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Displaying items by tag: Northele

When Anthony and Sally O'Leary of Crosshaven quietly decided that some day they were going to make the classic 50ft 1949-vintage sloop Northele a member of their extended sailing family, it was a sort of Breakfast Epiphany. The boat had been hidden in plain sight for a while, moored in the anchorage up towards Drake's Pool, and so easily visible from their breakfast table that they tended to see her as part of the scenery. That is, until one day Northele (it's pronounced almost like "northerly") was lying with such grace in the morning sunlight that Himself was transfixed in mid-cereal, and suddenly announced: "Someday, we're going to own that boat". And Herself agreed.

But when you're Anthony and Sally O'Leary of Crosshaven, it means you're at the heart of a multi-generational family story combining the O'Leary and Aisher owner-skippering of many successful cutting-edge new boats from front-rank designers of the calibre of Charles Nicholson, Olin Stephens, Dick Carter, Ron Holland, Doug Peterson, Tony Castro, John Corby and Jason Ker.

Anthony O'Leary helming his Ker 39 Antix flat out in the RORC Easter Regatta in the SolentIn at the sharp end – Anthony O'Leary helming his Ker 39 Antix flat out in the RORC Easter Regatta in the Solent. Photo: Courtesy RORC

A very different kind of sailing. Anthony and Sally O'Leary and friends enjoying Northele's stately progressA very different kind of sailing. Anthony and Sally O'Leary and friends enjoying Northele's stately progress. Photo: Robert Bateman

Northele as she used to be in the old days, part of the scenery from Anthony & Sally O’Leary’s garden. Photo: Richard Gibson Northele as she used to be in the old days, part of the scenery from Anthony & Sally O’Leary’s garden. Photo: Richard Gibson

All of which makes it quite a step to change your sailing focus to a sweet-lined yet hefty craft more than seventy years old, designed by someone who is unknown to most sailing people. For although Northele is indeed a yacht of undoubted classic elegance, she was created by A.K. "Sandy" Balfour whose name – while immediately recognised by true connoisseurs – does not have the immediate populist cachet of Herreshoff, Fife, Mylne, Nicholson, Stephens, Rhodes or Reimers when classic yachts gather in all their gleaming glory.

But for anyone with an eye for a boat, even the briefest glimpse of Northele reveals such seemingly effortless style that you would readily accept that she was conceived by any of those very distinguished designers at the top of their form. But in addition to that, she has a certain special something which raises her above small-minded considerations of value-adding provenance.

Northele disappears into one of the Castlepoint Boatyard sheds at Crosshaven"The surgeons will see you now". Having been stripped of paint and much else, Northele disappears into one of the Castlepoint Boatyard sheds at Crosshaven. Photo: Richard Gibson

The job is on. Billy, Don and Alan Curran of Castlepoint Boatyard with Northele safely into the shed. Photo: Richard Gibson The job is on. Billy, Don and Alan Curran of Castlepoint Boatyard with Northele safely into the shed. Photo: Richard Gibson

However, it was a busy time of maybe ten years before Northele finally joined the O'Leary-Aisher fleet continuum. During it, Anthony and Sally's sons amassed international racing trophies, while Anthony himself captained two winning Irish Commodore's Cup Teams and many other national and international championships, rounding it out with his hyper-hot Antix being the RORC Yacht of the Year. Yet through all those hectic years, they kept tabs on Northele, and in 2018, the time was right, and they bought her knowing that while she looked lovelier than ever, there was more than a little TLC required.

Northele's hull profile and accommodation as they appeared in a Yachting World special Design Supplement in March 1950. Note how the propeller emerges from immediately above the rudder, and also how galley is located forwardNorthele's hull profile and accommodation as they appeared in a Yachting World special Design Supplement in March 1950. Note how the propeller emerges from immediately above the rudder, and also how galley is located forward.

In her seventy years, Northele had been around the block, and then some, for after the first owner Ronald Burton sold her, among other experiences she was in Plymouth and did a Round Britain and Ireland Race, she also found her way to the Caribbean, and then was based in the Clyde when a first Irish owner in Meath brought her to Ireland and based her in Kinsale, following which she was in Cork ownership and moored serenely at Crosshaven, waiting for Anthony and Sally O'Leary to take notice and be smitten.

We'll get all this intertwined history into its proper order in due course. Meantime, just who was Sandy Balfour? Born in Glasgow in the 1920s, after a boat-building apprenticeship with Harland & Wolff's Scottish subsidiary which included war work, his latent design talent was able to manifest itself by working with designer David Boyd at Roberston's Yard at Sandbank on the Clyde. Boyd may later have been associated with the unsuccessful America's Cup 12 Metre Sceptre, but when Balfour was with him, his boats for the International 6 Metre Class were very highly regarded, and of Olympic standard.

Yet by that time the mighty Scottish yacht design and building industry – at its height around the turn of the Century – was in marked decline, and in 1947 Balfour headed south to take up the job as manager and in-house yacht designer at Berthon Boat Company in Lymington in Hampshire. The yacht design profession – particularly in the depressed post-World War II era - was a precarious career for a sole trader, so a permanent job as yard manager, in tandem with whatever design challenges came along, provided a reasonably secure position.

Berthon Boat Company provided a very businesslike and complete service in 1949 – the final bill for Northele not only included the sails, but at £5,848-0-0 cost was significantly less than the original quote of £6861Berthon Boat Company provided a very businesslike and complete service in 1949 – the final bill for Northele not only included the sails, but at £5,848-0-0 cost was significantly less than the original quote of £6861

But the Berthon Boat Company were noted for their possessiveness towards any yacht designs which their employees created, and when the new 50ft Northele was launched in 1949, her design was clearly registered in Lloyds as being by "Berthon Boat Company". The name of A K Balfour did not appear at all, but he was undoubtedly the designer of each and every aspect of the handsome new yacht.

Everything about her was interesting, for not only did she reveal the designer's classic style, but the experienced commissioning owner was Ronald R Burton who lived on the River Hamble - also in the Solent area, but at some distance from Lymington.

His previous boat had been the Sparkman & Stephens-designed International 8 Metre Iskareen, built in Sweden in 1939. But after World War II, the International 8 Metre Class, which had been a feature of the Solent in the 1930s, had melted away. So for a more suitable boat for the times, Burton decided to go to a place which wasn't his home port despite the local proliferation of boatyards and designers on the Hamble, and get a boat from the new man just down from Scotland and working in Lymington.

Northele racing off Cowes in 1950. At 35ft waterline and 50ft LOA, she was part of a group of similarly-sized post-war boats which gave good racing inshore and offshore for several yearsNorthele racing off Cowes in 1950. At 35ft waterline and 50ft LOA, she was part of a group of similarly-sized post-war boats which gave good racing inshore and offshore for several years. Photo courtesy O'Leary family/Beken

The result was a fine yacht for which Berthon Boat Company were more than happy to claim all the credit, particularly as it was their careful saving of good timber which enabled Northele to be built at a time of post-war shortages, when quality seasoned timber was very scarce. In fact, in order to guarantee quality of construction, Northele was built to the detailed specification of the International 10 Metre Class. A proper racing 10 Metre would be approaching 60ft LOA, so when you build a cruiser-racer of 50 feet to the same spec, you get real strength and quality.

Yet despite the extra-strength construction, in her first half season of 1949 Northele won seven flags, and was frequently in the frame during the subsequent Burton years. Meanwhile, Sandy Balfour designed some other notable craft while he was with Berthon's, but it was a busy yard in all areas and much of his energy was taken up with the day-to-day work this involved, while he was also an accredited Lloyds Surveyor.

But you sense a frustrated design talent. However, a move to the Norfolk Broads to take over management of the J.Loynes & Son boatyard at Wroxham in the late 1950s was scarcely a step in the right direction. Yet deep in the heart of Norfolk, and far from his native Scotland, there came an unexpected breakthrough.

In a 1958 design competition for a 28ft boat suitable for cruising the West Coast of Scotland, his Honeybee came second. But there was something about his design that eclipsed the winning design, of which few were built, whereas Sandy Balfour's Honeybee became a hit, nowhere more so than in Germany where they were built in series production, and in 1965 declared "Yacht of the Year".

