Wooden boats on Irish inland waterways

Here are some of the wooden boats to be seen on or near the Irish inland waterways. You might also be interested in my page on wooden boats photographed at Lowtown (a junction on the Grand Canal) and in that on traditional boats and replicas; there are some newer photos (2010–2012) here.

If you know the names or types of any of the unidentified boats, or can suggest any other boats that should be included, please leave a Comment using the form at the bottom of the page.

Update September 2017

Francesca entering Ballinasloe 2017

Update 7 October 2010

Here are some links to information about a boat that was once based on Lough Derg, in the same ownership as Sunbeam:

Sereia history (note links to pages on restoration and photos)

Sereia for sale

And here are some additions.

Windrift at Jamestown, awaiting restoration (July 2010)

Little Pheonix leaving Dromaan (2010)

Little Pheonix entering Rossmore (2010)

Derrvea (ex Argent Brach) in Athlone 2

Derrvea (ex Argent Brach) 3

Here, courtesy of former owner Michael Gill, are three photos of Argent Brach taken at Hodson Bay in October 2004.

Argent Brach at Hodson Bay 2004 (Michael Gill) 01_resize

Argent Brach at Hodson Bay in 2004 1 (courtesy Michael Gill)

Argent Brach at Hodson Bay 2004 (Michael Gill) 02_resize

Argent Brach at Hodson Bay in 2004 2 (courtesy Michael Gill)

Argent Brach at Hodson Bay 2004 (Michael Gill) 03_resize

Argent Brach at Hodson Bay in 2004 3 (courtesy Michael Gill)

Update 5 May 2010

I’ve added a small batch of wooden boats at the bottom of the page. In several cases I have no names or other information, so I would welcome Comments that fill the gaps.

Update 15 October 2009

Added some more information on boat types, thanks to visitors to the site who have been able to identify them. I suspect I’ll eventually have to reorganise these and the Lowtown photos, organising them not by where they were photographed but by builder and type (where they are known) and perhaps by location for the others.

Update 22 September 2009

Added photos of Nadia at Hazelhatch.

Update 7 September 2009

There are some minor changes below, but the major change is the addition of a new page of wooden boats at Lowtown.

I am grateful to Craig Slawson, who runs an excellent website about Norfolk Broads boats, for identifying several of these boats. There are more enthusiasts on the Vintage Wooden Boat Association website.

Update 23 July 2009

One boat name added (thanks to GW) as well as fourteen photos of seven more boats. The new photos are at the bottom of the page, below the Shannon One-Design.

Update 22 June 2009

Identified Lady Josephine (and added some photos); added an extra photo of Christine; added boats Delight, Julie Dinah, Scallywag. St Mochua and three others without names. All except the smallest boat were photographed at Shannon Harbour on 20 June 2009; the exception was at Connaught Harbour, Portumna, on the same day.

Emina afloat at Portumna on Lough Derg

Emina afloat at Portumna on Lough Derg. According to Ian Clarke, Emina is an ARC Marine Everyman

A few years later, Emina lies rotting in a field near Cloondavaun on Lough Derg

A few years later, Emina lies rotting in a field near Cloondavaun on Lough Derg

La Vague disintegrating in a field at Rathangan some years ago

La Vague disintegrating in a field at Rathangan some years ago

Golden Hours in Athlone after restoration

Golden Hours in Athlone after restoration

Julie Dinah at Shannon Harbour

Julie Dinah at Shannon Harbour June 2009

Unidentified wooden boat, with extension, at Connaught Harbour

Unidentified wooden boat, with extension, at Connaught Harbour June 2009

Java (really a sea boat) in Grand Canal Docks, Dublin

Java (really a sea boat) in Grand Canal Docks, Dublin

Beal na Blath at Shannon Harbour

Beal na Blath at Shannon Harbour

Lady Ines in Carrick-on-Shannon

Lady Inez in Carrick-on-Shannon

Scallywag at Shannon Harbour June 2009

Scallywag at Shannon Harbour June 2009

Winter Solstice in Enniskillen on the Erne

Winter Solstice in Enniskillen on the Erne

Vinegar Hill at Shannon Harbour

Vinegar Hill at Shannon Harbour

Malagas at Killaloe heading for Limerick

Malagas at Killaloe heading for Limerick

Seagull at Quivvy on Lough Erne

Seagull at Quivvy on Lough Erne

Seagull under way on the Shannon-Erne Waterway (courtesy Neil Arlidge)

