Beach speed boat rules impact sail

Yachtsmen face an outright ban on all boats with engines, IBI Magazine reports.The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) said the laws could also threaten yacht racing in much of the country.The Irish Times reported that boat users are already breaking laws in Dun Laoghaire, which is one of the largest boating centres in Ireland.

Rules intended to promote beach safety, ban boats 300 metres from the shore, including popular boating destinations like Dalkey Island that have no beaches.The ISA said that 12 local authorities have banned or restricted motorboats, but others are including any type of craft
with engine power, including most sailboats.

“We’re struggling, to be honest,” Harry Hermon, ISA chief executive, told the paper. “It’s a significant threat to the future of boating activity. We’re trying to work with 33 local authorities, some of whom are willing but many are not and seem intent on banning as the easiest solution.”Many laws were drafted to protect against reckless personal watercraft use, but the ISA says a lack of understanding by authorities could impact all boating activity.

“Banning doesn’t work as it simply moves the problem somewhere else,” said Hermon. “We have no problem where the rules are appropriate, but we lack a set of national guidelines. Confusion leads to inadvertent lack of compliance.”