Conor Mowlds, Port of Cork, Cormac Gebruers, National Maritime College of Ireland, Brian Dooley, Port of Cork, Mervyn Horgan, Old Cork Waterworks Experience, Cllr Fergal Dennehy deputising for the Lord Mayor, Jim Walsh, Walsh Boat Works Ltd and Mary Walsh as the boat was mini boat was handed over to the Port of Cork. Photo: Alison Miles/OSM PHOTO

Mini boat is ship shape

A mini boat 1.5 metre in length with a tiny sail is heading on another adventure.

It recently crossed the vast expanses of the Atlantic Ocean, sailing over 5,000km and landing in Ireland and it will sail once again this weekend, thanks to a collaboration between Cork City Council, Creative Ireland, Port of Cork and the National Maritime College of Ireland.

The boat was originally launched by students from Harbor View Elementary School in Charleston, South Carolina, USA, in May 2017, as part of an educational programme which allows children to follow the progress of the boat and thus learn about the ocean, currents, geography and the environment.

The boat landed in Mayo in 2017 and eventually found its way to Cork for repair and relaunch. To prepare for the return of the boat to sea, Cork City Council’s Old Cork Waterworks Experience and Creative Ireland invited Cork primary school children to submit designs inspired by Cork and its special relationship with the ocean.

The designs were used to create a collage which was placed on the boat following extensive repair works by Walsh Boat Works. A special sail featuring the Cork coat of arms was also commissioned.

With assistance from the Port of Cork, the completed mini-boat will be put to sea mid-Atlantic by the crew of the Independent Horizon, an ICL cargo vessel and regular visitor to Cork.

Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer of the Port of Cork, said: “The Port of Cork is delighted to be able to support this exciting educational initiative. It’s a fantastic opportunity to increase maritime awareness amongst school children in both Ireland and the US through our own transatlantic freight links.”

The mini boat is fitted with GPS so that its ocean journey can be tracked on

The project will be marked by a virtual exhibition of the artwork and a mini-boat pocketbook, as well as virtual transatlantic classroom visits between schools in Cork and in South Carolina.