The Boatyard Team
The Shop Team
The Admin Team
Now that you know us, why not take a tour of the building
Mooney Boats Ltd was founded by the late Micheal Mooney from Killybegs. Initially Micheal served his time in the BIM boatyard in Killybegs in the early 1960s. After Michael had served his apprenticeship, he left the BIM Boatyard. He began building small wooden punts in the front garden of his home on the hill in Killybegs, which was located beside the church, in the late 1960s. After completing several small vessels Michael then moved to his father’s old forge, his father was the local blacksmith in Bridge Street Killybegs in the early 1970s. After a few years of operating in the forge in Bridge Street, Michael built a new factory on this site. By this stage Michael’s brother Benny had started working in the business with him and by the late 1970s Michael had 5 employees. As the fishing industry in Killybegs developed so did the business and it became apparent to Michael that he needed to expand again. So in 1982 Michael bought a site from the Department of Marine where he erected his new 8000sq/ft workshop adjacent to the Blackrock Pier. In this year Michael decided to set up his company Mooney Boats Ltd.
In 1984 BIM closed down their boatyard in Killybegs and it was in the same year that Michael bought the old BIM Boatyard at Castle Point, Killybegs. In December 1984 Michael reopened the slip and the first vessel out was the Mfv Gerona which was owned by the late Nobel Morrow. For the first few years after buying the boatyard the company was very busy fitting steel box keels on the BIM footer wooden trawlers, aluminium shelter decks on the 60, 70 & 80 footers and also servicing the west coast fishing fleet. As the company developed so did the workforce. Michael re-employed many of the old BIM boatyard staff and by 1990 the company had 14 people employed. Along with the service work the company were building new vessels and Mooney Boats Ltd delivered their first steel trawler, the 14m Chrisolga in 1987, and then 4 small passenger vessels between 1992 & 1995. From 1987 – 2013 the company have built 38 vessels in total. This includes Fishing Trawlers, Aluminium Catamarans, Steel Catamarans, Fish farm Workboats, & Tugs.
Mooney Boats Ltd is very much a family run business. In the early 1990s Michaels’ sons Warren and Lee started to work in the business, both of them serving their apprenticeship on shop floor. Warren was in the St Catherine’s road site and Lee was in the boatyard site. Michael’s daughter Laura joined the company a few years later in the office. Over the next few years the company kept expanding and developing their markets. The St Catherine’s road site developed into a marine chandlery store and the company began stocking and selling anything related to the fishing industry and marine sector. This included many tops brands such as Jotun Paints, Nor Sap Chairs, Guerra Marine Cranes, Blueline, CC Jensen, Desmi, Rule & Jabsco pumps to name a few. In 1998 the company extended the St Catherine’s Road site by 9000 sq/ft and developed a new machine-shop which housed their lathes, milling machines, press brake and engineering equipment. The original part of the building was converted into the marine chandlery shop and a large hydraulic store where they stocked a huge range of hydraulic fittings and hoses for the fishing fleet along with fish pump hose, water hoses, bearings, fuel filters, hydraulic oil fitters, gaskets, vee belts, etc.
On the Boatyard site the company developed the boatbuilding and engineering side of the business. They also started working with the Department Of Marine and in 1987 the 600 Ton Synchrolift was opened next door to the boatyard site. This also opened up new business for the company. This facility, which is owned by the Department Of Marine, can handle up to 4 vessels at a time and has an indoor repair shed which can been used for shot blasting and painting. In 2007 Mooney Boats Ltd ceased using their old slipway as most of the fishing fleet preferred using the Synchrolift facility. The company invested in a new 75Ton travel lift which is the biggest in the country. This is used for servicing the smaller vessels and also the pleasure craft industry. The RNLI also use this facility for dry-docking most of their fleet on the West coast of Ireland. The facility allows them to dry-dock there vessels in the winter months as they can be taken indoors and weather will not affect them. Mooney Boats Ltd also offer a service to the yachting & leisure market and now provide storage for vessels along with annual haul-outs and repair services.
Along with boatbuilding and repair side of the business the company developed an engineering business and have been providing welding and engineering services to the Marine sector since the early 1970s. The company have a renowned reputation for its quality and service and are ISO 9001 Approved. The engineering side of the business now provides a range of services to the Marine and Oil & Gas sectors which are using Killybegs as a services port along with the Fishing fleets from Ireland, Scotland and Europe. The company supplies a vital service to the commercial agricultural and industrial companies within the region consisting of welding, fabrication, turning, milling, CNC Profile cutting service, electrical services and hydraulic services.
In December 2008 Michael passed away at the young age of 65 which was a huge blow to the family & staff. At the time of his passing Michael had built up a good business and was one of the biggest full time employers in the Killybegs area with 33 full time employees. But the family wanted to move on and build from the great business Michael had left behind him. Lee Mooney took over the running of the business along with his brother Warren and sister Laura. In 2010 the company opened a brand new 24000 sq/ft marine chandlery store on the boatyard site which had always been an ambition of Michaels. It has proven to be a huge success with everything now located on the one site. With the new Marine Chandlery Store the company now runs the largest Marine Chandlery Store in the UK and Ireland. The company have also developed the boatyard premises and have built a new machine shop, woodwork shop, offices and stores along with completely modernising the boatyard building inside and out. Located on the Shore Road in Killybegs, Co. Donegal, Mooney Boats Ltd have been at the heart of the local community for over 44 years now and now employ a total of 43 staff and are continuing to expand.