In 1971 a French yachting enthusiast commissioned naval architect Frederick Parker to design a large ocean going going yacht to meet the exacting Lloyds 100A1 classification.
The hull was bult in the Hamble by Joyce Brothers, a small shipyard specialising in 60 -70 foot yachts and motor cruisers. Once completed she was shipped to St Malo in France for the interior to be fitted out in Burma teak pannelling, walnut doors and teak and holly sole boards.
Commissioned in 1972 and named Senouire she was sailed to the Mediterranean where she was used for private cruising and charter.
I came across her in 1997 while looking for a suitable vessel on which to provide mileage experience for prospective yachtmaster candidates.
Following her purchase Senouire underwent a complete refit in Cork Dockyard under the scrutiny of the Department’s surveyor and in the spring of 1998 she was launched bearing her new name of Spirit of Oysterhaven and carrying the full Passenger Licence.
During that summer Spirit of Oysterhaven featured in Derek Davis’ TV series “Out of the Blue” and the following year sailed to the Tall Ships event in Dublin. In 2002 she sailed across the Atlantic, returning from Antigua to Kinsale and inspiring Theo Dorgan’s lyrical account of the voyage in his book “Sailing Home”.
After a facelift and refit in Spain Spirit set off once more across the Atlantic, this time via the Cape Verde islands, landing in Tobago, and sailing up along the island chain as far as Antigua, where she once again sailed in Antigua Classic Regatta.
Following a more extensive refit in Trinidad Spirit sailed back to Ireland via the Azores in the spring of 2010 and began the process of upgrading her systems to meet the new Passenger Boat Comsail regulations.
In 2012, with her new licence, she set off for the Tall Ships in Dublin with a crew young people, some able bodied and some with disabilities, as part of a Club initiative.
In 2013 she sailed to Barcelona, Toulon and La Spezia participating in the Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta.
Between 2013 and 2017 Spirit has been in active service working closely with Sail Training Ireland, attending Maritime Festivals and developing sail training programmes around the island of Ireland.
In recognition of that work Spirit of Oysterhaven was awarded Best Vessel Operator in the small vessel category by Sail Training International. An award we shared with our partner Safehaven Voyages.
In 2017 we undertook a final 'lap of honour' around the Atlantic and participated in Antigua Classic Regatta for our third time. Overwintering in Lanzarate Spirit sailed to the Azotres in March before hauling out for a final refit and respray in Xufre, Ria Do Arousa, Galicia.
She now lies on the hard in Varadeiro Do Xufre and we invite inspection from prospective buyers.
Oliver Hart 02.10.18
1997 Purchase. Repair and rebuild Cork Dockyard
1998 Launch. Tall Ships Dublin. Yachtmaster Training PWI.
1999 West Cork charter - Oysterhaven to Dingle.
2000 Kinsale to Nazare, return. Out of the Blue with Derek Davis RTE filming from Kilmore Quay to Bantry Bay.
2001 West Cork charter, Learning the Ropes. Kinsale to Muros, Baiona, Nazare, Madeira
2002 Madeira, Gran Canaria, St Martin. Caribbean cruising. Antigua Classic Regatta, Azores, Kinsale. Atlantic Spain and Portugal, Gibraltar, Ceuta, Almerimar
2003 Almerimar to St Carles de la Rapita - Refit, recaulk deck
2004 St Carles de la Rapita, Balearics, Madeira, Tenerife,
2005 Cape Verde. Trans Atlantic to Tobago,Caribbean Cruising, Antigua Classic Regatta, Trinidad
2006 Feb Trinidad to Martinique Trinidad. Charlie etc
2007 Jan/Feb Trinidad to Bequia Wallilabou Trinidad
2008 Refit Chaguaramas
2009 Sandblast Respray Chaguaramas
2010 Trinidad St Martin Azores Portugal Nazare
2011 Return Al Thomas Eamon Owen. Oldcourt for refit
2012 Refit. Deck Tall Ships Dublin
2013 Sail Training season, Spirit of Asgard Award, Tall Ships Mediterranean Regatta - Barcelona, Toulon, La Spezia. Overwinter St Carles de la Rapita.
2014 Gibraltar, Cascais, Oysterhaven. Sail Training season Ireland. Filmed for Port of Cork Mega Port ICC cruise. Overwinter Portimao
2015 Seville, Faro, Cascais, Biscay Owen, Sail Training season Circumnavigation of Ireland. Belfast Tall Ships, Overwinter Kinsale
2016 Refit Oldcourt, Dept Survey, Ultrasonics survey. Sail training season, Sail to Baiona, Cascais, Portimao, Madeira, Islas Selvegas, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Cape Verdes.
2017 Atlantic crossing to Barbados, Grenada islands north, Antigua Classic Regatta, St Martin, Bemuda Azores Oysterhaven. Sail Training Season, Vigo, Porto, Vilamoura, Porto Santo, Lanzarote. Islas Selvegas Lanzarote.
2018 La Palma, Ponta Delgada, Ria Do Arousa Galicia.