The Sandy Balfour-designed 28ft Honeybee class Ragdoll on her way to a win in a Classic Yacht RegattaThe Sandy Balfour-designed 28ft Honeybee class Ragdoll on her way to a win in a Classic Yacht Regatta. The design was and is particularly popular in Germany, where a Honeybee was "Yacht of the Year" in 1965.

Thus if you took Northele to Germany, you'd find she'd out-rank Fife and the rest of them for admiration. But for some time now, Northele hasn't been going anywhere, for after being bought by Anthony and Sally O'Leary in 2018 and sailed for a season, she disappeared into the sheds at the Curran brothers' Castlepoint Boatyard in Crosshaven in 2019, and has been undergoing a major restoration with Dick Gibson as Project Manager, with significant input from international designer Rob Jacob of Kinsale (a frequent crewmate with Anthony O'Leary in many racing campaigns), and with the hands-on talent of Billy, Don and Alan Curran of Castlepoint being augmented by classics specialist such as Jim Walsh of Nohoval Boat Works and Mark Bushe of the legendary Crosshaven boat-building family.

Work in progress – Northele as she is now in the shed in Crosshaven with the topside planking replaced, and much work done withinWork in progress – Northele as she is now in the shed in Crosshaven with the topside planking replaced, and much work done within. Photo: Robert Bateman

It was Mark who was a pioneer in classic restoration down Crosshaven way when he brought the Cork Harbour One Design Elsie back to life. It was an interesting experience, for he and his workmates learned that there's nothing so interesting for sailing people in the winter as watching craftsmen restore a classic. So on Friday afternoons in particular, they found their work was so constantly interrupted by curious and chatty homeward-bound visitors – all with an expert opinion – that they hung an empty tin on a piece of wire from Elsie's stemhead with "Beer Money" clearly written on it, and if little enough work got done after mid-afternoon Friday, a least that night's pints paid for themselves.

But restoring a complex 50-footer to an international standard is on a different scale altogether, and thus the Northele shed is definitely not on the Crosshaven tourist trail, because it's difficult enough to concentrate without distraction on how the designer and builders of seventy years ago managed to fit so much into such a slim yet deep hull, and at the same time working out how you can fit work-aids such as electric winches (the sails are enormous) in some very confined spaces, while retaining the character of the boat, for the owners are determined to stick to the original Balfour plan, even down to retaining the forward location of the galley.

Today's high volume boats provide builders with much more space for machinery, equipment and fittings. In Northele, the slightly offset but still virtually centre-line propellor shaft exits the hull close alongside the rudder stock to a propeller in clear water above the rudderToday's high volume boats provide builders with much more space for machinery, equipment and fittings. In Northele, the slightly offset but still virtually centre-line propellor shaft exits the hull close alongside the rudder stock to a propeller in clear water above the rudder. Photo: Robert Bateman

The quality work already done within is seen in this view looking aft, which gives added insight into the challenge of fitting the propeller shaft close beside and above the rudder.The quality work already done within is seen in this view looking aft, which gives added insight into the challenge of fitting the propeller shaft close beside and above the rudder. Photo: Robert Bateman

As a preliminary, the boat had been completely stripped of paint when she arrived in the Castlepoint shed, and most thought she looked reasonably okay, particularly as she has had previous restorations, and her underwater hull planking had been replaced with top quality Burmese teak. But some picking at the topsides with their mahogany planking soon became excavation work which revealed some very badly corroded fastenings which, in the worst cases, had been hidden away under graving pieces. So all the topside planking had to come off and it has been replaced with double-skin iroko. This is not a job that gets completed in a month or two, but has the bonus of adding to Northele's strength.

The interior looking forward – the key structures in the bilge and beside the garboards have all been renewed or re-galvanisedThe interior looking forward – the key structures in the bilge and beside the garboards have all been renewed or re-galvanised. Photo: Robert Bateman

Severely corroded fastenings were found hidden behind shiny exterior -  the sourcing of authentic replacements has been a specialist jobSeverely corroded fastenings were found hidden behind shiny exterior - the sourcing of authentic replacements has been a specialist job. Photo: Richard Gibson

They also had to renew the complete breastplate or stem, running right down to the garboard area, and this was constructed in laminated iroko. All metal strengthening frames attached on to wooden frames were removed and re-galvanized, while all-new laminated iroko frames were fitted where necessary, and any necessary all-new ribs too.

