Tim Severin plans to sail a replica eighth century leather covered boat across the Atlantic to show St Brendan reached America before Columbus.

The construction of the replica boat is underway in Crosshaven Boatyard. British explorer, historian and writer  tells RTÉ News about the project. 

Made of oak and ash, thirty six feet long and built in the style of a Kerry currach, the vessel is currently being covered in the hides of twenty five oxen by leather craftsman John O'Connell .  

The project hopes to show that St Brendan and his crew of Irish monks reached north America seven hundred years before Christopher Columbus. Tim Severin explains his total commitment to the venture as,

One of these projects that once it enters your head...there's nothing else to be done, it just totally absorbs one.

Getting across the Atlantic safely Tim Severin admits will be a steep learning curve for both himself and the crew.  

I think it's as safe probably as the people who are sailing her can manage.

Currently looking for three people to join him and sailing master George Moloney from Dublin on the voyage he is open to all applications from men or women with an established background in sailing. One of those must be able to operate a camera to film at sea, and the other must be a navigator.  

Funding for the project is coming from Tim Severin’s publisher, and from individuals and organisations in Europe and north America with an interest in the early Irish sea voyages. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 24 November 1975. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney, and the report is introduced by Dermot Mullane.