Currachs and Baltimore Wooden Boat festival.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! And boy are they right. I eventually had a couple of days that I was able to leave workshop. If you look at the last post you can see there’s a good bit of work to be done on  the Cape Henry 21′ and just over an month and a half to do it. The reason I managed to escape was the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival which takes place each May.


I thought I would show you some of the details of a couple of Currachs that were at the festival. The one on the left is what would be most familiar type of Currach that would carry four rowers and is made using laths to create the framework of the boat. Over which is then stretched canvas that is treated with tar.

The boat on the right is a Dunfanaghy Currach. It’s much smaller and would be rowed by one or two rowers. It is also “cruder” than the larger one as you can see it is framed with willow sallies and doesn’t have the doubling of the gunwale framing that the larger boat has. The knees are also much less refined and before galvanised strapping was used no doubt grown crooks would have been employed.


The photos above give a few more details of typical construction used in Currachs. On the right we see a large knee holding the thwart and to the right of that at the edge of the photo are the wearin pieces for the thole pin and oar. The photo on the right shows how some of the frames are pinned in place but most are held by friction alone.



the two fine vessels above are both regular visitors to the festival. On the left is the Peel Castle and the Julia, a McGruer built ketch. Both look very handsome and unfortunately I manage to take all of my photos on the dull, when in fact this years festival had the best weather in many many years. I was glad to get out of the workshop for a couple of days as from here on in it was fullon to get the Cape Henry 21′ finished for July.

Why not contact Tiernan Roe, about having your dream boat built phone +353 (0)86 1586937 or email

Roeboats, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, t:+353 (0)28 38973 m: +353 (0)86 158 69 37


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