Waterways Ireland to offer seized boats for sale

Vessels include selection of 12m, steel narrow boats taken from canals

Waterways Ireland is to auction by tender a number of boats and canal barges that were seized along the inland waterways over the last year.

The 31 boats and barges are the remainder of 62 vessels which were seized by the waterways authority as part of its enforcement of permit rules and regulations on the amount of time vessels may stay moored at a public harbour.

Half of those seized were reclaimed by their owners who had to pay costs of lifting and storage.

But among those unclaimed or forgotten by owners include a number of speedboats, fibreglass cabin cruisers in various states of repair, wooden boats that have seen more glorious days and a selection of 12 metre-long, steel narrow boats, some of which look in remarkably good condition.


For some, particularly those with mud lines along the side indicating they may have been submerged, the recent past looks bleak. But for others, including a green-painted, wooden gentleman’s yacht complete with brass portholes, it is difficult to imagine why they went unloved.

Someone with a commercial mind might, for example, be interested in a fine-looking, nine metre-long, Dutch steel patrol boat, decked out in the Heineken colours and logo.

A Dory-style day boat looks a bit shaken but comes with its own outboard motor.

No prices or estimated minimum values were included in the catalogue and intending purchasers will have to make a guess at what price they think will secure the vessel.

Waterways Ireland’s Katrina McGirr said all of the boats were seized along the Shannon and Barrow navigations, as well as the royal and Grand Canals. Before being seized the boats would have been pasted with warning notices and owners of vessels carrying a registered number, would have been forwarded a notice to their last known address.

Those that were not claimed went on display amid restricted conditions at the waterways Ireland depot in Athlone Co Westmeath on Wednesday. Due to Covid regulations potential purchasers and their marine surveyors were not allowed inside the vessels. But in most cases peering in windows would have given a good indication of the condition of the interior.

All offers are to be made in writing and submitted to Waterways Ireland by July 30th 2021.

Completed Tenders should be sent to Waterways Ireland Offices, Harbour Street, Tullamore, Co Offaly for attention of Assistant Inspector of Navigation. Bids are to be made on an official tender document which can be downloaded from the Waterways Ireland website on waterwaysireland.org

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist