Sunday 17 December 2017

All hands on deck as 100 club resurrect famous dinghy

It was all hands on deck for a group of dedicated volunteers when it came to recreating the dinghy from the original Asgard.

The Asgard boat itself was meticulously restored to its original splendour under the direction of traditional boat conservator John Kearon and put on public display at the National Museum of Ireland.

However, a missing component of the exhibit was the specially-designed dinghy that was part of the Asgard's inventory when launched in 1905.


But thanks to the efforts of a group of volunteers in Howth, a dinghy has now been built to the original plans - which were uncovered in Norway - and will be unveiled this Sunday.

After the celebrations, it will be handed over to the National Museum, where it will take its place alongside the Asgard and will be available to see from July 29.

Individuals, clubs, organisations and businesses in Howth and the surrounding areas all contributed to the fundraising drive for the replica dinghy.

It's one of a number of ambitious projects undertaken by the Asgard 100 group.

It started off with six volunteers - Walter McGuirk, Neville Maguire, Mike Alexander, Paddy Barry, Pat Murphy and Rory McGuirk - although a number of others have joined since.

In their first project, they assembled the rigging and spars used in the conservation of the Asgard.

They then undertook the task of building the replica from the original plans, with Fingal boat master Larry Archer providing technical expertise and George Elliott providing the finishing touches.

Local businessman and sailor Pat Murphy told the Herald: "I got involved in the project back in 2010, when Walter McGuirk knocked on the door of Collins Barracks and found out that the yacht was there."

It was at that point that the group of local sailors got on board with the rigging of the Asgard and then the building of the dinghy.

Walter McGuirk said: "We even managed to track down the original steering wheel, which had been missing for 50 years ago."


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