The deck beams forward and aft were all renewed with laminated iroko, while any all-metal strengthening plates to deck and hull were replaced with Marine Grade 316 Stainless Steel. A new sub-deck of top grade marine ply, epoxied both sides, will be finished new Burmese teak classic laid deck.

The first stages of replacing the deck forward gave a real sense of progress being madeThe first stages of replacing the deck forward gave a real sense of progress being made……. Photo: Robert Bateman

the view on deck looking aft shows how much has been done, it also indicates the amount still to be done in a job of this quality…….but while the view on deck looking aft shows how much has been done, it also indicates the amount still to be done in a job of this quality. Photo: Robert Bateman

At the hidden heart of things, all major fastenings made of bronze had to be replaced through specialist suppliers, while the customized long copper nails were sourced through a manufacturer in France, apparently, the only foundry left in Europe doing this kind of one-off item.

Above the hull, the re-usability of the classic wooden mast had already been a matter of debate when the unusually long old spar made the decision for them by breaking at a scarf while being lowered to the hard after lifting out, so a completely new mast is on its way from Collars in the heart of England. Collars started in business in 1932 making lightweight oars for rowing sculls, which is something they still do, but they've long since branched out to become the go-to people for classic wooden spars.

Dick Gibson showing how the over-worn topside planking has been replaced by double-skin irokoDick Gibson showing how the over-worn topside planking has been replaced by double-skin iroko. Photo: Robert Bateman

A classic like Northele looks best when the tack of her genoa goes as near to the deck as possible, so the electric roller-furler for the genoa is fitted beneath the deck in the stemhead, where they've just about found the space. But further on down the stem internally, there just isn't room to fit a bow thruster which would be in keeping with the style of the boat.

So handling in confined spaces under power will be something of a sport in itself, for in the style of her era, Northele has a propeller which operates in clear water, as its shaft exits the hull close above the rudder and even closer beside the rudder stock. It means that things are rather crowded down aft there, immediately astern of the auxiliary engine. And it also means there's none of that direct prop thrust on the rudder for confined-space manoeuvrability which modern boat-owners take for granted. But as Northele's owners are going to keep her on the mooring where they first fell in love with the boat, the dignified slow-turning progress of a stately yacht under what is emphatically just auxiliary power will be their mode of progress back to the home berth, where a long-handled pickup buoy will make things easier at the end of the day.

The new plans by Rob Jacob showing how the deck layout will retain the character of the original boat while providing greater ease of handling. Note how the under-deck location of the genoa roller furler facilitates a stylish deck-sweeping sail at the tackThe new plans by Rob Jacob showing how the deck layout will retain the character of the original boat while providing greater ease of handling. Note how the under-deck location of the genoa roller furler facilitates a stylish deck-sweeping sail at the tack.

Even with the latest CAD equipment, there's still nothing to beat an on-site meeting – Rob Jacob and Alan Curran discussing solutionsEven with the latest CAD equipment, there's still nothing to beat an on-site meeting – Rob Jacob and Alan Curran discussing solutions. Photo: Dick Gibson

You'd be hard put to say exactly what the word is to describe the process which Northele is undergoing. And for peace of mind, you'd be well advised not to get into a discussion with any dyed-in-the-wool classic yacht aficionado and expert on the topic, for friendships have been sundered over it.

Obviously, it's not a Re-build. Yet "Restoration" doesn't seem quite adequate. Perhaps Re-generation might do, for the work in progress has not only seen the resurfacing of classic Crosshaven and Kinsale skills, but it has productively brought together longtime shipmates who have sailed many a sea together and know how boats should work, and it has also brought together workmates who were involved in the building of such legends as Golden Apple, Irish Mist and Moonduster, brought together many years later in a shared project which has an almost sacred quality to it.