Unidentified cruiser at Dromaan on Lough Derg

Flynn, a Rampart 30 built in about 1957, and therefore an older sister to Winter Solstice (above), at Dromaan on Lough Derg (identification courtesy of JG)

Catherine B at Shannon Harbour

Catherine B at Shannon Harbour. Craig Slawson identifies this as an ex-Felicity: see W192 on his Norfolk Broads boats website.

Wooden narrow cruiser above Lock 24 on the Grand Canal

Wooden narrow cruiser above Lock 24 on the Grand Canal

Delight at Shannon Harbour June 2009. Could this (like Lady Josephine, below) be an ex-Broads hire-boat?

Delight at Shannon Harbour June 2009. She is a sister-ship of Hein Goodewind (see below) and of the ex-Joy Line boat being restored at Lowtown

Fortuna at Lock 22 on the Grand Canal

Fortuna at Lock 22 on the Grand Canal

Jemmy X at Shannon Harbour

Jemmy X at Shannon Harbour

Unidentified wooden boat at Hazelhatch

Unidentified wooden boat at Hazelhatch

Nadia at Hazelhatch at dusk

Nadia at Hazelhatch at dusk

Nadia at Hazelhatch at duck (with flash)

Nadia at Hazelhatch at duck (with flash)

Unidentified wooden boat at Shannon Harbour June 2009. Being renovated. Nice lines. I wonder what it was originally

Scalpa at Shannon Harbour June 2009. Being renovated. Nice lines. I wonder what it was originally

The same boat from the rear

Scalpa from the rear. See Mark Maguire’s comment below

Clorina at Lock 34 on the Grand Canal

Clorina at Lock 34 on the Grand Canal

Trasna on Lough Erne

Trasna on Lough Erne

This may be the same boat as the one above

Lady Josephine at Shannon Harbour. Said to have been a hire-boat on the Norfolk Broads, and then on the Grand Canal (perhaps at Lowtown in Ted Barrett’s fleet?) as Wavelet 2

Lady Josephine bows on

Lady Josephine bows on

Lady Josephine in November 2009

The owner hard at work on a hot day. I know they're a lot of work, but it is nice to see a wooden boat being maintained: there are so many at Shannon Harbour that seem to have been left to rot

The owner hard at work on a hot day. I know they’re a lot of work, but it is nice to see a wooden boat being maintained: there are so many at Shannon Harbour that seem to have been left to rot …

... or to sink

… or to sink

Marlou at Dromod

Marlou at Dromod

Unidentified wooden boat at Robertstown on the Grand Canal

Scallywag at Robertstown on the Grand Canal (identification courtesy of GW)

St Mochua at Shannon Harbour June 2009

St Mochua at Shannon Harbour June 2009

Trindle at Lowtown on the Grand Canal

Trindle at Lowtown on the Grand Canal. By 2009, Trindle had become an Artwork; see the Lowtown page

Harklow filling with water at Connaught Harbour, Portumna

Harklow filling its water tanks at Connaught Harbour, Portumna, June 2009

Dunbrody and cruiser in Waterford

Dunbrody and cruiser in Waterford

Wooden boat at Carrybridge on Lough Erne

Wooden boat at Carrybridge on Lough Erne

Vicki May in Grand Canal Docks, Dublin

Vicki May in Grand Canal Docks, Dublin

Long boat at Shannon Harbour

The long, elegant boat Christine at Shannon Harbour

Christine through the bridge at Shannon Harbour

Christine through the bridge at Shannon Harbour

Christine from the bridge

Christine from the bridge

Cirrus and Glare of Light at the filter beds on the Grand Canal

Cirrus and Glare of Light at the filter beds on the Grand Canal. Craig Slawson said: “Glare of Light was almost certainly the ex-Broads boat of the same name – it was quite common to create the long windows in the bows by joining up pairs of portholes and  the cockpit is definitely a new addition.” The boat later sank at Shannon Harbour and was broken up.

