BIM 26 Footers - Belderrig, Co Mayo

Padraig and Mary McAvock

Picture taken in Belderrig Co Mayo pier 1964.
4 new 26 foot timber boats (known as BIM 26 footers)
With a 8 1/2 hp lister engine

3 were built in Bord Iascaigh Mhara boat yard Killybegs Co. Donegal.
1 was built in Baltimore (made its way to Belderrig by road)

At the time there was Bord Iascaigh Mhara had a grand scheme for these boats to replace the Curraghs used for years before.

The boats and owners were
Cill Ceide (Michael McAvock)
Cill Molaga (Paddy McGarry)
Cill locha (Martin McHale)
Cill more *built in baltimore* (Sandy Walsh)

12 men from Belderrig travelled to Killybegs to sail the new boats home. These men never had an engine in a boat before and maybe never saw one. They never saw nor been on the coastline and to top things off it was a foggy day.

They got a bit of training on the workings of their new ships and had 1 compass yet they made to to Belderrig safely.

Sad end to this story is at the time there was only a small pier in Belderrig with no winch or slip. The curraghs were light so could be pulled up on the flag rocks during a storm and the new 26 footers were too heavy for that so seven weeks later the first big storm wrecked all 4 boats (3 were wrecked on the shore 1 was never saw again but its bow was found some time later)

Comments about this page

  • The author in this article is slightly wrong. The first 26 boat came to Belderrig in 1963 by road from Killybegs Cill Locha Martin mc Hale and his crew were Jimmy Corcoran John Mc Nulty and Michael Mc Nulty. Prior to this I remember a five man salmon fishing curragh being built at the front of our old house in Belderrig. The builder was John Mc Diarmid ‘back in the day’

    By Gerry Corcoran (05/12/2023)
  • My late Dad John Doherty Portacloy took part in the Belderrig Currach races, perhaps with Willie Bourke and many more great people from Belderrig. Infant my aunt’s late husband John mcDiarmid made various curraghs in Belderrig God rest them all

    By Margaret Doherty (28/09/2023)
  • Only saw this now
    Thanks for sharing
    My spelling not the best on this write up but it got the story across:)
    Oisin mcavock

    By Oisin mcavock (03/09/2022)

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