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Heir Island Boat Works
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Sailing in Fastnet Waters
Heir Island Boat Works introduces the Heir Island Sloop
Line Drawing Heir Island Sloop   Length
L.O.A. 18 5" (5.6.m)
L.W.L. 16' 6" (5.0m)
7' 0" (2.1m)
5' 11" (1.8m) as
1' 2" (0.34m) and 3' 6" (1.1m)
1700 lbs (771 kg)

Ballaxt 450 lbs (204 kg)
Sail Area
175 sq ft; (16.3 sq. m)
(137 & 30 sq ft; 2.7 x 3.5 sq m)
Genoa 65 sq ft. (6.0 sq m)
Wooden Boat:
5/8 cedar speedstrip Epoxy glued and screwed to laminated yellow pine frames and mahogany backbone. Epoxy sheathed with 6oz. cloth.
GRP Boat:
3 layers of 600g chopped strand over 2 white gelcoats.Appropriate foam and glass stiffening and reinforcement.

3/8 Marine ply, epoxy coated on laminated yellow pine beams and shelf, teak toe rails fore and aft.

Coaming teak, thwart and benches mahogany, sole bare iroko.

All bronze, some custom.

Pine or spruce.

3/4 inch marine ply, sheathed, lead-filled at toe, sheave in head.

Good racing quality cut and cloth.

back to topDay Sail in light airs
The Heir Island Sloop is designed for companionable one-design racing and day sailing on the semi-sheltered waters of Long Island Bay and Roaring Water Bay, South West County Cork. The desirable features of a small modern yacht are grafted onto the solid virtues of a traditional working craft, in this case the old Heir Island Lobster Boat.
The sloop is offered in two forms of build-speed strip cedar, epoxy glued and sheathed, on laminated pine frames and mahogany backbone; and G.R.P. In both cases the deck is epoxy coated marine ply on laminated pine beams and shelf, and the cockpit is finished in hardwoods. Buoyancy is provided by closed cell foam behind bulkheads fore and aft, and spars are all wooden.
The outward appearance is thus identical, apart from the hull interior between sole and sheer; and the weights are kept close enough for racing purposes.
The lines show a roomy boat. Beamy at the deck, less so at the water line, with a moderate displacment, slightly hollow bow and clean run to a lifted wine glass transom. These features give a dry, powerful, sea kindly hull, which when allied to a generous, easily handled high peaked gaff rig, produce a real thoroughbred performance and feel.
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The traditional, high quality feel given by the construction and sails is upheld by the fittings, all of which are bronze, some custom.
Spacious in board
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Racing in shore
Three features are of particular interest to non-racing people: for shallow waters the rudder has a raised position where it is protected by the keel but still effective, and the centreboard can be easily raised by a gentle 2 finger pull; also the jib has a simple adjustable self-tacking system for short-handed sailing. (A genoa with conventional 2 part sheet makes up the sail wardrobe.) On deck stern fittings
In board detail Halyard blocks are ash with bronze sheaves, those on the mainsheet are grey cast alloy with delrin sheaves for power and senstivity.

Magazine Reveiws
Reefed sail beating to windward

Heir to Stay - A traditional Lobster Boat is revived for Day Boating - Afloat magazine

AS a result of a request from Freddy Neuhaus, a German national who spends the majority of his time living on Heir Island, ('Hare' on maps, but locals spell it 'Heir'), there is the beginnings of a new fleet of traditional sailing dinghies in the Baltimore area.
Mr. Neuhaus approached Gubby Williams of Heir Island Boat Works because he wanted a day boat. Mr. Williams set to and came up with a locally influenced design that is quite close to the old Heir Island Lobster Boats that used to be the local fishermen's stock in trade.

With an overall length of 18' 5" and a beam of 7', the boat carries a working sail area of 175 square foot, though there is a deck sweeping genoa available.
The first boat was built of strip-plank cedar and while building the second boat Williams took a mould off the hull so that future versions could be built in GRP. All the fittings are in bronze and the GRP version will have a great deal of timber so that it will have the look of a traditionally built boat.

The aim is to have a small racing fleet based around Baltimore harbour for later this season and judging by the considerable local interest this fleet will continue to grow and prosper.
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Final fittings on main mast
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If you would like more information on how to order one of these Day Sailors please contact us:
Company Logo
Heir Island • Skibbereen • Co. Cork • Ireland
Tel/Fax +353 (0)28 38379

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Getting Afloat -
Birth of a new class - Fastnet Style
- Classic Boat

Heir Island
is a small lump of rock off the south-
west coast of Ireland in County Cork. The post
comes just three times a week and there is wonderful
sailing to be had either towards the mainland or to
'Old Man Fastnet' himself.

Gubby Williams and his partner, illustrator Christine Thery, live there and have designed a new one-design for the local waters. Gubby explains: "Heir island was once home to the principal lobster hunters of this area who ranged from the Mizen to Ballycotton. These hardy divils (sic), away for weeks at a time working the cracks and tears of a tough coast, evolved a 22-26ft (6.7-7.9m) open carvel gaff cutter with an upright stem, raked transom, handsome sheer and coloured sheer strake. The working rig was boomless main and hefty staysail, adding a topsail and bowsprit jib for drifting and racing.
"In the Heir Island Sloop I've tried to graft the desirable features of a light, fast, modern yacht onto the solid, traditional virtues of the Heir Island Lobster Boat - hardly a novel scheme, I know, and not easy, particularly when the aim is not a hybrid hodge-podge but a wholesome, sea-kindly speedster of individuality and charm. So the hull is cedar Speedstrip, epoxy-sheathed, on a mahogany backbone and laminated pine frames. The sails are more 'racing' than 'cruising', but on solid pine spars, and the jib is self-tacking. Mainsheet blocks are modern cast alloy, but all fittings are bronze. There are bulkheads fore and aft with closed-cell foam behind. The trim and bottom boards are solid wood. The beam is 'modern' in its generosity, but the overall look would bring a grunt of approval from a Heir Island lobsterman.
"The lines are very conventional with a strong American influence, seen in the beam, the hollow waterlines forward, the triangular wooden centreboard and the club jib - legacies of my time at the Brooklin Boatyard in Maine. Seven feet of beam (2.1m) at the deck gives great space inside, and impressive righting leverage from bums on the side deck, and at the waterline the beam comes in to 6ft (1.8m), which on the waterline length of 16ft 6ins (5m) is by no means chubby.
Hollow waterlines forward may well be villains responsible for a stew of evils - from hellish imbalance and buckets of drag when heeled, to depletion of the ozone layer - but they keep the foredeck dry and, best of all, they look sharp and sexy.
"I was brought up on massive iron centreplates which ricked backs and wrecked boats - and never mind the righting moment. The Sloop has a triangular, sheeted ply board, with enough lead in the bottom to lower it and a small sheave in the top. As a result you can lift it with two fingers. For stability, there's 550lb (250kg) of lead bolted into the bilge each side of the case in handy lumps.
"The boat is fast and well-mannered. The decent displacement, a third of it amidships, makes her powerful and buoyant."
And a prettier boat would be hard to find......
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