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Afloat.ie, Ireland's maritime website, has reached a new milestone in 2023, breaking the two million reader mark for the first time.

In one of a number of key metrics for Afloat.ie, the website's visitor numbers for the 12 months to date were 2,100,756, a rise of some 14%, giving a total of 3,123,633 page views. 

Afloat's 2023 unique visitor count Source: Clicky AnalyticsAfloat's 2023 unique visitor count Source: Clicky Analytics

The success of Afloat.ie can be attributed to its combination of opinion, hard news, and features, which has made it a key player in the national and international conversation on sailing, boating, and maritime affairs.

As regular readers know, the website's mission is to provide Irish sailing and boating clubs, classes, and the wider boating and maritime community with a comprehensive, reliable, and independent platform. In the age of AI, this matters more than ever. Verifiable, contextualised information is a vital resource, and the growing traffic figures show Afloat's content resonates with readers.

Despite the challenging climate for online media, Afloat.ie has not resorted to putting its content behind a paywall, thanks to the support of its readers. The website's marine journalism remains open to the widest possible audience, which is one of the keys to its growth.

Afloat.ie's success - over sixty years - would not have been possible without the passion and contributions of its full-time marine journalists, web developers, advertisers, and supporters dedicated to promoting Irish sailing and boating.

Afloat

As we enter the new year, Afloat aims to continue informing and entertaining its engaged boating audience. 

All of us at Afloat wish you the best for 2024, and we hope you will continue your valued support.

Merry Christmas

Published in News Update
Tagged under

If success has many fathers, while failure is an orphan, then Afloat.ie must be one of the most successful media outlets in Ireland. For in recent years, several people have proudly claimed to have been the founder of what is now a unique multi-purpose highly-illustrated maritime stream of consciousness and 24/7 nautical news coverage.

Yet, in a classic case of the experiences of the shoemaker’s children, we missed the news of Afloat’s own Golden Jubilee in March 2022. And also in 2022, we missed the 60th Anniversary of the first publication of the originating publication, Irish Yachting, in July/August 1962.

We can only plead that an outfit like Afloat.ie should be writing and analysing the story. It should not be the story. Nor indeed should Afloat.ie’s writers, despite the breaking this week of a story which has made such a situation unavoidable

SAILING’S SUCCESSFUL EMERGENCE FROM COVID THE BIG STORY

But further to all that, the big story in 2022 was the emergence from Covid of sailing in Ireland in all its glorious forms. Giving such a re-birth the prominence, analysis and celebration it deserved made routine Golden Jubilees of secondary importance, but maybe we can put them in further context now.

Dublin Bay sailing as it used to be popularly perceived – Richard Breeches Beechey’s portrayal of a Royal St George YC Regatta in the 1870s. Dublin Bay sailing as it used to be popularly perceived – Richard Breeches Beechey’s portrayal of a Royal St George YC Regatta in the 1870s

For the reality is that the provision of publicity for sailing in Ireland has often seemed to bring controversy in its wake, with the style being set by the Navigatio about the ocean voyages of St Brendan the Navigator. This was finally first published in the 12th Century, so as the voyages had taken place several centuries earlier, their precise veracity has naturally been subsequently queried. But as other respected documents and archaeological research have confirmed that voyaging Irish monks did indeed reach many remote places far beyond the horizon, the general theme and the Brendan story have been broadly accepted by most.

DID BRENDAN THE NAVIGATOR REALLY EXIST?

But it was not accepted by that singular maritime enthusiast, the late Dr John de Courcy Ireland. After extensive research in odd places in his own eccentric style, he concluded that no such person as St Brendan had ever existed. This was typical of Dr John. While his heart may have been in the right place as regards the maritime development of Ireland, his personal prejudices and weirder notions tended to get in the way of the big picture.

Thus when various modest proposals were being made to improve the waterfront infrastructure of his beloved Dun Laoghaire harbour, he vehemently opposed every one, and when asked how the harbour could best be used, he reverted to the world of his Edwardian childhood by asserting that it would be wonderful if Dun Laoghaire could be amply supplied with a fleet of rowing dinghies for hire, “so that the people could go afloat and savour the maritime experience for themselves”.

