Jolly boating weather, And a hay harvest breeze, Blade on the feather, Shade off the trees. -William Johnson Cory

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Celebrating Ireland's Floating Heritage

Home arrow Vessels arrow Horse Boats arrow Dabu - Horse Boat 2 - Dublin 1878
Dabu - Horse Boat 2 - Dublin 1878 PDF Print E-mail
13 October 2008


Technical Details


Reg Number:

No. 2

Built By:

Bewley & Webb, Dublin




Riveted Swedish Iron


60' 4"


13' 3"


50 tons

Draft - Loaded:

Draft - Current:

4' 7"


Weighed: Killaloe 1907


1967 Perkins S6M

2004 Ford Diesel 120hp


Number 2 Dabu On the Barrow 2005


Built in 1878, probably by Bewley & Webb, Dublin, who built most of the early iron trade boats, she would have cost in the region of £300. 61'3" in length and 13'3"wide, she is constructed of 3/8-inch Swedish iron, and her ribs, which are 21/2" x 2'1/2" angle iron, are at 2' centres. Everything is held together with "hot rivets" which are 2" apart.

Her pointed nose, rounded stern and her keel allow her to be moved easily through the water, as No.2 was designed as a horse boat and never had an engine in the trading days.

She was last weighed and calibrated in Killaloe in 1907, she would have carried all types of cargo, from manure, turf, coal and gravel to flour, wheat, Guinness and other general groceries.

No.2, as with all the other horse boats of the time, had a crew of 3, consisting of a captain, a deckhand and a horseman. The Captains quarters were at the stern of the boat and contained one bed and a closed fire. The crews quarters were at the bow and this room had 2 beds and a pot-bellied stove.

She ended her working days as a 'dumb barge' carrying muck and dirt etc. on the building of Ardnacrusha power station. Construction completed, she lay abandoned to a watery grave opposite the hotel in Killaloe. Seeing her sunk in Killaloe in 1966 Sean and Brigid Bayly fell in love with her design as No. 2 was unlike the other trade boats on the canal, which were flat nosed and flat bottomed. Raised from the bottom by John Weaving, she was towed up the canal to Clondalkin by Paddy Wilkinson on 76M, where her conversion to 12 berth cruiser would take place over the next 8 months.

A stern tube and No. 2's first engine, a Perkins 120hp S6M, were installed between the 10th and 11th locks along with a timber superstructure and wheelhouse. After Sean's death in 1984, his son Robert (Robby) replaced the timber superstructure with a steel one and Dabu has continued to travel to all corners of our waterways ever since. The S6M was replaced by a more mod¬ern Ford 6 cylinder engine in 2004 and a new wheel¬house built in 2005. That combined with regular hull maintenance should ensure that she will still be seen around the system for many years to come. In 2005 she made the journey from Dublin to Waterford to partake in the Tall Ships festivities. 2006 will see her throughout the Shannon and Erne Navigations.

HB2 Dabu & 35M Carlow 2005 Ardreigh 2005
HB2 Dabu in Grand Canal Docks Dublin 2004 Edenderry 2003
HB2 & 34B Tullamore 2003 June 2003
Erne Trip 2003 Dry dock Shannon Harbour
HB2 Dabu Barrow 2005 Monasterevan 2005
No 2 Dabu on shannon 2001 The Skipper - Waterford 2005
The Bat & Dabu


Last Updated ( 04 December 2010 )
< Prev   Next >
Joomla Templates by Joomlashack