Carrigaline Witnesses Maritime History
Writes Jack White
Carrigaline may have witnessed a piece of maritime history on Wednesday, July 6th as a unique boat build, an American John Alden Type Schooner was launched from Haven Marine, at the Boatyard on Church Road, Carrigaline.
The boat, built over eight years by Alec Murphy and his son Vincent in Alec’s garden in Kilmoney, may well have been the last boat to have been built and launched in Carrigaline as there are plans in place by the Boatyard owners, from whom Haven Marine lease, to develop houses on the site and hence end over 40 years of boat buliding history on the premises.
“Built along the lines of an American John Alden Traditional Type Schooner”, says Alec, “we built it from scratch, we cut and sized the timber ourselves, local larch and oak, there’s a lead keel, and she is bronze and copper fastened”.
Alec and Vincent are not boatbuilders by trade but have completed boats before this project. “We’re not sailors really”, says Alec, “but we enjoy cruising and being out on the water”.
Once the boat was complete in Alec’s garden, it was lifted over the house by crane before being transported to Haven Marine to be launched.
Alec says there will be a period of “swelling and tightening-up” for the build as she settles into her shape at moorings in Crosshaven.
These builds currently trade for hundreds of thousands of dollars in the USA.
The owners of Haven Marine say they have been given notice to vacate the Church Road site as the Boatyard owners wish to proceed to the planning stage for a residential development. With over 40 years of boatbuilding history on the site and with Haven Marine currently having 80 boats in storage, trading as a viable build and repair business and sustaining local employment, the owners say they are keen to stay and find a solution wherby they can plan a long-term move to another suitable site.
Speaking on behalf of the company, co-owner Damien O’Keeffe said, “It would be a shame to see the harbour lose another facility like this, there’s a long history of boatbuilding on the site. We currently have over 80 boats in storage so we’re looking for a facility to maintain that service. We really need a site with a slipway to the sea to launch boats also, they’re not easy to find. We offer a very comprehensive repair service and we have state-contracts with Fishery Protection boats, we’re really hoping we can stay here for a while until we find a viable long-term solution. “We’ve been to local TD’s looking for assistance”, he said, this is a negative development for a viable local company and it could affect local employment”.
As of now the owners of Haven Marine, employees, those who use the site and customers who store boats there are awaiting to see what happens next.