During the 30s, the Port of Dublin Local Association had five Troops in Dublin. There was also a Troop in Bray and a Patrol in 1st Cork Troop.
The late 1940s were disastrous for Sea Scouting in Ireland. By 1948 only two BSI Troops remained – the 1st Port of Dublin (Ringsend) and the 4th Port of Dublin (Dodder), and by 1950, only 2 CBSI Ships remained – 1st Port of Dublin (Ringsend) and 4th Port of Dublin (Dollymount). Within a few years these CBSI units closed.
Then the picture in BSI (later SAI) changed, very slowly at first – from two troops in 1948, to four in 1958, twelve in 1968, thirty-eight in 1978. The first of these Troops outside Dublin was 1st Wexford (New Ross). The very rapid growth between 1968 and 1978 was a mixed blessing, and a number of troops did not survive for very long, mainly due to problems of back-up support and of maintaining adequate supply of Leaders. CBSI had an active Sea Scout Troop in Wicklow for some years in the 70s, the age range and programme being similar to that in SAI. This Troop had a number of contacts and activities with SAI Sea Scouts from Dunlaoghaire and New Ross.
In the mid 1970s the former lightship, “Albatross”, was acquired as a Sea Training Centre. This was a great boost to training and was an activity centre where troops with little equipment could send Scouts for boating experience. Unfortunately, after about 12 years excellent work, it became too expensive to maintain the vessel to a reasonable standard and she was withdrawn from service and later sold. In 1976, the Irish Sea Scout Standard Boat, the “BP 18” was designed by Kevin McClaverty, and has proved to be an excellent general purpose craft for Sea Scouts. Here we wish to record, with deep regret, that Kevin died on 6th December 2002.
In the 1980s CBSI introduced an optional Water Activity programme that could be used within any Scout Troop by a patrol or by interested individuals, but decided not to establish a Sea Scout Section or to operate Sea Scout Troops. CBSI later developed a Water Activities Centre at Killaloe on Lough Derg on the Shannon. In 1985 SAI published a new series of handbooks covering the nautical requirements of the Sea Scout programme (Sea Training Handbooks, Parts 1 & 2), and also a Sea Scout Leaders Handbook.
During the 1990s, SAI instituted a series of revisions of Sectional Programmes, and the turn of Sea Scouting came in 1998. From 1998 to 2002 a very detailed examination of Sea Scouting was undertaken, under the Chairmanship of Tommy Myler, National Commissioner for Sea Scouting. This included a country-wide survey of all Sea Scout Troops, with questionnaires for each Scout and Leader on training schemes and programmes, uniform, activities and competitions. A committee was established to examine the Sea Scout Programme in detail, using the Renewed Approach to Programme (RAP) method recommended by World Scouting. This was a lengthy process involving 9 stages, with masses of paperwork. The new programme was designed, and a new advancement Badge Scheme was devised to implement it. The new Sea Scout Programme was launched in 2002, and includes a completely revised Progress Scheme, balanced between ashore and afloat, with a wide choice of activities.