Pumping up boat fenders and getting ready for a new boating season. #40

Yep there’s a new boating season just round the corner so it’s time to get the boat fenders pumped up, and we take off the name plates to repaint them and renew the vinyl boat lettering.

Marion shows off our nice new boat BBQ that we bought on ebay. It’s a stainless steel one so at least today it looks nice and clean! Not sure how long that will last.

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Grand Canal Company Barge 72M

We chat to Ronnie & Mary on their Grand Canal Company Barge 72M.

Join us while we take a look at this old Grand Canal Company barge 72M. All the barges were 60 foot barges and were numbered by the Grand Canal Company. The M signified that it was a motor powered barge rather than a horse drawn barge.

 

Ronnie & Mary bought their barge when it was just a rusting hull,
in Ringsend Basin in Dublin. Over the next four years they set about making it into a floating home.

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Do you need a boat license in Ireland?

So what are the legal requirements for boating in Ireland?

People always ask us if you need a boat license in Ireland? And they also ask us about the law in Ireland about wearing life jackets. In Ireland there are a few common sense rules about the wearing of life jackets especially with children but the boat license thing never caught on here. Check the video for the full details.

 

We also have rules on holding tanks on boats. Basically it’s illegal to dump any effluent into the rivers or lakes. Which I think is fine too. Thankfully though you can either bring your boat here or rent one with very few restrictions at all.

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Drone video of the River Shannon

In this episode we found ourselves out and about the river on a beautiful sunny winter’s day. So we said lets put up the drone and this is the result:

The River Shannon is an easy subject because it constantly delivers magnificent scenery even in the middle of the winter. We left Driftwood in her moorings and took to the road and went to visit some of our favourite moorings along the river. From Athlone in the midlands as far north as the southern end of the mighty Lough Allen. We dropped into Dromod, Carrick on Shannon and many other places along the way too. I see this as a easygoing almost therapeutic type of video! And I hope it will put into that “let’s get prepared for another boating season’ mood! Hope you enjoy it.

Lost canal & lock on lough Key

There is an old canal & Lock off Lough Key that belonged to the Rockingham Estate. It was used to transport turf (peat) from the bog near Keel lake to the Rockingham Estate. Before I stumbled upon it I never realised that there was a lock chamber on the Rockingham Canal.

In addition to that there is also a small harbour at the end of the canal at what is now the Scouts Jamboree area. The lock measured 48 feet long and 14 feet wide approximately. One thing I noted was that there was no towpath beneath the super ornate bridge.

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Replacing the Lock Gates at Meelick Lock on the River Shannon. #34

Waterways Ireland are replacing the lock gates on this magnificent lock at Meelick on the River Shannon. And Waterways Ireland have taken the unprecedented step of allowing members of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland access to the site. This is a first and I hope the first step in the right direction, and maybe the next time they might go a step further and open a site to the general public.

After all there is not much point in preaching to the converted. I’d love to see a school tour visiting such a site, and it might ignite an appreciation of the wonderful waterways we have.

Take a look around our boat, a video boat tour. #33

Join us as we take a look around our boat “Driftwood” by way of a short video boat tour, sort of like a boat inspection! Driftwood is a Drettmann DD Yacht. She is a German built steel cruiser and she was constructed in 1981.

She is a six berth boat with two singles in the bow in what they call a V-berth. Then the galley table can fold down to form a double berth and finally there is a small double cabin in the aft that we use ourselves. However I always feel

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How much does a boat cost? The easy way to get into boating.

Want to know how much it costs to get into boating?

Not as much as you may think… Boating is affordable and in this video I’ll show you how anyone can manage to get on the water the easy way.

We started off with a small plywood day boat that we took our two children on a two week holiday on, not a great idea! That boat was called The Four of Us, although we all agreed very quickly that it wasn’t the boat for us.

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Christmas Day Swim in the River Shannon, brrrrr it’s cold

Every Christmas Day Lough Ree Sub Aqua Club organise a charity swim. For the past few years I joined in after all it’s a bit of a laugh. Lough Ree Sub Aqua Club do great work on the lake and further a field also. As well as providing back up to the local RNLI Lifeboat (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) they also provide support and take part in searches all over the island of Ireland.

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