Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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17th December 2009

Cork Week, How Rocketships work

Jargon – How the Cork Week Rocketships Work

Sailing fast is all about converting the wind’s energy into boat speed and these big ocean racers generate more horsepower and speed for their size than any single-hull craft that has ever sailed the seven seas.

When the wind blows over 20 knots they leave pursuing powerboats wallowing in their wake. Photographers have to resort to helicopters.

The secret to the success of these high-tech speedsters is their weight-saving, super-strong, carbon fibre construction and their radical underwater design.

Gone are the keel and rudder combinations of conventional sailboats where the shape and weight of the keel counteracts the heeling effect of the wind and helps prevent the boat making leeway (slipping sideways).

In place of the keel is a slender strut with a nine-ton ballast bulb at its tip. Swung out (canted) sideways under the boat by a hydraulic ram, the bulb provides extra stability, standing the boat up straighter and making the sails more efficient.

The twin rudders, one ahead of the strut and one behind it, perform a double duty. They provide the foil shape and area to minimise leeway while also improving maneuverability.

Tacking calls for no more than the touch of a button to swing the keel into a new direction.

Disney and Plattner, the CEO of Germany’s SAP software empire, were fellow competitors in a previous class of lightweight 75-foot ocean racers, worked together to create the new class.

"To have a bunch of boats where we can go out and actually have boat races instead of designer races seems to me to be really good idea,‰ Disney said. „That's what I hope for with this project – that it will attract people who want to go racing on the same terms. Not that we all don't like to go a little bit faster than the next guy, but it's a lot more fun when it’s a boat race."

Published in Cork Week

Cork Week Uncovered: Who Will Be There

From Afloat, July 2006 

Cork Week's not all about rubbing shoulders with serious money but, having that said, there will be more millionaires on the banks of the Currabinny river between July 10 and 16 than sails in the harbour. Crosshaven will teem with sailors and supporters for a festival of sailing that’s more like Galway Races on water than a regular sailing regatta.

And that's the reason it’s become so popular with foreigners, attracting 80 per cent of its competitors from overseas.

Pyewacket and Morning Glory may be the big glamour boats but the entry list has 499 other boats as well, the bulk of which are from the UK visitors. Up to 7,000 competitors will take to the water each morning, bringing an estimated 10 million euro into the local economy. That may be small beer to the likes of Roy Disney but in sporting terms it's like having the commercial return of an international rugby fixture in an otherwise sleepy fishing village.

Seven bars, three restaurants, 50 bands, 400 performers and 180 hours of entertainment are ready to serve competitors from as far away as the US, Hong Kong, Australia, France, Germany and Belgium along with a huge representation from England, Scotland and Wales.

On the water the fleets are split over eight different courses according to size of boat. Sailors are categorised too and part of the charm of the race week is that the majority of racing classes prohibit sailing professionals as crew.

Published in Cork Week

Cork Week and Roy Disney 

By David O'Brien

Reproduced from Afloat Magazine, July 2006.

If sailing faster than the wind sounds like something out a Disney fantasy, then that’s because it was. And now, as Roy Disney - the 73-year-old nephew of the legendary Walt - prepares to hit the water in Cork today, (July 10) that fantasy has become reality for the first time in Europe.

Disney has temporarily left boardroom battles behind him to pitch his stunning yacht against the competition around Cork harbour. His 86-foot, space-age boat, Pyewacket, was fast tracked across the Atlantic on top of a cargo ship directly from Bermuda just to be here in time for the first race of Cork Week, an Irish regatta with a global reputation for fun and great racing, and one which Disney claims he wouldn’t miss for the world.

Depending on how you look at it, the international regatta circuit that has taken him to St Maarten, Tortola, Antiqua and Bermuda this year is either a logistical nightmare or a gorgeous extravagance.

Whichever it is - and Disney reckons it’s probably a bit of both - it's an infatuation that keeps him burning with enthusiasm when sailing is at the top of the agenda. For 50 years he has followed a fantasy to see his boats go faster than all the others - and now he’s living that dream.

This year he has come in for international acclaim, not for his company's movie work, but in yachting circles, for bringing racing to a new level by creating the Maxi big Z86, a yacht that’s capable of sailing faster than the speed of the wind.

Already nicknamed 'the rocketship' by jealous competitors, Pyewacket is one of two such designs built to demolish the world's sailing speed records for monohull boats.

And if they’re untouchable when it comes to straight line racing, the new designs are proving equally superior in around-the-buoys events too. At Antigua Race Week this spring, they left their competition behind in showers of spray and they threaten to repeat that feat at Cork today.

