Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Irish

25th September 2009

Buying a Boat

Dip your toe in

Starting off in boating is easy – the difficult bit is deciding what part of the sport to try.  We publish Tips For Those Buying And Selling Boats on our dedicated boats for sale site. This part of the website provides you with invaluable tips and advice from people within the new and second hand boat industry. We provide information about the types of boats that are out there and what to look out for when buying a new or used boat.  We also list some of the precautions you might want to consider before buying a boat.  There are lots of things to look out for which do not always immediately meet the eye. We aim to give you relevant information regarding the negotiations involved in selling or buying a boat and also provide guidance on how to finance the purchase of your dream boat.  

Below you'll find extra information and articles about how to get started in Irish boating.



Above: Malahide Marina, the site of several On The Water boat shows and the venue for this October's Used and Demo Boat Show 2009

If anchoring in a secluded cove or a BBQ from the deck of a yacht sounds like a far-fetched idea this summer, then it might be time to think again.

More and more people across Ireland are discovering that the shoreline represents a border but also a means of escape.

The romantic freedom of sailing is as true today as it has been throughout maritime history. Harnessing the elements for propulsion is one of the most appealing things about an afternoon afloat.

You don’t need a licence, insurance or experience to own and operate a pleasure craft in this country. And what’s more, the wind and the waves are free!

The sailing principles used by the Vikings when they sailed up the Liffey are the same as those used today on an afternoon potter around Dublin bay. Over the centuries, man has fine-tuned his ability to use the wind. Indeed, it’s now possible to sail faster than the wind. However, most people going afloat are not focussed on speed – they simply want to watch the world go by.

The boats may have changed since the Vikings but the view around the coast – except for the cities – is pretty much the same as a thousand years ago.

Nowhere was this point more clearly made than last year when the world’s top offshore sailors called in unexpectedly to our south and west coasts.

They came principally in search of wind in leg eight of the Volvo Round the World race. They found little wind, unusually, but before they left they wrote prose worthy of a Failte Ireland copywriter.

In his log, navigator Simon Fisher from ABN AMRO Two wrote: “Our day started sailing in and out of the mist rolling down off the hills and, as the sun rose and the mist burnt off, it gave way to spectacular views of rolling green hills and a weather-beaten rocky coastline. With castles and towers stationed on each headland, it gives you the feeling of sailing through a scene out of ‘Lord of the Rings’.”

So far our waters remain remarkably unspoilt and it’s one of the reasons French and German sailors have been enjoying our coastline for decades. But it’s only quite recently that there has been any kind of increase in the Irish pleasure boat numbers with more and more people sticking their toes in the water. The marine industry is also playing its part, attempting to break down the preconception that crusty old yacht clubs rule the seas.

Figures from a report commissioned by the Marine Institute in 2005 show that 142,000 adults were involved at that time in boating activity – ranging from sailing and boating at sea to boating on inland waterways. The survey confirmed a large rise in numbers in coastal and inland boating and water sports since the last survey ten years previously.

Unfortunately, unless you have a background in sailing, getting started can be anything but easy. Even at this year’s boat show, there will be a bewildering amount of information about many different types of boats. Websites, dealers and magazines all have their merits but often the best place to start is an honest conversation with yourself.

Are you buying a boat on a weekend whim or is it something you’ve been planning to do since lodging your first SSIA money?

A boat with a cabin, no matter how small, is just one practical way of escaping the worst of a showery day. It’s also a great way to extend the boating season that runs typically from St Patrick’s Day through to the end of September and it’s no accident that the most successful brands in Irish harbours all have some form of cover.

Going afloat is not just about racing yachts at Cork Week nor is it just about early morning trolling for trout on the river Shannon. It’s also about coastal kayaking, diving and windsurfing and many other forms of boating to boot. But most of all it’s about experiencing our coastline or inland waterways, something that has its own appeal and is proving as much a form of stress relief as any round of golf or Spanish holiday apartment.

Out on the water, sailing can be many different things to different types of people. It can be exciting, invigorating, relaxing or challenging. And you need to decide is what you really want from a boat.

There are reasons why people might stay off the water in Ireland. The sun doesn’t always shine and, more to the point, there appears to be a gale somewhere around our coast every fortnight.

And then there’s the perceived high cost of entering the sport of boating and, until recently, a complete the lack of public berthing facilities.

But if you can deal with all these questions and are still keen to go afloat, any one of a range of schools can advise you on the right way to get started. A good information website is and search for a school in your area. Lakes, rivers and seas are a great resource but anyone going afloat in Ireland needs to realise that it can be a potentially dangerous environment and take steps to educate themselves in safety measures before going afloat.

For most people, anchoring a boat in the lee of Ireland’s Eye for a picnic or island hopping on a sun-kissed day on Roaringwater Bay are not really unrealistic ideas at all if they are determined to get afloat. If you want to get started, start asking questions now. Very soon, you could be sitting back to hear the ripple of water off the bow.



Sailing – the bluffers guide

How easy is it to learn?

You can leave your slippers on. Anyone can pick up the basics in a week’s tuition and can continue on their own after that.

Will I know it all then?

They don’t call it the lifelong sport for nothing. Even old salts learn something knew every time they go afloat.

Do I need a licence?

No, one of the reason people enjoy sailing so much is that it is regulation free.

What does it cost?

The wind and waves are free but everything else you pay for. You can rent for a few hundred for a weekend charter. You can buy a sailing dinghy for three grand. A 25-foot yacht can be bought second-hand from 15 grand upwards.

What’s the typical size boat here?

Between 25 and 35 foot.

What’s the biggest?

It is in Dun Laoghaire and it’s an 80-footer costing over E2m.

How long is our coast?

8,960 kilometres of coast but about 704 miles sailing distance. It takes two weeks to cruise round but the record is less than three days!

How many harbours and piers?

The Department of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources say there are 900 so there’s plenty of places to call into.

How many marinas are there?

Only 26 around the entire coast. There is a real shortage and none between Kerry and Donegal. All of them are full.

Where is the biggest marina?

Dun Laoghaire with over 800 berths.

What about inland waters?

There are 700 kilometres of navigable rivers and lakes and freshwater sailing is very popular too.

How many sailing boats are there?

No one knows. The Irish Marine Federation reckons there are approximately 27,000, based on number of boats registered with Waterways Ireland, marina berths, swinging moorings, sailing and sea angling club boat parks.

Last but not least, do I need a cravat?

Well, you won’t be alone in Dun Laoghaire. Everywhere else it’s a t-shirt and jeans. Sailing is trying to shed its crusty yachting image and most yacht clubs welcome new members with open arms. 



Going offshore



Even in recession there are good reasons to buy a boat, writes David O'Brien (reprinted from February/March 2008 Afloat)

Edward Heath famously grumbled about the cost of boating 30 years ago when he complained that “ocean sailing is like standing under a cold shower tearing up five pound notes”. Three decades later, boat dealers are quick to point out that as luxury products go, depreciation on boats is not such a black hole even in this economic climate.

Walk along the waterfront of Ireland’s biggest boating centre at Dun Laoghaire on any summer Saturday and repeat Sir Ted’s comparison to the growing band of boat owners and it’s sure to draw a telling smile.

Those passionate about boating normally avoid any talk of cost. From Monday to Friday they may be wage slaves but boyhood dreams are relived at weekends, and it has become an unwritten law of the sea that the boat account is never scrutinised.

Heath, a great yachtsman, was being unnecessarily harsh. In examining the contents of his wallet, he forgot about the pleasures of boating. It’s there, from the simple smell of sea air to the sense of adventure offshore, but most of all the good times on board with friends and family.

If you want to make money, buy a house; if you want to lose money, buy a car; but if you want to keep your money, buy a boat. At least, that’s the story your local boat dealer is likely to advance.

Thanks to the lower cost of mass-produced boats and equipment in recent times, there has never been a better time to get involved. As leisure pursuits go, sailing in Ireland represents surprisingly good value for money – if only the facilities were there to back it up.

Take a look over the breakwater at Dun Laoghaire’s public marina and it’s pretty clear that both the size and style of pleasure craft berthed there – particularly motorboats – is impressive. If you wanted a snapshot of the former Celtic tiger era, here it is.

Since the marina opened 400 berths in 2001, it has grown to become an 820-berth facility, has transformed boating in Ireland and led to an influx of new blood where access to the water was previously controlled by private yacht clubs.



Above: Dun Laoghaire Marina has grown from 400 to 820 berths, and transformed boating in Ireland 

In doubling Dun Laoghaire’s size over the past six years, the facility that took sceptics 20 years to build became an overnight success. It is the country’s largest marine leisure centre by a long chalk. It is also the shining jewel in an otherwise flawed necklace of marinas still to be built around the coast.

Providing facilities takes considerable investment – from the State or from private investors, or a combination of both in public-private partnerships – because marinas need expensive breakwaters or sea walls to protect pleasure craft from the open seas.

“Ireland has largely turned her back on the sea despite being an island nation,” says Bernard Gallagher, a marine dealer in this country for the past 30 years. “We have simply failed to recognise the true value of the marine environment for leisure purposes.”

But even with such obvious infrastructural deficits, there is a surge of interest in the freedom of the seas and a lot of it is being driven by novice boaters.

You don’t need a licence to own and operate a boat in this country. And what’s more, in these recessionary times, the wind and the waves are free. But for everything else you will need a cheque book.

Growing numbers of the Irish public are demonstrating, in many cases for the first time, that boat ownership is no longer beyond their financial reach, particularly over the past ten years, a period in which the flow of newcomers has been tracked by official figures.

At a cost of E425 per metre as one of the top rates for mooring fees, it’s pretty easy to work out how much it costs to park an average 40-footer (12-metre) in Dun Laoghaire or at one of 22 other coastal facilities around the country. But boat ownership costs don’t stop with an annual berthage fee.

A typical new 40 footer will cost an owner (with modest cruising plans of 100 hours) E13k–E14k per annum. This includes berthing, fuelling, servicing and insurance.

Even if a boat owner has signed his cheque for all this, that isn’t the end of the story.

The romantic freedom of boating is as true today as it has been throughout maritime history. The seas might be free to roam but finding a berth is not quite as easy.

In fact, demand was so high until the credit crunch that a lack of berths was hampering further growth of the marine leisure sector. Downturn aside, the industry is capable of growing by around 30% over the next three years – if the government and local authorities decide to unlock the potential that lies in Irish waters.

The west coast of Ireland is hardest hit with no marina facilities between Kilrush Creek, Co Clare and Fahan, Co Donegal. Thankfully a small facility in Galway now has the green light compliments of the Volvo Ocean Race.

“On the east coast significant gaps exist between Arklow and Kilmore Quay and on the south coast between Kilmore Quay and Cork Harbour”, says Steve Conlon of the Irish Marina Operators Association.

Users are calling for government action to cut the bureaucratic red tape that surrounds foreshore development for marine leisure usage. The trade body fears that the run of new boat sales could be short-lived as a shortage of berths around the coast hampers the growth of the sailing industry.

In the major sailing centres on Dublin Bay and Cork Harbour – representing 3,000 craft – all five marinas are full or nearing capacity.

The Irish Marine Federation estimates the number of berths needed to bring Ireland up to the EU average is 22,826 berths. To accommodate existing waiting lists and boats located on existing swinging moorings, an extra 2,000+ berths are required immediately.

Motorboats remain the big growth area and the evidence at the national boat show in 2007 bore this out when ‘bling bling’ replaced the sea shanty as the new wave in boating.

Eighty-five per cent of the exhibits were powerboats – from jetskis to James Bond super yachts – and a sign that there has been a shift in the market away from its traditional musty yachting base.

This is no real surprise to the marine industry, however. The wind of change has been blowing through the world’s boat shows for the past decade. Put simply, power boating is perceived to be much more accessible than sailing for the newcomer.

“Power boating has a ‘jump in and go’ image whereas sailing – whether it is true or not – appears more complicated,” says Irish Marine Federation’s Brian O’Sullivan whose own company, O’Sullivans Marine of Tralee, sells both types of craft.

O’Sullivan’s comment is backed by Irish Sailing Association (ISA) training statistics. Figures point to a 33% rise in power boat instruction, as opposed to only a 6% rise in sail training – and these figures are merely the tip of the iceberg because they represent only those who opted for the voluntary certification scheme.

In spite of our miles of coast (and a further 500 miles of navigable rivers and lakes), Ireland has one of the lowest ratios of boat ownership in Europe: one boat to 158 people. The European average is one boat to 42 people.

Industry figures argue that low participation in watersports is not because Irish people don’t like boats; it’s because a lack of facilities prevents both residents and tourists from getting access to the water and enjoying a coastline that is arguably our greatest natural asset.

There are only three public slipways between Dublin city centre and Bray in County Wicklow – serving a population of 750,000 or more. The situation in the rest of the country is not much better, with a Department of the Marine estimate of 900 piers and harbours around the coast.

Growing participation and competition among boat builders means there has never been a better time to get involved. In spite of Ted Heath’s grumblings over fivers, a boat is not just a black hole into which you pour your hard-earned cash. But if you do splash out on a boat this summer, just remember you also need somewhere to berth it.

Copyright Afloat magazine/Baily Publications Ltd./David O'Brien 2009

Published in General
25th September 2009

Irish 5O5 Association

Irish 5O5 Association, c/o Ewen Barry, President, Monkstown Bay Sailing Club, Monkstown, Co Cork. Tel: 086 823 6864, fax: 021 427 3849, email: [email protected]

5O5 History – A One Design Class

The development of the Class began at the IYRU trials in l953, held at La Baule to find the 'best possible two-man centreboarder', an 18 footer Coronet showed clearly superior to all her competitors.

f21_5o5.jpgThat winter the Caneton Association, the most important small boat racing body in France, asked the designer of Coronet, John Westell (UK), if he could modify her to suit their rules. Reducing the overall length, lightening the hull and modifying it a little, together with cutting the sail area to 17,24 sq mtrs, produced a new design which retained the good features of the larger craft. By a remarkable far-sighted decision members of the Caneton Association, at their AGM in Paris in January 1954, voted unanimously to adopt the new class, even before the first boat had been built. The Five-0-Five was born!

With strong organisation already existing in France, the 505 started life on an International basis. The Class expanded rapidly and in November 1955 the IYRU accorded it official International status. Fleets developed in many parts of the world, most of these are still very active today, 18 Countries have active fleets.

Although any material and type of construction may be used, current boats are now using carbon fibre and epoxy resins. The hull shape is strictly controlled with minimum weights both for the bare hull and the complete boat in sailing trim.

By January 2007, 8,930 boats had been registered.

The above information and image courtesy of the International 505 Class Association website

Published in Classes & Assoc
25th September 2009

J109 Class

J/Boats – Sailing to Success

The story of J/Boats is a classic entrepreneurial tale: With a $20,000 investment, and a speedy 24-foot sailboat that Rod Johnstone built in his garage, Rod and his brother Bob Johnstone went into business. That was 1977. Now, that boat (the J/24), has become the most popular recreational offshore keelboat in the world.

The Johnstone family has made an undeniable mark on the sailing world. In addition to the 5,400 J/24s cruising the waves, there are over 7,000 more J/Boats, ranging from the International J/22 to the J/65, that sailing enthusiasts have bought at prices ranging from $10,000 to $2,000,000.

While other manufacturers may sell more boats, the Johnstones have won the high-end, performance-oriented segment of the market. Theirs is the so-called racer/cruiser category: boats that perform well on the race course but which are comfortable and easy enough for the family to daysail and cruise. It is with knowledgeable, experienced sailors that the Johnstones have done best.

The story begins in 1975. Rod, then an ad salesman for the sailing trade magazine, Soundings, and an active one-design sailor decided to build a sailboat he had been designing since completing a Westlawn School of Yacht Design correspondence course in the 60s. With $400-worth of fiberglass and wood, some rigging and hardware left over from a Soling of Bob's, he built the 24' x 9' wide Ragtime on weekends in his 3-car garage at his home in Stonington, Connecticut. During the summer of 1976, with an all family crew aboard, Ragtime beat everything in sight. Rod realized he had created something special.

Enter Everett Pearson, the owner of Tillotson Pearson, Inc, a highly respected boat builder in Warren Rhode Island. He was quite taken with Rod's design and agreed to produce the boat on spec in return for the US building rights. Display ads in Soundings got the word out. That winter they set up a makeshift factory in an old textile mill in nearby Fall River, Massachusetts, and began popping out J/24s.

Enter the marketing experience of brother Bob, a vice president of marketing at AMF/Alcort (the makers of Sunfish sailboats at the time). He saw the potential in the boat Rod had designed. From 1975 to 1977, Bob had helped to take Alcort from the red into the black, and then began trying to convince AMF to start producing a boat similar to the J/24. But, he says, in spite of overwhelming market research results showing 50% purchase intent in a boat like the J/24, AMF really didn't care anything about gaining share of market or investing any more in sailing. So, in February of 1977, at age 43, Bob left AMF and threw in his lot with J/Boats.

With Rod contributing the design and his prototype Ragtime and Bob investing $20,000 to cover start-up costs, office space, and advertising, their 50-50 partnership was launched. Expecting to sell 250 J/24s that first year, they sold 750. Each successive year marks unique achievements in the sport and industry.

The next generation of Johnstones has been at the helm since 1988, while founders Rod and Bob continue to contribute in the areas of their strength, design and marketing. Since 1992, Jeff (president) and Alan (chief-designer) have managed company operations & sales from J/Boats Headquarters in Newport, RI while a total of four of Bob & Rod's sons (Jeff, Alan, Stu and Drake) serve on J/Boats, Inc. Board of Directors.

2007 – A record year for J/Boat owners with major offshore racing wins across the US and Europe. The introduction of the new J/122 built by J/Europe taking the IRC circuit in France, the UK, the Netherlands and the USA by storm achieving several overall wins both inshore and offshore. J/Boat owners are class and overall champions of numerous offshore events including Ft. Lauderdale-Key West Race, Pineapple Cup, Bayview Mac Race, Annapolis-Newport Race, Charleston Bermuda Race, Transpac, Chicago Mac, and several RORC offshore races. J/133 is awarded 'Best Series Produced Yacht' and J/122 wins IRC 1 class overall for the entire season in the 2007 RORC series. J/80 production races by the 1,000 hull milestone with over 1050 boats built. A record 120 J/80s sail at the World Championships in La Trinite France. The J/105 Class sets attendance records on both US coasts culminating in a 69 boat fleet at the North American Champs in Annapolis. J/105 also wins RORC 2-handed season trophy. J/109 class activity thrives in the US and UK. Clay Burkhalter successfully sails his Rod Johnstone designed Mini 6.5 ‘Acadia’ across the Atlantic from France to Brazil finishing 12th overall out of 89 entries. The J/80 debuts at the Asian Sportboat Championship placing 1st and 2nd overall. J/Europe increases factory capacity by 40% thanks to increasing demand worldwide for new J/Boats. Several J/Owners actively engaged cruising their boats through the oceans of the world. Congratulations to J/Owners for an incredible year!

2006 – The J/92S makes its USA debut. The J/100 reaches 100 boat milestone and production begins in Europe. New 40’ J/122 development begins with J/Europe. J/ owners win 12 trophies in the Centennial Newport to Bermuda Race with the J/44 and J/42 classes the largest in the fleet. Glenn Darden captures the J/80 World title in Galveston Bay, TX, while fellow Texan Jon Halbert wins the inaugural J/109 North American Championships at New York Yacht Club. J/109 and double-handed J/105 finish 1-2 in Rolex Middle Sea Race. The York family completes a circumnavigation aboard their J/46 Aragorn. The J/22 North Americans returns to Fleet #1 Lake Minnetonka, MN with Terry Flynn crowned champion. The J/80 reaches 900 boat milestone and new fleets are established in Spain and Italy. The J/105 is awarded the Serendip Trophy for the Best Series-Produced Yacht in IRC by RORC for 2006 and Shaun Murphy’s Slingshot is named RORC 2006 Yacht of the Year and wins the Somerset Memorial Trophy for outstanding achievement of a 2-handed yacht. The J/122 is introduced and displayed at the Paris Show to rave reviews with a December launch in Hamble, UK and successful sea-trials.

