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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

WM Nixon

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

Cover girls….The International Dragon Class on an evening race in 1969 at Royal North of Ireland YC on Belfast Lough. RNIYC introduced the class to Ireland in the late 1930s, and for many years had the largest fleet, sending forth the 1948 Olympic helmsman Eric Strain
The Olympic Flame is now well into its progression through Japan, on a Marathon of Marathons which is seeing runners of every shape and size and type carry it into all of the 47 Prefectures which make up that most…
The newly-built Ilen at Foynes on 22nd July 1926, as recorded in his own highly personal style by Harbour Master Hugh O’Brien
Global circumnavigator and sailing ship designer Conor O’Brien (1880-1952) inevitably saw his most noted vessels, the 42ft world-girdler Saoirse and the 56ft trading ketch Ilen, being closely associated by the rest of the world with their birthplace in Baltimore. But…
Bloodhound racing in Cowes Week, Duke of Edinburgh on helm. In theory she was the Royal Yacht, in reality she was the People's Boat
When the Duke of Edinburgh died aged 99 on Friday, it took a while before the hundreds of public appreciations of his remarkable life began to mention the fact that sailing played a very important role in it. Yet although…
A new season beckons. The 55-year-old S&S Classic Sarnia (Michael Creedon) gets ready for the splash at the National Yacht Club, with the underside of her keel getting its lick of anti-fouling before taking to the water
Welcome to Nautical Limbo Land. This weekend may see the annual start-of-season lift-ins – with masked-up socially-distanced protocols - at the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, the National YC, and the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. But…
Record-holder: the 1926-vintage 70ft Fife cutter Hallowe'en, syndicate-owned at the Royal Irish YC, set the first significant Fastnet Race record in 1926 – Hallowe'en's time stood for thirteen years through ten races
Well done to the MOD 70 PowerPlay on almost managing to make the 24 hours for a Fastnet Race course finishing at Plymouth. But we'd suggest in all modesty (we're tops for it) that what they were sailing was NOT…
Dinghy Week 1950 at Dunmore East, with the rapidly-expanding IDRA 14 Class present in strength and lying to a line of moorings afloat, while the harbour is dominated by the sky-scraping mast of Aylmer Hall's 12 Metre Flica from Cork, and the picture is made complete with a Naval Service guardship
Every so often a photo flashes across the screen, its origins unknown and its destination a mystery, yet its reality is abundantly clear. This header pic is one such. I've no idea how it came to pop up, or who…
The Royal St George Yacht Club in 1846 - its last year as the Royal Kingstown YC - is pictured in the Illustrated London News as flying a somewhat ambiguous ensign
The learned word for the study of flags is "vexillology". Had we been told that it shares its roots with "vexation", it wouldn't have surprised us at all, living as we do just down the road from a region where…
Spreading goodwill and mutual understanding…..the Howth YC Biennial Sporting & Cultural Mission to the Sovereign's Cup series in Kinsale, gathered at their shore base to celebrate another successful regatta. This year's O'Leary Insurance Group Sovereign's Cup is scheduled at Kinsale YC for 23rd-26th June 2021
How quickly can we hope to return to the carefree style of sailing sociability which reflects the mood displayed above, as seen in the officially-accredited Sporting & Cultural Mission from Howth Yacht Club on its traditional biennial visit to the…
Howth Harbour in the 1860s, back to being a fishing port after the Mailboats had been transferred to Kingstown
Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association invites you to join their next Zoom session, which will be on The Building of Howth Harbour and presented by Rob Goodbody on Thursday, 8th April at 20:00hrs. The present Howth Harbour celebrated its Bicentenary…
ISydney Harbour Opera House (built 1958-1973) and Sydney Harbour Bridge (1922-1932). It's perfectly possible that neither of these very special structures would have been given prior approval by a rigorous Feasibility Study
A secretive organisation known as SFA (the Studying Feasibility Alliance) is working behind the scenes to encourage the establishment of a professional body for one of the fastest-growing business sectors in the marine and other spheres in Ireland, the lucrative…
This proposal for a solution of the problem of mega-load of containers on the Ever Given has taken thoughtful account of local sensitivities and an ancient culture
As the old business school saying has it, there are no problems - there are only fresh opportunities. The acute problem of the relatively rare blockage of the Suez Canal, with the salvors of the 400m Ever Given faced with…
Tank-testing for Suez problem under way on Saturday on the canal at Runcorn in northern Cheshire
While the Evergreen-owned container ship blocking the Suez Canal may be the biggest ship of her kind in the world, canal sailors from many countries have been developing theories as to how best she might be moved, and two Narrowboat…
History is made. The first Dublin Regatta of 1828, with the non-racing Pearl at left, the second-placed Ganymede (Col. John Madden) at centre, and the winner Liberty on right.
The impression conveyed in the image above of good-humoured sport afloat at the first regatta from the new harbour of Kingstown on July 22nd 1828 is so lively that today we easily forgive the relatively unskilled work of the artist,…
 They should build coffer dams ahead and astern of the Ever Given
When Lou Grade produced the unsuccessful and ridiculously expensive movie Raise the Titanic, he said afterwards that it would have cost less to lower the Atlantic. Afloat.ie’s suggestion for the Ever Given blocked in the Suez Canal is the opposite.…
The
The good ship Ilen, the 56ft Trading Ketch of Limerick, has been in the slipway cradle at Liam Hegarty's boatyard in Oldcourt upriver of Baltimore in West Cork this week, enjoying the relatively dry weather and the attention of her…
Professor Felix Muller of Berlin's newly-acquired veteran Kerry Mark II gets a brief sail on the Baltic last summer. He envisages a major up-grade of the boat, and is urgently seeking copies of a proper set of plans.
Eccentric boat designer O'Brien Kennedy's picaresque life story attracted fascinated attention when we ran a Sailing on Saturday feature on it ten days ago. But for Professor Felix Muller of Berlin, it was like stumbling on an unexpected oasis in…
Sailor Steph Lyons in business mode – her noted administrative expertise has now been recruited by World Sailing
It was exactly fourteen months ago – precisely on January 21st 2020 – that we featured the intriguing story of how Stephanie Lyons of Kildare had come to be in a role of active sailing prominence in Australia via training…
The champion. Paul O'Higgins' JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (RIYC), ISORA overall champion in 2019, and again in the truncated season of 2020
On Sunday, August 29th 1971, a group of offshore devotees who had campaigned the previous day's annual cross-channel Abersoch-Howth Race for the James C Eadie Cup gathered in the bar of Howth Yacht Club and gave some purpose to their…
George O'Brien Kennedy FRINA, (1912-1998). Known to everyone as Brian, and renowned as a dreamer of dreams, he is seen here in his early days of pioneering the Shannon Hire-Boat industry in the 1960s
You know how it is. You're wondering if the slightly odd flavour of the evening cuppa is a hint of the imminence of the C-Monster's indicator of taste-loss. All this, too, just as it's increasingly clear that your already-proposed personal…
The newly-restored 1969 Nich 43 Hunza being sailed by Andrew Wilkes in Arrecife Harbour in the Canaries
A busy ship, the old saying goes, is a happy ship. And a sailor in enforced idleness can be – at the very least - one decidedly grumpy so-and-so. Thus the multiple limitations of pandemic lockdowns have posed a challenge…
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