The secret to the success of these high-tech speedsters is a weight-saving, super-strong, carbon fibre construction and radical underwater keel designs.

“Sailing in just 3.5 knots of true wind, we were slipping effortlessly through the water at almost three times that speed during the race to Bermuda. There are not many times when we can't sail faster than the wind,” Disney enthuses. “If we get 15 knots winds, we can sail at 20 knots easily thanks to this design.”

But all these things come at a price and no one is forthcoming - not event the two billionaires owners - on the total development costs thus far.

Ted Heath once said that sailing was like standing in the shower tearing up £5 notes. It's an oft-used quotation but it still draws a giggle from Disney who adds "yeah...and most of the time it’s in the dark too!"

According to insiders, sailing campaigns at this cutting-edge level cost up to $5m a year - and this excludes the capital cost of the boat.

"It's like Rockefeller said: "If you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it. And I can afford it," says Disney.

He readily admits that some people ask him if he's mad, to which he replies "We're all crazy, so why not have some fun? When it stops being fun, then that will be my last race."

Joking aside, Disney reckons that he’s now sailing at a level where he can't afford to do it badly.

"I need skilled people to crew this yacht, he explains. “When you sail at 27 knots, the loads involved are huge. I need to sign on the bottom line to have it sailed professionally. Otherwise people could get hurt or lost overboard."

Today's Cork Week race follows Disney's defeat by Hasso Plattner's Morning Glory, Pyewacket's sistership, in a race from Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda in the last week of June. Plattner, who took a 30-mile lead on Disney in a race the Hollywood giant previously called his own, smashed the elapsed time record previously held by Disney since 2001.

Cork Week therefore represents the first opportunity to avenge this defeat. Royal Cork, not surprisingly, is trying its best to facilitate a pitched battle between the two space-age craft, designing courses that are sure to set the two pitching against one another until the finishing line.

"They could have chosen Cowes or Sardinia to unveil this next generation of racing yacht but they didn't, says Donal McClement of the host yacht club, the Royal Cork. “They chose Cork and that's a big honour for us. McClement has sailed with Disney in previous Cork weeks and will sail again as a local tactician this time.

The fact the world’s big guns are coming to Cork is, of course, a compliment to the organisation for the Crosshaven event, but in Disney’s case it also has something to do with the fact that he’s a member at Royal Cork, and a patron of its junior sailors. He’s had a second home in Ireland - in Kilbrittain in West Cork - for the past 15 years, where he spends up to three months of the year.

Neither Roy's father nor his uncle - the company’s founder, Walt - were sailors, yet they always encouraged his sporting passion for diving and swimming as a teenager.

It's sounds twee to describe Roy’s sailing career as a 'race into paradise' but it’s still an accurate description of the movie-maker's 50-year journey from weekend family sailor of the Fifties to globe-trotting regatta racer of the new millennium.

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, aged just 16, he flew a prototype aircraft - with the full support of his family. It was the unrestrained joy of playing tag in the clouds with like-minded Californian surfer kids that gave him a life-long love of freedom, and speed.

It's more than likely, he concludes, that this later translated into a love of the sea, a passion he was able to share with wife Patty and four young children on weekend trips.

That buzz still drives him on but as his business pressures have increased over the years, the Disney director, listed by Forbes as the 552nd richest man in the world, finds it increasingly difficult to make a complete break from the office.

The introduction of the on-board satellite phone has, ironically, not helped matters, leading instead to a further diminution of his precious freedom.

On more than one occasion on Pacific yacht races he has been interrupted - a thousand miles from land - by the Disney corporation who want him back for a meeting

"Sorry you can’t have me, I'm half way to Honolou," he recalls telling executives who were insisting on his return recently.

As a nephew of Walt, he worked at Mouse Factory for 24 years as a film editor, writer and producer. He left in 1977 but returned seven years later as vice chairman. Credited with rekindling Disney’s love of the animated film - scoring huge success with The Lion King and Little Mermaid - he became chairman of the Feature Animation Division.

However, it hasn’t been his yachting exploits that have raised his public profile so dramatically in the past year. Instead, Disney has become better known - at least among land-lubbers - for his bitter and very public battle with Disney Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner.

On 30 November last year, he resigned from the company, denouncing Eisner for (among other things) the loss of company morale through micro-management, building newer theme parks "on the cheap", changing the company's public image as "always looking for the 'quick buck'", the defection of creative talent to other companies, failure to establish lasting relationships with creative partners and not establishing a management succession plan. Eisner was then stripped of his role as chairman by the Disney board in March - being replaced by Northern Ireland peacemaker George Mitchell - but survived as CEO. It was a half victory for Roy Disney, then, and he has vowed to continue the fight. “ I’m competitive of the water too, you know” he says.

