Traditional boat
 
1) Currachs / Naevoga ‘Colmcille'

I developed my interest in traditional boats from kayaking encounters with fishermen on the west and north coast of Ireland and have owned a variety of currachs, rowing boats and open sailing/fishing boats ever since. I am a founder member of the Causeway Coast Maritime Heritage Group www.ccmhg.org. and was skipper of the 38' currach ‘Colmcille' on the voyage ‘In the Wake of Colmcille' from Derry to Iona in 1997.
Since then I have used the ‘Colmcille' for a number of shorter voyages on the River Bann estuary bringing people from different communities together and I have since returned to Iona in 2003 with an international crew.
 
2) Foyle Punt. 'Britta'

In 2007 I had a mould taken from the 'Ripple' a 16' Foyle Punt that was built in 1915 by Mc Donald & Co. Moville for a Mrs Dashwood of Portballintrae. Punts were used for the inshore fishery and were worked by sail and oar. "Britta' (Inishbofin gaelic for a ripple on the sea) is the first of her class to be produced from the mould and is a delight to row. She sails well and is a dry boat in a heavy sea, ideal for exploring the caves and coastline.
 
3) Drontheim/Yawl. ‘James Kelly'

In 1998 I had the ‘James Kelly' a 25' drontheim / yawl, (traditional clinker open fishing boat) built for the Causeway Coast Kayak Association to participate in local festivals and regattas. I am an active member of the Old Gaffers Association, www.oldgaffersassociation.org and the Traditional Yawl and Drontheim Society. In the summer of 2000 I cruised with my young family on the ‘James Kelly' to Iona through the Inner Hebrides living aboard the open boat.
 
4) Drontheim/Yawl. ‘Evelyn M'

In 2002 I had a mould taken from the ‘Elizabeth' a 22' drontheim / yawl from Ballintoy Harbour so that it could become the basis for a community boat project, in which there are now over a dozen drontheims in commission. She was built by James Kelly of Portrush in 1937 for Mr Neil Wilkinson. The 'Evelyn M' is named after my mother. These yawls are now to be found in Antrim, Derry, Donegal, Down, Fermanagh, Sligo and on the islands of Rathlin, Gigha and Islay.
 
5)‘Wild Goose of Moyle'
In 1998, Wallace Clark on a return journey to his home port of Coleraine with the ‘Wild Goose' ran aground at the Bar Mouth and the yacht sank during the rescue attempt by the RNLI. The wreck was offered to and salvaged by the CCMHG and was eventually purchased by my family when the group could not afford to complete the restoration. After three long winters of work in 2001 ‘Wild Goose of Moyle' was craned into the River Bann and our family set sail to circumnavigate Mull on her maiden voyage.

Since then we have had many memorable family expeditions and epics aboard on our ventures north to Scotland. We enjoy the freedom of the sea and the opportunity to maintain friendships with the good people we have met over the years. It is a privilege to be entrusted with her and even though it takes a bit of time maintaining the old lady, in return, she gives a lot of pleasure as we navigate the well travelled ‘Sea Road of the Saints'. Wild Goose was designed by and built for Maurice Griffiths in 1936 by Kings of Pin Mill. Two books have been written about her, ‘Sailing Round Ireland' and ‘Sailing Round Russia' by Wallace Clark her last owner. A full article was published in the June 1994 edition of National Geographic, ‘A Russian Voyage'.