From mid August on I’m always on the look out for southeasterly gales. southwesterlies aren’t as much a problem, though a few boats broke off their moorings in Baltimore during this one, mid-September.
Varnishing officially abandoned for the year… few more bruises too…
Back in August I went for a short trip to Tralong cove east of Glandore Harbour. I hadn’t been there in years and it turns out someone has built this bad ass fort there! Someone also installed a running mooring, which is handy, as there is always a bit of a boat crunching surge on the beach. Behind the beach is a lagoon that fills at high tide. If you want to have the beach to yourself during the summer you have to get there early! Or go on an overcast tuesday!
I had been thinking about doing this for a long time. My heart broke a little every time I rowed away from An Suire and I noticed the black spot growing under the varnish on the transom. This will make life easier, and she will look more workboat - isn from afar. I also gave the chart table a lick while I was at it. Varnishing the inside next!!
Sculling like a boss! Last boat trip of the year I would say, taking in the running mooring and the mooring riser.
I was down at my granny’s today in Youghal in East Cork. I decided to go see if there were any of the Youghal Yawls left. This is the only one I found and what a well kept beauty she is. Unfortunately these boats won’t be around for much longer. They were used for drift netting salmon in the estuary under oar, but unfortunately that fishery has been stopped now to try and replenish salmon stocks. While replenishing stocks is a good thing, it is sad to see an age old way of life gone.
As you can see she is well suited to estuary work with her low freeboard and relatively flat sheer, which means she has less windage and therefore easier to row. The calm conditions in the estuary mean the lack of freeboard isn’t an issue. The low freeboard also helps when hauling the drift net with the hauling made even easier with the modern addition of pvc piping to the gunwale.
Now that is a fuel tank! A recycled beer keg! Teal is coming on nicely! http://falmouthquaypunt.blogspot.ie/
I have been wanting to post about this for a while now! Some photos from this blog are being used to illustrate Lodestar Books re-issue of Conor O’Brien’s 1941 book; Sea Boats, Oars and Sails. Conor O’Brien is a famous Irish gun runner, circumnavigator and all round salt. Check out the preview here: http://www.lodestarbooks.com/?wpsc-product=sea-boats-oars-and-sails. And don’t forget to order it now for the Sail & Oar enthusiast in your life!
johnyawl asked: An Suire, what language is that and what does it mean?
Suire is an old Irish word that appeared in the Book of Invasions(Lebor Gabála). The mythical Celtic tribe the Milesians, were surrounded by frolicking Suire as they arrived in Ireland in their boats. Suire can be taken to mean sea-nymphs, An Suire being the singular, the sea nymph. I found the word on this wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrow. I imagine the original Suire were dolphins or seals!
doorcountysc asked: Hello, Thanks very much for your blog - the information on the Ilur is very helpful and the quality of the photos is just great. May I please ask about your Ilur? I've looked at the online study plans, having completed 2 small Oughtred designs (and nearing completion on a third). I specifically wanted to ask about the need for lead ballast and also whether you might recommend the new yawl rig. Adding lead ballast makes me wonder if the Begmeil (steel centerboard) might be a better choice.
Adding the lead ballast isn’t at all necessary. I added it mainly as an experiment and as I sail solo 99% of the time, the extra little bit of weight wasn’t going to do any harm. It only made a slight difference to performance, she now heels a little more gradually in a gust.
I only recently realized that Beg - Meil was the same hull as Ilur. I guess she has has the steel plate to counteract the extra weight up high in the form of the deck. I had considered a steel plate for Ilur while building her but didn’t know where to get one made. I probably will get a steel plate for her someday when the finances allow. There would certainly be no problem putting a steel plate in while building with the Ilur plans.
The advantage of the Ilur over Beg Meil is the extra room you get in an open boat. Also I don’t see much point in having the deck as I have never dipped the gunwhale in the two seasons I’ve been sailing my Ilur. Once the hull starts to heel that much it is time to reef. The boat is a lot faster sailed flat than on her side! Without the deck she is also cheaper to build and the high freeboard means she is very dry.
As for the yawl rig, I would seriously consider it if I was building now. It would be great for single handing and fantastic for fishing. On the downside it is an extra sail to rig, use and stow. The main reason I chose the Ilur is the simplicity of the Misanier rig. It is so fast to rig and get underway. If it wasn’t I probably wouldn’t go sailing as much!
The main problem I have encountered reefing An Suire is how to get the sail down without dumping it in the drink. The solution came watching the lugger Ibis’s masterful sail handling, at Ballydehob gathering of the boats, using a brailing line.
Here I have rigged a simple brailing line running from the upper clew to small blocks at the throat, with the line running down to the mid tack grommet. The brailing line allows the sail to be gathered in quickly. By pulling on the brailing line before dropping the sail, the sail is gathered into the mast making it easier to bring the sail into the boat as it comes down.
Another welcome benefit of the brailing line, is it turns the Ilur into a fantastic little fishing boat. You can use the brailing line to de-power the sail downwind for trolling. It also comes in handy when fishing at a windward shore, or if the wind is parallel to the shore. You simply heave-to with the tiller lashed down and the sail brailed. You’ll then drift slowly away from or alongside the shore, all the while fishing away. I use a small spinning rod and soft jellies on jig heads, and as you have sailed there, the fish don’t hear you coming! Having the sail brailed means you can release it quickly if you need to sail away from trouble!
One final thing a brailing line could be useful for is running downwind fully reefed in a strong wind and following sea. I haven’t tried this out yet(nor do i want too) but by brailing the sail, the boat could be slowed down to a comfortable speed while running downwind. The sail can then be un-brailed when you make an angle to reach to safety.
(ps. I let the pollack in the picture go, I always let them go!)
As the evenings grew shorter, it got harder and harder to judge what time I should head back in at!!