Two sailing boats are being built at Howth Castle using designs dating back to 1898.

In the grounds of Howth Castle, a group of enthusiasts have committed themselves to building two new sailing boats, according to the original design specifications of 1898.

The use of fibreglass is a threat to Ireland’s traditional boat building skills are according to the shipyard foreman,

AnCO, the state training body, is sponsoring the Howth 17 Association, who wanted to rebuild these two very old boats, to make them available to the public, to promote sailing, and to encourage young people to get involved in water sports in general.  Prior to commencing their training, the apprentices had been looking for work in the boat building industry, but were unemployed.  

When asked if they see any future in the boat building trade, one trainee is pragmatic about his time working on the project, 

Most of the skills you learn here, you can throw your hand to anything, in woodwork...

The AnCo trainees also attend courses in life skills and social skills, and it is hoped that as a result of their training here, they will get work building or repairing boats.  The project aims to build the boats to the highest standards, 

When you’re boat building, you must consider that people’s going to sail in ‘em, and you can’t take any element of doubt, everything has to be professionally finished...what you try and do from the start is build and finish off the boat, as you would wish for your own use.

This report for Evening Extra was broadcast on 20 May 1987.  The reporter is Patricia Murphy.

Evening Extra was a nightly magazine programme which ran from Monday to Friday at 7pm dealing with current issues and people in the news.  The first episode was aired on Monday 13 October, 1986 and it ran for 278 shows over 2 years until the final show on 29 April 1988. The programme had a number of reporters including Siobhan Cleary, Richard Crowley, Bibi Baskin, Aonghus McAnally and Shay Healy.

An Chomhairle Oiliúna, in English ‘the training council’, and commonly referred to as AnCO, went on to become ‘FÁS’, which has again been renamed as ‘Solas’.