Traditional Boats of Ireland Project - Boat Rescue & Recording Project

History, Folklore and Construction

Traditional Boats of Ireland Book
History, Folklore and Construction

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Inland Waterways

Miscellaneous Boats

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Recorded Boats
12ft punt
A. K. Ilen
Aigh Vie - Manx Nobby
Curach Adhmaid
Currach - Blasket Island
Currach - Inisheer Island
Currach - Inishturk Island
Currach - Inishkea Island
Currach - Scattery Island
Fishing Smack - Richard Hall
Free State
Galway hooker
Galway Hooker - Gleoiteog
Hanorah - Heir Island lobster Boat
Kerry Naomhóg
Kinsale Hooker
Lake Angling Boat - Lough Corrib
Lough Erne YC - Model 1
Lough Erne YC - Model 2
Lough Erne YC - Model 3
Lough Erne YC - Model 4
Lough Erne YC - Model 5
Lough Erne YC - Model 6
Lough Erne YC - Model 7
Lough Erne YC - Model 8
Lough Erne YC - Model 9
Naomh Brigid
Naomh Lua
Rankin dinghy
Seine Follower Boat
Tern - Hegarty Lobster Boat
Three Hand Kerry Naomhog - Model
Topaz - Manx Nobby
Water Nymph 1885
West Cork Mackerel Yawl
Jimmy Furey
Walter Levigne
McDonalds - Model 1
McDonalds - Model 2
McDonalds - Model 3
McDonalds - Model 4
McDonalds - Model 5
Tyrells - 35ft Motor Fishing Vessel
Tyrells - Model 1
Tyrells - Model 2
Tyrells - Model 3
Tyrells - Model 4
Tyrells - Model 5
Tyrells - Model 6
Tyrells - Model 7
Tyrells - Model 8
Tyrells - Model 9
Tyrells - Shipwright
Daingean Museum Store
Four Oared Boat
Two-masted carvel-built boat
GreenCastle Museum
GreenCastle Museum Model 1
GreenCastle Museum Model 2
GreenCastle Museum Model 3
GreenCastle Museum Model 4
Turlough Park Museum
Currach Collection
Museum Interior

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Copies and / or reproductions of material on the web-site shall Not be made without the express permission of Traditional Boats of Ireland."

south west north east inland waterways


Through the innovative application of laser scanning technology, a new virtual maritime museum is being created on, showing also a template for how to record, and display any type of three dimensional objects. This project has significance far beyond its initial maritime theme and it has relevance to many fields including conservation, marine archaeology, naval architecture, even to museum policy.

After the huge collaborative success in the meitheal of compiling and publishing the almost comprehensive Traditional Boats of Ireland book, the follow-on website was envisaged to be the means by which additional material could be disseminated. In the course of assembling the story of Ireland’s native maritime culture, the team were acutely aware of objects which are in danger of destruction, for example as boats being used as flowerbeds at roundabouts. Ideally we want to conserve representative examples in a national watercraft collection and indeed the TBI team hopes to progress that objective, but more immediately, we have deployed sophisticated laser scanning technology to achieve incredibly detailed records, effectively conserving historic objects.

Thus we have scanned boat builders’ half models and full size craft in a non-invasive technique, and with sub-millimetre accuracy, but this approach is applicable to any significant three dimensional object, from Viking hair combs to High Crosses; the list is limited only by imagination. On screen one can rotate at will and literally illuminate a target object from any angle, picking out features previously hidden.

As the data is gathered and processed, it can be exhibited in a virtual museum online. Now that museums are obliged to be popular visitor attractions, with only a tiny fraction of their collections on display, the model shows how significant items from hidden collections can be best be “displayed”, making them easily available to the public and for research, and even providing a possible revenue source. Returning to the maritime theme, Pat Tanner has integrated the laser scanning with naval architecture software, allowing the comprehensive analysis of how ancient wrecks, discovered in marine archaeology, actually floated along with details of their stability, and load-carrying capacity. In this way, the initiative has triggered an international joint re-writing of best practice for how to address such wrecks in the future.

In launching this website, we are presenting a new approach to recording and exhibiting historic three dimensional objects, and in our presentation, Pat Tanner will be demonstrating the techniques with the laser scanning equipment, as well as showing the remarkable display options. We invite you to visit the web-site and consider how best to apply this innovative technology to other fields.

Hal Sisk (on behalf of the TBI working group: April 2012)

Mission Statement

Traditional Boats of Ireland is a cooperative of people interested in the recording, preservation and continued use of Ireland's heritage of traditional boats and working craft.

The purpose of this website is to raise awareness of the rich diversity of our maritime traditions.


The cooperative originated as a group of enthusiastic and committed volunteers whose founding aim was to raise awareness and interest in Ireland's diversity of coastal and inland water craft.

Boat Rescue and Recording

The Traditional Boats of Ireland Project is the result of a combined effort by Irish people who are passionate about the rich diversity of boat types throughout the country. This project is a by-product of a loosely affiliated group of individuals with a shared realisation that Ireland’s traditional boat types are rapidly disappearing. As is well known throughout Ireland, many of our traditional vessels are becoming memories of days gone by, disappearing in to the mud and tide all around our coasts. This is a sad situation for our maritime heritage to be in, and in the current economic climate any funding support appears unlikely. However, all is not doom and gloom because Pat Tanner, Donal Lynch and Hal Sisk have been putting together a programme to identify, digitally record and store boats at risk to prevent any further loss to the already disappearing fleet.


The project has taken some time to establish due to its reliance on state-of-the-art 3D digitizing equipment to record traditional vessels and associated artifacts. The ‘laser scanner’ records a high resolution 3D image of the object, in this case the hull of a boat. It is a non-invasive technique and once the information is stored it can be used in many ways by a variety of software programmes. This process is in no way a substitute for more traditional methods of taking lines of vessels: it is simply making good use of available technology to record information. Two types of scanner are used, the laser arm is an articulated 3D scanner generally used for fine detail scanning; in this case, half models of vessels and specific areas within a boat. For larger scale hull recordings a large volume tripod mounted scanner is used, enabling whole hull shapes to be recorded. Between the two scanner types all aspects of any vessel can be digitised. A number of vessels have been recorded using the scanners and the information is being processed at the moment to create a database of virtual images and linesplans. These virtual images are now on display in our Projects Area


The project is not solely about modern technology but about rescuing what we have left of our vernacular fleet. The key element of the project is identifying suitable storage. In the last few months a number of buildings have become available and boats are being transported from vulnerable places to a more stable environment. Currently, there are four buildings available to the project in Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Mayo. All four premises were volunteered by wooden boat enthusiasts who wish to protect our maritime past. A Heritage Council-funded study is currently evaluating the situation with regard to protecting Ireland's maritime heritage, but this will take time to reach conclusions. In the meantime the boat rescue and recording project will endeavour to record and store as many as possible of the vessels that are in immediate danger of being lost. The project has no plans to restore vessels, only to try and ensure we will have something to restore when that day comes.
Traditional Boats of Ireland Project - Ár mBáid Dúchais - History, Folklore and Construction - Email: