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An 88-berth Cork Harbour Marina located in Monkstown was officially opened on Saturday (7th of April) by Minister for the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD.

Phase one of the planned 300-berth marina facility in Monkstown Co. Cork, aptly named 'Cork Harbour Marina', is Ireland's newest coastal marina and is offering all year round berthing facilities for pleasure craft.

The new addition to the seaside village is in a sheltered location on the western bank of the River Lee in an area very popular for boating activities.

The bustling ceremony was also attended by Lord Mayor of Cork County, Michael McGrath of Fianna Fail, members of Monkstown Bay Sailing Club puls a number marine industry figures including John Wallace of Union Chandlery and correspondent Tom MacSweeney.

As part of the proceedings the Irish Marine Federation's Steve Conlon saluted the tenacity of developer James O'Brien on completing the project. Steve Conlon's address gave a potted history to the new facility and we reproduce it here as an over view of the potential value of marinas to coastal communities:

I first met James some 8 years ago and I know how many hurdles he has crossed to get to this day, between planning, foreshore, State Valuation Office and the banks. These are just some of the impediments that are put in the way of would be developers who are putting in place valuable pieces of our tourism infrastructure. Marinas are sustainable developments, which will bring economic benefits to this area not only from resident boats but also from visitors.

From our own research we have established that the average spend per boat on a marina is in the region of €6,400 per annum. This is sum is made up of marina fees, insurance, training, sails, engine maintenance and chandlery spend.

An 88 berth marina, such as this one, has the potential to generate over €563,00.00. per annum in local economic activity. In addition our research shows that visiting boats spend on average almost €200 per night in the local community. Most of this money stays within the community. Our research also informs us that for every 2.7 marina berths, they support 1 full time job either in the marina itself or in associated business.

Stand alone marinas, like this one, are fine but they can become a real economic driver for an area when they begin to attract associated businesses into a Marine Industry Cluster of activity, such as boat sales, sailing and diving schools or bases for charter operations for deep sea angling and eco tours.

In terms of the marine leisure industry in Ireland it is worth in excess of €900 million per annum and accounts for 7% of our national tourism spend. Yet our national boat ownership ratio is low at 1 boat to every 156 people. Lots of room for expansion and development!

When you consider these figures and you realise what we have in terms of a natural resource on our doorstep, marina leisure tourism has the potential to deliver far more than it is in terms of international marine based visitors. We would like to see more incentives and promotional programmes put in place to encourage more overseas boat owners to base their boats in Ireland for at least two seasons to experience what we have on our South and West coast. To do this, however, we would need many more facilities such as this.

When you look at the global figures for marine activities, marine leisure tourism is the second most important economic activity after transport and shipping. It also accounts for 26% of the total global tourism product spend. The number one tourism product is cultural and heritage tourism at 27% of total global tourism. With our natural resources Ireland could become the marine leisure centre of excellence if it were to be developed in a sustainable way.

However, I am glad to say that attitudes are changing.

For the past 10 years the Irish Marine Federation has been calling for a National Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland, this request now seems to on the way to be answered.

There is one other person here to day I wish to thank and that is Minister Coveney. While he was in opposition he worked continually to promote the marine even when he did not have the portfolio.

We were delighted to see that he managed to incorporate Marine into his Ministerial title.

Through our involvement in ITIC, the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation I happened to meet Leo Varadka on the day that he was appointed as Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport and I asked him if I could come to see him regarding marine leisure tourism, his reply was, yes, certainly but Simon Coveney is going to do something in that area.

I also know from my ongoing contacts with Failte Ireland that both the Minister Coveney and Minister Varadka met with Failte Ireland to discuss progress on the development of a marine leisure tourism strategy.

So on behalf of the marine industry in Ireland we would today like to congratulate both James O'Brien on the official opening of his marina and look forward to future developments on this site and also Minister Coveney for his work in promoting the marine industry in Ireland.

Berth bookings now being taken on 087 3669009.

Published in Irish Marinas
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#MARINAS – In a month when Royal Cork marina in Crosshaven was rewarded for its efforts by the Yacht Harbour Association another Munster marina, Castlepark marina in Kinsale has also been granted an award under the internationally recognised marina standards scheme.

Situated on a small peninsula in the estuary of the river Bandon and Kinsale only 20 minutes from Cork International Airport, Castlepark marina can pride itself in receiving 4 Gold Anchors from The Yacht Harbour Association. It is a great achievement for the town and the area but also for Tadgh Wright who has managed the marina for the past six years.

With 98 berths, the marina is kept clean and tidy, and set in beautiful surrounding countryside with the old James Fort overlooking the marina; 'a perfect place for those sailors looking for peace and tranquillity', says Wright.