2005 – The new J/65 launches in San Diego. Scotsman Ruairidh Scott wins the Silva J/80 Worlds in Falmouth, UK. The J/105 class sets new milestones with a 40 boat fleet at Key West and the first Canadian hosting of a North American Championship. The J/100 rolls out of the factory at nearly 2 boats per week to meet the high demand. The J/133 notches impressive IRC class wins at Spi Ouest and Block Island Race Week. The rapidly growing J/109 class sees one-design starts at Spi Ouest, Block Island and Cowes Week. Anthony Kotoun of Newport, RI wins the J/24 Worlds in Weymouth, England and the J/24 North Americans in Marblehead, MA. The new J/92S, a family-friendly sprit boat with large cockpit and non-overlapping headsail launches in Europe. J/125 Rienrag takes class honors again in the Transpac. Sally Barkow wins the Rolex Int’l Women’s Keelboat Champs in J/22s in Annapolis, and the Women's Match Racing Worlds in J/24s in Bermuda. Henry Morgan, sailing his J/42 Dolphin, wins the Annapolis-Bermuda Race fleet. Short-handed J-sailors celebrate as Pascal Loison wins the 2-Handed Rolex Fastnet Race in his J/105 and Sam and Gordon Vineyard win Marion- to Bermuda Race in their J/46. The new J/124, a 41’ follow-up sensation to the J/100, launches in Rhode Island.

2004 – The J/133 Raincloud wins its debut regatta at Key West and production begins in both the US and France. J109s sweep IRC 4 at Spi Ouest, the UK J/109 Jeronimo is on the winning team of the Rolex Commodore’s Cup, and the J/109 class gets underway with 11 fleets formed, a class website and several class events held. Alec Cutler wins the J/22 Worlds in Annapolis over a fleet of 130 boats, an all-time J attendance record! Three Js (J/35, J/46 and J/160) set sail in the 2004 Blue Water World Rally. The new J/100 (33’) is launched in Newport to rave reviews, is named Sailing World Magazine’s Overall Boat of the Year, and quickly reaches a six month backlog. J/145s enjoy class wins in the Newport to Bermuda and Port Huron-Mackinac races. Dave McConaughy wins the 25th Anniversary J/30 North Americans in Barrington, RI. Glen Darden of TX wins both the J/80 North Americans in Sag Harbor, NY and the 52 boat J/105 North Americans in Marion, MA. Wow! Jens Hookanson outduels Jeff Johnstone on the last leg of the final race to win the J/24 Worlds in Noroton, CT. The new J/65 (65‘) is announced as J Boats’ entry into the luxury performance sailing market with a custom bay set up at Pearson Composites and a highly anticipated 05 launching.

2003  – The J/24 class celebrates its Silver 25th Anniversary in Newport, while the J/35 class has its 20th in Toronto with 27 boats racing for the North American Championship. The J/105 class continues to set attendance records and is the only class present at all nine NOOD Regattas. Dr Mike Finn’s J/160 Kativa wins the Charleston to Bermuda Race; J/125 Rienrag that takes line and class honors for Division 3 in the Tranpac. J/42 owners create a new owner association. J/Boats continue to thrive under IRC with J/145 winning the Overall IRC Season Championship in UK (1–2 in class at Fastnet), and the J/109 winning its class at Fastnet as well as at Cowes and Spi Ouest. J/Europe is formed as new European builder (France). Jay Lutz wins J/80 Worlds in Fort Worth Texas as class breaks the hull #600 barrier. Sally Barkow wins the Rolex Women’s Keelboat Champs in J/22s in Annapolis. J/133 is awarded the Overall Boat of the Year award by Sailing World Magazine and Best Performance Cruiser by Cruising World.

2002 – J/109 results roll in all year with wins at Spi-Ouest, Cowes Week, Breskens Race Week, Double-handed Round Britain Race and the prestigious Atlantic Trophy. J/109 plugs are shipped to the US and TPI begins production. ISAF selects the J/22 (women’s keelboat division) and J/80 (men’s keelboat division) for the World Sailing Games in Marseilles. J/105 explosion continues with 50 boats at the North Americans in Chicago, hull #600 built, and selected for UBS Challenge Pro Match-Racing. J/80 earns class start at Kiel Week and J/80 Worlds are held in La Rochelle, France. The J/Fest Regatta Series goes national with sponsors and five great events. Brad Read wins J/24 Worlds on its return to Newport. J/109 and J/105 are 1st and 2nd overall in Rolex Middle Sea Race. Terry Flynn wins 60-boat J/22 Worlds in Texas.

2001 – J/145 is selected as a Sail Magazine Top 10 winner and wins class at Key West. J/80 class hosts its first World Championships in Newport. J Boats introduces the 35’ J/109 in Europe. US Watercraft begins building J/22s, helping to revitalize J/22 class growth. J/130 Bonkers is overall winner in the Pineapple Cup race to Jamaica. J/160s win in Newport-Ensenada, Puerto-Vallarta, Marblehead-Halifax and Swiftsure races. J/125 wins overall at Middle Sea Race in Malta. The Rolex Int’l Women’s Keelboat Champs is held in J22s in Annapolis, with Cory Sertl’s team crowned champion.

2000 – J/46 earns double honors, first as a Sail Magazine Top 10 winner; and as a category winner in Sailing World Magazine's Boat of the Year Awards. New carbon fiber J/145 (48') is launched. 92 boats attend the J/22 Worlds in Holland. J/105 production accelerates with hull #400 launched and European production underway. US Watercraft becomes new US builder for J/24 and the World Championship returns to Newport for its 22nd running. New 'L' version (L for liveaboard) is introduced for the popular J/42.

1999 – J/35 inducted into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame ceremonies in Atlantic City. J/125 wins Sportboat of the Year from Sailing World. J/120 J BIRD clean sweeps the Puerta-Vallarta race with 1st to finish, 1st in class and 1st overall- only the 3rd boat in history to do so (other two were 70' sleds). J/46 performance-cruising yacht is launched. J/22 featured in Santa-Maria Cup (women's match racing) and for the ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds. J/30 and J/35 classes combine efforts to run their 20th and 15th North American Championships in Annapolis. 25 J/105s sail one design at Block Island. Over 275 J/105s now sailing in 15 fleets worldwide. The Rolex Int'l Women's Keelboat Champs return to Newport in J/24s.

1998 – J/160 Pipedream wins Round-the-World Rally (American division) with a crew of five. Owner Scott Piper departs on cruise around the world in opposite direction! High tech built J/90 and J/125 usher in new wave of technology – carbon composite construction with 50% ballast/displacement ratios. J/90 wins "Sportboat of the Year" from Sailing World. J/125 wins at Block Island Race Week and St. Francis Big Boat Series. J/120s sweep top 3 spots in Newport to Ensenada Race. J/22 featured in ISAF World Championship in Dubai for women's match-racing and fleet disciplines. US Master's Championship held in J/105s in San Francisco. J/80 becomes fastest growing one-design in Sweden with 20 boats sailing. J/120 reaches hull #100, with 28 boats sailing in Southern California.

