By Conor O Brien

Available Now

The Pioneering Circumnavigation of the World in a Small Yacht, South of the Great Capes, 1923-1925

6th Edition
Paperback: 343 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8366211659
Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.18 x 20.32 cm

It will be of interest to those of us who are fascinated by the history of cruising in small boats, that the book by Conor O Brien about his pioneering circumnavigation of the world in the 42-foot yacht Saoirse that he designed himself and had built in Ireland, has been republished by the Irish Cruising Club together with the Royal Cruising Club.

It is available on Amazon worldwide – in soft and hard cover*.
*Please note: If ordering from Ireland, due to some obscure and inexplicable Brexit regulations, only the hardcover is available from The paperback (soft cover) edition is, however, available from all EU Amazon sites, such as

“Mr. 0 Brien’s plain seamanlike account is so modestly written that a casual reader might miss its full significance. But anyone who knows anything of the sea, following the course of the vessel day by day on the chart, will realize the good seamanship, vigilance and endurance required to drive this little bluff-bowed vessel, with her foul uncoppered bottom, at speeds of 150 to 170 miles a day, as well as the weight of wind and sea which must sometimes have been encountered.

… however common long ocean voyages in small yachts may become, Mr O Brien will always be remembered for his voyage across the South Pacific and round the Horn.”

Claud Worth
Introduction to the first edition

This 6th edition of Conor O Brien’s recounting of his epic journey includes the twelfth chapter from the first edition, later omitted. It also includes his logbook extracts that only appeared in the first edition. This is the first digitally produced edition. It is available on Amazon worldwide and from book shops.

EDWARD CONOR MARSHALL O BRIEN (1880-1952) was an architect, author, boat builder, and yachtsman. He was best known for his sailing exploits. Born on 3 November 1880, He was the second son of Edward William O’Brien of Cahirmoyle, Co. Limerick, and a grandson of William Smith O’Brien, an Irish nationalist Member of Parliament (MP) and a leader of the Young Ireland movement.

As a ship designer and builder, his notable boats include the Kelpie, the Saoirse and the A. K. Ilen (a Falkland Islands service ship) built in Baltimore, Ireland. In 1914 he used his yacht Kelpie to collect a cargo of arms for the Irish Volunteers from a German tug in the same gun running operation in which Erskine Childers’ yacht, Asgard, took part. Saoirse would have been the first pleasure boat flying the tricolour to enter foreign ports and it was the first yacht to circumnavigate the world by way of the three Great Capes. O Brien, who was also a mountaineer known for climbing barefoot, had set out originally to join a climbing expedition in New Zealand but arrived there too late to take part due to a delay with his sea voyage.

Caroline Delamer speaking at the launch of Across Three Oceans

Both the Saoirse and Ilen have now been restored and/or rebuilt and are sailing in Ireland.

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