Big Boat Build Workshop

Connect with a piece of the Ilen - sponsorship of a plank is a meaningful way for you to support our project.

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Donations are very much appreciated and allow us to continue to provide hands-on education.

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Limited edition poster print of the Ketch Ilen is now available.

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What's Happening

The Irish Times, Extract - An Irishwoman's Diary, Lorna Siggins

...FURTHER ALONG the coastline, this Friday is also an auspicious day for Gary McMahon and a team of master shipwrights who have been working on restoration of a very special vessel. The ketch Ilen is as significant in Irish maritime history as the Asgard or it successor, Asgard II .

Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival - Framing Out Ceremony

One of the opening events of the festival this year is the Framing Out Ceremony of the good ship followed by a tour of the vessel and a talk on the Ilen Project.

3 Day Big Boat Build Workshop Every Month

Traditional Wooden Boat Building
Our workshops run all year round

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Wooden Boat Building Workshops

If you are looking for a great introduction to traditional wooden boat construction, join us on one of our three day workshops and work with some of Ireland's few remaining traditional shipwrights, refitting Ireland's sole surviving sea-going sailing ship.

Workshops are held in a traditional wooden boatbuilding yard in Oldcourt, Skibbereen, West Cork. Our workshops take place in Hegarty's Boatyard where professional wooden boat builders Liam Hegarty, John Hegarty and Fachtna O'Sulivan, offer participants a stimulating introduction to traditional West Cork wooden boat building.

Take this unique opportunity to carry forward this mysterious and ancient craft.

Typical workshop programme

  • Traditional wooden boat terminology (nomenclature)
  • What are the basic elements that make up a wooden boat
  • What woods are used in boat construction, oak, larch etc.
  • How to use a chain mould
  • Making moulds
  • Shaping new oak frames and bevel cutting
  • History of the West Cork sailing vessel Ilen

To get confirmation of the next workshop dates or to book your place click here.

Within the walls and under the roof of an old unassuming corn store, well set into the landscape on the River Ilen,
a magnificent world roaming giant is once again gathering strength ...


 Supported by
This project is supported by the West Cork Development Partnership under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013