Currach

The currach (also curach or curragh) is a flat-bottomed, keel-less Irish boat used mainly for fishing and transporting livestock in the West of Ireland and Scotland. The shallow-draught boat is traditionally constructed of a covered wooden frame; the covering was once made from animal hides, but is now mostly made from canvas treated with tar and grease. The Currach Adhmaid (or wooden currach) of West Connaught bears a similar shape, but with frame and covering made entirely from timber.

The highly manoeuvrable currach is usually rowed with bladeless oars held in place by wooden tholepins, but some can be fitted with a mast and small lug sail.

Currachs have been noted in the North Atlantic as early as the 1st century B.C. In 1976 Tim Severin sailed a leather currach from Dingle to Newfoundland to demonstrate that the legendary 6th century voyage of St Brendan the Navigator was technically possible.

Currachs range in size from the tiny 6ft-long Boyne River Currach, once used for salmon fishing on the Boyne and Bann rivers, to the 27ft-long Naomhóg of Cos. Kerry and Cork.

Achill Island Currach (Co. Mayo)
Aran & Galway Currach (Co. Galway)
Inishturk Currach
Belderrig Currach (Co. Mayo)
Dunfanaghy & Sheephaven Currach Length: 16ft, beam: 4ft.
Innishkea Currach
Clare Canoe
Kerry & Cork Naomhóg Length:16-27ft, beam: 52in.
The Rosses, Owey & Bunbeg Currach (Co. Donegal)   Length: 8-11ft.
Tory Island & Magheraroarty Currach (Co. Donegal)   Length: 12ft.
Boyne & Bann River Currach (Co. Meath) Length: 6ft, beam: 4ft beam, depth: 20-22in.

For more on currach racing and construction, visit
Lough Neagh Boating Heritage Association (community heritage organisation with boat-building workshops)
Currach.org (international currach organisation)
West Clare Currach Club (Clare currach construction and rowing club)
Naomhóga Chorcaí (Cork currach association)
Pittsburgh Irish Rowing Club (Pittsburgh currach club)
Currachs and Currach Building (several drawings of currach plans)
and find the 2008 book: Traditional Boats of Ireland by Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh.