Dublin Bay Twenty One Footer’s Homecoming

30 July 2021 Dun Laoghaire Harbour at 17.00 hrs.

The Dublin Bay Twenty One Footers are the oldest class of racing yachts of their kind in the world – the world’s oldest Cruiser Racer Class.  Designed in 1902 by the leading yacht designer, Alfred Mylne of Glasgow for Dublin Bay Sailing Club, seven were built between 1903 and 1908 and all seven still survive.

The boats were converted to a Bermudan rig in 1964 and continued to race in Dublin Bay until 1986 by which time major structural restoration work was required. The owners agreed to have the boats restored to their original gaff rig by Tyrrells of Arklow. Five boats were transported to Arklow by road while Garavogue and Geraldine made their way under sail.  Following the death of Jack Tyrrell in 1988 and the subsequent closure of the famous shipyard, the fleet was laid up in a farmyard near Arklow until the present project began in 2017 with the formation of the Dublin Bay 21 Footer Class Association and the transfer of ownership of all boats to the Association.

The Association is committed to the revival of the class and now for the first time since 1986, the Class will participate in the AIB Dublin Bay Sailing Club racing programme of 2021.  The boats will sail under the gaff rig designed by Alfred Mylne in 1918.

For a generation born in the digital age, beguiled by novelty and speed, the Dublin Bay Twentyones are a reminder of how beautiful a true sailing boat can be. The boats will provide an opportunity for present day sailors to experience the sailing characteristics of a truly authentic classic yacht.  The boats will carry a crew of 5 or 6.

Stephen Morris and his crew in Kilrush have produced an outstanding example of authentic wooden boat restoration. Using Alfred Mylne’s original drawings, supplemented by construction details provided by Naval Architect, Paul Spooner, the traditional skills of the shipwright have been combined with the latest technical knowledge in timber conservation and construction methods.  The use of laminated beams and frames and epoxy resins has resulted in stiff, water tight, low maintenance, monocoque hulls, without nails or screws, which allows the application of durable two pack polyurethane finishes. The original lead keels. iron tillers and fittings have been reused together with some of the original greenheart and pitch pine.

The first three restored 21’s Number 3 Estelle, 4 Garavogue and 6 Naneen will sail from Arklow on Friday 30th July to arrive at Dun Laoghaire at 17.00 where they will be met by the Dublin Bay Sailing Club flag-ship Mac Lir to a gun salute. There will be a sail past which will include classic one-designs; Glens, Howth 17’s, Mermaids and Wags. The arrival may be viewed from The East Pier Dun Laoghaire Harbour.