Ireland’s Boating Culture

1265x400xIreland_bb.jpg,qitok=3qaJW_4L.pagespeed.ic.Cv5knMvseKProbably one of the best things about the west coast of Ireland is the rich and long maritime tradition. This area attracts many visitors each year and perhaps, the most popular spot is a tourism trail named Wild Atlantic Way. Throughout the years, the Atlantic has been a source of livelihood for the people from West Ireland, most of whom were farmers and fishermen who lived and worked in the region.

Working in the wild ocean requires a lot of skill and craft. Fishermen had a need to design boats suited to their particular needs, like withstanding the collision of the crashing sea and the rugged coast. This type of amazing craftsmanship may be traced back for centuries. You can even marvel at some of the modern examples of beautiful boats which are dotted along the bays. Also, if you are looking for a maritime adventure of some sort, you could go see the boat races at festivals or at regattas taking place regularly.

The Galway Hooker

This is a sturdy boat with a distinctive red sail which is native to the Connemara. It was developed specially for the Galway coast’s rugged bays. It was built from native white oak & larch, and is strong and hardy.

The Currach

This is probably one of the most iconic and the best known boats on the Wild Atlantic Way. There are slightly different versions native to Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry and Donegal. This small rowing boat was traditionally made using animal hide cured in a mixture of plant and wooden slats.


Irrespective of whether you are highly experienced when it comes to sailing or an amateur, this is the place to be if you are interested in sailing and boating. Head out for some festivals, events or regattas, or simply admire the amazing old watercraft as they float proudly through the coastal waters.