Turnover day for the first St Ayles skiff designed by Iain Oughtred

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Chris Perkins’ photos used with permission. Click on the thumbnails for much larger images. Please do not repost on forums and elsewhere without permission from the photographer

The first St Ayles skiff currently being built in Alec Jordan’s workshop has reached an important landmark – turnover day. For more on the St Ayles skiff and the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project, click here.

Award winning amateur ply lapstrake boatbuilding specialist Chris Perkins has been involved, and here’s what he has to say about it:

‘Week three has passed with less visible progress: scraping and sanding the surplus epoxy eats away at the hours without appearing to advance the build significantly. Hopefully care at this stage will show in the finished result.

‘The “significant event” for this week occurred on Thursday evening when, after some delay assembling the strong arm bunch, the skiff was turned up the right way for the first time. She looked pretty good while on the mould but achieved a step change in the looks department when seen from a “proper” perspective for the first time. Iain Oughtred has produced yet another stunning design; I think she is a real beauty.

Cromartie Timber have produced some excellent larch for the thwarts and thwart beams, and it is probable that the internal fit out will be completed by the end of next week. There will still be lots of the interminable sanding and scraping to do but the boat should be painted and on the water in the first half of October. A few more volunteer helpers would be very welcome to move things along!



Thanks Chris! See Chris Perkins’ weblog here.

If you’re in the Fife area and feel like getting involved in an exciting project, why not contact Alec Jordan at alec@jordanboats.com?

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Chris Perkins’ photos from sunny Portsoy 2009

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Saturday, Portsoy 2009. Not really a day for a race! As usual,
click on the thumbnails for some nice big photos

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Award-winning lapstrake boat builder and Iain Oughtred boat plan specialist Chris Perkins has written to tell us a little about this year’s Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy, and to share some of his photos. If you enjoy these, there are lots more at his weblog Strathkanchris’s Little World.

‘A few snaps for you from a very sultry Scottish Trad Boat Fest. Went to the seminar on Thursday. The session with the Swedish boatbuilders, the Ravinis brothers, was brilliant and I would have liked more, Iain Oughtred’s talk was enjoyable if a bit rushed, and  our American visitor Bob Walser on shanties was enjoyable – he has a good voice. I’m afraid that for me the history of the clippers, although well presented, wasn’t of great interest – they are far too big! Unfortunately I had to leave before Nigel Irens talk.

‘Saturday was a magical day. We were up at 05:30 so we could make the three-hour drive over in plenty of time to see the boats away. Lots of boats, bright skies and very little wind so the race turned into a bit of a drift around on glassy water – but the consolation was that the light was pretty darned good and created some good shots – well I like to think so!

‘It was an event that I think you and Julie would have hugely enjoyed. As always there was far to much to see and hear in the one day, one of these days I will take a boat over and ”do” the weekend properly.

Well Chris, it sounds irresistable. I’ll talk with Julie about 2010… Thanks for the photos!

I should add that Chris is a leading light of the Home Built Boat Rally group of British-based home boat builders.

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Chris Perkins builds Michael Storer’s Raid

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Chris Perkins’ build of Michael Storer’s RAID looking almost
supernaturally neat and tidy. I must ask him how he does it!

What happens when a prize-winning amateur builder of glued lapstrake boats like Chris Perkins builds a boat with chine logs and frames with cleats?

A flawlessly tidy looking job, that’s what! Notice how he’s managed to glass the bottom with only one tiny run…

See more photos of his build of Michael Storer’s RAID at his weblog Strathkan Chris’s Little World. He’s building it for his friend Brian Pearson, who I think is a very lucky chap indeed. I think Michael has been pretty lucky here too, by the way: every designer prays the first build to their latest new design will be built by someone like Chris!