"The greatest 'perk' of my job is welcoming many a sailor to Castlepark Marina over the years, showing off our unrivalled country side location just outside one of Ireland's finest towns with award winning restaurants and bars" says Wright.

Kinsale is a focal point to the most incredible cruising grounds Europe has to offer, to the famous Fatnet Rock and beyond the South West coast of Ireland is a not to be missed experience.

The YHA assessors praised Wright for delivering an excellent, personal service to his berth holders and keeping his marina in excellent condition.

Published in Irish Marinas
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Royal Cork Yacht Club's marina has been awarded five gold anchors by the Yacht Harbour Association and becomes the fourth facility on the coast of Ireland – and the only one on the south coast – to win the distinction.

The 200 berth facility on the Owenabue river in Cork harbor joins Dun Laoghaire marina, Carrickfergus marina and Bangor marina on the east coast with the five anchor flag.

There are over 25 coastal marinas in Ireland and the facilities are key to providing marine tourism revenues from visiting yachts and boats.

The award follows two major reports that recognise that Cork's long and varied coastline is one of its greatest assets. The Mayor of Cork County, Councillor Kevin Murphy, and the County Manager, Martin Riordan, launched two major reports on Cork's coastal areas last Summer; a Marine Leisure Strategy for South Cork, and a Draft Study of Cork Harbour.

The Marine Leisure Infrastructure Strategy for South Cork, 2010-2020 is a document that has paved the way for additional marine leisure facilties to get established in the harbour.

Royal Cork also picked up an International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) Clean Marina during a recent inspection.

The awards are a short in the arm for the world's oldest yacht club who debated the future direction of the club at its annual forum last November. The club are preparing for its 400-boat biennial Cork Week 2012 regatta this July.

The Gold Anchor award scheme is a voluntary assessment programme focused on customer service and providing Quality Assured Berthing for any boat owner. The scheme is designed for the marina consumer by The Yacht Harbour Association with contribution from the Roysl Yachting Assocation. With 23 years experience of Gold Anchor standards, the award is a point of reference for all boat owners to make an informed decision on where to berth.

Published in Irish Marinas
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#MARINE WILDLIFE - Work on exterminating sea squirts at a marina in north Wales has begun.

The £250,000 (€301,000) project by the Countryside Council for Wales involves attaching giant bags to the subsurface structures around the marina in Holyhead, which is hoped will stop the clean flow of water to the sea squirts, causing them to suffocate and die.

Marine biologist Rohan Holt, who is managing the project, said: “If we successfully eradicate the sea squirt, we will work hard to make sure that it does not recolonise.

"This will mean careful monitoring in Holyhead marina and other marinas and popular mooring areas throughout Wales to check that it hasn’t reappeared."

The sea creature threatens shellfish by spreading like a blanket across the seabed and other surfaces.

As previously reported on, colonies of the invasive Japanese sea squirt are posing a throat to mussel and scallop bed in the Menai Strait between Anglesey and the mainland.

Boats from Ireland have been blamed for carrying the invasive pest into Holyhead.

The Daily Post has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#PORTRUSH – A study of Portrush harbour in County Antrim is being carried out to investigate the feasibility of creating a marina facility of up to 200 berths in the Northern port.  The study is sponsored by the Sail West project which aims to promote sailing tourism between the west of Scotland and Northern Ireland and Donegal. The small harbour at Portrush is usually busy with small pleasure and fishing boats in the summer season. The nearest marina to Portrush is the 74-berth Ballycastle marina, 17 kms away, that is in full use by local fisherman and yachtsmen alike.

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Published in Irish Marinas


#JETSKI–A new marina in Poole has launched a specialist area for jet skis.

The Port of Poole Marina in Dorest, which enjoys views of Brownsea Island and is close to the historic Poole Quay, is offering 13 permanent berths for jet skis.

John Binder, marina manager, said: "The hassle of storing a jet ski at home, towing it by car, paying to launch it at Baiter Park and having to head home to shower afterwards can detract from the fun of a day on the water. Our new facility offers jet ski owners a place to store their craft, with immediate access to the open sea and a chance to shower and enjoy the local social scene afterwards."

Among those to use the site to store his jet skis is Arran Scott, Principal of Absolute Aqua watersports academy. He said: "The new marina is perfect for us. Until now we've had to store boats further away and our lessons started with a frustratingly slow trip to open sea through areas with a restricted speed limit. Now we're right by the open sea, there's no wasted time, we can park on site and the facilities are excellent."