And at the heart of it is this one masterpiece by Sandy Balfour. Anthony O'Leary is one of the most thoughtful of sailors, and it was fascinating to hear him compare helming his last frontline racer, the red Antix, with sailing Northele. "With Antix, if you weren't right on the edge with everything humming, then you weren't really at the races at all. But with Northele, you just go with her. She may be a powerful boat, but it all seems so sweet and gentle, and she's been there before."

the timeless elegance and proper engineering quality of the classic turn of the bilges in the Sandy Balfour-designed Northele at Crosshaven Many miles sailed, many more to sail……the timeless elegance and proper engineering quality of the classic turn of the bilges in the Sandy Balfour-designed Northele at Crosshaven. Photo: Robert Bateman

Published in Boatyards
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If you were putting together a pub quiz about classic yachts, “Who was Sandy Balfour?” would be a very handy question to get the elementary section going writes W M Nixon.

Dyed-in-the-wool classics aficionados would roll their eyes in amusement at being asked something to which surely everyone knows the answer, contemptuously regarding it as an ignorant query about someone who, while not prolific, was an important creator of significant yachts with their own signature style.

But for those whose knowledge of the great classic designers is limited to the headline figures such as Watson, Fife, Herreshoff, Nicholson, Mylne, Reimers, Anker, Stephens and Rhodes, A K “Sandy” Balfour is probably off the screen.

Yet those who do have classic yachts from Balfour’s design board develop a very special fondness for their pride-and-joy. And this season, top Crosshaven racing campaigner Anthony O’Leary has become one of them with the acquisition of the 50ft Northele, a Balfour design of 1949 vintage.

She has been around Cork Harbour for some years now, but it was no secret, when she was put on the market, that a long winter of TLC in a skilled yard would in time be required to restore her complete and glorious classic potential. That particular project is going to be undertaken this winter in Castle Point Boatyard. But for now, Northele sits elegantly in style in full commission in Crosshaven, dressed overall in honour of Volvo Cork Week while her owner goes at it hammer and tongs in the 1720 racing.

northele sailing2New owner Anthony O’Leary finds Northele is the kind of boat that restores your joy in sailing. Photo: Robert Bateman

So who was Sandy Balfour? Born in Glasgow, after a boat-building apprenticeship with Harland & Wolff’s Scottish subsidiary, his latent design talent was able to manifest itself by working with designer David Boyd at Roberston’s Yard at Sandbank on the Clyde. Boyd may later have been associated with the unsuccessful America’s Cup 12 Metre Sceptre, but when Balfour was with him, his boats for the International 6 Metre Class were very highly regarded

Yet by that time the mighty Scottish yacht design and building industry – at its height around the turn of the Century – was in marked decline, and in 1947 Balfour headed south to take up the job as manager and in-house yacht designer at Berthon Boat Company in Lymington in Hampshire. The yacht design profession – particularly in the depressed post-World War II era - was a precarious career for a sole trader, so a permanent job as yard manager, in tandem with whatever design challenges came along, provided a reasonably secure position.

But the Berthon Boat Company were noted for their possessiveness towards any yacht designs which their employees produced, and when the new 50ft Northele was launched in 1949, her design was clearly registered in Lloyds as being by “Builders”. The name of A K Balfour did not appear at all, but he was undoubtedly the designer of each and every aspect of the handsome new yacht.

northele sailing3The sensibly wide and only very slightly cambered side decks (above and below) are a positive user-friendly feature of Northele’s design. Photos: Robert Bateman

northele sailing4

Everything about her was interesting, for not only did she reveal the designer’s classic style, but the experienced commissioning owner was Ronald R Burton who lived on the River Hamble - also in the Solent area, but at some distance from Lymington.

His previous boat had been the Sparkman & Stephens-designed International 8 Metre Iskareen, built in Sweden in 1939. But after World War II, the International 8 Metre Class, which had been a feature of the Solent in the 1930s, had melted away. So for a more suitable boat for the times, Burton decided to go to a place which wasn’t his home port despite the local proliferation of boatyards and designers on the Hamble, and get a boat from the new man just down from Scotland and working in Lymington.

