Click any photo below for larger version

Setting-up for the Launching Ceremony

Sheila ready for launching - with bow mounted Champagne Bottle Breaker
( The Bottle Breaker design was originally for the launch of Isobel and Erica
was re-made by Michael Duffy to ensure the bottle would break 'first time! )

Sheila on display in HYC prior to her launch.

The completion of the project was aided by funding from friends and patrons including Euro Car Parks, XRS, Prorig and Dinghy Supplies. Their contribution along with the work done by class members and friends was vital to ensure the boat could be finished. Once the boat is sold, all available funding will go towards the next boat to be built.

The Launching Ceremony

Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan TD
addressing the gathering ( Eamon Ryan is Brian Turvey's cousin )

Shelagh Wilkinson pulls the drawstring to break the Champagne bottle.
( Cling film wrapped around the bottle prevents it from shattering )

(L-R) Peter McKenna, Shelagh Wilkinson, Eamon Ryan, Mark Lynch, Brian Turvey

(L-R) Mark Lynch, Brian Turvey, Peter McKenna, Shelagh Wilkinson, Eamon Ryan
Peter McKenna, HYC Commodore
Shelagh Wilkinson, (widow of class stalwart Norman) - launched the new boat;
Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources
Mark Lynch, Howth Seventeen Class President
Brian Turvey, Howth Seventeen Class Captain

Mark Lynch, Howth Seventeen Class President,
makes presentation to Shelagh Wilkinson to mark the occasion.

Launching Sheila

Proud members and friends of the Howth Seventeens take time to review
their hard work after Sheila is launched on Saturday 23rd May 2009.


The newest addition to the world's oldest one-design keelboat class - the Howth 17 Footer - was launched at a special ceremony at Howth Yacht Club on Saturday 23rd May attended by the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Eamon Ryan TD.

The wooden boat - built to a 112 year old design is the first brand new Howth 17 Footer, known affectionately as 'Seventeens', to be built in 21 years.

In time-honoured tradition, Seventeens are given a female name ending in the letter 'a' and although it is being called after Shelagh Wilkinson (widow of class stalwart Norman), - she launched the boat with a bottle of champagne - the new Seventeen has been named 'Sheila'!!

The project to build her began in Wicklow some years ago and was completed by master boatbuilder Dougal McMahon in County Offaly recently, with support from a number of sponsors and the practical input of Class members.

The new boat brings to 18 the number of Seventeens now active in Howth where they have been an integral part of the sailing scene for over a century.