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  • Boating in Ireland

    I thought I'd share with you, what boating in Ireland is like. For starters, we have very little, if any, real regulation governing this particular activity. I'm not saying that's a good thing. It makes boating a lot easier, with less bureaucratic interfering. Having said that, it means that anybody with the money, can buy any sort of boat, with little or no experience and take to the water. You wouldn't allow a 17 year old to buy a 6.0 litre car and take to the roads without any experience. As a professional coach driver with many years experience, my view is that driving cars etc. is a lot easier than controlling a boat. Cars don't have wind, tides, wakes and the lack of brakes to contend with.

    My own personal experience is that I bought a small 16' cabin cruiser which I refurbed and familiarised myself with boating on a relatively small scale. I live in a town called Kenmare, in the south west corner of Ireland in County Kerry. The town is situated on part of what's known as The Ring of Kerry, right at the end of Kenmare Bay. The river Sheen flows into the bay, which then extends for almost 30 miles, before flowing into the Atlantic and is 12 miles wide at it's mouth. So, it's a "relatively" safe and sheltered environment.

    I familiarised myself somewhat with boating on the bay, always knowing that my Microplus cabin cruiser was a stepping stone. It was a bit cramped for fishing and lacked some creature comforts, although I had installed a porta potti and a small two ring gas cooker. I also fitted it with a VHF radio, bilge pump, navigation lights, etc.

    ​Then I sold it and progressed to my current boat/project. A 1990 Wellcraft Sportsman 250, powered by a 5.7 Mercruiser. Lots more room, also fully fitted with all safety considerations, with the added luxuries of an enclosed electric head, sink/cooker combo, depth sounder and chartplotter, for going further afield.

    Going further afield is a definite option as there are numerous harbours and islands dotted all along the south west corner of Ireland, with plenty of good fishing along the way. Actually circumnavigating the whole country is a possibility, as Ireland is small enough to fit inside the state of Maine.

    ​Downsides would be the lack of fuelling facilities, especially when it comes to petrol/gasoline. Less so with diesel, which is more readily available. Keeping a couple of 20 litre containers onboard would be a must if you intend going very far, so you can at least get gas from a station located near enough to where you might berth. Another downside is the actual cost of fuel here in Ireland, which equates to about $7.00 per gallon. But we're here for a good time, not a long time.

    ​Among the big plusses would be the fact that we don't have hurricanes, tornadoes and the like. We have had some bad winters over the years, but we have a temperate climate, hugely influenced by the Gulf Stream, which keeps things quite mild for the most part. Here in Kenmare, the vast majority of boaters leave their boats in the harbour, all year round, with no winterising issues. This is useful as we have many wonderful mild, clear days through the winter, when boating is perfectly do-able. Summer time daylight extends to about 10.45 pm, so plenty of opportunities to catch the tides, which can easily vary by about 12 feet from low to high. In the harbour, there are no mooring fees and all you need is the right spot, with consideration given to other moorings etc. and organise your own mooring. I did this via a professional company that provides all sorts of marine services, moorings, marker buoys etc. on behalf of the local council and the department of the marine. You pay for the installation of your mooring and you're good to go.

    ​Being a small island, we do have a very good coastguard network, dotted all around the coast, along with a very active and hardworking rescue service, called the RNLI, or Royal National Lifeboat Institute, run by volunteers!

    ​My Wellcraft refurb is nearing completion and she will be getting wet soon. The fact that winter is approaching isn't really a consideration. I'm sure most of you will never have the pleasure of boating in Ireland, but if you do ever come over this way, let me know and I'll take you fishing!

    Just thought you'd be interested in how things work over here on this side of the pond.
    1990 Wellcraft 250 Sportsman. Mercruiser 5.7

  • #2
    Good read thanks. One of these days we plan to make it over there and have a look around
    94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
    95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
    07 Seadoo GTX
    Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
    G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

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    • #3
      Thanks and you're welcome. Make sure and get to Kerry if you come over. One of, if not, the most beautiful part of the country. Unless lakes, mountains, rolling fields, coastal drives, great sea and fresh water fishing is not your thing. And of course there's the world famous warmth of the welcome you'll get.
      1990 Wellcraft 250 Sportsman. Mercruiser 5.7

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      • #4
        Hi there.
        Ireland, like Scotland is lovely. Good to hear from a fellow on this side of the Atlantic.
        I would love to do a bit of boating across on the SW coast.
        A long time ago a paid on and off a ship a few times in Kinsale. Lovely area.
        Glad you got rid of the microplus....not exactly a great sea boat, haha.
        Allan

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        • #5
          Thanks and I agree. Scotland is my next favourite place to travel about. I've done numerous tours
          ( working) all over Scotland. Still dealing with the accent. And I'm glad I moved on from the Microplus too. It served it's purpose but I found it to be cramped and claustrophobic.
          Where and what do you boat?
          1990 Wellcraft 250 Sportsman. Mercruiser 5.7

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          • #6

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            • #7
              I don't know a lot about inland waterways in Scotland, QBhoy could fill you in on that. In England, they have indeed, a very extensive canal system, which has been restored and brought back to life, after their decline when road haulage and railways took over from transporting goods on the canals. Likewise here in Ireland. We have two major canal systems, The Royal canal and The Grand canal. Also enjoying a new lease of life as a recreational asset, for boaters, fishermen and the like.

