Building a Shannon One Design
February 17, 2013 8:52 AM   Subscribe

'One Design' boats are boats built to a specific set of dimensions and then, often and to varying degrees of competitiveness, raced. On the River Shannon, Ireland, they race an open dinghy called the Shannon One Design and have for about 90 years. The boats can be built by anyone with the inclination, as long as the dimensions are adhered to and the measurers certify the boat as being correct. In the late 70's Irish TV made a program called 'Hands' that showcased traditional crafts and their practitioners. Building a Shannon One Design was among the topics they covered. (Those links are the first, second and third parts that make up the episode). Interestingly, they also did an episode on building a 'Curragh' (part 2 part 3), a boat design that people have been building on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland since before anyone even thought to notice they were building boats a specific way. Following links, there are also episodes about wheel building, chair making and weaving, among others.
posted by From Bklyn (7 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Ah! These are beautiful!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:56 AM on February 17, 2013

Not enough years in a lifetime - how I would have loved to build boats and make passages. wonderful to watch anyway.

There is a story that an Iberian-Celtic monk crossed the Atlantic in such a boat around the year 850AD, and lived in the hills of what is now western Massachusetts for some years, and eventually returned home. No reason to doubt it, I suppose.
posted by Abinadab at 12:42 PM on February 17, 2013

Much appreciated, said from the Southwest Coast of Ireland. I will pass it on to a friend who is a master craftsman. Thanks
posted by rmhsinc at 2:02 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Abinadab - would that be your man st. Brendan? His journey was recreated by Tim Severin in the seventies and the book was one of my favourite childhood reads. The documentary seems to be on YouTube

See also: The Sindbad voyage, by Tim Severin - recreating Sindbad's legendary travels in a traditional arab trading dhow.
posted by JustAsItSounds at 2:51 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Thanks! My uncle built his own boat, sails up the BC coast every year. He'll love this!
posted by chapps at 5:36 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I fondly remember watching (re-runs) of "Hands", including the Shannon One episode, years ago. I've tried to find out a little more about them, but I didn't even know then name of the show until now. Thanks!
posted by banter at 6:37 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is great, thank you for posting it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:57 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

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