The Brendan currach departing from Kerry in 1976 to re-enact a voyage which engendered historical debate.The Brendan currach departing from Kerry in 1976 to re-enact a voyage which engendered historical debate

Then Tim Severin’s re-enactment of the Brendan voyage came along in 1976 to give Dr John’s view some prominence. But even when I suggested that we might agree that while there maybe was no such person as St Brendan, perhaps we could also agree that some remarkable voyages were made by someone of the same name, he was having none of it. Then he reverted to writing further narrow-vision histories of Dun Laoghaire, interspersed with gloom-inducing stories about the many maritime wrecks of Ireland, which seemed to me a very odd way to encourage a sea-minded outlook among the plain people of Ireland.

Fortunately, the development of recreational sailing in Ireland was not seen by him as being within his remit, so such things as the fleet of pleasure sailing boats maintained by Hugh Maguire on Lough Erne in the 16th century, and the well-recorded experiments against local sailing boats in Dublin Bay by Sir William Petty’s pioneering catamaran Simon & Jude in the 17th Century, went uncontested by the blessed Dr de Courcy Ireland.

CORK LEADS THE WAY

By the 18th Century, the activities of the pioneering Water Club of the Harbour of Cork were receiving so much attention in words and pictures that Ireland was something of a pace-setter in sailing journalism, a trend that continued in the 19th Century when the sailing in Cork Harbour and the new Kingstown Harbour were both taking places conveniently close to cities where several newspapers were being published.

Regular sailing reports were par for the course, even if they did tend to focus on the activities of “The Quality” assembled to watch the regattas from the shore rather than the often cut-throat sport of those afloat, where professional crews were often ruthless in pursuit of large money prizes.

However, in terms of publication in significant sailing-specific periodicals, coverage was dependent on local writing talent’s connections to London publications, with the occasional links to New York and Paris. But Kingstown/Dun Laoghaire in particular, seems to have been almost over-supplied in aspiring nautical journos, and many Irish stories appeared regularly in Hunt’s Yachting Magazine, and then in the ultimately well-established Yachtsman and the rather upstart Yachting World, founded in 1894.

The keen Kingstown correspondent for the new Yachting World in 1894 ensured publicity for Dublin Bay sailing.The keen Kingstown correspondent for the new Yachting World in 1894 ensured publicity for Dublin Bay sailing

In Cork, meanwhile, the great Harry Donegan was accustomed to dispose of his day’s work as a leading solicitor with maximum efficiency in order to devote his time to recording and promoting sailing, but the Great War and the subsequent turmoil within Ireland put everything on hold until 1929 and the foundation of the Irish Cruising Club. Its annual journal, beautifully printed from 1931 onwards by Colm O Lochlainn of the Three Candles Press, was the first regularly-published Irish sailing publication.

Harry Donegan of Cork led the way in providing sensible publicity for sailing in IrelandHarry Donegan of Cork led the way in providing sensible publicity for sailing in Ireland

DRAGON GOLD CUP WINNER BRINGS OUT “THE IRISH YACHTSMAN”

Then in the revival spirit which emerged after World War II, there was a rush to print. Errol McNally in Dublin aspired to publish a sailing magazine, but made do with a one-off Annual in 1946. Yet in the north, Dragon Gold Cup 1947 winner Eric Strain was less easily discouraged, and having had articles published in London sailing magazines, he managed to bring out two or three editions of a journal called The Irish Yachtsman.

But it too proved a disappointment, as also did his place of fourth for Britain in the Dragons in the 1948 Olympics. For although he had won the Gold Cup in style with the basic Johannsen-built Scandinavian Dragon Ceres, a boat which he dearly loved, for the Olympics, the British Olympic Committee insisted he race a high-quality British-built boat. So although the new Ceres II was a masterpiece of classic yacht construction, she was overweight and no match for most Dragons and particularly not Ceres I, yet it was Ceres II he was obliged to race to Olympic frustration.

In time, Eric Strain was to emigrate to Australia and find fulfilment with the Sydney Harbour Dragon class to such an extent that he was reserve helm to local star Gordon Ingate aboard Frank Packer’s America’s Cup challenging 12 Metre.

