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Displaying items by tag: Pinkeen

Those who have been rewarded for their careful adherence to social distancing and crew-pod rules by getting some sailing in the Indian summer which has been at its very best on Cork Harbour can be forgiven for wondering if, despite all their precautions, they've been afflicted by a mild bout of double vision.

For if you've been sailing down off Crosshaven, now and again you'll see this pretty little transom-sterned dark blue sloop with a nice crisp suit of new sails, out happily slicing her way with very little fuss across the blue water, her general appearance exuding quality construction, and her lone helmsman very deservedly the monarch of all he surveys.

 "Very deservedly the monarch of all he surveys".  Photo: Bob Bateman"Very deservedly the monarch of all he surveys". Photo: Bob Bateman

Yet if you're sailing further up the harbour off Monkstown on a somewhat similar day – for they seem to have had them in profusion – you'll have seen what looks to the casual observer to be the same boat, yet how does she seem to have two totally different home berths?

The up-harbour boat we featured here on August 14th, and she is, of course, Pat Murphy's Kinsale-built (in 1952) Colleen 23 class Pinkeen, beautifully brought up to condition by a combined effort by Pat and Jim Walsh of Walsh Boat Works in Nohoval.

Happy man – Pat Murphy at the helm of Pinkeen off Cobh.  Photo: Bob BatemanHappy man – Pat Murphy at the helm of Pinkeen off Cobh. Photo: Bob Bateman

But the other boat – whose differences any dedicated aficionado can spot immediately – is a sort of nautical trompe l'oeil, as she's a complete re-working of a well-used but still sound fibreglass hull through the special genius of Bill Trafford of Alchemy Marine in Doneraile in North Cork order to create something else altogether.

Like many, Crosshaven sailor Philip Brownlow has the fondest memories of the three Alan Buchanan-designed Colleens which used to be based in Kinsale, where they'd been inaugurated by Nolly Stokes and John Thuillier. But while he wanted the spirit of the Colleens, he didn't want the demands of the continuous maintenance of an all-wooden boat, so he set Bill the challenge of re-purposing some other class's fibreglass hull to capture the Colleen essence, and Bill reckoned he could make the hull of a Kim Holman-designed Elizabethan 29 do the job, and this was how it was done. Nobody involved in the project makes claims that this is a Colleen 23. But they rightly believe that she captures the bright spirit of the Colleen 23, so maybe we should simply call her the Colleen 27.

In distant Doneraile, the Colleen spirit is created with a re-purposed Elizabethan 29.  Photo: Bill TraffordIn distant Doneraile, the Colleen spirit is created with a re-purposed Elizabethan 29. Photo: Bill Trafford

If you see Pat Murphy's Pinkeen and Philip Brownlow's Sunflower side-by-side, it's easy to spot the differences – not least because of the size gap – yet equally, the shared spirit shines through.

But if you happen to see them at two different times in different places in the harbour on the same day, confusion is understandable. As one occasional sailor put it: "The only way I know which is which is because one helmsman wears a Jack Charlton cap, and the other doesn't."

Published in Cork Harbour

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