Matt slowly releases two new jaws for Ilen’s main gaff, both from prodigious local logs. One of Oak, the other of Black Locust, a gift of Storm Darwin which ripped through Glenstal Abbey, Limerick in February 2014 and brought down the great trees that bore them.
For many years now, since her return from the Falklands, the Ilen has been nursed back to strength by the best of Ireland’s traditional shipwrights in Liam Hegarty’s yard in Oldcourt. To those who wondered whether and when, to those who asked about times and seasons, the answer was that the destination was the journey itself, and that the Ilen served as an educational … Continue reading 30-11-15: Rebuild and Relaunch of the Auxillary Ketch Ilen
An international gathering at the Ilen School, Roxboro, Limerick of expert marine traditional riggers, sailmakers and classic boatbuilders, might induce one to speculate that a sailing ship is somewhere in Ireland nearing completion. And yes, this gathering of last Friday, clearly marks a significant juncture in the rebuild of Ireland’s 1926 wooden sailing ship Ilen The … Continue reading 16-11-15: Designing & making a new traditional rig for the good ship Ilen
The Ilen is a short film on the joy of working with wood, and documents the words and skills of Ireland’s few remaining traditional shipwrights, currently occupied in the rebuilding of Ireland’s sole surviving sail trading ketch Ilen. The awarded comes with a prize of $10,000 from the World Wood Day 2015 through their ‘Wood … Continue reading 06-11-15: Ilen documentary film wins award
The Ilen School’s newly launched sail training programme gets underway this month, with its first cadre of trainees assembled and ready to voyage upon the sea. It is planned that this five day voyage on board the Spirit of Oysterhaven will begin at Galway on Monday 27th July and finish at Limerick City Docks, Friday … Continue reading 10-07-15: Ilen School Sail Training Programme For Limerick’s Youth
The Ilen School, Roxboro, are today celebrating a great River Shannon adventure. This adventure involved 180–miles of Rowing from Belleek in Fermanagh to Limerick City, over a two week period, by a team of two Ilen School boatmen – Tony Daly and Liam O’Donoghue, both residents of Ballynanty. Not only did this intrepid duo navigate … Continue reading 09-07-15: River Shannon Adventure on a Small Cot
Matt shapes a new Greenheart worm shoe. It is a generous 50ft in length, and has a long scarf joint with lips (perpendicular cuts at each end of the joint) – it will soon be bronze bolted to Ilen’s original 1925 elm keel. This will afford the good ship a further level of protection in … Continue reading 01-07-15: Greenheart – Ilen gets a new shoe
First published in the Limerick Leader on the 07/06/15 by Anne Sheridan. With the wind in their sails, a crew of boat builders in Limerick are now piecing together one of the crucial parts of a ship’s infrastructure on a famous sailing vessel. The vessel is being patiently restored in Hegarty’s boatyard in Old Court, … Continue reading 12-06-15: Historic sailing vessel AK Ilen will return to waters
This week Fachtna O’Sullivan commences the task of caulking with Oakum the plank seams of the Ilen. This process will take many weeks over the summer and will require the discerning hand and eye of experienced shipwrights.
The process of rebuilding the good ship Ilen, for an operational and voyaging life at sea, reached an inevitable juncture this week. A juncture that sees new personalities about her decks – with conversation equal to their respective skills, they merge with those who with much joy have brought her to where she is today. … Continue reading 10-06-15: An Inevitable Juncture