, you could see resemblances between the myriad of islands on the Finnish coast and the maze of islands north and south of Arranamore between Dawros Head and Bloody Foreland, the area on which Wild Cat’s cruise was concentrated. The difference, of course, is the tide. But Donegal aficionados reckon that the tide adds a special spice in which the Baltic is woefully lacking……
Whatever, there’s no doubt that Donegal is a special place for many cruising folk, and in recent days the ever-curious Norman Kean and Geraldine Hennigan of Courtmacsherry, who edit the Irish Cruising Club Sailing Directions, have been in Donegal sussing out welcome new developments. In a sense, it was something of a home-coming, for when Norman first came from Scotland to settle in Ireland to work in a chemical plant in Derry, Lough Swilly Yacht Club became his home base, and it was a cruise from there to the Faroes in an own-built Sadler 25 which first put him on the cruising map.
This is the start of something very worthwhile – the first pontoon berths in place in Killybegs in Donegal last week. Photo: Geraldine Hennigan
In Donegal in late February 2016, they found that the further you go south, the more promising are the developments. Best of all is the mighty fishing port of Killybegs on the south coast facing into Donegal Bay, a wonderful natural harbour for a bustling place which is said to be a town of 23 millionaires. For although not everyone does well in the fishing, some busy and innovative types do very well indeed.
For quite some time there’s been talk of the provision of pontoon facilities in Killybegs, but for 2016 Donegal County Council - where Cathal Sweeney has become the enthusiastic harbour engineer - have just gone ahead and done it with a minimum of fanfare, installing a 63-berth pontoon setup with plenty of room for expansion. (As first reported by Afloat.ie in March 2013). The pontoons were supplied and fitted by Oliver Shortall's Inland and Coastal Marinas Ltd of Banagher in County Offaly.
At present it’s called a “Small Craft Harbour”, which at first you might think reflects the reluctance of local authorities, the further north you go in Ireland, to describe a new amenity of this type as a “marina”. A case in point is Ardglass in County Down where the excellent little marina – one of the greatest boons to East Coast cruising – is still referred to as the “Phenick Cove Boat Park”.
On the other hand, Cathal Sweeney sounds a no-nonsense kind of guy, so maybe he won’t describe the very welcome new facility in Killybegs – which will transform Donegal as a cruising ground in providing a convenient base where a boat could be confidently left with good if distant communications with the rest of the country – as a marina until it has the full shoreside facilities.
Then the cruising options from Killybegs have been improved too, as to the westward a fine big pontoon has now been provided at the west pier in the lovely inlet of Teelin right beside the majestic cliffs of Slieve League. But then as we head north along the massive Atlantic seaboard, proper facilities are sparse enough, though in the case of both Burtonport and Bunbeg, it’s surely only a matter of time before a proper recreational-use pontoon or two gets installed.
Bunbeg on Donegal’s northwest corner is a little port which would benefit from a modest pontoon facility. Photo: W M Nixon
Cruising Donegal’s north coast, it still remains a source of wonder and delight that Tory Island now has a proper pier, albeit a tiny one, at which a cruising yacht can confidently overnight. And further east we hear that the most sheltered anchoring spot on the entire north coast, Fanny’s Bay on the west side just inside the entrance to Mulroy Bay, is a real possibility for a small marina facility.
Nevertheless in cruising Donegal, your first requirement is for your vessel to have her own fully operational and very substantial ground tackle, for apart from this being the seamanlike approach, the choice of anchorages which opens up when you know you’ve an anchor which will hold, and a windlass which will retrieve it, is almost boundless.
After many years, the shoreside cohesion of Fahan Marina on Lough Swilly with its landward neighbourhood south of Buncrana still seems a long way off. Photo Kevin Dwyer/Courtesy ICC
In the northeast of this enormous county of Donegal, there has of course long been a convenient if somewhat tide-ridden pontoon at Rathmullan on the west shore of Lough Swilly, but across-lough at Fahan, the marina – the great white hope of Donegal sailing – continues in a sort of semi-functional limbo, an unfinished, disconnected piece of work which nevertheless gives enough hint of what might be, if only someone could find a way through various legal and commercial impasses.
The berthing facility at Bunnagee near Culdaff took a battering in the winter storms. Photo: Geraldine Hennigan
Storm damage to one of the Bunagee pontoons. Photo: Geraldine Hennigan
Up to the north of Inishowen, what was hoped to be a “marina” at the lovely little bay of Bunagee at Culdaff has seen its pontoon damaged in winter storms, for even in summer this is a restless if attractive anchorage. But on the east coast of Inishowen the Greencastle-Moville area has seen significant improvement with summer harbour for Moiville Yacht Club close south of Greencastle, where the main harbour itself has seen work resumed on some improvements.
Greencastle is a fishing port where occasionally working boats and leisure craft can become very crowded……Photo: W M Nixon
….but immediately south of Greencastle this new pontoon facility provides a summer berth for local craft. Photo: W M Nixon
The new Greencastle pontoons looking east across Lough Foyle. In time, an additional sheltering pier may make this a more attractive proposition for visiting cruising boats. Photo: W M Nixon
So Donegal calls. It may get some of the roughest weather in Europe, but when summer comes to stay for a week or two, it’s a cruising paradise.