Cirrus at Shannon Harbour

Cirrus at Shannon Harbour

Wooden boat at Shannon Harbour

Unidentified wooden boat at Shannon Harbour

Arabella at Lough Derg Yacht Club

Arabella at Lough Derg Yacht Club

Unidentified cruiser at Shannon Harbour

Unidentified cruiser at Shannon Harbour

Wooden sailing boat at Kincora

Wooden sailing boat at Kincora. Mat Gravener says this is a a Dauntless, a centreboarder built in Essex

Gamebird at the Corrib Rowing and Yacht Club, Galway

Gamebird at the Corrib Rowing and Yacht Club, Galway

Gamebird again

Gamebird again

Another unidentified boat at Shannon Harbour

Another unidentified boat at Shannon Harbour

Koala at Corrib Rowing and Yacht Club. The yellow thing is a hoist, not the boat's mast

Koala at Corrib Rowing and Yacht Club. The yellow thing is a hoist, not the boat’s mast

Draiocht at Shannon Sailing, Dromineer, Lough Derg

Draiocht at Shannon Sailing, Dromineer, Lough Derg. Mat Gravener says it’s “one of the Lone Gull class, designed by the late, great Maurice Griffiths,” and I recall that the owner did say that it was a Griffiths design.

Draiocht's stern

Draiocht’s stern

Rona at Kincora on Lough Derg

Rona at Kincora on Lough Derg

Former lighthouse tender at Dromaan ...

Former lighthouse tender at Dromaan …

... with Lister engine

… with Lister engine

MV Maeve, the half-decker in which Tony Gallagher (pictured) runs highly recommended trips on the Munster Blackwater

MV Maeve, the half-decker in which Tony Gallagher (pictured) runs highly recommended trips on the Munster Blackwater

A Shannon One Design (SOD) on Lough Ree

A Shannon One Design (SOD) on Lough Ree

This boat (seen at Tarmonbarry) is in the same marina as ours. I know the owner's name but not the boat's name

Muireann (seen at Tarmonbarry)

Hein Goodewind in Killaloe 1

Hein Goodewind in Killaloe 1. It is said to have damaged a plank by hitting the weir protection pontoon in Limerick

Hein Goodewind in Killaloe 2

Hein Goodewind in Killaloe 2. This is an ex-Joy Line (Ted Barrett) hire boat

Hein Goodewind in Killaloe 3

Hein Goodewind in Killaloe 3. She is a sister-ship of Delight

Hein Goodewind at Shannonbridge

Hein Goodewind at Shannonbridge. She was probably B74 on the Norfolk Broads before coming to Ireland

Lady B in Dromod 1

Lady B in Dromod 1

Lady B in Dromod 2

Lady B in Dromod 2

Unnamed boat at Portrunny 1

Unnamed boat at Portrunny 1

Unnamed boat at Portrunny 2

Unnamed boat at Portrunny 2

Unnamed cruiser in Athlone (being driven by SOR) 1

Perfect Dawn in Athlone (being driven by SOR) 1. Craig Slawson says she is a Dawncraft, a sister-ship to Crimson Dawn (B695) on his database. See Sean O’Reilly’s Comment (below) giving more information about the history of this boat and see here for the relaunch.