Sailing, he says, releases him from this tension and provides the breaks he needs from the bruising and protracted battle for the right to control Disney’s future.

"Pretty soon you'll be able to read about my success over Eisner,‰ he says, „but in the meantime you might like to have a look at‰ The comment may look innocent enough on paper, but the way in which it is delivered provides an insight into his gritty determination both on and off the water.

"The guy who is running the company for us for the past 20 years is trying to get me out and I'm not taking that lying down," he vows.

Next week the corporate battle stops for Disney. Satellite phone or no, he’ll need to have all hands on deck to fight off the challenge from Morning Glory. If you want to see the technological marvels at first hand, before the circus moves on to Sardinia, head down to Roche's Point and look out over Cork harbour to see an American billionaire sailing faster than the wind. For once in his life, Disney won’t be steering a Mickey Mouse operation.

Published in Cork Week
4th December 2009

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority seeks to operate profitably within fair and competitive tariff arrangements so that the Port is economically sustainable. Its aim is to contribute as much as possible to the generation of economic wealth within the Port and its regional hinterland.


Consequently, profit optimisation, to achieve its primary mission rather than profit maximisation, will be pursued.



The original Port of Warrenpoint, consisting of a wet dock and piers, was constructed in the late 1770s by Roger Hall, Robert Ross and Isaac Corry with the assistance of £500 of public funds. In 1919 the heirs of Roger Hall sold the Port to John Kelly and Sons for the sum of £16,000. John Kelly continued to operate the Port until 1971 when it was sold to Warrenpoint Harbour Authority for £369,000.

The Port was substantially enlarged with an initial total investment of approximately £6.7million to create the modern Port of Warrenpoint. Until 1971 the Port of Warrenpoint acted as a lightering port for the Port of Newry and jointly these ports handled approximately half a million tonnes of cargo annually. Subsequently the modern Port of Warrenpoint has handled 5 times as much cargo on an annual basis.

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority, The Docks, Warrenpoint, Co. Down, N. Ireland BT34 3JR. Administration/General Enquiries – Tel: 028 417 73381 • Fax: 028 417 52875. Operations – Tel: 028 417 52878 • Fax: 028 417 73962• Email: [email protected]

Published in Warrenpoint Port
4th December 2009

Port of Larne

Port of Larne

The history of the Port of Larne stretches from the mists of time in the Middle Stone Ages, through the pre-Christian centuries and the Viking raids, to the more modern history of the 19th and 20th centuries and the development of the most modern facilities and technologies which have made Larne a major channel of commercial and passenger traffic in these islands.

It is a story of vision, ingenuity and hard work which turned a small harbour into a thriving Port. Larne developed significantly from the mid-19th century and particularly after the Second World War when the worldwide revolution in unitized traffic and the increased mobility of tourists led to far-reaching technological and other major changes.


There were years of immense difficulty, including two World Wars, periods of economic depression and times of tragic loss as in the Princess Victoria disaster. However, throughout all these challenges, changes and setbacks, the people of Larne showed remarkable resilience, a determination to learn from the past and to look to the future and a resolve to make Larne the outstanding Port which it is today.

The story of the Port of Larne is also a history of great characters like James Chaine who did most to establish the port in the 19th century, also of Colonel Frank Bustard who in the mid-20th century, had the vision of a new system of moving goods in bulk and who helped to make Larne a most significant part of the container revolution.

Today, Larne is renowned as the premier Port in Ireland. It handles 385, 000 freight units a year, as well as 200,000 tourist vehicles and 750,000 passengers. It is operative 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with up to 30 arrivals and departures daily to and from a number of ports including Troon, Cairnryan and Fleetwood.



Larne is believed to have derived its name from Lathar, son of Hugony the Great, High King of Ireland in pre-Christian times who reputedly gave him an area along the Antrim coast roughly from Glenarm to the River Inver which became known in the Gaelic as Latharna. It is recorded that the Roman Emperor Serverus described how, in 204AD a Roman galley bound for Scotland was blown off course to a place called Portus Saxa which was thought to be Larne Lough. The ancient Greeks also had knowledge of the Antrim Coast and Ptolemy, the astronomer and geographer of the 2nd century AD, referred to Islandmagee on one of his maps.

The Viking raiders left their mark and the Lough at one stage was named after a Norse King called Ulfrich. This became anglicised to Wulfrichfjord and eventually Olderfleet which is an integral part of modern Larne. However, while Larne had an undisputed reputation as a good port, the harbour was not being used to its full potential. In the 18th century, there were a number of quays, including the Town Quay which facilitated a lively emigration trade to the United States.

By 1840, the harbour remained underused with only two Larne ships engaged in foreign trade. There was great rivalry between Larne and Donaghdee which had operated a regular service to Portpatrick since 1662. However, this Mail Route was withdrawn by the mid-19th century and the creation of a railway line from Carrickfergus to Larne led to the development of a daily service to Stranraer with a paddlesteamer, the Briton. However, the route did not make profit and the service was withdrawn from 31st December 1863.

In 1866 James Chaine, the son of a prosperous Co Antrim linen merchant bought the harbour with a down payment of £9,000 and changed its fortunes completely. By 1882, Chaine had not only paid off the balance of £10,500 but had also set the Port of Larne on the way to success. He repaired the existing pier and quays and had them extended and developed a rail link to the Port. In 1871 the Larne and Stranraer Steamboat Company was formed and a new paddle steamer the Princess Louise commenced a regular service between the two ports on 1stJuly 1872.

A mail route was established in 1875 and a trans-Atlantic service between Glasgow, Larne and New York began in 1873. Using the renowned State Line vessels, this service continued until December 1889 and many hundreds of emigrants left Larne to start a new life in America.

Sadly James Chaine died from pneumonia in 1885 at the age of 44 and the town and port lost a remarkable visionary. As a mark of respect the people of Larne and district raised funds by public subscription to build the Chaine Memorial Tower which dominates the entrance to the harbour.


20th Century

The Port of Larne continued to prosper in the 20th century. In 1912 the old Larne Harbour Company was replaced by a new company, Larne Harbour Limited, with its new Chairman, Charles MacKean, who remained in office until his death in 1942. In 1914 Larne made the headlines when the largest consignment of arms was landed at the Port during the Ulster Unionists' opposition to Home Rule for Ireland. The crisis was subsumed by the outbreak of the First World War when Larne became a Naval Port where its location rendered it a particularly good anti-submarine base.

The political upheavals after the end of the War and the partition of Ireland had an adverse effect on the Port. This created uncertainty and unrest which led to a sharp decrease in traffic between Scotland and Ireland. There was an attempt to establish a fish-processing business at Larne which ended in failure. By the end of the Thirties, however, the Company was in a better position to expand and the creation of the first proper loading ramps for motorised vehicles gave a hint of what was to come.


Second World War

The Port of Larne played a major role in the Allied Forces efforts during the second World War. More than 5 million people passed through the Port, including 4.3million service personnel. Among these were American troops preparing for the Normandy D-Day landings in 1944. As the War drew to a close and the number of troops and volume of transport decreased, the Port began to return to its pre-war level of activity. However, there was no going back to the past and the challenges, party arising out of the War, were to develop Larne as a major Port in the British Isles.



A major figure in the post-war development was Colonel Frank Bustard who was a latter day version of the modern entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. Bustard's earlier attempt to develop a cheap trans-Atlantic service in opposition to the Cunard Line failed to attract enough backers due to the negative attitude of the government. His ideas were overtaken by the Second World War in which he served with distinction but after the War he developed a brilliant new idea which led to the formation for the profitable freight trade business. This rapidly became the foundation for Larne's rapidly growing success.

Frank Bustard turned his attention to the possibilities offered by converted Naval tank landing ships (LSTs) which had made such a significant contribution to the Allied invasion of Europe. He discovered that these could be adapted to carry cargo driven onboard and in simple form, the RO/RO revolution began. Bustard chartered three LST vehicles and formed the Transport Ferry Service which established a service between Preston and Larne in 1948.

This service began paying its way in 1952 but navigational difficulties at the Preston end and a prolonged strike at the English Port in 1969 spelt the beginning of the end of the Larne-Preston service which ceased in 1973. However a remarkable opportunity had arisen in south-west Scotland where the Atlantic Steam Navigation Company which now owned the Transport Ferry Service purchased the then virtually unknown port of Cairnryan.

This port had been built during the Second World War to load ammunition ships for overseas service. It was sold in the Sixties to ASN for the then princely sum of £25,000. However, it was not until 10th July 1973 that the new ASN Larne-Cairnryan service was inaugurated, thus giving Larne access to the shortest crossing on the Irish Sea which it remains to this day. This was to have significant effect on the success of the Port of Larne. Colonel Frank Bustard deservedly was made a Freeman of Larne for his efforts.


Key Developments

The decades from the Fifties to the Seventies witnessed key developments at Larne.