1997– One hundred J/24s attend the 20th anniversary J/24 Midwinters in Key West, Florida. Johnstone Family receives The Industry Leadership Award from SAIL Magazine. Harry Smith wins 1100nm Marina Del Rey to Puerto-Vallarta Race on his J/160 'Bushwacker' and J/160 Hull #3 Pipedream begins the 'Round the World Rally'. The Moorings Company purchases a fleet of J/120s for an innovative 'race weeks' charter program in Tortola.

1996 – The first two of six J/160s are launched in early May. These deluxe flagships go on to win several offshore point-to-point races including a course record from Annapolis to Bermuda! J/44 Class returns for the 1996 Bermuda Race in force with 11 starters. J/105 reaches critical mass for class racing throughout the US with over 165 boats numerous regional events and a successful North American Championship. The new production J/32 Cruiser, designed by Alan Johnstone, is launched in July with over 20 sold in the first six months. J/Boats web site is expanded with a growing on-line class association presence, owner forums and monthly updates.

1995 – J/120 named Cruising World Magazine's Overall Boat of the Year and Best Value in a Full-Size Cruiser. J/24 is first of five inductees into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame. J/130 Starlight Express takes line honors in Newport-Ensenada Race. New J/42 Cruiser is introduced. Hull #1 Gannet wins two New York Yacht Club events and Class A Downeast Racing Circuit with a cruising asymmetric spinnaker and short-handed crew. J/35 class rebounds in participation with 35 entries at its North American Championship. J/105s are featured on ESPN in the Brut Cup professional match-racing circuit. J Composite of France begins European production of the J/80 and J/92.

1994 – J/130 named Sailing World's Boat of the Year among Racer-Cruisers. J/22 and J/24 selected for inaugural IYRU World Sailing Championships, J/44 is first one-design class ever given start in Bermuda Race. J/120 introduced at SAIL EXPO with carbon mast and wins New England Solo-Twin. J/110 introduced at Annapolis Boat Show.

1993 – J/92 is Sailing World's Overall Boat-of-the-Year. J/80 One-Design is launched- the first J model to be built with TPI's patented SCRIMP molding technology. J/22 celebrates its 10th anniversary by becoming an IYRU International Class with 1200 boats. J/33 Daybreak overall winner of Chicago-Mackinac. Newly launched J/130 and J92 sweep Andaman Sea Race in Asia.

1992 – J/105 becomes Sailing World's Boat-of-the-Year among racer-cruisers, and ushers in the sport boat revolution. J/92 is introduced and destined for the 1992 Readers Choice Award from Sailing World. J/24 #5000 and J/35 #300 are launched. Rod Johnstone is inducted into the Sailing World Hall of Fame.

1991 – Nick Brown's J/44 IONA wins Fastnet in IMS. Fortune Magazine names J Boats as one of the world's 100 best American made products. J/39s and J/35s sweep top 4 positions in CHS at Cowes Week. J Boats pioneers carbon-fiber retractable bowsprits and asymmetric spinnakers on offshore boats, introducing the first of its new 'Sprit' series, the J/105.

1990 – J/35c named Sailing World's Boat-of-the-Year among 30-35 footers. J/44 wins NYYC Cruise. Motor Boating & Sailing names J/24 as 1 of 2 best sailboats of all time. New J/39 wins MBYC Fall Series. J/35 wins class in Sydney-Hobart Race. J/44 J-Hawk wins CHS class at Cowes Week.

1989 – New J/44 wins New York Yacht Club Queen's Cup and Cowes Week on way to becoming Sailing World's Overall Boat of the Year.

1988 –J/34c named Sailing World's Boat of the Year. New J/33 wins Class at Block Island Race Week. Jeff, Stuart, Drake, and Alan Johnstone commence management of company operations at J/Boat office in Newport, RI. TPI (J Builder) introduces industry-leading ten-year blister warranty.

1987 – J/35 becomes America's fastest growing big-boat one-design with 24 sailing in Class at Block Island. J/37s win Class in 3 major race weeks.

1986 – J/40 named Sailing World's Boat of the Year among US designs. J/35 is lst Overall in Miami-Montego Bay and New England Solo-Twin. J/28 and J/37 Cruisers introduced.

1985 – Charley Scott's J/41 Smiles wins SORC Overall. J boats introduces it's first purpose built cruising boat, the J/40, that then goes on to win Class in Chicago – Mackinac. J/34 becomes best selling IOR design in America.

1984 – New J/27 is overall winner of MORC Internationals with J/29 winning Class A. J/35 is 1st Overall MHS in Chicago – Mackinac. J/41 has 1-2-3 sweep of One Ton North Americans and Bermuda Race class.

1983 – J/22 and J/35 introduced. J/22 wins Class at MORC Internationals.

1982 –New J/29s finish 1-2-3 to sweep Class in Block Island Race Week

1981 – Stu, Drake and Jeff Johnstone start J/World Performance Sailing School. J/36 Wins Class A in Antigua.

1980 Nissan Motors becomes Japanese builder. J/24 wins Caribbean Ocean Racing Circuit, becomes IYRU International Class and named by SAIL (10th Anniversary) as 'best keelboat in 30 years'.

1979 – J/30 #1 Warhoop finishes 3rd in SORC Class. First J/24 Worlds in Newport with 78 boats.

1978 – Twenty boats attend first J/24 one-design event at Key West, 68 boats attend North Americans in Newport, and 1,000 boats are sold with builders set up in UK, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and US West Coast where Trask family joins Johnstones to build J/24s.

1977 – Brothers Bob and Rod Johnstone finish 1-2 in J/24s in MORC Division at Block Island Week. J/24s go on to dominate the MORC Internationals in Annapolis.


The above information courtesy and copyright 2009, J/Boats, Inc., 557 Thames Street, Newport, Rhode Island 02840. Tel: 401 846 8410, email: J/Boats  Website

Thanks also to Kendra Muenter


IRISH J109 INFORMATION – J109 Class, c/o Chris Power-Smith, President, 12 Durham Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4. Tel: 087 328 7782, email: [email protected]

Markham Nolan reported on the La Trinity Sur Mer in the January 2009 Afloat Irish Sailing Annual, as follows:


Cork students take World Honours

j109_worldcup_sun.jpg A nail-biting week of controversy and excitement at La Trinite Sur Mer in November ended in relief for Cork Institute of Technology, who took Ireland’s second Student Yachting World Cup title in three years.

The crew, led by skipper and All-Ireland champion Nin O’Leary, showed skill both on and off the water to clinch victory in the very last race.

Thing started well, with the jitters of race one (8th place) shaken off by a win in race two. Race three saw a long lead sacrificed on the last leg of a coastal race when the Portugese slipped past for a win.

On day two, Ireland posted three finishes in the top four, but day three would bring some travails for the Cork squad.