The result was a fine yacht for which Berthon Boat Company were more than happy to claim all the credit, particularly as it was their careful saving of good timber which enabled Northele to be built at a time of post-war shortages, when quality seasoned timber was very scarce. In fact, in order to guarantee quality of construction, Northele was built to the detailed specification of the International 10 Metre Class. A proper racing 10 Metre would be approaching 60ft LOA, so when you build a cruiser-racer of 50 feet to the same spec, you get real strength and quality.

northele sailing5Even in a fleet of newer boats, Northele soon shows ahead of the pack. Photo: Robert Bateman

Sandy Balfour designed some other notable craft while he was with Berthon’s, but it was a busy yard in all areas and much of his energy was taken up with the day-to-day work this involved, while he was also an accredited Lloyds Surveyor. You sense a frustrated design talent. But a move to the Norfolk Broads to take over management of the J.Loynes & Son boatyard at Wroxham in the late 1950s was scarcely a step in the right direction, yet deep in the heart of Norfolk, and far from his native Scotland, there came an unexpected breakthrough.

In 1958, the Clyde Cruising Club, in association with the Glasgow Herald newspaper, launched a competition for an able sailing cruiser to cost not more than £1,000, a boat around 28ft which could comfortably take four people cruising at reasonable speeds and better off Scotland’s West Coast and through the Hebrides.

In the end, two transom-sterned designs – one by Sandy Balfour and the other by leading Burnham-on-Crouch-based independent designer Alan Buchanan – were assessed as being more or less equal on merit. But it was reckoned that Balfour’s Honeybee design would have difficulty staying within budget, so the result was Buchanan first, Balfour second.

Yet very few boats were to be built to the Buchanan design, but the Honeybee took off, with several builders producing many, the most prolific being a German company. And with each boat, A K Balfour was the properly accredited designer.

The Honeybee’s success makes you wonder how many other yachts of all sizes Sandy Balfour might have created, had circumstances been different. So as you cast an eye over the elegant and highly individual Northele sitting so gracefully in Crosshaven, remember that she is doubly precious – she is one of the few creations of a designer of a great but largely unfulfilled talent.

honeybee sailing6The Sandy Balfour-designed Honeybee Ragdoll on her way to a class victory in the Panerai British Classics Regatta. This successful design of 1958 proved to be particularly popular in Germany. Photo Fiona Brown

Published in Historic Boats
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Royal Irish Yacht Club - Frequently Asked Questions

The Royal Irish Yacht Club is situated in a central location in Dun Laoghaire Harbour with excellent access and visiting sailors can be sure of a special welcome. The clubhouse is located in the prime middle ground of the harbour in front of the town marina and it is Dun Laoghaire's oldest yacht club. 

What's a brief history of the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

The yacht club was founded in 1831, with the Marquess of Anglesey, who commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo being its first Commodore. 

John Skipton Mulvany designed the clubhouse, which still retains a number of original architectural features since being opened in 1851.

It was granted an ensign by the Admiralty of a white ensign with the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Ireland beneath the Union Jack in canton.

Many prominent names feature among the past members of the Club. The first Duke of Wellington was elected in 1833, followed by other illustrious men including the eccentric Admiral Sir Charles Napier, Sir Dominic Corrigan the distinguished physician, Sir Thomas Lipton, novelist, George A. Birmingham, yachtsman and author, Conor O'Brien, and famous naval historian and author, Patrick O Brian. 

In the club's constitution, it was unique among yacht clubs in that it required yacht owners to provide the club's commodore with information about the coast and any deep-sea fisheries they encountered on all of their voyages.

In 1846, the club was granted permission to use the Royal prefix by Queen Victoria. The club built a new clubhouse in 1851. Despite the Republic of Ireland breaking away from the United Kingdom, the Royal Irish Yacht Club elected to retain its Royal title.

In 1848, a yachting trophy called "Her Majesty's Plate" was established by Queen Victoria to be contested at Kingstown where the Royal Irish Yacht Club is based. The Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland at the time, George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon suggested it should be contested by the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the Royal St. George Yacht Club in an annual regatta, a suggestion that was approved by both clubs with the Royal St. George hosting the first competitive regatta.

