Spawning the ages of time the currach has seen it all. From the early building blocks of ancient Irish civilisations to the fantasy world of the Game of Thrones. Currachs by nature have always adapted to the environment in which they operate. The Boyne coracle and its lineage date back maybe as far as the transport of building material for Newgrange over 5000 years ago. The ocean going boats were known to have trawled the Atlantic seaboard not just of Ireland but also as far afield as the north coast of Spain and France.
Over the years there have been legendary tales of voyage and discovery. One such legend is that of St. Brendan who built such a vessel and set out to discover new lands. At Boyne boats we agree with the claim that St. Brendan discovered America and who could argue based on the strong links forged between the two countries? In the 1970’s an adventurer, Tim Severin, re-created the Brendan voyage by building a currach using traditional methods and showed the world that it was indeed possible and maybe more fact than legend.
More recently, there has been resurgence in the use of currachs for recreational activities. On the west coast of Ireland there is an active currach-racing league holding regattas throughout Ireland most recently including Dublin on the east coast. On the South coast, there is Meitheal Mara’s Ocean to City race – An Ras Mor, which brings traditional boats from all over the world to race the length of Cork harbour up into Cork city.
The Kerry Naomhog
Originally designed and adapted in the Kingdom of Kerry for transport to the offshore islands including the Blaskets and Skelligs (recently seen on Star Wars: the Force Awakens). The naomhog is a culmination of the evolution of currachs. Its sleek shape and long water line make it ideal for travelling over long distances through rolling and sometimes breaking waves. It is amazingly light for such a long boat – 7m – that four people can easily transport it by hand over short distances. This has made it a sort after commodity in the filming world as its ability to maneuver in tight spaces with a full crew is second to none. Built using traditional methods of steaming and bending oak to give the ribs strength and spruce gunnels to make the framework. The finished frame is then wrapped in ballistic nylon and sealed with bitumen paint to give that unique currach look. Likened to a black banana!
Boyne Boats’ currachs are custom built in a community boatyard called Meitheal Mara in Cork City. They specialise in building and restoring traditional Irish wooden and skin boats – currachs. Many of their boats have been featured in Game of Thrones television show and other movie and TV productions.
The Boyne Boats’ currach is 7m long and 1.4m wide. It has been adapted for filming which gives it the option to be rowed, paddled, sailed or powered. For the Battle of the Boyne tour, it can comfortably accommodate 8 paddlers and a helm to guide the way.