JIMMY MOONEY MAKES HIS MARK

Meanwhile, back in Ireland, the encouragement of separate national participation in the 1948 Olympics, thanks to the ad hoc formation of a body called the Irish Yachting Federation, led to a growing sense of national sailing identity, considerably helped by the fact that its most vocal proponent, Jimmy Mooney, had won the new and hugely prestigious Edinburgh Cup in the International Dragons in 1953 by sailing north from Dublin Bay in Ashaka, winning the cup in the racing at Cultra in Belfast Lough, and sailing home again to Dun Laoghaire with this very symbolic trophy under the foredeck, wrapped in a couple of Aran jerseys.

Jimmy Mooney at the helm of the Dragon Class Ashaka. His victory in the 1953 Edinburgh Cup did much to foster a sense of Irish sailing identity.Jimmy Mooney at the helm of the Dragon Class Ashaka. His victory in the 1953 Edinburgh Cup did much to foster a sense of Irish sailing identity

We could write thousands of words on Jimmy Mooney – he was a wonder but taken from among us at far too young an age. Thus while changes were taking place with the Irish Dinghy Racing Association evolving into the Irish Yachting Association, Jimmy Mooney was ploughing his own furrow with the determination that there should be a national sailing magazine, and in the summer of 1962, it appeared as Irish Yachting, with most of the heavy lifting done by Jimmy himself despite the assistance of a nationwide committee to which your columnist and Mike Balmforth contributed from the north.

First edition of 1962, thanks to Jimmy Mooney. On the cover is Paul Campbell’s RNSA 24 Minx of Malham, originally built for the legendary Captain John Illingworth.First edition of 1962, thanks to Jimmy Mooney. On the cover is Paul Campbell’s RNSA 24 Minx of Malham, originally built for the legendary Captain John Illingworth.

Thus in talking about the origins of Afloat.ie, we are talking about standing on the shoulders of the giant that was Jimmy Mooney at his most energetic in 1962 - 61 years ago. Sadly, his terminal illness was soon to sap his strength, and Irish Yachting became Irish Yachting & Motorboating under this writer’s full-time editorship in 1970, and in March 1972, we made it Ireland Afloat – not a particularly inspiring name, but it was the only neutral title I could come up with when constantly badgered by all sorts of boat interests which wished to feel included.

AFLOAT BECOMES CENTRAL TO SAILING IN IRELAND

Over time, the name acquired its own strength through the simple fact of continuing to exist, despite the exigencies of publishing through periods of often rapidly fluctuating national economic health. And in some of those upheavals, we acquired new publishers, some of whom proclaimed themselves as the founders of Afloat.

Erskine & Molly Childers’ Asgard featuring on the Afloat cover during her time as Ireland’s Sail Training vessel The discussion which resulted in the building of the brigantine Asgard II was soon to begin in the magazine.Erskine & Molly Childers’ Asgard featuring on the Afloat cover during her time as Ireland’s Sail Training vessel The discussion which resulted in the building of the brigantine Asgard II was soon to begin in the magazine.

It was something which was right up there with doubting the veracity of the 1969 Moon landing, but it didn’t bother me as I knew they’d move on in due course before long until, in the 1990s, David O’Brien took over the reins in a long-lasting and continuing setup. If anything, it’s strengthened by the fact that this publisher is so determined to keep himself out of the limelight – despite becoming a World Fireball Champion in 1995 and a 2000 Olympian – that from time to time, I have to assure fellow sailors that he really does exist.

IN FROM THE START WITH “CLUB OF THE YEAR” AND “SAILOR OF THE YEAR”

Meanwhile, with Afloat going on to become Afloat.ie in 1993, with print gradually receding in the face of the rapidly developing, always evolving and occasionally award-winning website, we were able to give extra coverage to associated awards with which we had been directly involved from the start, such as the “Club of the Year” contest which was inaugurated in 1979, and the “Sailor of the Month” and “Sailor of the Year” acclamations which burst on the scene in 1996.

Sailing is changing, and yet the very healthy basics of sailing - and sailing in Ireland in particular - remain the same. And Afloat.ie continues in strength, right at the heart of recording and encouraging our great and multi-faceted sport in Ireland and worldwide.

Published in W M Nixon
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We wish our followers in Ireland and worldwide a very Happy Christmas, a prosperous New Year, and great sailing and boating in 2023.