The marina, which opened this year, was constructed by Walcon Marine (the company behind the marina at the Dubai International Boat Show). It occupies the former Ro-Ro1 Brittany Ferries berth and offers on site toilets, showers and parking and a free water taxi service to nearby Poole Quay.

As well as berths for ribs and jet skis, it houses 59 boats between 10 and 15 metres in length and has visitor berthing for up to six deep-draught super yachts.

Published in Jetski
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#MARINA – Inspite of the recent positive news about the opening of the interim harbour at Greystones there is still no more no more definite news on the planned marina there.

Developers Sispar, with assistance from Greystones Sailing Club, Greystones Motor YC and local Councillors are putting together a list of prospective users together with a view to holding a meeting to assess whether there is enough demand to justify putting pontoons down for next Summer's boating season. 'Progress on this has been slower than hoped', Councillor Derek Mitchell told

Published in Greystones Harbour
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#AQUATIC TOURISM - Charter yacht trip firm is weathering the recession, as the Sunday Business Post reports.
The venture - which provides daily and corporate yacht excursions since setting up in 2000 - reacted to a shortfall in customers due to the changing ecomonic climate by relocating from Westport to Dun Laoghaire marina, where business has been brisk.
Aaron O'Grady, a veteran of the Irish Olympic sailing squad, started the business with his father Pauric, the duo investing in a 54-foot yacht The Explorer to run sailing trips off the Mayo coast, helping novices learn to sail.
They later teamed up with business manager Bref Kennedy, who says that the recreational sailing business has plenty of room to grow.
"Our main goals are trying to break the perception of sailing that pervades in Ireland and also to introduce people to the exciting world of sailing on the extremely under-used and beautiful coastline that exists right on our doorstep," said Kennedy.
GoSailing is also the only company providing a charter yacht service on the east coast, according to Kennedy, which is "amazing considering we are an island nation".
Charter yachting trips around Dublin Bay, Killiney Bay and Dalkey Sound typically go for around €35 a head for groups of 12. For more details visit

#LEARN TO SAIL - Charter yacht trip firm is weathering the recession, as the Sunday Business Post reports.

The venture - which provides daily and corporate yacht excursions since setting up in 2000 - reacted to a shortfall in customers due to the changing ecomonic climate by relocating from Westport to Dun Laoghaire marina, where business has been brisk.

Aaron O'Grady, a veteran of the Irish Olympic sailing squad, started the business with his father Pauric, the duo investing in a 54-foot yacht The Explorer to run sailing trips off the Mayo coast, helping novices learn to sail.

They later teamed up with business manager Bref Kennedy, who says that the recreational sailing business has plenty of room to grow.

"Our main goals are trying to break the perception of sailing that pervades in Ireland and also to introduce people to the exciting world of sailing on the extremely under-used and beautiful coastline that exists right on our doorstep," said Kennedy.

GoSailing is also the only company providing a charter yacht service on the east coast, according to Kennedy, which is "amazing considering we are an island nation".

Charter yachting trips around Dublin Bay, Killiney Bay and Dalkey Sound typically go for around €35 a head for groups of 12. For more details visit

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#MARINA– Greystones Harbour developer is considering whether there is enough demand to open the planned Greystones marina next Summer following the opening of the interim harbour to the public last Saturday (November 5th).

Initial marina plans focussed on the installation of a 200-berth facility but subsequent market research cast doubt on whether the marina could be filled in the downturn.  The research also showed that 80% of the berths required would be less than eight metres.

The new interim harbour consists of two public slipways, also beach launching facilities, boat compounds for the Sea Scouts, Rowers, Divers, Sailors and Anglers. The South Harbour Wall and the beach are now available for walking, opening it up for all to use according to Cllr. Derek Mitchell.


Councillor Derek Mitchell at one of the new slipways now open at Greystones harbour

‘The boat launching facilities are the best in the country and will provide adults and the youth with great sporting opportunities’. The photo shows Cllr Mitchell standing at the top of the new slipway, Mitchell said.

Nama have said they hope to make a decision soon as to whether to fund stage 2 consisting of the Primary Care Centre, five clubhouses and a much better quality finish for the Public Square than at present. The Coastguard and the Council are considering going to tender to construct the Coastguard station. ‘I hope these proceed soon so we can finish the job’ the Councillor added.

