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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI lifeboat came to the assistance of two anglers who were at risk of becoming cut off by the incoming tide today.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 12:10 pm following an initial report from the Irish Coast Guard that two anglers had been cut off by the tide just north of Whiterock.

The inshore lifeboat was launched immediately and made its way to the scene arriving at 12:25 pm. Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard shore unit also attended.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a calm sea, light wind, and good visibility.

On arrival just north of Whiterock, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation and noted that the anglers were at risk of becoming stranded by the incoming tide. The lifeboat crew advised the anglers to relocate, they agreed and were taken onboard and relocated to Killiney beach.

Speaking following the call out, Liam Mullan, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘ Sea conditions were good today, however, it is very easy to be caught off guard, therefore it is important to check the weather forecast and tide times. This is of particular importance for shore anglers in order to reduce the risk of being swept away or cut off by the tide. It is important to remember that if you get into difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Celtic Spirit of Fastnet, a 37–metre (121'5) custom yacht sailed into Dun Laoghaire Harbour this morning the first of a number of much-anticipated superyacht arrivals into Dublin Bay this summer.

Coming to Dun Laoghaire Marina, the sailors' gateway to Dublin city, from the Caribbean after a stop-over at Kinsale, Afloat sources say the gleaming black-hulled yacht will be based in Dublin for the summer.

The impressive yacht is equipped for sailing in High Lattitudes and was built by Fitzroy in New Zealand at their New Plymouth shipyard.

She was delivered to her owner in 2003 and last refitted in 2013. This luxury vessel's sophisticated exterior design and engineering are the work of the Dubois design office. Previously named Moonbird, her luxurious interior was designed by Rhoades Young.

Superyacht visits to Dun Laoghaire Harbour and its marina are becoming more of a feature over the past few seasons as superyacht captains seek different European cruising routes. It has prompted Afloat to suggest Dun Laoghaire Harbour should develop superyacht berthing facilities and go after this international high-end tourism market, it's certainly a lot more of an attractive idea than some previous harbour schemes.

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Dun Laoghaire's heritage harbour has not escaped the vandalism of graffiti 'artists' this summer. Unoccupied cut-stone buildings on the town's West Pier are the latest to be blighted by the spray can.

A number of vacant harbour buildings including those on the West Pier will be part of the upcoming new plan for the harbour as Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council attempts to breathe new life into the victorian structures.

Expert advice on strategic advice and an economic plan for the harbour on Dublin Bay is being sought by the Council.

As Afloat previously reported, a leading maritime figure at Ireland's biggest boating centre has called on the Council to plan for the appropriate development of the harbour as a maritime leisure centre.

The council says graffiti poses a significant problem throughout the Dun Laoghaire area. To report graffiti, contact 01 2054817 or email [email protected]

Although West Cork is home to several clusters of classic boats and the boatyards of the master-craftsmen who build and maintain them, they’re at scattered locations. Thus it can take quite a bit of encouragement and persuasion, plus much pre-planning and some efficient logistics, to get the fleets together for events like the Baltimore Woodenboat Festival and the Glandore Classics Regatta, both of which have of necessity been COVID-19-cancelled, as they inevitably involve an intensely sociable shoreside element.

Yet there is one place in Ireland where sizeable fleets of classic boats exist within convenient proximity to each other, which should make it possible to stage a pop-up classic regatta at very short notice in a format which nevertheless complies - both afloat and ashore - with the pandemic distancing regulations which are in place at whatever time the regatta is staged.

That place is Dun Laoghaire, and these thoughts were provoked by a couple of photos taken yesterday (Tuesday) in Dublin Bay off the harbour mouth in the last of our early summer weather by classic and traditional boat addict Ian Malcolm of Howth.

Ian and his wife Judith seem to have acquired a personal flotilla of classic boats almost through absent-mindedness, their current line-up including at least one Howth 17 - an original 1898 one at that - a 1915-built Dublin Bay Water Wag, a classic 12ft Beetle Cat, and a tiny lugsail dinghy – Primula - of 1892 origin or even earlier, designed and built in the old Howth House boathouse by Herbert Boyd himself.