Whether inshore or offshore, on sea, river, lake or canal, and whether local, regional, national or international, we look forward to covering your many enthusiastic specialities in 2023 and thank you for your high level of interest and warm support during 2022.

Nollaig shona daoibh go léir.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

Dear Reader,

It was another busy year at Afloat.ie in 2022, and we want to express our thanks for your continued support.

Because of your generous backing and our other supporters, Afloat.ie reached 1.9m unique readers last year.

Our website dedicated to Irish sailing, boating and maritime issues reached this high watermark by informing and entertaining our engaged boating audience, something we aim to repeat as we head into 2023.

All of this is a testament to our tight-knit and active community of readers and Afloat. ie's combination of opinion, hard news and features put it at the very heart of the national — and increasingly international — conversation on sailing, boating and maritime affairs.

It's proof that our mission — to provide Irish sailing and boating clubs, classes and the wider maritime community with a comprehensive, reliable and independent platform promoting our great sport to the broad and connected audience only the internet provides — is genuinely working.

As we've said before, this success would not be possible without our full–time marine journalists, web developers, and, indeed, our advertisers and supporters dedicated to promoting Irish sailing and boating. Progress, like we have achieved to date, would not have been achievable without it.

As previously acknowledged, it remains a challenging climate for online media, particularly when it comes to monetisation.

Thanks to your support, however, we have not resorted to putting our content behind a paywall like other news websites — because we want to keep our marine journalism open to the widest possible audience, which we believe is one of the keys to our growth. The figures bear this out.

All of us at Afloat wish you the best for 2023, and we hope you will continue your valued support in the new year to come.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

Dear Reader,

Because of your and our other supporters' generous backing, Afloat.ie has had another record year for visitors, with a significant 13% increase on 2020 figures.

Our website dedicated to Irish sailing, boating and maritime issues reached another high watermark, informing and entertaining a larger boating audience than ever before, and is now set to repeat that as we head into 2022.

The latest statistics show unique visitors to the site are over 1.9 million — an unprecedented number in what remains a challenging climate for online media.

Afloat remains by far the most popular boating website with Irish readers.

The 2021 statistics for Afloat readership show unique 'visitors' to the site (top) and (above) the number of 'actions' (or 'hits') of those visitors.The 2021 statistics for Afloat readership show unique 'visitors' to the site (top) and (above) the number of 'actions' (or 'hits') of those visitors.

Ironically, despite the challenges in 2020 and 2021 with event cancellations due to COVID, interest in our boating and marine stories increased, which is reflected in many sections of the site. Afloat's popular online format has a strong returning readership, with nearly half of daily visits being repeat readers, and with strong social media engagement across our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.

Based on analytics, 75% of our traffic is from Ireland, with an excellent geographic spread across the Irish Sea and into the west coast of Britain.

Most encouragingly, nearly two-thirds (65+%) of Afloat.ie traffic now comes from mobile devices — an essential return on investment in the mobile site by our journalist and developer team.

What's more, our website bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page) of 22% is well below the industry average of 40% to 60%, according to HubSpot.Together, those numbers make a strong argument for Afloat.ie growing as the go-to resource for an engaged audience with sailing, boating and marine interests.

Our high authority in the boating market is reflected, too, in Google and other search engines indexing of our stories, giving them valuable reach beyond our core readership.

All of this is a testament not only to our tight-knit and active community of readers, but also Afloat.ie's combination of opinion, hard news and features, which puts it at the very heart of the national — and increasingly international — conversation on sailing, boating and maritime affairs.

This year's growth is the sixth consecutive year of increase since the site broke the one million readers marked in 2015.

It's proof positive that our mission — to provide Irish sailing and boating clubs, classes and the wider maritime community with a comprehensive, reliable and independent platform promoting our great sport to the wide and connected audience only the internet provides — is genuinely working.

This success, as we've said before, would not be possible without our full–time marine journalists and web developers, and indeed our advertisers and supporters who are dedicated to promoting Irish sailing and boating. Progress, as we have achieved to date, would not have been achievable without it.

Thanks to your support, however, we have not resorted to putting our content behind a paywall like other news websites — because we want to keep our marine journalism open to the widest possible audience, which we believe is one of the keys to our growth. The figures bear this out.

Wishing you the best for 2022

Stay safe

The Afloat team

Published in News Update
Tagged under

The Marine Institute has announced funding of €0.24 million for the first two Eoin Sweeney PhD Scholarships to run over the next four years.

This Scholarship Programme has been established by the Marine Institute and Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN) in memory of Eoin Sweeney (1947-2017), who made a significant contribution to developing Irish marine industry, particularly the ocean energy sector, including the establishment of test-bed sites off the west coast of Ireland that provides sea-state testing opportunities for researchers and technology developers.

This Scholarship Programme provides a unique training opportunity for the students using the state-of-the-art scientific facilities at the Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN) in Gran Canaria, Spain.

Dr José Joaquín Hernández-Brito, CEO said, “PLOCAN are delighted to collaborate with colleagues in Ireland on this Scholarship Programme. We are looking forward to hosting the students in due course, and wish to strengthen our existing research networks between Spain and Ireland together with exploring opportunities for future co-operation in ocean observation.”

The students will also benefit from access to the Marine Institute historical datasets, equipment and infrastructures including access to the national marine research vessels such as the new RV Tom Crean.

Congratulating the award recipients, Mick Gillooly, Director of Ocean Climate and Information Services in the Marine Institute said, “This is an exciting collaboration between the two Universities, PLOCAN and the Marine Institute that enables international collaboration and testing of novel technology, gliders and data buoys, to better understand our ocean ecosystems through long-term observations. Forecasting Ocean and Climate Change is a strategic focus area in the Marine Institute’s Strategic Plan and these scholarships will provide research data from a variety of locations and sea conditions, which will contribute to scientific advice to stakeholders backed up by high-quality peer-reviewed research.”

The awards funded are as follows:

PhD Project Title

Lead Organisation

Grant-Aid Funding Awarded  (for 4 years)             

Application of AUVs to studies on Diel cycles of ocean plankton and biogeochemistry in the Northeast Atlantic

NUI Galway

€120,000           

Wave-powered data buoy

Maynooth University

€120,000  


The students are expected to have commenced by July 2021, with their first visit to PLOCAN expected to take place in 2022 (dependent on government restrictions).

Funding for the Eoin Sweeney Scholarship Programme is provided by the Marine Institute and the Irish Government, funded under the Marine Research Programme. PLOCAN will provide support and host the scholars for two to three months per annum.

Published in Marine Science

Dear Reader,

At the end of another busy year at Afloat.ie in 2020, we want to express our thanks for your continued support.

Because of the generous backing from you and our other supporters, Afloat.ie is looking at another record year for visitors, with a significant 14% increase on 2019 figures.

Our website dedicated to Irish sailing, boating and maritime issues reached another high watermark, informing and entertaining a larger boating audience than ever before, and is now set to repeat that as we head into 2021.

The latest statistics show unique visitors to the site are over 1.6 million by year-end — a phenomenal number in what remains a challenging climate for online media.

2020 Stats for Afloat readershipsThe 2020 Statistics for Afloat readership showing unique 'visitors' to the site (top) and (above) the number of 'actions' or 'hits' of those visitors

Ironically, despite the challenges in 2020 with event cancellations due to COVID, interest in our boating and marine stories increased and this is reflected in many sections of the site. Afloat’s popular online format has a strong returning readership, with nearly half of daily visits being repeat readers, and with strong social media engagement.

Based on site analytics, 75% of our traffic is from Ireland, with a good geographic spread across the Irish Sea and into the west coast of Britain.

Most encouragingly, nearly two-thirds (65+%) of Afloat.ie traffic now comes from mobile devices — an important return on investment in the mobile site by our journalist and developer team.

What’s more, our website’s bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page) of 22% is well below the industry average of 40% to 60%, according to HubSpot.Together, those numbers make a strong argument for Afloat.ie growing as a go-to resource for an engaged audience with sailing, boating and marine interests.

Our high authority in the boating market is reflected, too, in Google and other search engines’ quick indexing of our stories, giving them valuable reach beyond our core readership.

All of this is a testament not only to our tight-knit and active community of readers, but also Afloat.ie’s combination of opinion, hard news and features which puts it at the very heart of the national — and increasingly international — conversation on sailing, boating and maritime affairs.

The growth this year is the fifth consecutive year of increase since the site broke the one million readers mark in 2015.