              ​Interestingly, the Royal canal begins it's life as a sort of branch from the river Liffey, which flows into Dublin (the capital city) bay on the east coast. From the Liffey, it flows roughly westward across the country until it meets the river Shannon, the longest river in the British Isles. The Shannon, rising up near the border with Northern Ireland, flows south and then kicks westward, heading out into the Atlantic Ocean at Limerick city. So, it's possible to boat from the Irish sea ( the body of water between Ireland and England) on the east coast, right across the country and out into the Atlantic ( the body of water between Ireland and America).

              The river Shannon is part of our inland waterways system and is a great resource for boaters, with several large lakes along it's length. It is well served with marinas, berthing facilities etc. and there are various boat hire companies operating on the Shannon.

              ​I would have the option of putting my boat into the Shannon at it's southern end, near where it flows out to sea. It's an option that I would never discount.

              ​PS. As an aside to my first post where I mentioned the fact that we don't get Hurricanes etc. I stand corrected. we have just been hammered with the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia, which started life down in the Azores. It was the worst storm we've had in over 50 years. So, I won't mention our weather again!!











              1990 Wellcraft 250 Sportsman. Mercruiser 5.7

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              • #8
                Hope its the last hurricane you'll ever get
                94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
                95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
                07 Seadoo GTX
                Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
                G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

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                • #9
                  Cool! I am half Irish so it is cool to hear somewhat what boating was like for my grandparents who lived in Ireland(they were fishermen). They actually lived pretty close to you. They lived in Castletown-Bearhaven.

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                  • #10
                    A great read, thank you. It's always interesting to learn of the subtle and sometimes not so subtle differences boating across this World. I found it interesting you had a 16 foot Cabin Cruiser complete with Head and a stove. Where did you sit? Free mooring if you provide the slip? wow, Around here boaters can pay several thousands of dollars a season just to have the privilege to have the boat on the water. Many don't leave the mooring all year because fuel here is also 7 bucks a gallon. Trailering will cost you up to $25.00 per launch here, both public and private. About 15 years ago there were zero qualifications to operate a powered vessel. I may be incorrect but a 12 year old could take out a boat with Twin 7's on it, alone. Scary. I have never been to Ireland but have had several co workers and friends from the Island a McFee, McTeirnan, McIneirney, and an Di Esposito. I did see it flying to the UK and now understand why it is called "The Emerald Isle." From the air it actually is a bright emerald green. No one had to tell me what that was down below the plane.

                    When I read you wrote that you don't have Hurricanes in your first post I said to myself you spoke too soon. Good luck on the Wellcraft. If I do get there someday I will show you how to fish Canuck style, if you have any CIL Wobblers. I have fished in Scotland and England, the 10 or so hook spreads on a single line for Herring was a culture shock to me.
                    Experience is a lifetime of mistakes, wisdom is not making them again.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jsparks747 View Post
                      Cool! I am half Irish so it is cool to hear somewhat what boating was like for my grandparents who lived in Ireland(they were fishermen). They actually lived pretty close to you. They lived in Castletown-Bearhaven.
                      ​Hi jsparks and nice to hear from you. Castletownberehaven, or Castletownbere as it's usually know is on the Beara Peninsula and is relatively close to me. Kenmare sits at the beginning of the bay, which is formed as a result of lying between the Beara and Iveragh peninsulas. It's part of County Cork, whereas Kenmare is in County Kerry. It's all lovely country and fishing would be a big activity in the environs, including shark fishing off the Cork coast.
                      1990 Wellcraft 250 Sportsman. Mercruiser 5.7

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Old Ironmaker View Post
                        A great read, thank you. It's always interesting to learn of the subtle and sometimes not so subtle differences boating across this World. I found it interesting you had a 16 foot Cabin Cruiser complete with Head and a stove. Where did you sit? Free mooring if you provide the slip? wow, Around here boaters can pay several thousands of dollars a season just to have the privilege to have the boat on the water. Many don't leave the mooring all year because fuel here is also 7 bucks a gallon. Trailering will cost you up to $25.00 per launch here, both public and private. About 15 years ago there were zero qualifications to operate a powered vessel. I may be incorrect but a 12 year old could take out a boat with Twin 7's on it, alone. Scary. I have never been to Ireland but have had several co workers and friends from the Island a McFee, McTeirnan, McIneirney, and an Di Esposito. I did see it flying to the UK and now understand why it is called "The Emerald Isle." From the air it actually is a bright emerald green. No one had to tell me what that was down below the plane.

