Is it safe to go with 18ft Lynch boat in Galway bay?

Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:52 pm

Hello All

Last year I got an 18ft Lynch boat with 15HP 2ST Yamaha and I used it a lot on Lough Ree Last summer.

I would like to use for Mackerel, Cod or Pollack fishing in Galway bay.
I wonder if some can advise is it safe to go out in good weather on low wind and waves in such boat and what?

I also look for slipways to put the boat on the water. For the moment I found one place close to Blackhead lighthouse, one on Nimmo's Pier Galway and one at the pier of Spidle.
Also if some know some spots in Galway bay not far from the coats line worth checking and other slipways close to the places it will be great

Most the time I go out I would be alone so if some are interested to join me I can have one more in the boat to keep company.

Once I went to Blackhead lighthouse for a quick try and 2 of us got around 30+ Makerels averaging 600 grams.

Thank you in advance and hopefully will be able to put some good reports with photos for fishing in the Galway bay :)

Re: Is it safe to go with 18ft Lynch boat in Galway bay?

Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:48 pm

I'm not familiar with a Lynch boat but is it designed for lake and river fishing rather than the sea?

Can you post some photos?

As with any boat, its not the boat its the conditions, however ...

Tackling the sea, and Galway Bay is very open to the ocean, is a very different task to trolling or drifting on Lough Ree.

Please please never go fishing on the sea (or anywhere else) alone. Get a buddy to fish with you. Don't become a statistic. :shock:

Fly fishing boats are designed to operate in a very specific way. They are designed to drift slow, sit into the water and give their anglers a stable platform. They tend to be narrower in the beam (width) than sea boats. This is often described as their length to beam ratio. Beam is critical to stability at sea. Critical. Long narrow boats do not perform well at sea.

Currachs (which are long and narrow) do perform well, however this is because they are so light and have no keel and a round hull - they are designed to rise over the waves and do this exceptionally well, but are no place for a novice sailor.

You also need to look at the freeboard - the distance between the waterline (on a calm day) and the top of the gunwale - which is often far shorter on fresh water boats than in sea boats. Boats designed for fresh water and in particular fly fishing are vulnerable to being swamped if sea conditions deteriorate. Think very carefully about how to get back to the pier and how long it will take you at top speed. Again fly fishing boats are not typically designed to plane, i.e. rise up above the water so that they can move a lot faster. Some of the modern designers have taken this on board (it cuts down on fuel costs) but a long narrow boat at sea? Not ideal.

Don't imagine for a second that you will never get caught out when at sea. It happens to the best of us. You must be prepared. I am sure Jim and others will offer excellent advice on this. If its not a lake boat, my apologies for my ignorance! :mrgreen:

Stay safe.
Join a sea angling club. You will have no shortage of people ready to go fishing with you (and share the costs).

Hope this helps...


PS: just started on some larch planks for my own boat, which will be modelled on a Scattery Island two hander (currach). Madness.

Re: Is it safe to go with 18ft Lynch boat in Galway bay?

Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:49 am

Hello Kieran

Thank you for the prompt reply :)

You are absolutely right it is a fly fishing boat with a displacement hull, not a plane. It goes 20 km/h with the current outboard with two inside.

I'm not fly fisher my self, I decided to buy a boat and bought it from a neighbor for a good price (not sure for me or him) :lol:
I live in Athlone so I'm right next to Shanon and Lough Ree.
A few times I was in Galway on the City Docks fishing for Mackerel this year.
Twice I saw some people with small inflatable dingy boats going in less than a mile and having considerably better catch rate.
I also notice that in windy weather it is similar to the Lough Ree in the part of the bay close to the city. This is how Igot the idea that it should be safe to go with my lake boat.
Even decide once to try Blackhead Lighthouse on what I thought reasonable weather and forecast. And we got a nice Mackerels.


I use for information for wind and swell I find it easy to read and seem to be reliable what I have seen for now.
Example link for Galway bay swell below,53.225,-9.124,11

I only plan to go when the forecast is for weives less than 0.3 meters. And was thinking that around Spidle on good weather should be safe as well.