Throughout these decades, with the rapid growth of containerised traffic, the Port became a major link across the Irish Sea. There was a proliferation of loading facilities and new quays, including the extension of the Olderfleet Quay, the construction of the Phoenix and Curran Quays, with the inclusion of Mulberry Harbours from the Second World War and the completion of Castle Quay. Increased facilities meant more sailings and passengers and in 1967 the Mail Quay Passenger Terminal was officially opened.

From the sixties onwards, the Port of Larne developed the Redlands estate at the harbour. Alongside this area, the infrastructure to carry out a new dual carriageway to the Port was developed thus bypassing the town and also to cater for the vastly increased volume of freight and passenger traffic using the harbour.


Passenger and Freight Services

Following the establishment of the new route between Larne and Cairnryan, the holding company Transport Ferry Services was bought by European Ferries which owned Townsend-Thoresen. The take-over by the European Ferries Group intensified the modernisation of the Port and the expansion of facilities continued apace.

The Chaine Quay, named after James Chaine who had put Larne on the map as a port in the 19th century was re-developed and formally opened on 27th June 1978 in the presence of the then Chairman, Major George B. MacKean, the son of the first Chairman of Larne Harbour Ltd, Charles MacKean. Almost a year later, the Continental Quay was officially re-opened. Both these quays provided a double-deck ramp, the first in Ireland, and were installed to cater for the simultaneous working of both decks of the new vessels which were coming into operation on the Irish Sea at that time.

While the passenger and freight service between Larne and Cairnryan grew in popularity, a similar service between Larne and Stranraer which had operated for many years as a Mail Route, also continued to prosper. Tragically, however, the Princess Victoria foundered in heavy seas off the Irish coast on 31st January 1953 with the loss of 133 lives including 27 inhabitants of Larne.

Over the years a series of modern vessels maintained the service on the Larne-Stranraer route including the Caledonian Princess, the Antrim Princess and the Galloway Princess, all of which were seafaring showpieces in their time and which operated under various flags. The closure of the Belfast-Heysham service 1n 1975 generated even more business for the Larne routes to Cairnryan and Stranraer. The freight services continued to be profitable and in addition to the existing routes, new services were established. These included the Larne to Ardrossan route under different operators from 1956 to 1976 and more recently under P&O from 1992 until its relocation to Troon in 2001.


Fleetwood Service

The Larne to Fleetwood Roll On/Roll Off service, operated by Pandoro began in 1975 replacing an earlier LO/LO service operated by P&O Ferrymasters since 1973. This service was particularly popular with hauliers who wanted direct access to North-West England and especially to the motorways near Fleetwood and Liverpool. In the early days, Pandoro operated one ship daily to Fleetwood and another to Liverpool until 2002 when a daily Larne-Liverpool freight service commenced. As part of the service, the vessels provided good cabin accommodation and a free hot and cold buffet.

In 1999 a third vessel was provided for the Fleetwood route to meet the demand from hauliers and also an increasing number of motorists who wanted direct access to the Lancashire coast and the M6 motorway. Early in the year 2000, this RO/RO service celebrated its 25th anniversary which was a testimony to its stability and progress through decades of change in the ferry business.



In 1986, European Ferries was taken over by P&O and as the new Millennium approached, the last years of the 20th century brought accelerated progress at Larne. Significant improvements were made at the Port. The Mail Quay was totally redeveloped and later renamed the MacKean Quay in honour of the family's long and distinguished association with Larne Harbour Ltd. Construction on the £3.5m scheme which included a two-tier ramp, was partly assisted by the European Regional Fund (ERDF) and the Government Port Modernisation Grants. Over the years ERDF made a major contribution to the development of modern facilities at the Port.

The Quay was formally opened in 1987 by Mrs Patricia MacKean, widow of the former Chairman Major George MacKean. The modernisation of the Port continued and in 1993 the refurbished Curran Quay was formally opened by Gavin Hastings, the Scottish Rugby international and captain of the British Lions.

In 1996 a 2m high-technology Distribution Centre for the storage of fresh and chilled produce was opened on Redlands Estate which had been developed over the years by Larne Harbour Ltd. The opening of a Freight Centre in 1998 enabled drivers to have their vehicles weighed, checked-in and marshalled in a single, smooth and fast operation a good example of the Port identifying customers' needs ahead of demand.

As a further enhancement of the Port's facilities, the Board of Larne Harbour Ltd had been aware for many years of the need to improve the road links on both sides of the channel. This had some effect but much remained to be done. In May 1998 the Government announced a new £10m scheme to improve the approach road to Larne. The construction by Phoenix Gas of a £7m gas pipeline across the Lough and through the Company's land gave local customers a wider choice of energy sources.


The New Millennium

By the beginning of the new Millennium, the Port of Larne was among the busiest on the Irish Sea. The RO/RO facilities dealt with a wide variety of shipping including the most modern high-speed ferries and the port also had the capacity to handle a large range of bulk and general cargo.