Aiming for three results in the top three, the CIT team started well with a second, followed by a third. But with five boats deemed OCS at the start of the third race, the Irish saw their main rivals, the Italians, gifted a win.

A long night in the protest room ensued, when video evidence showed that the Irish could not have been over. A sheepish PRO admitted the error, and with redress and average points given, the Irish were in third overall. Another protest room venture, where the Irish came near to being disqualified for flying a spinnaker when instructed not to, was deemed a lucky escape.

A second in the night race, then, left CIT feeling like a win was a long shot going into the last race. “The bare minimum for us was that we had to win the race and the Italians had to be at least seventh,” said team coach Adam McCarthy.

The climax of the event came down to an all-or-nothing dogfight on the start line. O’Leary went after the Italians aggressively, sailing them away from the fleet and the favoured end.

“It’s funny because they didn’t really seem to be expecting us to go after them,” said McCarthy. “Maybe they thought we were going to sail on and hope for the best but either way they were crippled and left about 30 seconds late for the start.”

“It was a basic match-race for the final and Italy weren’t expecting that,” said George Kenifick, mainsail trimmer. “The helmsman couldn’t believe it and started shouting at his crew.” Rattled, the Italians could do no better than seventh, while O’Leary sailed a masterful day, carving the fleet up to win the final race, and the event, against all the odds.

Crew: Nin O’Leary (driver), George Kenefick (main trim), Joe Bruen (trim), Silvia Phelan (trim), Aoife English (trim, pit), Grahame Durcan (mid bow, pit), Dave Barnett (mid bow, navigator) and Cian Twomey (bow) – all pictured above with their coach.


The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta website reported, on the 19th of January 2009:

The growth of the J109

The 2009 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (9th–12th July 2009) will see the second appearance of the up-and-coming J109 Class.

With ten boats now in Dublin Bay and a further five at least spread around the Irish coastline, the boat is proving to be the ideal boat of its size both for racing and if one has the time, for cruising.

With its fantastic upwind performance even in light airs, and the 1,183 sq.ft. Asymmetric providing fast off the wind sailing, as many pundits have said, “it ticks all the boxes”.

The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta hopes to attract a one design fleet of 20+ J109s with many boats crossing the pond from the UK to join the Irish fleet.

middlesea_000001_120.jpgPictured: A J109 at the Rolex Middlesea Race 2008. Picture courtesy of  

Published in Classes & Assoc


Above: The Beneteau First 31.7 'Magic'. Photo courtesy of the Beneteau First 31.7 Ireland One Design Class Association website

The official title of the association is the Beneteau First 31.7 Ireland One Design Class Association.

The aim of the Association is to encourage and develop the use of the Beneteau First 31.7 yacht as a one design keel boat.

Beneteau First 31.7 Ireland One Design Class Association

Richard Joyce.
email [email protected]
Phone 0868818814

Published in Classes & Assoc
24th September 2009

Squib Class

History (the following information and image courtesy of the National Squib Class Owners Association

The Squib was designed in 1967 by Oliver Lee as a successor to his Ajax 23. The protoytpe was built in cold moulded wood and sailed extensively over the winter of 1967-68. After successful proving trials she was used as a plug and the first GRP Squib was launched in June 1968. By the end of that year there were six Squibs racing on the Crouch and they had grown into a substantial fleet by 1969 with new fleets forming at Waldringfiled, Brixham, Abersoch and Aldeburgh. At the Yachting World Keelboat Rally held in 1969 the Squib was pronounced to be the most interesting entry. When numbers passed 300 in 1972 the Squib was granted national status.

champs.jpg While the UK fleets expanded, interest began to spread abroad. A couple of Squibs went to Tortola as day charter boats and a fleet grew there. Other groups grew in South Africa, Greece, Germany and Australia. Many of these boats were either club owned, operated on charter or used in sailing schools.

By 1974 sail numbers had approached the 400 mark despite growing economic gloom. That November an event called the Squib Symposium was dreamed up by Simon Fraser, and that country's leading yachting journalists came to Burnham-on-Crouch to race Squibs against one another. The resulting press comment further enhanced the Squib's reputation as did the Design Centre's decision to put the Squib on its index of selected designs.

The Class has now spread to all parts of the British Isles, where there are 27 active racing fleets, ten of which muster more than 20 boats. The most recent fleets to be formed were at Royal Ulster YC in 1998, East Antrim YC in 2000 and Kinsale YC in 2001. The Royal Ulster YC fleet now embrace Squibs from Ballyholme YC and the combined fleet is called the Bangor Fleet. Over 810 Squibs have been built and the National Squib Owners Association has over 640 members. A National Championship has been held at a different venue every year since 1972. In 2002 it was held at Royal North of Ireland YC with an entry of over 80 boats. A Match Racing Championship which was instituted in 1988 was held at Howth in 2000 but was not sailed in 2001. In 1995 Rutland SC instituted an Inland Championship which attracted 34 entries and proved so popular that it has been held every year since and in 2002 attracted 43 entries. Squibs race as a class in Aldeburgh Week, Medway Week, Menai Strait Fortnight, Oulton Week, Tay Week and racing with a PY of 115.

Until his death in 1993 Oliver Lee was the sole licenced builder of Squibs. The licence lapsed on his death and in 1994 it was granted to Barker Brewer Boats Ltd but they relinquished it in 1996 after having built 12 Squibs. In 1997 the licence was granted to parker Sailboats who built 40 squibs up to the end of 2001.

What is a Squib?

Just under 20 foot long, the Squib is a two person racing keelboat with 50% ballast ratio. That means it is big enough to race at sea and small enough to trail comfortably behind a family car. It also means that it needs only two of you to race and it is very safe in a blow. The Squib is sailed by all sorts and by all ages, primarily because it is, and feels, so solid and safe. You sit in a Squib, not on it – though we do hike out!

It is particularly suitable for mixed crews. About 10% of helms at the Nationals are female as are 25% of all participants in the Nationals. The 2007 National Champion crew is Penny Fenwick. Jenny Riley has been twice National Champion crew and recently won Oulton Week as a helm. There are very many married couples racing in the Squib Class.

The Squib seems to suit all ages as well. The youngest crew at the Nationals in 2007 was 13. The youngest helm we have seen was 12 (Holyhead 2004.) Prizes are awarded for first boat with crew combined age over 120. (To win this, the boat would have to be in the top third of the fleet.) The oldest Nationals competitor we are aware of was 85 at the time.

About 80–100 Squibs attend the National Championships which take place at a different venue each year (2008 Lowestoft, 2009 Weymouth, 2010 Dun Laoghaire.) 55 attend the Inland Championships which are held at Rutland and there are usually about 35 Squibs racing in Cowes Week.

There are many other championships – the Irish, Northern Irish, Scottish, North of England, East Coast, South Coast and the Welsh Championships. Squibs sail in many regattas around the country – Oulton Broad, Menai Straits, Aldeburgh, Bridlington, Abersoch, Dart and several others.

