Ship profile for the sailing ship: "Ilen"

Technical data of the sailing ship:

Registered port:Limerick
Type of rigging:KETSCH
Type of ship:Irish coastal trading vessel
Year built:1926
Yard:Fisheries School, Baltimore, West Cork
Ship's hull:Holz / Wood

Portrait of the sailing ship:

Last update: 01 Nov 2007

  • one of the last (maybe the last) traditional, timber-built, Irish coastal trading vessel in existence, designed by Limerickman, Conor O'Brien, built by the Fisheries School, Baltimore, West Cork, launched in spring 1926.
  • design and lines owe much to Irish South and West Coast trading ships of earlier centuries, she symbolises Ireland's long history as a maritime nation and its links with the wider world.
  • used as a Falklands service boat starting in 1927, undertaking rough jobs of many types during the next 60 years: ferrying people, sheep, stores and mail between the scattered island communities.
  • skippered by Sandy Bonner of Speedwell Island until 1960, when the Falkland Islands Company decided to replace the ship the Bonner family bought her in the early 1980s, Maurice Davis continued to carry cargoes with the ketch for about 10 years.
  • decommissioned from business in the early 1990s.
  • bought by Paul Ellis, who planned to use her for leisure purposes, most of the coming time she was unused, moored in Port Stanley.
  • puchased by the Hunt Museum in 1997, transported back to Baltimore in June 1998, refurnished and refitted to her original sailing condition and rig as far as is compatible with contemporary safety standards by a team of traditional boat builders in West Cork, Ireland.
  • operated by the A.K. Ilen Company, dedicated to education through the medium of sailing the sea and bringing seafaring traditions back to coastal, inner city and other communities, operation is funded by chartering and promotional revenues, together with support from the public, private and corporate sectors.
  • name Ilen after the West Cork river.


Website (English, 13 Oct 2007):
Ilen: website of the operator with history about the ship and Conor O'Brien, photos and contact address