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!

The Claddagh Apprentice is in full swing!

The first of our four-week HOOKER SKILLS training took off this morning.

And what a great day! We even took a trip up to Katie's Claddagh Cottage to show the Crew our latest Hooker Boat restoration project (more to come on this next week).

“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. Unfortunately, a lot of the modern generation don’t know anything about their history,

So, it is a dream of ours that every child living in Galway City & County have the ‘RIGHT’ & 'OPPORTUNITY' to learn how to sail.

This is what this project is all about… COMMUNITY, BOATS, SAILING, HERITAGE & FUTURE GENERATIONS!

But, to do this we need members to help us bring our vision to a reality.

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 sign up to our newsletter AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE if you wish to get involved, or to just stay in touch with our events & developments.

Also, keep an eye on our page, as we are launching another aspect of this project next week (little hint in the photos below). SO EXCITED!!!

Thank you to everyone who helped this morning and all our loved ones & associates who work behind the scenes to keep our group full of energy & enthusiasm.

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

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.

***** PLEASE NOTE: This form directly below is for people who are training 7 / or would like to train **** General Members Newsletter is at the very bottom of this web page - we will be launching a NEW GALWAY HOOKER websites soon - which will be easier to navigate. :):)

Once you have completed our course you can sign up to become a member of our Hooker 2019 Crew. See Below:

Name *
Phone *
Please choose A yes, B No.
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!

Whether for pleasure during vacations, training for sporting events, or owning your own boat, we can provide you with everything you need to fulfil your dreams of sailing a boat yourself, or being part of a crew of like-minded people.




 Moments of Magic.

Moments of Magic.

Experience the magic

We have the perfect range of boating experiences for both complete beginners & experienced sailors.  We provide expert tuition on how to learn to sail and operate powerboats, motorboats, as well other educational opportunities. 

In addition to more conventional sailing / power boats, we can provide you with a chance to venture out to sea on a genuine Traditional Galway Hooker Boat.

We are dedicated to sharing with you the ancient history of this rich maritime tradition, as well as enabling you to partake in the sailing of one of the most visually striking, beautiful & enchanted vessels in the world.  


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

 Women On The Water.

Women On The Water.


We run special women only courses, as part of our ‘Women on the Water Ireland (WOWI)’ initiative.  This is a network of female windsurfers, sailors and powerboaters based in Ireland.  It was formed with the aim of raising the participation, profile and level of women’s water sports in Ireland. 

SIGN UP to our NEWSLETTER below to find out when the NEXT SPRING COURSE is happening in Galway.

 Take a trip on Galway Bay & see the City from a different perspective.

Take a trip on Galway Bay & see the City from a different perspective.


 Try Sailing in Galway City.

Try Sailing in Galway City.

Kerry Head’ is a Lochin 333 Harbour Pilot, built to commercial standards. This 33ft cruiser is powered by a 350hp Caterpillar inboard diesel engine & is licensed to carry 12 passengers & 2 crew. This extremely seaworthy passenger boat is very spacious with a large open deck & very comfortable interior cabin complete with toilet facilities.


  • LENGTH 33 foot


All our boats are licensed by the Department of Transport as Passengers Vessels & have been scrupulously assessed for Health & Safety. 


 Get out on the water & experience the Wild Atlantic magic.

Get out on the water & experience the Wild Atlantic magic.

‘Willie Joe’ is a Cygnus GM 21 which is primarily a fishing/workboat design. It is 21ft in length & licensed to carry 7 passengers. Popular for inshore trips, river cruises around Galway harbour, The Claddagh & The Spanish Arch. Ideally suited for families & smaller groups.