One of the treats of the Beale Park Thames Boat Show was seeing one of John Macaulay’s traditional Hebridean skiffs full of old-fashioned boatbuilding features.
Note the short floors and ribs, for example – they’re very much what one sees in a Viking ship or Viking canoe. What’s more, the oarlocks and oars obviously belong to a time before the fashion for adopting rowing racing practice brought in round oars in round oarlocks capable of being rotated.
For an earlier post on Macaulay, click here.
This interesting article sheds light on the man himself: John Mcaulay Boatbuilder. Of the virtues of wooden boats he says: ‘There is only one boat worth having and that is a wooden boat. They are unique; one off and beautiful. How anyone with any sensitivity could choose a plastic hull over a wooden one made by hand, I will never know.’
Here’s another newspaper piece in the Stornaway Gazette describing the restoration of a Western Isles boat.
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2 thoughts on “A traditional Hebridean lugger built by Harris boatbuilder John Macaulay”
Were you the same person who built the boat in the book, Sea room,
Dave Gillingham, owner of fishing vessel Britannia GU31, built by Percy Mitchell, Mevagissey.
This is indeed the boat Freyja that was built for Adam Nicolson by John MacAulay and which appears in Sea Room. I returned her to Harris in the Outer Hebbrides this summer. Regards Ian