The RIYC celebrated its 185th Anniversary in 2016 with the staging of several special events in addition to being well represented afloat, both nationally and internationally. It was the year the club was also awarded Irish Yacht Club of the Year as Afloat's W M Nixon details here.

The building is now a listed structure and retains to this day all its original architectural features combined with state of the art facilities for sailors both ashore and afloat.

What is the Royal Irish Yacht Club's emblem?

The Club's emblem shows a harp with the figure of Nice, the Greek winged goddess of victory, surmounted by a crown. This emblem has remained unchanged since the foundation of the Club; a symbol of continuity and respect for the history and tradition of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

What is the Royal Irish Yacht Club's ensign?

The RIYC's original white ensign was granted by Royal Warrant in 1831. Though the Royal Irish Yacht Club later changed the ensign to remove the St George's Cross and replace the Union Jack with the tricolour of the Republic of Ireland, the original ensign may still be used by British members of the Royal Irish Yacht Club

Who is the Commodore of the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

The current Commodore is Joe Costello and the Vice-Commodore is Pat Shannon.

The RIYC Flag Officers are: 

Who is the Chief Executive of the Royal Irish Yacht Club? 

Padraig McCarthy is the RIYC CEO.  Tel  01 280 9452 extn 7 email: [email protected]

What reciprocal club arrangements does the Royal Irish Yacht Club have?  

As one of Ireland's leading club's, the Royal Irish Yacht Club has significant reciprocal arrangements with yacht clubs across Ireland and the UK, Europe, USA and Canada and the rest of the World. If you are visiting from another Club, please have with a letter of introduction from your Club or introduce yourself to the Club Secretary or to a member of management staff, who will show you the Club's facilities.

What car parking does the Royal Irish Yacht Club have at its Dun Laoghaire clubhouse?

The RIYC has car parking outside of its clubhouse for the use of its members. Paid public car parking is available next door to the club at the marina car park. There is also paid parking on offer within the harbour area at the Coatl Harbour (a 5-minute walk) and at an underground car park adjacent to the Royal St. George Yacht Club (a 3-minute walk). Look for parking signs. Clamping is in operation in the harbour area.

What facilities does the Royal Irish Yacht Clubhouse offer? 

The Royal Irish Yacht Club offers a relaxed, warm and welcoming atmosphere in one of the best situated and appointed clubhouses in these islands. Its prestige in yachting circles is high and its annual regatta remains one of the most attractive events in the sailing calendar. It offers both casual and formal dining with an extensive wine list and full bar facilities. The Club caters for parties, informal events, educational seminars, themed dinners and all occasions. The RIYC has a number of venues within the Club each of which provides a different ambience to match particular needs.

What are the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Boathouse facilities?

The RIYC boathouse team run the launch service to the club's swinging moorings, provide lifting for dry-sailed boats, lift and scrub boats, as well as maintaining the fabric of the deck, pontoon infrastructure, and swinging moorings. They also maintain the club crane, the only such mobile crane of the Dun Laoghaire Yacht Clubs.

What facilities are offered for junior sailing at the Royal Irish Yacht Club?

One of the missions of the Royal Irish Yacht Club is to promote sailing as a passion for life by encouraging children and young adults to learn how to sail through its summer courses and class-specific training throughout the year. 

RIYC has an active junior section. Its summer sailing courses are very popular and the club regularly has over 50 children attending courses in any week. The aim is for those children to develop lifelong friendships through sailing with other children in the club, and across the other clubs in the bay.
 
Many RIYC children go on to compete for the club at regional and national championships and some have gone on to represent Ireland at international competitions and the Olympic Regatta itself.
 
In supporting its young sailors and the wider sailing community, the RIYC regularly hosts junior sailing events including national and regional championships in classes such as the Optmist, Feva and 29er.
 
Competition is not everything though and as the club website states:  "Many of our junior sailors have gone on the become sailing instructors and enjoy teaching both in Ireland and abroad.  Ultimately, we take most pleasure from the number of junior sailors who become adult sailors and enjoy a lifetime of sailing with the club". 

At A Glance – Royal Irish Yacht Regatta 2020 Dates

RIYC Regatta 2020: Saturday 27 June

RIYC Junior Regatta 2020: Wednesday 29 July

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