Boathouse life in Scilly, Kinsale

The Boathouse has a storied past and a very bright future, writes Tommy Barker.

Scilly, Kinsale

Price: €825,000

Size: 173 sq m (1,850 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3


Not only does The Boathouse, all fetched up on a rocky protrusion on the Scilly dam in the beating heart of Kinsale harbour, have water views, it also has a very real maritime past, serving right up to the 1960s as a yacht club for sailors.

In private family ownership for decades since, The Boathouse is now up for sale in one of Cork’s hottest property spots (the Financial Times did a two-page spread on Kinsale property a fortnight ago, and Ryan Tubridy broadcast a show in town this past week) so what now of its future?

It’s priced at €825,000 by estate agent Johnny O’Flynn of Sherry FitzGerald, who says its views towards the marina and Kinsale inner harbour are unimpeded, as indeed they are.

That’s because it looks out, slightly imperiously, over an ancient slipway, still used by locals to launch dinghies, and which would have served Scilly’s fishermen for net hauling and repair for centuries prior.

This Scilly strip is now very much a Golden Mile: houses towering above on Ardbrack’s heights, right back to Summercove, regularly sell for millions of euro, and €1m is easily dropped on a site/rebuild opportunity.

In fact, the former Spinnaker bar/restaurant just a few doors away from the Boathouse is a case in point, with the former pub flattened and a super-large new-build, with corner windows for view grabbing, is practically

Nearby, an achingly crisp, architecturally designed, modern build, Corafinne, has been on the market since early summer (it made six pages of coverage at the time here), guiding €2.75 m, and is world class in its appeal. Also by the bend into the Scilly dam, a few period homes with proud pasts have sold for millions, and several have water frontage, boat-launching facilities, or davitts for hoisting craft up and down — so very Cote d’Azur, Cork style.

Right next door to the Boathouse, the former, mid-terrace Harbour Bar is no longer trading, and a former guesthouse close by has been recreated as a plush
private home, so it is up to the Man Friday restaurant, and the Spaniard bar above it, to keep the commercial trading flags flying in chic and chi-chi Scilly.

The Boathouse is set on a bend in the road dropping down towards the water at Scilly, and is old, but not listed. It was formed when two adjacent, “sturdy” cottages were joined together by the sailing club committee, which also managed to get the very large first-floor picture window (one of Kinsale’s first? Now every new build has massive glazing) on the right-hand side, for a room to be used for boat-watching, and for social club functions.

There’s a veranda here, too, while the space within is 25’ by 24’ and “became an amazing living room with a wall of glass soaking in the elevated harbour views and a balcony from which to further
enjoy the sense of being aboard ship”, according to agent Johnny O’Flynn.

There are three or four bedrooms (two en suite), depending on use, stone-flagged kitchen, main bathroom, hall with open fireplace made up from marine salvage in oak, several rooms have old pinewood floors from a former grain mill, and there’s also a snug.

There’s a courtyard with some old stone buildings, off-street parking for a couple of cars, and a front garden/yard by the road, popular with strollers.

VERDICT: What next, indeed, for The Boathouse as it gets floated to an elite buyer profile?

Best Feature: hot Kinsale address and harbour views


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