The CSIG charts from Limerick to Lanesboro have been well tested during the summer months by over twenty beta testers. They did find some anomalies around Meelick, but for the most part the charts were found to be excellent. We have not had any negative complaints about the type of layout, the colour schemes or the marked areas not surveyed. The testing was performed on quite different Operating Systems, namely Windows, IOS and Android, and on different platforms, such as iPads, Laptops and smartphones. All platforms use the MemoryMap application which can be downloaded from their website and the only charges involved are a once off payment for the use of third party (CSIG) maps on that application. The current cost is 15 pounds sterling. So if you already have an iPad or Android Tablet, these can be instantly turned into a very inexpensive chart-plotter. Further testing will continue over the winter period.


One of the big problems the CSIG has is to attract new surveyors to the group. There is a cost involved in fuel and time, but the rewards are fantastic, just ask any surveyor, it becomes addictive and a really nice way to spend a few hours, and who knows what may be found. The CSIG are delighted to welcome Robert Navan, Tom Bailey and others to the surveying team in Lough Erne. We have teams on Lough Derg and Lough Ree, but to date have not had any from Lough Erne, so this development is particularly exciting. The Lough Erne branch purchased the equipment for the Erne team and a good few test runs have been performed to iron out small issues, so that the data arriving is in similar format to elsewhere, and the mapping teams can develop the maps in the same way as all other maps.

The CSIG has also equipped two new surveyors for the North Shannon, Paul Martin and Colin Corcoran, and we fully expect this team to be operational for early next year.

The CSIG will be running a training course for the surveyors in the near future, so if you have an interest please contact us via the CSIG website or contact me directly on barge41m@yahoo.co.uk.


In a recent CSIG article I wrote about the work that our Lough Ree survey team had performed in the rescue and eventual recovery of the bodies of the Portadown Pikers after the tragic accident when their fishing boat sank. Pat McManus was recognised by all the first responders for the excellent work he had done, both in assisting daily in the search and in particular for the use of the CSIG charts, enabling the search teams to fully cover the ground in detail. The CSIG is delighted that Pat was formally recognised for his efforts by being invited by the Mayor, Aldermen and Councillors of Craigavon Borough Council to attend a civic reception to thank the people and organisations who helped the Portadown Pikers and families during that tragedy. Pat was presented with some nice memorabilia to add to his growing collection.


A few weeks ago Pat put together a book of A4 sized charts and two very large mounted and sealed charts of Lough Ree for the RNLI based in Athlone. The RNLI were delighted with these since there is nothing else available that comes even close to the resolution that the RNLI people need when searching. Pat, with the help of Brian Willson and Donal Boland, went one step further and produced a search database of every island, marker, location and many other identifying items which can be loaded into MemoryMap. One simply has to press the Search key and select either a category or all categories and enter the item, such as a marker number, or island name. Instantly the Map switches to the highest resolution and places a flag right at that location enabling the search area to be located. This is a huge step forward to reduce the time the first responders need to locate a rescue. Well done Pat, Brian and Donal. The CSIG will do the same for the Lough Derg area when we are happy that the process is good and any anomalies have been ironed out.


So it is all go in the CSIG, and many other items are in continuous development.  The CSIG have shorelines, locks, weirs, towns and roads from Aghalane to Leitrim on the SEW almost complete, and we hope this will line up with the Erne and north Shannon  inputs to give us a good set of charts for this area. If you want to help or get involved, please contact Les at barge41m@yahoo.co.uk or use the info from our website http://chartssig.iwai.ie/.

Finally, the CSIG wishes to extend its sympathies to the family of Mick Farrell who passed away in early November. Mick’s two daughters, Holly and Katie are very close friends with my son Robbie, and have stayed on the 41M many times.  We are particularly conscious of their loss. Mick was responsible for the development of a good few shorelines in the CSIG, and helped with production of the rules, as well as interfacing to the IWAI executive for the CSIG. Mick was always up for a good debate, never held a grudge, and certainly brought colour to the group. For me, we had many a ding-dong, but we always finished with a shared drink, a shake of the hand, and for many of you who didn’t know him, he was a mean guitarist and taught me some good songs. He will be missed. Goodbye Mick RIP.

© Les Saunders 2014