Update: Galway Port has offered a berth for Naom Eanna and after intervention by Seanad Eireann there is a month’s stay.
Heritage Boats have tended to end up on Hannover Quay, in Grand Canal Dock. Now, March 2014, in an act of state vandalism, they might all be destroyed. There is a view that the Irish Nautical Trust are to blame for this destruction, as they had not collected these boats, promising to preserve and restore, without the resources to meet that obligation. Perhaps we all share responsibility for not acting sooner, for not protecting history.
The RAF Boat is a 63foot General Service Pinnace; RAF Boat 1380. She was built by Groves and Gutteridge in the Isle of Wight. She has a double diagonal African mahogany hull with an aluminium wheel house. The twin 180shp Rolls Royce C6 FLM Supercharged engines, deliver a cruising speed of 14 knots at 1800 rpm, with a rang of 660 miles. Her dimensions are: LOA 63feet, Beam 15ft 6in, Draught 3ft 6in, Loaded displacement of 28.3 tons. She is equipped with a hydraulic Hyland winch with a lifting capacity of 33cwt. There was a crew of 7. There is a description of this type of boat on the Air Sea Rescue & Marine Craft Club web site; and on “the workhorse of the Maine Craft Section”. An identical boat, RAF Boat 1374, is in the RAF Museum ; and RAF Boat 1380 is in Newhaven Museum.
click on a photo to enlarge it
George Prescott owned the Iris. She was used by the Graphic Cruisers Club, the Dublin Sketching Club, the Dublin Naturalists Field Club and others. Many important paintings were composed on board. Artists included Richard Bridges Beechy, Alexander Williams, and others. Sadly, the Iris ended up in Grand Canal Dock. In time, she sank, was hauled out and left on the concrete embankment. The whole area is being redeveloped and ‘gentrified’. Some old timbers were burnt. Other ‘heritage vessels’ remain and Waterways Ireland wants them moved on. The lifeboat Mary Stanford is in very poor condition. A group has been formed to return her to Ballycotton and preserve her. They must move her by April. To contribute to this deserving cause, visit http://themarystanford.com/
The second lifeboat has no group to rescue her. There is an RAF launch, with two Rolls-Royce diesel engines, an interesting yacht built from concrete, as well as barges and other craft. The MV CillAirne has been restored by the Irish Ship & Barge Fabrication Company. She is now moored at the Conference Centre near Samuel Beckett Bridge, on the Liffey where she is a fashionable floating restaurant. Then there is the Naom Eanna. She served as the ferry to the Aran Islands.