Squib Class, c/o Jill Fleming, President, Rathdrum Cottage, Ballycorus Road, Shankill, Co. Dublin. Email: [email protected]


In March 2009, Graham Smith wrote the following review of the class for Afloat: "According to the stats, the Squib national fleet stands at 85 which represents an increase over the previous year so the appeal of the boat – affordable, easily trailed and easily sailed – is clearly catching. Indeed, the Irish fleet represents a fair percentage of the total fleet in the British Isles.

Interest has been growing over the years so that it’s no longer a Howth and Cultra monopoly, with burgeoning fleets in Killyleagh, Arklow and Glandore in West Cork.

That said, the northerners still tend to dominate proceedings on the race course and John Driscoll from RNIYC won the national title from a healthy fleet of 36 boats, sailed in Kinsale. National Champion 2009: John Driscoll, RNIYC

There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here  

Published in Classes & Assoc
24th September 2009

Sigma 33 East Coast Association

History (courtesy of the UK Sigma Association website)

Click here for all the latest Sigma 33 News and Updates.

The Boat
• Designed by David Thomas, well-known for cruiser/racer designs such as Sonata, Impala, Sigma 33 and 38, as well as the Hunter 707.
• The original concept was to design a 35 footer to compete for acceptance at the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 1978 Offshore One-design Conference, which was to select three one-designs to promote in substitution for the then-prevalent IOR system. The three chosen were the Impala, the 101 (designed by Jan Kjaerulff) and Jeremy Rodgers’ OOD 34. Sensing that the 33 foot 101 was too Scandinavian for British tastes, David Thomas decided to scale down to 33 feet. His intention was to design a moderate displacement yacht that would look racy and be competitive under IOR, but be tractable and easy to sail to near optimum speed.
• Initially the class was named the Skua 33, but when a Scottish fleet advised that they were already called Skuas, the name was changed to Sigma 33.
• Built by Marine Projects (Plymouth) Limited in Devon. (Tel: 01752 203888)
• Total number built 364, starting in December 1978 with hull no. A3001 and ending in December 1991 with hull no. A3364 (in addition, approximately 44 Sigma 33Cs were built between November 1981 and April 1985, with hull numbers between A4001 and A4212. These have a shorter, masthead rig and a longer, shallower draft keel.)
• Builder’s Dimensions: LOA 32’ 6” 9.88m; LWL 26’ 3” 8.00m; Beam 10’ 6” 3.20m; Draft 5’ 9” 1.75m; Displacement 9,200lbs 4,182kg
• Construction is straightforward GRP with foam-cored floors and integral bulkheads. Early boats had off-white hull gel coats with either blue or cream decks; later ones had white hulls and decks plus aluminium window frames and go-faster stripes along the coachroof. The interior joinery was also altered.
• Class sails are by Elstrom Sobstad , HYS, Port Hamble, Hamble, Southampton, Hampshire SO31 4NN. Tel: 023 8045 6205, fax: 023 8045 2465. The class has adopted relatively high-tech Genesis Platinum sails which incorporate kevlar fibres.
• Price when new in 1979 was £16,790 plus VAT. By 1990 this had risen to £37,475 plus VAT.

sigmatic1.jpgPictured left: Sigmatic powering their way to first place on the last race of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2009 (courtesy Sigma 33 East Coast Association website)

Sigma 33 East Coast Association, c/o Sandra Moore, Honorary Secretary, 49 Bellevue Road, Glenageary, Co. Dublin. Tel: 087 629 1568, fax: [email protected], email: [email protected]


In March 2009, Afloat's Graham Smith reported on the Class: "There’s no change in the Sigma 33 class since last year. The fleet remains at 18 and they are all in Dun Laoghaire, while Tim Goodbody continues to dominate the class.

Apart from winning two of the three DBSC series during the season, he and his crew on White Mischief also won the ROYC Superleague, the East Coast Championships and then retained the National title. Just to break the monopoly, Paddy Maguire won the Colman O’Sullivan Trophy, Dermod Baker took the Fireseal Trophy and the Tuesday series was won by Pippa IV, helmed by A. Blake. National Champion 2009: Tim Goodbody, Royal Irish YC." 

There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here   

Published in Classes & Assoc
24th September 2009

Shannon One Design Association

Courtesy of the Shannon One Design Association:

164newfull.jpgThe Shannon One Design sailboat (known as a 'SOD' or 'Shannon') has a long and colourful history going back to 1920, when it was originally designed by Morgan Giles. Despite its charming looks, the Shannon One Design is a very exciting boat to sail and fleets of SODs have been racing on Loughs Ree and Derg in Ireland since 1922. The racing is very competitive, and the sailing season is filled each year with a wide variety of events. SODA is governed by a committee made up of Shannon One Design owners and sailors.

The Shannon One Design Association (SODA) is the Governing Body for the Shannon One Design Sailing Class. SODA is responsible for fixing the class rules and also for the enforcement of those rules.



The Shannon One Design (SOD) is an 18 foot boat unique to the lakes of Derg and Ree on the Shannon river in Ireland. On the 29th January 1920 a meeting of delegates from the Lough Derg, Lough Ree and North Shannon Yacht Clubs was held in the Prince of Wales Hotel in Athlone to set about the introduction of a one-design class racing boat on the Shannon. The SOD 'Design 102' by Morgan Giles was based on his Essex One Design both in profile and in sections.

The first Shannon One design trial boat was ordered in 1921 from Walter Levinge by L. Graham (Boy) Toler, and named 'Phyllis' later numbered SOD 43 and renamed 'Red Boat' in 1923. The new class should have commenced numbering at No 1, but this did not happen. Numbering of the following boats began at number 32.

The Shannon One Design began to race in earnest in 1922. New hull and sail specifications were adopted in 1989 to take into consideration emerging marine technologies. There is keen competition in the two major regattas at Lough Derg YC and Lough Ree YC in August. The Shannon One design boat register now exceeds No. 175.

Sailing Shannons has always attracted families, and generations in many cases have been involved in campaigning the same boat down through the years. Indeed many of the same family names that attended that first meeting in 1922 still feature in SOD racing today. 


The Boats

The Shannon One Design is a wooden, clinker-built, eighteen-foot (5.49m) racing dinghy, propelled by a single gunter-rigged mainsail of 140 square feet (15.6 sq.m). The boat has a relatively narrow beam of 4 feet 10.5 inches (1.5m), and draws 4 feet (1.23m) with her centreboard down.

With a large sail and comparatively narrow beam, a Shannon One Design is a lively performer, especially in a fresh breeze, and requires a three-person crew for normal sailing. 

There has long been a strong boat-building tradition on Loughs Derg and Ree, and almost all Shannon One Designs have come from the yards of skilled local craftsmen.