At the Port of Cairnryan, splendid new terminal facilities costing £4.5m was opened in April 1999. These included separate reception areas for tourist and freight traffic, new booking and information offices, a baggage-handling area and facilities for children and the disabled.

Though there was steady progress throughout the late Eighties and early Nineties, the shipping company Stena Sealink announced in 1995, its intention to leave Larne and to establish a new route from Belfast to Stranraer. Inevitably there was a downturn in business at Larne but the people and the Port rose to the challenge and by the early years of the new millennium, the number of tourists and commercial vehicles had increased steadily.

The continued commercial confidence at Larne was underlined by significant additions to the shipping fleet. In February 1999, P&O announced an order for European Causeway, a new 21,000 tonne passenger and freight ferry from Mitsubishi of Japan, which came into service in August 2000. The luxurious new vessel with a top speed of 23 knots was designed to reduce the travelling time on the conventional ferry to Cairnryan to just 105 minutes a reduction of 25% on the time taken by the older vessels. A sister ship European Highlander with similarly luxurious facilities and high technology features went into service in July 2002.

The competitive edge to modern ferry travel from Larne had been sharpened some three years earlier with the introduction of the powerful P&O Jetliner, a high-speed ferry with an operating speed of 32 knots. This reduced the Larne-Cairnryan crossing to just one hour, the fastest on the Irish Sea. In Spring 2000, the Jetliner was superseded by the larger and more luxurious Superstar Express.

For the further convenience of passengers, a Call Centre was opened in 1998. Overall the Port of Larne moved into the new Millennium on a sound commercial footing and this was in no small measure due to its strength in depth as part of the P&O Group.

The Port of Larne has developed dramatically since it's origin in the mists of time. It had risen to the commercial challenges of succeeding centuries, survived the trauma of two World Wars and positioned itself to take advantage of the latest technological developments in the world of shipping and freight to gain a deserved reputation as the premier Port in Ireland.

Now in the early years of the third Millennium, it is well placed to continue its momentum as a top-class facility and to keep faith not only with its passengers and freight customers but with all those down the years who worked hard to make the Port of Larne what it is today.

This history is provided by Alf McCreary.

The definitive history of the Port of Larne is contained in the hard-back book by Alf McCreary title, A Vintage Port – Larne and it's People. Published by Greystone, it is priced at £14.95 and is available from all good bookshops and also on Larne ferries.

Port of Larne, 9 Olderfleet Road, Larne, Northern Ireland BT40 1AS. Tel: 028 2887 2100 • Fax: 028 2887 2209 • Email: [email protected]

Published in Irish Ports
4th December 2009

Howth Harbour

Howth Harbour


A picturesque fishing village nestled on the rugged peninsula that forms the north side of Dublin Bay, Howth is one of Ireland’s many hidden treasures. That is not to say that the village doesn’t receive its fair share of visitors. Far from it. Howth is a favourite holiday destination and benefits especially from its popularity amongst yachtsmen and pleasure boaters. Indeed Howth Yacht Club dates back to 1895 and with around 2,000 members it is by far the largest in the country and enjoys a busy programme of racing, regattas and voyaging. The marina and club complex combine state of the art with old and traditional with standards of services superb across the board. As you would expect from such a large club, berths are plentiful and marine services top notch.

Away from the harbour itself there is much to recommend Howth. Historians will love the ruined abbey, nearby Baily Lighthouse and 15th century castle. You can take a bracing stroll along the piers, sight-see aboard an open top tram, watch seals and dolphins in the waters along the shore and take in breathtaking views from cliff top walks. Of course, Howth’s working fishing port means that fish and seafood lovers are absolutely spoilt when it comes to dining out and the pub scene is second only to Dublin itself, if a little more relaxing.

Howth is a lovely place from which to discover Ireland. You can blow away the cobwebs and kick back and explore the magnificent coastline at your leisure knowing you will be returning after each trip to one of the friendliest places on earth. And that’s the truth.