Unnamed cruiser in Athlone (being driven by SOR) 1

Perfect Dawn in Athlone (being driven by SOR) 2

Unidentified large cruiser in Athlone

Derrvea (ex Argent Brach) in Athlone 1

Yala at Meelick 1

Yala at Meelick 1

Yala at Meelick 2

Yala at Meelick 2

Update 5 May 2010

Some more wooden boats. Several are unidentified so I would welcome information: please leave a Comment below.

Cuanna (courtesy Neil Arlidge)

Cuanna from astern (courtesy Neil Arlidge)

Saidé R in Killaloe (December 2009)

Unidentified small boat at Shannon Harbour. Is it wooden?

Twiga in Shannon Sailing, Dromineer 1

Twiga in Shannon Sailing, Dromineer 2

Twiga in Shannon Sailing, Dromineer 3

Unidentified large cruiser at Shannon Harbour 1

Unidentified large cruiser at Shannon Harbour 2

47 responses to “Wooden boats on Irish inland waterways

  1. A beautiful collection of photographs.

    Stately Wooden Queens among the plastic upstarts.

    May god bless them, all who sail in them and above all, the owners who care for them.

  2. fair made my old heart go thumpy thump with pleasure.

    The “Unidentified cruiser at Dromaan on Lough Derg” is Flynn. A Rampart 30 built in about 1957 and therefore an older sister to our own Winter Solstice.

  3. Thanks, Joe: Flynn caption duly amended

  4. Great photos. Thanks for sharing them.

  5. Thanks, Marion.

  6. I can identify Scalpa at shannon harbour. work has stopped on her over the last 2/3 years.
    the photo in robertstown is Scallywag with a cover on her.
    Geraldine.
    Great web-site Brian

  7. Thanks, Geraldine. I’ve added the name to the pic of Scallywag (and added several more photos of boats that were not previously shown). However, I’m not sure which is Scalpa: there are three unidentified boats at Shannon Harbour.

    bjg

  8. Enjoyed viewing your photos very much. Thank You.

  9. geraldine wilson

    I think the unnamed cruiser in Athlone might be Perfect Dawn. used to belong to Sean O’Reilly, Edenderry before he joined the heavy metal brigade.

  10. Thanks, Ray.

    bjg

  11. Thanks, Geraldine. I’ve given it that name; SOR can check it when he next visits these pages!

    bjg

  12. Great photos, it gave me great pleasure to see the Cirrus once owned by my father Geoffrey. My most memorable holidays were taken on the Shannon on the Cirrus. We were all amateurs but had great fun.Thanks for such a wonderful display. Dorene

  13. Thanks, Dorene: glad you enjoyed the photos. Incidentally, you may be aware that Cirrus’s current owners read this blog too.

    bjg

  14. Lovely to see photos of hein goodewind, the former B74 Delight 4 on Norfolk Broads. I had my first taste of boating on her in 1962, started off a long love of boating.

  15. John

    Thanks very much for that. I must say it’s nice to see an old boat being well looked after.

    You’ve just reminded me that I should have said, in reply to Liz, that Craig Slawson had identified Hein Goodewind as B74, because of the number of rubbing strakes, and that we know from the old photo that B73 also came to Ireland, but don’t know whether it’s one of the other two Delights still surviving here.

    bjg

  16. Cross posting from the Lowdown photos I notice that the photo of B63 being unloaded at Dublin Docks also has 3 rubbing strakes as does the photo of the boat at Lowdown which has been identified as Inish Fail.

    Sadly I am along way from Lowdown but anyone else is nearby – perhaps they could speak to the lockkeepers mother just that somewhere there is a record of these stories before they are lost?

    In total Herbert Woods of Potter Heigham built 12
    I am struggling with the idea that there were 6 sent out though – I could account for 4 that is 3-6. Delight I is supposed to still be in Norfolk and II was missing from the catalogues after 1946?