                        When I read you wrote that you don't have Hurricanes in your first post I said to myself you spoke too soon. Good luck on the Wellcraft. If I do get there someday I will show you how to fish Canuck style, if you have any CIL Wobblers. I have fished in Scotland and England, the 10 or so hook spreads on a single line for Herring was a culture shock to me.
                        ​We often fish for mackerel using jig lures, usually feathers with about 6-8 lures on each line. The mackerel itself is a tasty supper, especially when fresh and is also a good bait for larger fish. Being quite oily it attracts other fish quite well. The usual offering are mackerel, codling, Pollock, conger eels, dogfish and a variety of flat fish. Some are just for fun and others are very tasty!! Regarding the Microplus, the cooker was on the port side, on a cabinet, just inside the cabin door and the porta potti was to the starboard side, housed discretely inside a cabinet. I've included pics to maybe explain better.

                        ​And yes, Ophelia made me eat my words!!.I can see where the various "Mc's" would have Irish origins, but the Di Esposito is a new one on me! That "Mc" is the shortened version of "Mac" which is the Gaelic word for "Son" or "Son of" so Thomas Mc Carthy would be "Thomas, the son of Carthy"

                        And if you do ever get over this way I'll take you fishing!

                        Thanks for the input.
                        1990 Wellcraft 250 Sportsman. Mercruiser 5.7

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sogood View Post

                          ​We often fish for mackerel using jig lures, usually feathers with about 6-8 lures on each line. The mackerel itself is a tasty supper, especially when fresh and is also a good bait for larger fish. Being quite oily it attracts other fish quite well. The usual offering are mackerel, codling, Pollock, conger eels, dogfish and a variety of flat fish. Some are just for fun and others are very tasty!! Regarding the Microplus, the cooker was on the port side, on a cabinet, just inside the cabin door and the porta potti was to the starboard side, housed discretely inside a cabinet. I've included pics to maybe explain better.

                          ​And yes, Ophelia made me eat my words!!.I can see where the various "Mc's" would have Irish origins, but the Di Esposito is a new one on me! That "Mc" is the shortened version of "Mac" which is the Gaelic word for "Son" or "Son of" so Thomas Mc Carthy would be "Thomas, the son of Carthy"

                          And if you do ever get over this way I'll take you fishing!

                          Thanks for the input. [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_280167_1509574083103_32[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_280168_1509574088786_207[/ATTACH] ​
                          Mc's usually Irish and Mac's from Scotland is indeed "Son of" or "from". In Italian of which I have 100% DNA, so I'm told "D' or Di or De" is also the Son of or from. My surname starts with Di. I worked with an Irishman from Cork years back who's name was Di Esposito. Born and bred on the Emerald Isle.

                          Seeing guys fish with 8 hooks on the line was eye opening for me. I would surely end up with a "carbunklement", that's a term an oldtimer used for a messed up line. I often get carbunklements fishing. We longline troll (trawl) here sports fishing for Salmon, Rainbow Trout and big Walleye here on Lake's Erie and Ontario in Southern Ontario, Canada and are allowed to use 2 rods each. Often we may have 8 rods out and end up with huge carbunklements for many reasons. We jig often for Smallmouth Bass here where we live on Lake Erie. We use a myriad of jigs from Tube Jigs to Hair Jigs and everything in between.
                          Experience is a lifetime of mistakes, wisdom is not making them again.

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                          • #14
                            Hi guys
                            That will make 3 of us at least on this side of the pond.
                            Im from the east of Scotland
                            The east neuk of fife. It would be good if we could organise a meet up like our friends over the pond ?
                            Andy

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                            • #15
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                              Howdy neighbour!
                              Although we may as well be across the Atlantic from each other. But that begs the question, hypothetically of course..........Would a 25' Wellcraft Sportsman get to Scotland from Kenmare? Down the bay and out into the Atlantic and then either South around the coast and up into the Irish Sea, up the coast to the North Antrim coast and across the sea to Scotland. Torr Head to the Mull of Kintyre is only about 14 miles. Alternatively, go North from Kenmare, up along the west coast, around the North coast and then across to Scotland.

                              ​My biggest problem in attempting such a journey would be refuelling. The 5.7 litre Mercruiser has a healthy appetite. LOL
                              1990 Wellcraft 250 Sportsman. Mercruiser 5.7

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