Traditional Boats of Ireland Book
History, Folklore and Construction
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The boatbuilding workshop of Walter Levigne (1894-1982) at Coosan, County Westmeath, remains unaltered since Walter passed away in 1982 and still contains two completed but never launched boats. Both of these lake boats, one clinker and one carvel as well as a 12ft punt and the mould for the carvel angling boat were 3D laser scanned.
At a joint meeting of the various Yacht Clubs on the Shannon held in the Prince of Wales hotel, Athlone in January, 1920 a decision was taken to establish a standard sailing boat for racing on the Shannon lakes. The Shannon One Design as it is known was an open centreboard boat built to exacting specifications.
The Shannon One Design(S.O.D.) was designed by a leading English yacht designer Morgan Giles who had also designed The Essex One design for use in the East Coast Clubs of England. The S.O.D. cost £37 each in the early days complete with sails. The fascinating study of the S.O.D. class is recorded in a history by L. M. Goodbody published in the 1970's.
In the first year of production eight Shannon One Designs (SOD's) were built in Athlone, seven by Walter Levinge and one by Patrick Keneavy. In its first fifty years of existence almost ninety boats were built which met the requirements of the S.O.D. class. Fifty eight of these were built by Walter Levinge with three by Keneavy and one by Charlie Ward. In 1954 the late Tommy Gallagher of Athlone built his own Shannon One Design. New builders came on the scene in the early 1970's when Jimmy Furey at Blackbrink Bay and Peter Quigley at Killinure took up the daunting task of buildingthese celebrated craft.