next courses starting soon.

Whether it’s the negative ions in the air, potassium in the water, or the sense of freedom experienced by being at sea in a traditional sailboat, our recently launched Hooker Crew Skills Training Course is proving a complete success!

Galway Hooker Boats have been around for over 400 years. Our fathers & great-great grandfathers fished in them. They used to be the lifeblood of the community.

We want to share this history and reconnect people to boats & sailing as a way of life.


In association with The Claddagh Boatmen (Bádóirí an Cladaig) & Port of Galway Sea Scouts we are recruiting a team of Hooker Crew Members for 2019 & beyond. This is part of a larger Hooker Boat revival project, that will include artists, musicians, schools, clubs & just about everyone who is interested.

So, please visit our website for details if you wish to get involved, or to just stay in touch with our events & developments.

Thought is the wind and knowledge the sail.
—  David Hare

Course Details

This practical four-week (every Sunday morning) course is aimed at beginners who wish to become a member of our Galway Hooker Crew, people who have a love of adventure & general interest in boating, or seasoned sailors who wish to learn more about Galway’s traditional sail/workboats. You will learn the essential information required to become part of our Crew, as well as discover the unique maritime history of these exceptionally beautiful traditional sail-boats. There is something for everyone!

The course is broken into both theoretical and practical modules, with time taken to really explore the history and cultural elements of Galway’s maritime history.

Traditional Sail Boats Galway

You will cover everything you need to know to become one of our crew members, including:

  • The History of the Galway Hooker Boat.

  • Claddagh Fishing Village Heritage. 

  • Nautical Theory.

  • Knowledge of sea terms & parts of the boat.

  • Meteorology (Weather / Tides).

  • Navigation.

  • Practical Sessions in Sailing / Ropes / How to Use Sea Log Books.

  • Rigging and sails.

  • Sail handling.

  • Fire precautions & safety.

  • Personal safety.

  • Man-overboard & emergency equipment.

  • Helmsmanship.

  • General duties.

  • Traditional Hooker Boat Customs.

  • General Seamanship / Seawomanship 

In addition to some classroom learning, you will get plenty of opportunity to put your new-found knowledge into practice.

Notes, articles & learning materials supplied. PRICE: €100 per person. All proceeds (after over-heads) are re-invested into our community projects: boat-restoration, sea-scout training & community.

Sail Boat Training Courses

Life Forming Experiences

Learning how to sail or just experiencing the exhilaration of being out on the water, close to nature’s beauty and mystery, can be transformative. 

Sailing brings people together; it enables family bonding; it builds confidence, skills & team-building. 

Quite literally, sailing is the perfect antidote to modern-day stressful living.   

Give it a try.  It's only once you are out and about that you can really feel the magic!

In collaboration with ‘The Irish Sailing Association’, our family business has inspired numerous people to develop a life-long love for ocean living.  We have motivated countless generations to ‘get out onto the sea’, engage in sailing & water activities as a hobby, as well as develop professional careers in the maritime industry & sport. 

It has been a personal dream of mine for many years to extend our educational offerings to include traditional sailing courses in our Galway Hooker Boats.

I am privileged to be part of a crew of fully trained professionals, and together with my family this dream is now being realised.

I really look forward to sharing this experience with you all.
— Skipper Ciaran Oliver.

⛵ Ring Ciaran for details 087 280 7028 

Education & Training

Education & Training

Sailing is for everyone!

Awe Inspiring Moments

Awe Inspiring Moments

Experience the magic

A Great Little Read, by The American Sailing Association: 5 Reasons Why Kids Should Sail.