    I own B77 and B78 was also at Potter Heigham in the 1960s. I remember seeing others in that period on the Broads and XI and XII stayed in the catalogue for longer moving to different boatyards. Delight XI has been fully restored and is still in Norfolk. Many Delight photos can be seen on Craigs website.
    I hope the link works
    http://www.horning.org.uk/imggallery.php?style=Dlit

    The history of B77 which is now called Water Rail can be read on this discussion on the Norfolk Broads Forum
    http://www.the-norfolk-broads.co.uk/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=49&Topic=17027&srow=1&erow=10
    Delight 1 Jacqueline also gets a mention and the thread is now here
    http://www.the-norfolk-broads.co.uk/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=49&Topic=18229&srow=1&erow=10

    What I love about the photo of Hein Goodewind is that on one of the views you can look into the forecabin and see the old toilet door. Unfortunately my father removed the one on B77 but we still have it – it is a shed door at Horning where my brother still lives!

    I also note that all the Delights in Ireland have front hatch covers – I assume that is a requirement?

    We came to Ireland in 1965 and hired a boat from Carrick on Shannon – something with rose name? We went across Lough Derg and the wind got up – we were terrified. However, we did encounter some tragedy – that a boat on Lough Ree either exploded or someone drowned. We saw a Delight moored at Athlone waiting for the lock keeper to stop watching the football and we believe they tried to help rescue the family. We were going in the other direction. Does anyone have recollections of such an incident.

    Apologies for such a long posting – I have order a copy of the film Widows Peak (it cost me £2.99!).

    B77 only claim to stardom was when she had cameo roles in the 1980 TV series featuring Arthur Ransomes Coot Club and Big Six stories set on the Norfolk Broads!

    Liz

  17. The small clinker yacht at Kincora is a Dauntless, centreboarder built in Essex, and Draiocht at Shannon Sailing, Dromineer, Lough Derg I’m sure is one of the Lone Gull class, designed by the late, great Maurice Griffiths.
    Fantastic collection of photos, would love to visit Ireland and take a closer look! Keep up the good work,
    cheers

  18. Wonderful collection of photos, many thanks.

  19. Thanks, Steve.

    bjg

  20. Thanks, Mat. I’ve amended the captions to those two boats accordingly. There are some boats on my sailing-boats page that might interest you: http://wp.me/Ppxzo-ko.

    If you are coming to Ireland, let me know!

    bjg

  21. What a fantastic site for anoraks like me !! Magic photos…happy memories. Scalpa is between “Nadia at Hazelhatch” and “Clorina at Lock 34” She was Clondra based for a long time but I once saw her having surgery in Howth.

  22. Thanks, Mark. I’ve added the name above. If you can identify the names or types or builders of any more boats, on this page or the Lowtown page, I’d be grateful. And I’m thinking of starting a page for early GRP cruisers (by type rather than individual boat), where your assistance would be invaluable ….

    bjg

  23. Great collection of timber boats Brian – good work.

    Perfect Dawn’s original no was A591 – Built by Dawn Craft, Wroxham. Keel laid in Nov 1952. Lost at sea ( Loydes Register) 1968 – appears on the s
    Shannon around that time with a new Perkins 4108 engine.

  24. Thanks, Sean: that’s great.

    bjg

  25. majella o donoghue

    Hi brian, lovely to see these beautiful boats. please kep an eye out for Bri-jella in your travels. I would still love to find her, whatever condition she might be in.
    Majella.

  26. Majella: nice to hear from you.

    If any reader knows of the current whereabouts of the wooden boat Bri-Jella, please let us know.

    Majella, if you have a photo, I could put it up here to help peiople spot her, as the name may have been changed by now.

    bjg

  27. Wow those photos take me back. Great to see Trindle featured too. We owned her for just over seven years and she served us well on the Shannon SEW and the Barrow.
    At the time I made a ham-fisted attempt at a website about Trindle I just checked and it’s still there http://www.trindle.20m.com plenty pics of her in various stages of repair or disrepair depending on your viewpoint.

    Great site Brian it just got bookmarked.