I will really appreciate if some can recommend phishing spots in the inner part of the bay where the Ocean seems to me to have better conditions in general for my boat.

About join a sea angling club can someone recommend one. I googled and found only "Galway Bay Sea Angling Club" do you know others and what is the best way of finding a fishing buddy.
I'm quite new and do not know anyone willing to spend the time on a boat. And when I go alone I do not do it because I like to be alone it is because I have no alternative :?

And lats If I'm to sell this one and buy another which boat would you recommend on a budget that is better than mine for the see but it is not big to be trailed by medum car and can be used on the river and lake?
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Re: Is it safe to go with 18ft Lynch boat in Galway bay?

Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:07 pm

Just to put this in context an orkney coastliner, which is just 14 foot 4 inches long, has a beam of 5 foot 8 inches.
That is probably close to double what you have on your own boat.
And it comes with a V hull and semi planing deadrise. Your 20 hp would scoot along on it.

My situation is similar in that I will be using my boat in Clew Bay, which comes with 365 islands, some very nasty shoals and currents and cliffs at either side which affords good shelter against most prevailing winds. It also comes with ocean sized swells which can appear from a mid-atlantic storm on a sky blue day. If you were looking to upgrade to a boat that works on both lake and sea, I would recommend something like an orkney longliner at 16 foot long and a beam of 6 feet. Takes 3/4 people. Excellent reputation.

Jim and several others here own larger boats which are designed for proper offshore angling, out past the horizon. t
They are big money and you would be better getting experience inshore for a few years in any case...

As for marks on Galway Bay, people tend not to share that openly on forums. Marks given away this can get netted commercially. You would be better off joining a club. Check out and the provincial councils. They should have a listing of all clubs in Galway and Clare. Once people get to know you, they will be more willing to share the GPS coordinates of reefs, wrecks etc.

Hope this helps...

Re: Is it safe to go with 18ft Lynch boat in Galway bay?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:50 pm

Thank you for the information Kieran. It is really helpful.
I will look around what are my options.
I would love to get Orkney longliner. I might try to sell my boat and engine and if I find some fly fisher interested to get it I might sell it.

Re: Is it safe to go with 18ft Lynch boat in Galway bay?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:14 pm


Take on board Kieran’s advice.

Remember this: you can go to sea in a bathtub if the weather conditions are correct. Always make your decision to fish or not based on the weather. Too many anglers are hurt or killed because they based their decision on other factors other than weather. respect the sea and you will do ok!

Re: Is it safe to go with 18ft Lynch boat in Galway bay?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:58 pm

Hello JimC,

Thank you for the advice as well.
What will be the weather source you would recommend using for weather information?

I use
Capture (860 x 519).jpg

It gives info for wind, waves, swell and swell period on a selected spot and overall graphical representation on wind or swell based on what you selected.
What I was told is that the longed the period of the swell is the safer it is, is this right?

Is there any guide about how you should interpret sea wether details?
I heard that for example, the wind direction is very important and with the same speed only with different direction could change from safe to unsafe to go out.

Thank you all for your time spending ready this and helping with answers.
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Re: Is it safe to go with 18ft Lynch boat in Galway bay?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:34 pm

I usually use Met Eireann, XC Weather and Magic Seaweed. There are loads of other good weather sites too but I tend to return to these time and time again.
I usually do not pay much attention to the predicted wave heights. It is a useful guide but I tend to work off my experience rather than anything else. Many of the predictors of swell do not take the tide into account. In many areas the wind and tide combinations manage to create conditions not suitable for fishing.I am usually using the forecast wind speed and direction to determine if I am going fishing or not.
I think if people are new to an area and there is any doubt in your mind then you should consult a local. If there is any doubt I will not travel.
Too many people with less experience of boats get into trouble because they think they can go fishing when they want rather than when they are able. I have seen guys launching in conditions that you would not launch the lifeboat! I cannot understand why these guys think that this is OK! Nobody else is launching and they decide to travel in any case. Madness!

Re: Is it safe to go with 18ft Lynch boat in Galway bay?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:49 pm

Thank you for the advice JimC.
I will have it in mind.