Film from 1948

Cyril Reynolds 1948 grainy film footage of Dublin Bay 24's and Dublin Bay 21's 
Maureen. Oola and Geraldine feature for the Twentyones 
if anyone knows who is on board please contact us

Garavogue Launch at Portrush 1903

We sail the Dublin Bay Sailing Club 21 Footers — the World’s Oldest Cruiser Racer Class!

Designed by Alfred Mylne in 1902, seven of these wooden one-design gaff cutters were built between 1903 and 1908 to achieve Dublin Bay Sailing Club's goal of encouraging inexpensive one-design racing after the success of other one-design boats like the Water Wag (1887) and the Colleen Class (1897).  Amazingly all seven Twentyones survive. 2021 saw the revival of the class with the return of Estelle, Garavogue and Naneen to Dublin Bay.  Geraldine was relaunched in 2023 followed by Oola in Summer 2024. With five Twentyones relaunched, Maureen and Inisfallen will complete the revival of the entire fleet.  The project was described in “Classic Boat" magazine as “unprecedented”.

For 83 years the boats competed in the full racing programme of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club as well as various regattas along the east coast of Ireland.  The Twentyones also cruised extensively.  As early as 1909 and 1910, Garavogue and Estelle sailed in company from Dublin to the Clyde — a distance of 440 miles in 8 days.

In 1964 the traditional gaff rig was abandoned, and the boats converted to a Bermudan rig in the belief that this would preserve the class.  Unfortunately the new rig put a greater strain on the old hulls.  The boats deteriorated so much that there was a risk that they would disappear altogether.  In 1986, they were brought to Arklow for repairs and restoration in Tyrrell’s shipyard.  Sadly, John Tyrrell died in 1988, and, following the closure of the yard, the entire fleet was stored in a nearby farmyard by the Class Captain Fionán de Barra.

With the formation of the Dublin Bay 21-Footer Class Association in 2017, and the involvement of yachting historian and experienced classic yacht restorer, Hal Sisk, the revival project finally got underway.  Ownership of all seven boats was transferred to the Class Association and Stephen Morris of Kilrush Boatyard was engaged for the work, rebuilding the hulls on their original lead keels using Alfred Mylne’s original drawings.  Paul Spooner provided details of epoxy laminated timber construction.  The result is a stiff, watertight and low maintenance vessel, yet with all the original scantlings of frames and timbers.  The yachts have not been repurposed, or converted.  They sail with a simplified gaff sloop rig as designed by Alfred Mylne in 1918, and they float exactly on their original designed waterline (DWL) of 21 feet.  Contemporary sailors are surprised how well these classic one-design yachts perform without winches and other modern aids.  

Through the collective ownership of the entire fleet, and the active support of the sister organisation, Sailors of the Dublin Bay TwentyOnes, open access is provided to both novice and experienced sailors from near and far who wish to share the unique experience of sailing truly authentic classic one-design yachts.  We are confident that this novel structure will provide a sustainable format for the class for at least another 119 years!   

Below are the seven boats that were built.  The keels and frames for Maureen and Inisfallen were recently reconstructed, and once these last two boats are relaunched the entire fleet of seven will be sailing together again.