All Afloat's Greystones Harbour News here

Published in Greystones Harbour

#JOBS – Cork County Council have issued a notice of intention to grant planning permission to allow the expansion of Cork Harbour Marina, Monkstown to a larger and more comprehensive 285 fingered berth marina as reported previously on The expansion will allow for 175 car parking spaces, a marina pavillion building to incorporate a provisions shop, cafe/bar/restaurant, chandlery, marine and boat sales office, Gym, changing rooms with showers, toilets and laundry facilities. All 285 berths are fully serviced, secure fingered berths ranging in size of up to 18m in length, a reception berth, a fuelling berth with diesel and petrol available and a pump out facility berth. The car park and pavillion will be encompassed by a public promenade with seating, panoramic viewing platform, viewing deck promontory and a nature awareness garden.


An artist's impression of plans for an expanded marina at Monkstown

This expansion will lead to one of Ireland's finest marinas facilities which will support up to 90 jobs both directly and indirectly, of these 32 will be full time permanent jobs on the completed Marina complex. The Marina is a unique development, destined to be the South of Ireland's first Blue Flag marina with world-class facilities for berth holders and visitors alike which will allow Cork to capture a bigger slice of the world marine leisure market worth approx €928 billion annually. Initially, set up to address the deficit of safe berths in the Monkstown Bay area the facility is a credit to the Irish team that invested, designed and built it, and of their ambitious plans for its expansion to a five star facility to rival any that Europe has to offer.

A €1.5 million investment into the Irish economy was required to complete the first phase, namely an 82 berth state of the art floating concrete marina. Project co-coordinator James O'Brien advised that "having secured a grant from SECAD (South and East Cork Area Development) and private investment, Monkstown Bay Marina Company proceeded with the totally Irish construction project. All local contractors were employed, from engineering to carpentry to provision of water supplies, to mooring and anchoring specialist teams".

When questioned if he felt that it was wise to undertake such a project during a recession, Mr O'Brien felt that the project will actually help Cork recover from the recession, "In recent years, the lack of marina and berthing facilities in Cork Harbour, the second biggest natural Harbour in the world has been recognised as having a negative impact on the amount of yachts and marine leisure holidaymakers visiting the harbour, and utilising onshore facilities, both in the in the immediate locality and Cork County". Located just 7kms from Ringaskiddy Ferry Port, with access to the UK several times a week and Roscoff in France once a week. A weekly service to Spain is also under negotation, at this time making Cork Harbour Marina the ideal place to winter a visiting boat or to place it in Ireland for multiple family visits, and with the world class cruising grounds of West Cork.

Having a slip (or berth) at a marina offers convenience, security, services, amenities, and a social atmosphere to enjoy. There are broader quality of life benefits for users also, such as improved safety, to-and-from access, and the availability of other essential services, such as electricity to effect repairs, fuel at a convenient marina location, or provisions, parts or repairs being delivered directly to any boat as necessary. Berth spaces are currently available to rent long and short term, at competitive costs.

The boating public have eagerly awaited the new marina for many years, and the response has been one of huge endorsement and positivity, with rapid take-up of berths, and a high incidence of short stay and overnighting too, all bringing much needed tourism revenue to a village that most, up to now, would have sailed or motored past!

Cork Harbour Marina offers an asset-backed; Bord Failte approved BES scheme, in one of the only tax shelters left available to the Irish investor. Full details of this BES scheme are available on request. Berths are allocated on a first come first served basis, all enquiries regarding berthing space should be directed to James O'Brien on 087 3669009

Monkstown is an attractive seaside village that offers visitors beautiful walks in a stunning location - even walking the marina, visitors can enjoy this tranquil and picturesque harbour setting.

South of the city, the marina is also served by a regular bus route, No 223, allowing easy access to Cork City's shopping and social scenes, one of the top cities in the world for a short break, according to a recent Trailfinder survey. Cork Harbour Marina is also only 2kms from the Cross River Ferry, giving easy access to Great Island and East Cork.

For those choosing to stay for an extended period, various ancillary services can be organised - provisioning, refuelling, cleaning, antifouling, boat maintenance and repairs, sail repair, and winter storage both outdoor and covered. The marina team can also organise a boat delivery or recovery service provided by competent Offshore Yacht masters.

Cork Harbour marina is the closest marina to the suburbs of Douglas, Rochestown and Passage West, nestles right in front of the stunning Monkstown village, is convenient to Monkstown Sailing, Rowing, Golf and Tennis Clubs, and the world renowned Bosun Restaurant and Guesthouse, the convivial Monkstown Inn, and the proposed Monkstown Amenity Park, which the local communities are pushing toward completion.

In brief, Cork Harbour Marina is Ireland's newest coastal marina with all year round berthage. The marina itself can accommodate boats up to 17m and consists of an outer perimeter of floating concrete break waters with fingered berths contained internally.

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Published in Irish Marinas
Page 9 of 12

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.


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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