Roeboats at the Ilen framing out and Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival.

Here are some photos of the Ilen the last wooden sailing cargo vessel built in Ireland in 1926 for use in the Falkland Islands. She’s currently undergoing a rebuild here in West Cork. I was invited to the framing out celebrations on the completion of the reframing of the boat. Next step is the planking and you can help by sponsoring a plank. They are also running traditional boat building workshops each month. They’ve also started a blog here.

Frames of wooden boat Ilen taken by Tiernan Roe of Roeboats custom boat builders

The Baltimore Wooden Boat festival was a tremendous success with up to 70 boats attending. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of the weekend as I was too busy talking to people about Ninigret. I’m exhausted having spent the entire weekend talking.

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


Restoration of National 18

I bought this National 18 from a friend of mine. Some friend you might say. It was to replace an old plywood wayfarer that had finally disintegrated ( I could push my finger through the bottom.) after more than 30 years or so. As you can see in the pictures it was in pretty rag order.

liamodonovanofficesuite0033All of the decking had delaminated after being left out uncovered for a good few years and the boat needed a full fitting out.


Well it was early June and I wanted to go sailing a soon as possible before the summer ended. So I set to and two weeks later it looked like this.

18boatI redecked the boat, recyled some of the seats from the wayfarer and built new ones. They gave me some very funny looks when I bought a plank of iroko that looked like a boomerang but it was perfect for the rubrail at the gunwale. I was able to use the wayfarer rig, which was a little smaller than the National 18; because I would be single handing a lot. Repainted and varnished the whole lot. I filled in the transom hole as I wanted to keep my feet dry. I’ve been using the boat for 3 summers now and it has performed much better than the wyfarer the extra length and beam make it a lot sturdier and roomy. The design is a 1968 Ian Proctor design that replaced the sleek 1930’s Uffa Fox design of the National 18 which is very nice too. I apologise for the quaity of the photos when I took them I hadn’t intended to put them in blog.