Marine Services in Howth – click here

Pilot Notes for Howth – click here

Marinas in Howth – click here

Accommodation in Howth – click here



Fire/Ambulance/Police: 999/112

Customs: 874 6571

Harbour Master: 83 222 52

Lifeboat: 8323 524

Beaumont Hospital: 83 777 55


Tourist Information – Fingal Tourist Information Office +353 1839 6955


Air Travel

Aer Lingus: 705 3333

British Midland: 283 8833

RyanAir Flight Information: 1550 200200

CityJet: 844 5566


Car Ferries

Stena Line: 204 7777

Irish Ferries: 66 10 511


Rail Transport – Iarnrod Eireann (Irish Rail): 83 66 222


Howth Harbour  Harbour Master's Office – Captain Raja Maitra, tel +353 (0) 1 83 222 52 or mobile 086 3814926. fax +353 (0) 1 832 6948 (Office situated Northern End of Auction Hall)

Published in Irish Ports
4th December 2009

Port of Greenore

Port of Greenore

greenore_sm.jpgGreenore is a small town and deep water port on Carlingford Lough in Co. Louth, Ireland. The population of Greenore and the surrounding rural area (electoral area) was 898 in the 2002 Irish census.

Greenore has the only privately owned port in Ireland. It has three berths and can handle vessels of up to 39,999 gross tons. In 1964 the port was used to fit out the ships used for the pirate radio stations Radio Caroline and Radio Atlanta (later Radio Caroline South). In the 1970s there was regular freight shipping from the port to Bristol. In 2005 Greenore was Irelands's 10th port with 649,000 tonnes of goods handled.

Port of Greenore – Port Authority: Greenore Ferry Services Ltd., Greenore Port, Greenore, Co Louth, Ireland. Tel: 353 42 937 3170. Fax: 353 42 937 3567. Email: [email protected]

Published in Irish Ports
4th December 2009

Dundalk Port Company

Dundalk Port Company

The Port is owned by Dundalk Port Company and is located on the North East coast of Ireland. It is ideally located as a gateway between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The Port, situated almost exactly halfway between the cities of Belfast and Dublin, enjoys major road connections to both cities via the N1 national primary road. This enables easy transportation of goods to both cities from Dundalk in about an hour.

The port offers a range of services including general cargo handling, pilotage, customs, etc.

Pilotage – Dundalk Port Company also provide a compulsory pilotage service which leads ships up the 8km stretch from the open sea. The Port is serve by a main pilot boat and an auxiliary boat.

Facilities – Ships of up to 3,500 dwt and 106m in length can be handled. Five 30-tonne crawler cranes at minimum radius are capable of discharging up to 160 tonnes per hour each. Ships of upto 3000 tons can be discharged in 12 hours.


About Dundalk Port

Dundalk Port has a long tradition of shipbuilding and registration.

The Port also has a long history of trading in different products with traffic through the port having consisted of gypsum, perlite, sand, peat, salt, scrap, pit props, cattle, fertilizers, machinery, paper, wood and general cargo to name a few.

The First vessel recorded as trading to Dundalk was the Trinitic which sailed from Liverpool to Dundalk in March, 1580. The year 1646 saw a grant of  'perfect freedom of trade' to Dundalk.

The harbour was naturally shallow and was left to its own devices until, in 1721 Lord Limerick, who at that time was high sheriff of Co. Louth, made a deal with the corporation to construct a harbour.

In 1740 he set about the construction of a quay in the form of a pier, extending into the river upstream from the present harbour. In 1767 the Irish Parliament voted £2000 and £400 yearly to improve the harbour. This sum was paid for 8 years and amounted in all to £5,200.

Early in the year 1800 Lord Roden appointed a harbour master and claimed authority over the harbour works. In 1803 the new Custom House was built and there was a military guard placed where goods were stored at the quays.

In 1840 an Act 'for regulating, preserving, improving and maintaining the river, port and harbour of Dundalk"'was passed. Under this act, 27 commissioners were appointed who had certain shipping and property qualifications.

In August 1848 a contract was signed and accepted for the construction of the pile lighthouse. The lighthouse was completed in June 1855. Soon after, in November 1860, a fog signal bell came into operation.

In 1967 work began to convert the lighthouse to electric and unwatched. The new light was exhibited on 17th December, 1968 with an increased intensity to 187,000 candle power in the white sectors. The fog horn signal was established on 25th June 1969.

In 1968 the B&I ended its Dundalk–Newry–Liverpool service. The last four ships on this service were MV Dundalk, MV Inniscarra, MV Wicklow  and MV Kilkenny. The B&I compound was sold to the McGinnty family who used the premises for grain warehousing. This premises is now in the hands of Lockingtons Shipping, a subsidiary of Dundalk Port Company.

Towards the latter end of the 20th century, extensive work was carried out on the quays to repair, maintain and extend them to their current status. 220 metres of the current 400 metres of quay wall were just recently constructed in 1992.

In response to the steady rise in port traffic, 2 separate quays were linked with a new 25 metre stretch to form a single long, linear quay.

In 2002 Dundalk Port became a semi state limited company owned by the state. Captain Frank Allen is Chief Executive of Dundalk Port Company.

For a location map, please click here

Dundalk Port Company, 40 Quay Street, Dundalk, Co. Louth. Tel: 00353 (0)42 9334096 • Mobile: 00353 (0)87 2566594 • Fax: 00353 (0)42 9335481  • Email: [email protected]

Published in Irish Ports
3rd December 2009

Port of Belfast

Port of Belfast

The Port of Belfast is Northern Ireland's principal maritime gateway, serving the Northern Ireland economy and increasingly that of the Republic of Ireland. About 60% of Northern Ireland's seaborne trade and 20% of the entire island's is handled by the Port which receives over 6,000 vessels each year.

The Port is also a major centre of industry and commerce - its Harbour Estate is home to some of Northern Ireland's most important urban regeneration projects and it is the region's leading logistics and distribution hub.

With 1.2 million passengers and half a million freight units annually, Belfast is Ireland's busiest ferry port. It is also the island's leading dry bulk port, dominating the market with regard to imports of grain and animal feeds, coal, fertilisers and cement, and exports of scrap and aggregates. Over 95% of Northern Ireland's petroleum and oil products are also handled at the Port.



History of the Port

The origins of the port in Belfast can be traced back to 1613, when, during the reign of James I, the town was incorporated as a borough by royal charter, with provision for the establishment of a wharf or quay. As a result, a quay was constructed at the confluence of the Rivers Fearset (Farset) and Lagan and the development of the Port of Belfast began.

Records show that by 1663 there were 29 vessels owned in the town with a total tonnage of 1,100 tonnes. Trade continued to expand throughout the century, to the extent that the original quay was enlarged, to accommodate the increasing number of ships.

By the early eighteenth century the town had replaced Carrickfergus as the most important port in Ulster and additional accommodation was considered necessary. A number of privately-owned wharves were subsequently constructed on reclaimed land. Throughout the century trade continued to expand as Belfast assumed a greater role in the trading activities of the country as a whole. In 1785 the Irish Parliament passed an act to deal with the town’s burgeoning port. As a result, a new body was constituted: The Corporation for Preserving and Improving the Port and Harbour of Belfast, commonly called “the Ballast Board”.

Although at this point the Port was well established it remained disadvantaged by the natural restrictions of shallow water, bends in the channel approach and inadequate quays. These problems, together with an increasing volume of trade, led to a new government act of 1837. This reconstituted the Board and gave it powers to improve the port, through the formation of a new channel. Initial work on straightening the river commenced in 1839 and by 1841 the first bend had been eliminated. The creation of what was to become the Victoria Channel had begun.

In 1847 the Belfast Harbour Act repealed previous acts and led to the formation of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners. This new body, with much wider powers, completed the second stage of the new channel two years later. From that time the Commissioners have developed and improved the Port, reclaiming land to accommodate new quays, new trades and changes in shipping and cargo-handling technology. The efficient, modern port of today is evidence of the foresight and commitment of successive generations of Harbour Commissioners.


Port of Belfast, Harbour Office, Corporation Square, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT1 3AL. Tel: 028 9055 4422

Commercial Contacts – Email: [email protected] • Tel: 028 9055 4422 • Fax: 028 9055 4420      
Marine Contacts – Email: [email protected] • Tel: 028 9055 4422 • Fax: 028 9055 3017      
Estate Contacts – Email: [email protected] • Tel: 028 9055 4422 • Fax: 028 9055 4411      
Corporate Contacts – Email: [email protected] • Tel: 028 9055 4422 • Fax: 028 9055 4420      
Human Resources – Email: [email protected] • Tel: 028 9055 4422 • Fax: 028 9055 4420

Harbour Police – Email: [email protected] • Tel: 028 9055 3000 • Fax: 028 9055 3001      
Harbour Safety – Email: [email protected] • Tel: 028 9055 4422 • Fax: 028 9055 3020      
Calls within the Belfast Harbour Police telephone system may be monitored or recorded

Published in Irish Ports

Waterford Motorboat and Yacht Club

dsc_0117.jpgWMYC was formed in 1996 and is based at Waterford City Marina, in the south east of Ireland. Its principal activities include cruising in company: River Nore, Barrow and Suir, Waterford estuary, and the South and East Coasts of Ireland. Autumn League sailing races are held over five weekends during September/October each year. Other on-the-water activities include predicted log, duck races and boat handling competitions. There are also various social events held on dry land throughout the year.

Waterford Motorboat and Yacht Club, Waterford Cit. Contact: Ena Phelan, Knockroe, Passage East, Co. Waterford. Tel and Fax: 051 382 767, email: [email protected]

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Published in Clubs
Page 4 of 17

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