The historic build of Howth's newest 17 Footer is being completed in the unique setting of Belmont Mill in County Offaly.
Builder Dougal McMahon's skills are usually applied to the construction of the 'Shannon One Design '- a class specifically designed to sail in the fresh water of the Shannon and Lough Derg.
Shannon One Design
His brief this time is to finish the project started in Wicklow some years ago.
The new boat will have her decks fitted in Belmont in the coming weeks and once her 812kg keel has been bolted on she will be returned to Howth where the remaining spars and fittings will be fitted and fixed.
The New 17 Footer
It is expected that the boat will be launched in May and soon after the reconstruction and relaunch of 'Rosemary', history will be made when eighteen of the boats should be racing with the same enthusiasm and fervour as did Rita, Leila, Silver Moon, Aura and Hera when then sailed into Howth in 1898.
Opposite: Fore & Aft views of the new boat.
TV documentary ...
A TV documentary that sets out to tell the story of the 17s will follow the boats through their winter preparation in the coming months and will capture the launch of the new boat as well as filming the class racing from Howth during their season. If anyone has any old video footage that might be included in such an anthology, they should contact the Class as soon as possible.
It will be available for sale or charter ...
The new boat is owned by the 17 Footers Association but is available for sale or charter subject to the Association guidelines concerning ownership. As with each of the boats within the Class, such guidelines prescribe that active participation in Club and Association racing is essential as is the understanding that the boat remains in Howth.