The boats are unique to the river Shannon and are actively raced in both Lough Ree Yacht Club and in Lough Derg Yacht Club.

Shannon sailing attracts a wide range of sailors from far and wide, not simply limited to Shannon riverside dwellers. At the two main events each year, the week-long regattas at Ballyglass on Lough Ree and Dromineer on Lough Derg, up to 55 SODs have been counted. These will be sailed by a mixture of local sailors and others based in Dublin or elsewhere (as far away as the USA), most of whom return year on year to compete.

Above all, the Shannon One Design class is a lot of fun, in which conviviality, wit, character and friendship are on a par with the high quality of the racing. Individual boats seem to develop their own idiosyncrasies to complement the eccentricities of those privileged to sail them. There is a strong and growing presence of young people alongside the older sailors, and new boats are joining the fleet every season.


Shannon One Design Association, c/o Damian Maloney, Honorary Secretary, 35 Littlewood, Stepaside, Dublin 18. Email: [email protected]


In March 2009, Graham Smith profiled the class for Afloat magazine as follows: "As one of the traditional clinker-built boats, you could be excused for thinking that the venerable SOD would be a static class on the numbers front, but you would be very wrong indeed. The number of clubs racing SODs remains at three but with 115 boats on the books, it ranks as a top five class.

That figure represents a 4% increase on the previous year, as new boats are built each year, although the increase is not reflected in numbers racing in the various regional championships during the summer when turn-outs were disappointingly low (the average in four events was around a dozen).

A feature of the year was the wide variety of venues, not restricted to the usual Lough Ree or Derg Yacht Clubs but with events in Kilgarvan, Cong, Mountshannon and Lanesborough, representing four different counties. It also saw four different winners, with Damian Maloney, Mark McCormick, John and Stephen O’Driscoll and Eoin Carroll winning the Easterns, Westerns, Southerns and Northerns respectively.
The Nationals saw a marked improvement in numbers with 26 boats competing at Lough Ree YC, where local hot-shot David Dickson added to his list of successes.
National Champion: David Dickson, Lough Ree YC 

There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here

Published in Classes & Assoc
24th September 2009

Irish RS Class Association

New to Ireland, the RS is the fastest growing dinghy fleet in the country. RS's are high performance asymmetric spinnakered dinghies. The 13ft RS200 and the larger 14ft 10in RS400 combine to provide high performance racing for all crew weights and abilities. Class members range from mid teens to mid fifties and compete together. Asymmetrical sailing provides a unique challenge to sailors who want to learn new skills, with tactical fleet racing downwind as well as upwind. The performance will attract the adrenalin junkies!

The RS Class in Ireland

The Irish RS Dinghy Class Association was formed in 2003 to promote the RS class in Ireland. The Association has adopted two dinghies, the RS200 and the RS400 to suit all crew combinations. Both are modern asymmetric spinnakered boats, providing an unparalleled blend of performance, ease of handling and tactical racing.

The RS fleet in Ireland is testiment to both of the dinghy's popularity. With an average growth rate of almost 10 boats per annum, the class is already the leading asymmetric class in the country and rivals most conventional classes in numbers.

The Irish RS National Championship now in its seventh year, forms part of a European circuit with events in the UK, France, Holland, and Italy. The Eurocup event not only attracts International standard racing to local waters but provides an easy avenue for Irish sailors keen to compete abroad.


The Irish RS Association

The Irish RS Dinghy Class Association was set up in 2003 to promote the RS Class in Ireland.

In just a short period of time, the RS class has become the largest asymmetric class in Ireland, with over 40 RS dinghies regularly sailing today. Interest in the class continues to grow as racing asymmetrics dinghies attracts sailors from traditional classes looking for the added tactical challenges and new skills that asymmetrics provide.

The Irish National Championships held annually, form part of the RS European Circuit, drawing competition of the highest calibre from abroad to race in Ireland. For the Irish sailor, this not only brings international racing to home waters, but also presents a ready made international circuit for those who want to race further afield.

Adopting both the RS200 and RS400 dinghies means that sailors of all ages, sizes and abilities are catered for. The RS class currently has sailors ranging from mid teens to mid fifties, both male and female competing against each other.

Irish RS Class Association, c/o Richard Moran, Secretary, 34 Delgany Court, Delgany Park. Tel: 087 234 7157, email: [email protected]

There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here 

Published in Classes & Assoc
24th September 2009

RS Feva Ireland Association

The following information courtesy of Killaloe Sailing Club:

Introduction to the RS Feva for Junior Sailing

RS Feva DinghyThe RS Feva/XL is a solid and roomy two-person dinghy constructed in polyethylene. The dinghy can be rigged with a gennaker and is an exiting and safe introduction to gennaker-sailing. The hull material is less fragile and does not require as much maintenance as fibreglass. Encapsulated buoyancy in the foam layer makes the RS Feva unsinkable. The mast is divided into two parts and can be stored along with boom in the length of the boat for easy transport.

A Big cockpit and high boom make the Feva really comfortable for youngsters and adults. The Feva is the perfect size and has rig options that allow easy handling by one sailor, family crews or friends. Her high volume hull makes light work of heavy sailors. Not only confidence inspiring and very easy to sail, the Feva is also the fastest of her type. A strict one design means no hidden costs, evenly matched performance and highly tactical racing.

In March 2005 the RYA annouced that the RS Feva was to become becomes a recognised junior class. The RS Feva has been recognised due to the boats popularity and the need to engage sailors through a modern dinghy. The class runs a comprehensive training programme and is highly attractive to young children.

Because it is handy on ground and joyful on the waves, the RS Feva is a first rate choice for clubs. RS Feva is also the dinghy for those parents who want to go sailing with their child.

Irish Feva Association, c/o Chris Craig, President, Beechfield, Monkstown Road, Monkstown, Co. Dublin. Email:[email protected]

There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here  

Published in Classes & Assoc
24th September 2009

Puppeteer Class Association

puppeters_nationals042.jpgIn Afloat's March 2009 issue, Graham Smith wrote the following: "Essentially an indigenous racer, the Puppeteer has records of 53 boats being built over the years, with 31 of them based in Howth where they regularly get 20 out for club races. It has tried in recent years to make it a strict one-design, but with northern boats racing under IRC, there are considerable differences between the boats so travelling north isn’t worth it! Click here for all the latest Puppeteer news and updates.

The Nationals, therefore, are held in Howth and 2008 saw 19 boats contest the event. The names usually found at the head of the fleet – Clarke, Stanley, May – were the pre-race favourites as usual and it was Garrett May and his crew who made the most of the circumstances to emerge as overall winners. National Champion 2009: Garrett May, Howth YC."


Puppeteer Class Association, c/o Noel Davidson, President, 'Haven', 59 St. Peter's Terrace, Howth, Co Dublin. Tel: 086 25 99 531, email: [email protected]

There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here   

Published in Classes & Assoc
Page 8 of 17

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