Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered. - Quote attributed to William Shakespeare; Cymbeline

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

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95B - Bye Trader - Portadown 1919 PDF Print E-mail
01 October 2008


Technical Details



Reg Number:


Riveted Steel
13' 3"
Type: "B" (Bye-Trader or Hack Boat)
60 tons
Killaloe 1919
Original Bolinder 15E 1919-1962 Bolinder 1969-1986 Perkins 6354 1986 to date Original Tiller
Home Base:

Edenderry Harbour, Co. Offaly


Canal Boat 95B commenced life transporting malt for the Barrow Transport Company from Minch Nortons in Athy to the Guinness Brewery in Dublin. It passed into the ownership of Tom Hughes in Athy in 1956, used for mixed cargo including carrying sugar beet to the factory in Carlow. At the closure of the canal in 1960 Tom Hughes continued to trade with his barges and 95B was the last boat to carry beet into the Carlow Sugar Company in 1962.

After the canal closure, 95B found its way into the ownership of a construction company where it was used as a floating raft for the construction of the new bridge in Youghal. On the completion of the bridge, she was auctioned and purchased by Eugene Suffin, of Waterford, who intended to use her for sand dredging on the river Suir. This was not bargined for by 95B and shortly after it was sold, it broke its mooring in a gale and foundered against the rocks at the base of the bridge it had helped to build. Several efforts were made to repair the damage without success. 95B lay in that position for some years until finally drawing the attention of Cork and Waterford Co. Councils who agreed that's she was a hazard to navigation and an ugly sight but disputed who was responsible for her removal. An appreciable file built up in Transport house in Dublin regarding the vessel.

In May 1967 the nose of 95B was spotted by George Spears sticking out of the water under the bridge in Youghal. After waiting for the tide to turn she was exposed, covered with all kinds of marine life. Enquiries were made and the vessel purchased for the princely sum of £25 less one for luck however, a further £21 had to be paid to Youghal Harbour Commissioners for damage to the bridge. George mobilised a team from Athy who spent many weekends in July 1967 removing seaweed, limpets, shell fish, and silt. When the hull was finally exposed, the gashes that were evident were repaired in situ, allowing her to be floated on an incoming tide at 2.30am.

The first conversion of 95B was started immediately by George on arrival in Athy in 1969 where over a 3 year period she had a Bolinder reinstalled, which was bought with accessories from a Mr. O. Keifer in Mooncoin, for £18. She eventually became a comfortable boat attending all rallies throughout the Shannon and had the privilege of having her own harbour in Terryglass. In 1986 George treated 95B to a new Perkins 6354 diesel engine and gearbox. Unfortunately George passed away in 1987 which was a big loss to those that knew him.

I had spotted 95B im Terryglass several times and always admired her fine lines and so in 1998 we succeeded in purchasing her and brought her up the canal to Edenderry where she is undergoing the current refit as a family boat. A new superstructure, decks, and underwater plating has been completed. An extensive internal fit out is to follow.

95B has experienced fame and notoriety, having been driven by Bishop (Later Cardinal) Daly in 1976, appeared in National Geographic 1976 and visited by a President of Ireland, Patrick Hillery in 1983. In 2005 still only partly converted she travelled down the Barrow to the Tall Ships event in Waterford picking up the last bag of sugar from the Carlow Sugar Company along the way.

95B has always had a reputation as a hospitable boat where craic and music were abundant and we hope that she will carry on in this tradition and bring as much enjoyment as she gave the previous owners.

95B 2003 95B 2003
95B at Ardree Bridge 2005 95B, 36M and HB2 Dabu Edenderry 2003
95B Vicarstown 2005 95B Lady Jane 4E Daingean 2004


Last Updated ( 04 December 2010 )
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