When you’re marshalling a little fleet like this, or even looking after the support requirements of just one of them, you might at the very least need quite a substantial RIB. But the Malcolms decided that a classic little fast power-cruiser with a bit of accommodation would be more appropriate, so for the past few days they’ve been testing their newly-acquired Seaward 25 Grebe. And in emerging from Dun Laoghaire after a no-contact spin around the harbour there yesterday, Ian took a couple of photos of boats that interested him as they returned to port in the last rays of a sun which we may not see again with real heat for some time.

Ian & Judith Malcolm’s newly-acquired Seaward 25 Grebe on test off The BallyAn ideal Classics Support Vessel – Ian & Judith Malcolm’s newly-acquired Seaward 25 Grebe on test off The Bally. Photo: Tom Ryan

For most Dun Laoghaire sailors these boats – the Colleen Class reproduction Colleen Deas (Dermot Flynn & David Williams), and the restored Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle (David Espey & Chris Craig), are such a familiar sight that they’ll get no more than an admiring glance, though it has to be said that Periwinkle yesterday afternoon was the very essence of the phrase “slipping effortlessly along”.

Yet any newcomer to Dun Laoghaire would immediately be struck by the fact that the Colleen Deas concept dates back to 1896, while Periwinkle dates back to a new One-Design Class idea first put forward by Lord Glenavy in 1934, and eventually brought to reality – after interruption by Word War II – in 1947.

Dublin Bay 24 PeriwinkleThe Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle in Scotsman's Bay at Dun Laoghaire Regatta July 2019 and (inset) slipping effortlessly along Periwinkle enjoying the last of the good weather yesterday (Tuesday). Photo: Ian Malcolm

They’re interesting - they’re very interesting - yet they’re only the tip of the Dun Laoghaire classics iceberg. For most people, the essence of that is the Water Wag Class, founded 1887, and now racing in 14ft 3ins boats designed by Maimie Doyle of Dun Laoghaire in 1900. Substantial numbers of them are kept for dry-sailing from the boat decks of the three waterfront clubs, and while the National YC and the Royal St George YC won’t have their decks fully summer-operational for a day or two yet, today (Wednesday) Royal Irish YC Sailing Manager Mark McGibney cheerfully announced: “Bring ’em on, we’re ready and waiting”.

Of course, for the time being it will have to be husband and wife crews, or household compliant groupings, but ways can be found to help these hefty enough little boats into their summer accommodation.

Water Wags flocking to the Boat Deck at the Royal Irish YC“Bring ’em on…” Water Wags flocking to the Boat Deck at the Royal Irish YC. Photo: W M Nixon

And of course as the days go by and other boat come into commission, other classics will come into play - IDRA 14s and Mermaids and International 12s in dinghies, for instance, and in keelboats the 1947-originating 25ft Glens at the Royal St George YC. Then too, there’s really no reason why the strong Flying Fifteen fleet at the National YC shouldn’t be considered as coming within the classic fold, for although they’re all now fibreglass and even carbon fibre, the quirky Uffa Fox design also originated in 1947, and was originally built in wood.

Alfred Mylne-designed Glen Class at the Royal St George YCWith their origins in 1947, the Alfred Mylne-designed Glen Class at the Royal St George YC are now regarded as Classics

Flying Fifteens which focus on the National YCThe Flying Fifteens which focus on the National YC may now be built with advanced materials. But they rate as a classic design from 1947, although they might need to modify their flat-out racing approach to make a proper contribution to a Pop-up Classics Regatta in Dun Laoghaire. Photo: O’Brien
By the same token I suppose you could argue for the inclusion of the 12ft Fireflies. But as they’re communally-owned and used for team racing, they’ve a different class structure and don’t share the committed pride of ownership which is the glue that holds together the other classic classes, a fellow-feeling which creates a waterborne community of mutual respect which would be the key factor in organising a pop-up regatta.

However, another group which definitely would fit in are the devoted owners of restored one-off classics, such as Guy and Jackie Kilroy with the 1896 Herbert Boyd gaff sloop Marquerite, Robert Bourke with the 1938 L Class Iduna - so perfectly brought back to life by Johnny Leonard of Howth - and the Periwinkle pioneers with their ever-lovely Mylne-designed classic.

