New Ross Boat Yard goes on market for €4m

Dry dock one of only three in the Republic that can handle large commercial boats

One of the most unusual properties to be offered for sale this year, the New Ross Boat Yard is expected to sell for about €4 million when it goes on the market through joint agents CBRE and Palmer Auctioneers.

The Co Wexford yard extends to 1.62 hectares (four acres) and has 230m of shoreline to the west of the river Barrow, as well as access to the Nore and the Suir. The key facility of the dry dock (15m wide by 70m long) allows it to be used for servicing large commercial fishing boats and ferries as well as smaller boats.

Robert Colleran of CBRE says there is planning permission to cover the dry dock to enable it to be used for work on commercial vessels all the year round. “We have been informed that this dock is one of only three operational dry docks in the Republic that can accommodate large commercial boats – the primary source of income.”

The yard had a turnover of €840,000 in the past year. As well as the dry dock, it has a 50-tonne marine lift that can move vessels around the site. The yard can store up to 150 boats in the winter months.


Prosperous years

The yard first opened for business in 1970 and closed in 1982, after a few prosperous years, in which employee numbers reached about 800. During its peak, a range of vessels were built there, from barges to ferries, tugs and fishing boats. A €5.6 million contract was fulfilled for Sudan and a reproduction of the Dunbrody famine ship of the 1840s was largely rebuilt on site and is now a popular local attraction for tourists.

The boatyard was largely disused in the run up to 2008, when it was reopened by current owner Michael Kehoe for boat storage as well as repairs and maintenance. Mr Kehoe has invested heavily in the refurbishment of the dry dock as well as building a stores facility, showroom, offices and storerooms.