Discovering the Corrib Logboats

Featured on RTE Nationwide  HERE

The Lough Corrib Logboats   (and other wrecks)


The project to chart the positions of wrecks in Corrib has been going on since 2011.

An essential part of the process of constructing an accurate chart is to locate and investigate hazards, obstructions, and wrecks. Many of these will be of historical significance.

It is important that correct protocols are observed – marine archaeology is closely protected in Ireland.

Once I’ve completed a survey I sit down with all the data and look for anything that has the fingerprint of man on it – straight lines are a dead give-away. Anything that looks as though it probably shouldn’t be there. My old Meteorology lecturer use to say, when I was making weather charts,  “if it looks wrong it probably is…”

Once I’ve found anything that looks slightly dubious, or in the case of isolated rocks, dangerous, I return to the positions and try and find it – and if possible film it. This procedure can take many months, or in the case of the Lees 5 Boat – years.

Once I’ve decided what it is, if it looks like archaeology  I’ll let Karl Brady at the Underwater Archaeology Unit of the National Monuments Service have all the details, and hand over the reins to him and his team. If it’s a dangerous rock in an unexpected place it goes on the charts.

Corrib Logboat gunwhale
One exposed section of gunwhale
The lake is dynamic - and the fish help a lot. They start nibbling away at zebra mussels on a small peice of exposed wood, and create a small hollow next to it. The action of the subsurface currents then starts to scour away, exposing sections of vessel.  These will then be covered again as the silt moves around in storms. 
Corrib Logboat with stone
Logboat with stone

Many vessels have been found with stones inside - some near the bow (as in this case), some amidships. There are plenty of theories - some exotic. I'd like to think that there is a very simple explanation, and consider that these people were just as smart as you or I, if not smarter.

We really know so little about them, and these stones serve to prove the point. We can't use our own values to assess them either - these guys thought very differently, and did things for reasons we can only guess at.

Photos of many of the Corrib wrecks appear in the Corrib Wrecks section, and on the loughcorrib.charts Facebook page. You will also find loads of information on the entertaining and very current Lough Corrib Facebook page