Guy & Jackie Kilroy on their restored 1896 gaff sloop Marguerite. Photo: Ian MalcolmGuy & Jackie Kilroy on their restored 1896 gaff sloop Marguerite. Photo: Ian Malcolm

Marguerite was originally built in 1896 in Malahide by Jack Wellington to a Herbert Boyd designThe Kilroy family’s Marguerite was originally built in 1896 in Malahide by Jack Wellington to a Herbert Boyd design, and was restored last year by Malahide’s Larry Archer. Photo: David Williams

For all these people, the boat is every bit as important as the sailing, and racing is much more about expressing joy in their classic boats as it is about winning. Nevertheless there’s nothing like a spot of racing for conveniently bringing boats together, whereas cruises-in-company – even if they’re only for one day - inevitably involve currently unacceptable levels of sociability.

But our pop-up Dun Laoghaire Classics Regatta must not be a complicated affair. Those taking part will have to be prepared to exhibit a bit of give-and-take in accepting ad hoc arrangements. The Water Wags already lead everyone in having a group of husband-and-wife race officer teams who need no more than a RIB to get the show on the road. And if the keelboats seek a mark outside the harbour but the DBSC marks are still unlaid in the bay’s racing area, then a mark boat about halfway out to the shipping channel should be all that is required.

Robert Bourke’s 1938 L Class Iduna as restored in 2018 by Johnny Leonard of HowthThe glow of a successful restoration. Robert Bourke’s 1938 L Class Iduna as restored in 2018 by Johnny Leonard of Howth. Photo: W M Nixon

Those who think it’s not proper racing without windward leeward courses, perfectly-laid starting lines, and a committee boat team large enough to form an effective guerilla group…..well – such people really don’t have the right attitude to enjoy taking part in a Classic Classics Pop-up Regatta. But amongst the many classic boats enthusiasts who sail in and from the great harbour of Dun Laoghaire, there should be enough like-minded people to create an instant yet worthwhile event, and they know they’ll be contacted through the usual channels.

As boating returns to Dun Laoghaire upon the relaxing of coronavirus restrictions, the local authority is asking everyone of all ages to make their own flag with a message of hope for the future.

All are invited to tell their own Covid-19 story with their flags which will be flown from the masts of boats among Dun Laoghaire’s sailing community.

These boats will set sail in convoy on a day of solitary this August, when Ireland is set to emerge from the fifth and final phase of health restrictions.

Friday 10 July is the deadline to submit your flag and completed submission form c/o Sandra Kelly, Community Department, County Hall, Marine Road, Dún Laoghaire — and DLRCoCo has provided some handy tips to help you get started.

Despite the current COVID restrictions there was no question that the summer boating season got underway on Dublin Bay this weekend with glorious sunshine bringing plenty of boaters on to the water in all sorts of sailing cruisers and motorboats.

The recent lift-ins at the National Yacht Club and Royal Irish Yacht Club's as Afloat reports here plus the reopening of the town marina on May 18 added greatly to the scene and brought a steady stream of boats out from Dun Laoghaire Harbour, many pottering about for the first time this year.

Popular moorings on the Bay's secluded anchorages at Sandycove Point, Dalkey Sound and Killiney Bay were all very much in use.

There were also plenty of assorted small craft such as canoes, kayaks and Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs) enjoying the fine weather and taking in a lot of angling and trips to Dalkey Island.

The next clubs to launch are the Royal St. George Yacht Club and DMYC next weekend, this will swell numbers even more at Ireland's boating capital for a delayed but otherwise enjoyable start to season 2020.

The fine boating weather continues on Bank Holiday Monday, see Dublin Bay live webcam

Published in Dublin Bay
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Works to repair storm damage to the East and West Piers in Dun Laoghaire Harbour during Storm Emma two years ago have now been completed, bar restoration of the sun shelter on the East Pier.

Movement restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus slowed the final weeks of works, which involved repairs to coastal defences on the East Pier as reported on in early March.

Now Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has provided an update of the repairs progress over a number of phases, from emergency works to reconstruction of the East Pier’s upper level wall, replacing 400 tonnes of rock armour washed away in the storm, and shoring up the West Pier’s roundhead resentment.

Restoration of the East Pier’s sun shelter remains outstanding and the council says it is features in its Capital Projects plan awaiting funding to proceed.

Despite the Irish Coast Guard advisory asking members of the public not to go to sea for recreational purposes, Dun Laoghaire RNLI all-weather lifeboat was launched on Saturday afternoon (May 16) following a request from the Coast Guard, to assist an 18ft speedboat with three people on board which had reported engine failure half a mile north of Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s West Pier.