Last year marked the first time reader numbers broke the 1.5m barrier, and now that figure is climbing even higher. It’s proof positive that our mission — to provide Irish sailing and boating clubs, classes and the wider maritime community with a comprehensive, reliable and independent platform promoting our great sport to the wide and connected audience only the internet provides — is truly working.

This success, as we’ve said before, would not be possible without our full–time marine journalists and web developers, and indeed our advertisers and supporters who are dedicated to promoting Irish sailing and boating. Progress, like we have achieved to date, would not have been achievable without it.

As previously acknowledged, it remains a challenging climate for online media, particularly when it comes to monetisation.

Thanks to your support, however, we have not resorted to putting our content behind a paywall like other news websites — because we want to keep our marine journalism open to the widest possible audience, which we believe is one of the keys to our growth. The figures bear this out.

All of us at Afloat wish you the best for Christmas and 2021, and hope you will continue your valued support in the new year to come.

Stay safe

The Afloat team

Published in News Update
Tagged under

There will be two Afloat newsletters over the Christmas period. One on Friday, December 27th and the other on Friday, January 3rd.

The e-news highlights the latest content from popular sections of our website. Read previous editions here.

The daily enews returns on January 7th. 

Keep an eye out for regular boating updates on Afloat.ie and our social media channels over the festive season.

Sign up for the enews in the right-hand column of Afloat's home page.

Happy Christmas to all our readers.

Published in News Update
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This 64-page full-colour A4 magazine includes a review of 2019 plus all the details for 2020 Afloat and all your latest sailing news in time for Christmas! BUY IT HERE!

Order your copy online now at €8 plus €2.50 shipping fee in Ireland and UK – click HERE to order.

We'll post all orders received daily up til December 23rd! for Christmas delivery!

Published in News Update
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In a survey of competitors at the 2019 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay, 60% of respondents said the Irish boating portal 'Afloat.ie' was their 'go-to' website for Irish sailing & boating news.

Nearly 200 sailors were polled from the 500-boat international regatta fleet that attracts sailors from across Ireland and the UK.

In reply to the single question: 'What's your go-to resource for Irish sailing and boating news?', 117 or 60.31% responded 'Afloat'.

The popular UK magazine site 'Yachts and Yachting' accounted for 30 or 15.46%.

Club or association websites totalled 26 or 13.4%.

Last December, Afloat reported statistics showing unique visitors to the site were heading for 1.3 million per annum.

Afloat’s popular online format has a strong returning readership, with half of daily visits being repeat readers, and with strong social media engagement.

Based on-site analytics, 70% of Afloat web traffic is from Ireland, with a good geographic spread across the Irish Sea and into the west coast of Britain. It is a result that tallies with the weekend survey at Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

Read more on Afloat here.

Published in News Update
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Royal St. George Yacht Club

The Royal St George Yacht Club was founded in Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) Harbour in 1838 by a small number of like-minded individuals who liked to go rowing and sailing together. The club gradually gathered pace and has become, with the passage of time and the unstinting efforts of its Flag Officers, committees and members, a world-class yacht club.

Today, the ‘George’, as it is known by everyone, maybe one of the world’s oldest sailing clubs, but it has a very contemporary friendly outlook that is in touch with the demands of today and offers world-class facilities for all forms of water sports

Royal St. George Yacht Club FAQs

The Royal St George Yacht Club — often abbreviated as RStGYC and affectionately known as ‘the George’ — is one of the world’s oldest sailing clubs, and one of a number that ring Dublin Bay on the East Coast of Ireland.

The Royal St George Yacht Club is based at the harbour of Dun Laoghaire, a suburban coastal town in south Co Dublin around 11km south-east of Dublin city centre and with a population of some 26,000. The Royal St George is one of the four Dun Laoghaire Waterfront Clubs, along with the National Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC).

The Royal St George was founded by members of the Pembroke Rowing Club in 1838 and was originally known as Kingstown Boat Club, as Kingstown was what Dun Laoghaire was named at the time. The club obtained royal patronage in 1845 and became known as Royal Kingstown Yacht Club. After 1847 the club took on its current name.

The George is first and foremost an active yacht club with a strong commitment to and involvement with all aspects of the sport of sailing, whether racing your one design on Dublin Bay, to offshore racing in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, to junior sailing, to cruising and all that can loosely be described as “messing about in boats”.

As of November 2020, the Commodore of the Royal St George Yacht Club is Peter Bowring, with Richard O’Connor as Vice-Commodore. The club has two Rear-Commodores, Mark Hennessy for Sailing and Derek Ryan for Social.

As of November 2020, the Royal St George has around 1,900 members.

The Royal St George’s burgee is a red pennant with a white cross which has a crown at its centre. The club’s ensign has a blue field with the Irish tricolour in its top left corner and a crown towards the bottom right corner.

Yes, the club hosts regular weekly racing for dinghies and keelboats as well as a number of national and international sailing events each season. Major annual events include the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, hosted in conjunction with the three other Dun Laoghaire Waterfront Clubs.

Yes, the Royal St George has a vibrant junior sailing section that organises training and events throughout the year.

Sail training is a core part of what the George does, and training programmes start with the Sea Squirts aged 5 to 8, continuing through its Irish Sailing Youth Training Scheme for ages 8 to 18, with adult sail training a new feature since 2009. The George runs probably the largest and most comprehensive programme each summer with upwards of 500 children participating. This junior focus continues at competitive level, with coaching programmes run for aspiring young racers from Optimist through to Lasers, 420s and Skiffs.

 

The most popular boats raced at the club are one-design keelboats such as the Dragon, Shipman 28, Ruffian, SB20, Squib and J80; dinghy classes including the Laser, RS200 and RS400; junior classes the 420, Optimist and Laser Radial; and heritage wooden boats including the Water Wags, the oldest one-design dinghy class in the world. The club also has a large group of cruising yachts.

The Royal St George is based in a Victorian-style clubhouse that dates from 1843 and adjoins the harbour’s Watering Pier. The clubhouse was conceived as a miniature classical Palladian Villa, a feature which has been faithfully maintained despite a series of extensions, and a 1919 fire that destroyed all but four rooms. Additionally, the club has a substantial forecourt with space for more than 50 boats dry sailing, as well as its entire dinghy fleet. There is also a dry dock, four cranes (limit 12 tonnes) and a dedicated lift=out facility enabling members keep their boats in ready to race condition at all times. The George also has a floating dock for short stays and can supply fuel, power and water to visitors.

Yes, the Royal St George’s clubhouse offers a full bar and catering service for members, visitors and guests. Currently the bar is closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Royal St George boathouse is open daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm during the winter. The office and reception are open Tuesdays to Fridays from 10am to 5pm. The bar is currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Lunch is served on Wednesdays and Fridays from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3pm.

Yes, the Royal St George regularly hosts weddings and family celebrations from birthdays to christenings, and offers a unique and prestigious location to celebrate your day. The club also hosts corporate meetings, sailing workshops and company celebrations with a choice of rooms. From small private meetings to work parties and celebrations hosting up to 150 guests, the club can professionally and successfully manage your corporate requirements. In addition, team building events can utilise its fleet of club boats and highly trained instructors. For enquiries contact Laura Smart at [email protected] or phone 01 280 1811.

The George is delighted to welcome new members. It may look traditional — and is proud of its heritage — but behind the facade is a lively and friendly club, steeped in history but not stuck in it. It is a strongly held belief that new members bring new ideas, new skills and new contacts on both the sailing and social sides.

No — members can avail of the club’s own fleet of watercraft.

There is currently no joining fee for new members of the Royal St George. The introductory ordinary membership subscription fee is €775 annually for the first two years. A full list of membership categories and related annual subscriptions is available.

Membership subscriptions are renewed on an annual basis

Full contact details for the club and its staff can be found at the top of this page

©Afloat 2020

RStGYC SAILING DATES 2024

  • April 13th Lift In
  • May 18th & 19th Cannonball Trophy
  • May 25th & 26th 'George' Invitational Regatta
  • July 6th RSGYC Regatta
  • August 10th & 11th Irish Waszp National Championships
  • August 22- 25th Dragon Irish National Championships / Grand Prix
  • Aug 31st / Sept 1st Elmo Trophy
  • September 6th End of Season Race
  • September 7th & 8th Squib East Coast Championships
  • September 20th - 22nd SB20 National Championships
  • September 22nd Topper Ireland Traveller Event
  • October 12th Lift Out

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