AN INITIATIVE focused on bringing new marine business to the coast of Cork has completed major research to promote its success.Â
The Cool Route project, was set up in 2015, and investigates all aspects of the practical logistics and business potential to establish a yacht cruising route along Cork to Western and Northern Ireland on to Western Scotland and then to the Faroe Islands and up to Tromso in Western Norway.
The Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven has led the way in gathering information to both establish and promote the route by undertaking a âCruising Preferences Study,' with over 500 responses received, mainly from Ireland and the UK which highlighted the needs preferences and priorities of cruising sailors.Â
A key finding being that the preferred daily journey was 25 nautical miles. Cruising folk also like very much to have a dry step ashore, be that on to a marina or a pontoon.
Partner Glasgow Caledonian University found that with the exception of the west coast of Ireland, there are no distance gaps of over 25mnm, other than the sea crossings from Northern Ireland to Scotland and Scotland to the Faroe Islands and Norway on the route. There are, however, a number of facilities gaps in terms of showers and toilets.Â
The next research task completed towards the finalisation of a Cool Route marketing strategy was to undertake a Route Traffic Study which found there are in excess of 150,000 vessels capable of voyaging different parts of the route.
Gavin Deane, general manager at The Royal Yacht Club said the Cool Route is not about sailing from Cork to Norway, but enjoying all of the cruising grounds along the route.Â
âUK boats may likely just come to the south coast of Ireland for a week, or Northern Ireland and Scottish boats may make reciprocal trips,' said Gavin. Â
âThe project is firmly focussed on bringing new marine borne business to local enterprises and it does not make a difference if the visiting boat originated its voyage 10 miles or 100 miles from its destination. The important aspect is that a visiting craft bring business to local harbours.'
Dr Breda Kenny, head of the Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence at CIT, who is leading the project added: âThe strategy involves action by the main beneficiaries. This may involve organising weekend events at ports, perhaps including a barbecue or music and entrainment. Twenty visiting boats can bring between 60 to 100 visitors, and the presence of boats in your harbour will bring as many day visitors, and this combined effect can have significant economic benefits for local shops, cafÃ©s, Â restaurants, museums etc.'
The Royal Cork Yacht Club has produced a Superyacht Marketing Brochure which can be downloaded at www.sailcoolroute.eu/superyachts.