The all-weather lifeboat was launched under Coxswain Mark McGibney with four crew members on board and made its way to the scene arriving at 3:02 pm. The all-weather lifeboat took the vessel in tow and brought it back to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, all on board were wearing lifejackets and no medical attention was required.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a light wind and good visibility.

Speaking following the call out, Mark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat Coxwain at the time said: ‘The casualties did the right thing calling for help once they knew they were in difficulty. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everybody to make sure that their vessel engines and safety equipment are checked and in working order before taking to the water.’ ‘Dun Laoghaire RNLI remains on call and is fully operational during the Coronavirus pandemic. While there is no crew training or exercises taking place, our volunteers are here if people need us.’

The Coast Guard revised its 'no boating' statement on Friday stating that Under Phase 1 of the Roadmap to Recovery (commencing 18 May), people are permitted to engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities on an individual basis.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Volunteers from Dun Laoghaire Harbour's RNLI station were involved in a two-hour search operation off the coast of Sandymount Strand last night (7 May), after receiving reports that a person was thought to be seen cut off by the tide on a sandbar. The call-out transpired to be a false alarm with good intent.

The station's volunteer crew were paged shortly before 10 pm by the Irish Coast Guard. The crew immediately launched their inshore lifeboat helmed by Alan Keville and with two crew members on board. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 from Dublin, Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard unit, the Irish Air Corps and the Gardaí were also tasked.

Weather conditions at sea were good making visibility ideal for searching.

The lifeboat crew arrived at the scene at 10.17 pm and carried out an extensive offshore search with the helicopter. No evidence of a person in the water was found. The Coast Guard stood down the operation at approximately 12 am and the volunteers returned safely to the station.

Speaking following the call out, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Helm Alan Keville, said: ‘We are always here to respond to any situation that may arise at sea and this one was no different. The report to the Irish Coast Guard by a member of the public was most definitely made in good faith we would like to commend them for doing the right thing. While this was a false alarm with good intent, we are glad we had the opportunity to make sure no life was at risk as fast-moving tides and sandbanks have been a problem in this area in the past. This was a multi-agency response and we would also like to commend and thank our colleagues in the various other agencies as we worked together during the search.

‘Dun Laoghaire RNLI remains on call and is fully operational during the Coronavirus pandemic. While there is no crew training or exercises taking place, our volunteers are available if people need us.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A business stimulus for Dun Laoghaire after COVID-19 may well lie in government approved plans for a national watersports campus in the town's harbour. It comes at a time when town officials seek to regenerate the 200-year-old harbour and give it new purpose after the Holyhead ferry set sail for the last time five years ago

As Afloat reported in January 2020, Dun Laoghaire Harbour's marine leisure users joined Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to create a new watersportfocus at the south Dublin harbour, the country's biggest boating centre. The 'National Watersports Campus' application was developed following discussion with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo), Irish Sailing, the four waterfront clubs, INSS, DBSC and DLCC and also with other NGB’s - Diving, Rowing, Triathlon, Swimming and Canoeing who came together to lift the profile of sailing and boating in the south Dublin suburb.

Dún Laoghaire Harbour Swim RaceThe annual Dún Laoghaire Harbour Swim Race - is a 'blue riband' race on the Open Sea Calendar in Ireland Photo: DLR

The potential for a twofold increase or more in the boat stock at Dun Laoghaire exists if DLRCoCo can provide the missing infrastructure to promote the marine leisure industry, according to the new maritime blueprint unveiled by the town in its application to the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF).

But despite having the capital's population of 1.4m on its doorstep and some world-class boating facilities, boat ownership remains stubbornly low both on Dublin Bay and around the coast with only one person in 171 owning a boat.

Red Bull diveThe Red Bull diving spectacular brought the Dublin crowds out to Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Boat ownership ratio

The ratio of our European neighbours is UK 1:100, France 1: 66, Netherlands 1:30 and Germany 1:108. Ireland might be an island nation, yet its low boat ownership is explained away by poor coastal infrastructure and the lack of a necklace of marinas around Ireland but that's not the case at the country's biggest boating centre where other factors are restricting marine leisure growth.

Hobbler Coastal rower 9126Dun Laoghaire Harbour is home to a great coastal rowing scene Photo: Afloat

In the study, The Potential for Growing Marine Leisure on the East Coast, (ISMS 2006) an estimate of the size of the Irish national boat park at 27,926 boats was established. This gives Ireland a boat ownership ratio of 1:171 or one boat per 171 people. This is the internationally recognised method of calculating the size of the national boat park (ICOMIA) This figure is surprisingly low given that Ireland is an island nation, especially when compared with our European neighbours. UK 1:100, France 1: 66, Netherlands 1:30, Germany 1:108 

Irish national sailing school6Learning to sail at Dun Laoghaire

New public slipway

The aim of the Dun Laoghaire Campus project is to provide a vital missing infrastructure to address this ratio deficit. For example, there is no public slipway accessible at all stage of the tide between Dublin city and Bray in County Wicklow or public boat storage facility.

The campus also seeks to provide a marketing framework to make boating more accessible to the general public. When combined with other current plans in the harbour to use the old ferry terminal as a new state of the art business hub it makes the Council's plan an appealing prospect.

Dun Laoghaire Marina Dun Laoghaire Marina - the town facility has the capacity for over 800 boats and is the biggest marina in Ireland

Marine jobs 

The benefits of such an increase in marine leisure might be obvious to the Dun Laoghaire waterfront as outlined by one leading Dun Laoghaire mariner here but there are other spin-offs for the harbour town too in the creation of the sort of jobs that cannot be shipped abroad.

Think of the former Pfizer plant in Dun Laoghaire; the cost to the Exchequer of each of those 210 or so jobs and the ease with which they upped and left when the Pharma pulled out of the town back in 2011.

For a similar investment, DLR can develop 200 jobs that would stick to Dun Laoghaire Harbour like limpets because this is where their natural advantage would exist.

These employers would not only be in the old-style hunter-gatherer lifestyles (e.g. inshore or sea fishing) but in activity-tourism and niche manufacturing and services.

MGM Boat hoistThe MGM Boatyard hoist in Dun Laoghaire's Coal Harbour lifts the Dublin Port pilot boat for maintenance

As a working, for instance, a sail-making firm was established in Crosshaven, in Cork Harbour in 1974. It s still there, a thriving small Irish business that designs and exports sails all over the world.

It grew thanks to the enterprise of a local initiative by Royal Cork Yacht Club to develop festivals and events such as the world-renowned Cork Week regatta.

Marine skills courses

The Dun Laoghaire campus envisages how the harbour could be used as incubators for sailmakers, riggers, marine electronics and mechanical workshops. Of course, if such efforts bore fruit, it could then lead to employment opportunities and further education courses training young people in marine skills for use locally.

A lot of marine businesses already exist in the harbour in a micro way, currently employing up to 100 people, most of whom work out of vans without proper premises but there is no formal marine cluster that could unite these efforts. 

VDLR RegattaThe biennial Dun Laoghaire Regatta attracts as many as 500 boats to the Harbour, up to one third coming from outside Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

Dun Laoghaire Regatta

In 2010, The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) published a case study on the socio-economic significance of the 2009 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. The biennial event attracted an entry of 449 entries and is the biggest regatta in Ireland. Over four days, the study (carried out by Irish Sea Marine Leisure Knowledge Network) found the event was worth nearly three million to the local economy.  But that is only four days in 730, leaving much scope for further harbour based maritime events.

motor boat Dun LaoghaireMotorboating off Dun Laoghaire's East Pier Photo: Afloat

If campus plans take-off the potential to grow the marine leisure industry in Dun Laoghaire Harbour is significant. Attracting new people into the sport would, of course, be a significant lift for existing industry efforts such as the pioneering work of marine entrepreneurs in the boatyard, the marina, the chandlers, the sailing schools and the yacht clubs as major harbour employers. State-backed support would add heft to what is effectively a local industry hiding in plain sight to so many in the town.

Laser MastersThe harbour clubs host many international sailing regattas including the Laser Masters World Championships Photo: Afloat

The feasibility study – backed by 40 different harbour users including the four waterfront yacht clubs – envisages linking existing clubs and facilities as a campus to promote the sport of boating. As well as providing missing infrastructure it envisages a new municipal watersports building on the town's vacant Carlisle Pier.

Before COVID-19 hit, Afloat's WM Nixon said in January, that Dun Laoghaire was moving into a new era with a fair wind for the National Watersports Campus, let's hope that fair wind is still blowing.

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