  28. Hi, Harry: nice to hear form you and thanks for the link to the Trindle website. I wonder if Mr Whelan was thinking of the comedian Tommy Trinder, subject of this Wikipedia page. I should point out to visitors that you have a new boat, a new website and a book! bjg

  29. Not sure Brian if the late Mr Whelan named the boat after Tommy Trinder as you mentioned although he does seem to be the most likely contender, or possibly Trindle & Higgins? I have looked but found very little on the net about the latter. Certainly Tommy Trindle seems to be incorrect as a name source. It may be lost forever in the ether of time.

    Harry

  30. Suppose the “La Vague” disintegrating in a field at Rathangan is the one once owned by Helene Delangle, ‘Helle Nice,’ the “Bugatti Queen” in the book of that name by Miranda Seymore? Looks like it might be 73 feet.

  31. I doubt it, Bill: it’s nothing like 73 feet long. There’s a 1929 photo of La Vague (actually La Vague II) alongside Chang-Sha, when both were owned by the Delany family, and Chang-Sha (about 60 feet) is definitely longer. I don’t know anything about Helene Delangle; maybe she owned La Vague I? bjg

  32. Delight sadly is no more, however beal na mblath sank in bad weather in late dec / early Jan and was lifted out by wi and put up for tender, I have just purchased her and will try to restore her as best I can. Anyone know her history,?? Donal my email is shanksfirefly@gmail.com

  33. Thanks for the update, Donal. Sorry to hear about Delight but happy that you’ve taken on Beal na mBlath. Mark Maguire may know about the history; I’ll email him. bjg

  34. Hi just wondering does anyone have any more pictures of beal na blath or is it possible to get a copy of the picture of her on this site at a higher resolution it would be appreciated. Many thanks. Donal Flynn . Shanksfirefly@gmail.com

  35. I have ssent some photos direct. bjg

  36. We are previous owners of Derrvea ( known to us as Argent Braech) 1974-1984 and would be interested to know her current where abouts . We have heard it sank c 2010 does anyone know any more? If so please let us know!

  37. Pingback: Argent Brach | Irish waterways history

  38. The boat captioned “Wooden narrow cruiser above Lock 24 on the Grand Canal” is “Ottilee” built by Taylors of Chester .

  39. Thank you very much. I hope the boat is still in good condition. bjg

  40. Can any body give me information on lady be good a broads cruser

  41. Lady be Good was built by Herbert Woods of Potter Heigham and was one of the Light class of boats. She probably came over to Ireland in 1965 when Ted Barrett at Lowtown bought 6 ex hire boats, 4 were Delights which were 3 berth and the other two were larger boats one was certainly Glare of Light. A few years ago it was hoped that Lady be Good could be returned to the Broads to be restored as her future in Irish waters wasn’t so safe. I don’t think anything came of it so her current fate is unknown. Herbert Woods Boatyard is celebrating its 90th birthday this year. Some old photos can be found on their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/herbertwoods/photos_stream?tab=photos_albums

  42. Hi, Nobody approached me in relation to moving lady be good to the broads, can Michael please advise why he is interested in this boat , I had her since 1982, and was forced give her to someone who promised to look after her in 2010, this didn’t work out and I am now overseas, as far as I am aware she is still lying in the Rinn River Marina, I can be contacted by email

    [site editor’s notice: I have hidden the email address but will pass it on to Michael on request. Michael, please reply to this comment to say whether you want the address. bjg]

  43. michael glennon

    Michael is fixing lady be goodand has fitted 180 feet of larch timbers so she will be on the water end of next month nole send me your email regards michael

  44. Nole lynam can you send me your email

  45. I sent you Noel’s email address on 19 June. I have sent it again now to the hotmail address you put on your comment. bjg

  46. I’m interested in finding out where the Scalpa is now. She was my grandfathers boat. Any help would be much appreciated!

  47. I’ve replied to your post on the “Boats at Shannon Harbour” page. bjg

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