Peter Baylis’s photos of Scoter in her prime

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Alan Buchanan, ceilidh of fife, fife, idle duck, maurice griffiths, phakoe, River Tay, scoter

Scoter in Norway, July 1962.  Colin Grierson has his foot on the tiller. Audry Grierson is bending down amidships. The guard rail of Peter Baylis’ boat Phakoe is just visible in the foreground

Alan Buchanan, ceilidh of fife, fife, idle duck, maurice griffiths, phakoe, River Tay, scoter

Scoter in Norway again, July 1962. The boy standing behind Audry is not her son Douglas, but Peter doesn’t remember his name

Peter Baylis has kindly sent us a collection of photographs of Scoter and the Grierson family and friends during the 1950s and ’60s. A family friend himself, he says he was much saddened to see the state she has been reduced to, but pleased to learn she is to be restored. (See the original post on Scoter here.)

Here’s what he has to say about Scoter’s story during the time he knew her:

Colin Grierson was a neigbour of mine both in Wormit and Tayport Harbour where my mooring was alongside Scoter. After Colin died, Scoter was taken on by his son, Douglas for a few years until he sold her to I know not who.

‘Colin converted Scoter for offshore sailing and had many cruises with his family to Holland and Norway. It fell to my lot on many occasions, to help Colin load and unload the many tons of pig iron ballast Scoter had.’

Peter, who owned Phakoe and Ceildh of Fife in these photos, is particularly interested to learn about the whereabouts and history of Ceilidh of Fife – if anyone knows her story, please contact me at and I will pass the information on to Peter.

Alan Buchanan, ceilidh of fife, fife, idle duck, maurice griffiths, phakoe, River Tay, scoter Alan Buchanan, ceilidh of fife, fife, idle duck, maurice griffiths, phakoe, River Tay, scoter Alan Buchanan, ceilidh of fife, fife, idle duck, maurice griffiths, phakoe, River Tay, scoter

(Left) Low tide in Tayport Harbour. The yachts float on very soft mud. The boat in the centre is Ceilidh of Fife, the boat Peter had after Phakoe. The stern of Scoter is lower left. (Centre) Scoter on her moorings at Tayport. The varnished boat is Phakoe. Lower left the stern of Seagrim is just visible; she’s the boat Hazel and Brian Kelly owned before they commissioned Idle Duck. (Right) Damaged slide of Tayport Harbour moorings. The varnished boat is Phakoe with Scoter next and then Seagrim. The photo was taken during the late 1950s; Peter says the harbour now is full of expensive looking yachts on pontoons

Alan Buchanan, ceilidh of fife, fife, idle duck, maurice griffiths, phakoe, River Tay, scoter Alan Buchanan, ceilidh of fife, fife, idle duck, maurice griffiths, phakoe, River Tay, scoter

(Left) This picture shows Colin Grierson, owner of Scoter, watching the first launch of Peter’s Alan Buchanan-designed yacht Ceilidh of Fife in June 1966. (Centre) First launch of Ceilidh of Fife from Woodhaven pier near Wormit, Fife. Colin is holding the port fore guide rope. Scoter is in the centre of the picture dressed overall. June 1966. (Right) Ceilidh of Fife dressed overall on the occasion of the opening of the Tay Road Bridge by the Queen Mother, August 18 1966. The bridge can be seen in the background

(Left)Peter’s first yacht Phakoe, 1961. Picture taken in the River Tay after returning from Norway: note the yellow flag to request Customs clearance. (Right) His second yacht Ceilidh of Fife alongside in Mandal, Southern Norway. The green boat is Seagrim, the yacht owned by Hazel & Brian Kelly prior to owning the Maurice Griffths-designed yacht Idle Duck. Brian Kelly acquired Seagrim from the Kiel Yacht Club, Kiel, Germany at the end of World War II

PS Check out the comments below for more information on this photos, and about Scoter herself.

Ierne on the BBC

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Ierne on the water – image from the Classic Sailing Club weblog

There was a big treat for Fife yacht fans on TV on Sunday evening – recent film footage of the fabulous Ierne flying along the Humber Estuary.

If you missed it and are in the UK you will be able to catch it on the BBC iPlayer for the next few days.

It turned up on the Griff Rhys Jones series Rivers,  in which our hero visits various interesting and often beautiful locations and attempts something dangerous, cold and painful, such as wild swimming in the Tay, swimming across the Mersey or canyoning down Scottish mountain streams. I can live without all the nonsense in this series, but the photography is superb and the the Ierne moment at the end of the second episode is the best thing so far. Get on to the iPlayer now and make sure you don’t miss it, I say!

For more on Ierne at, click here.

Fore more info including a weblog record of Ierne’s restoration, click here.

For mastmaker Collars’ announcenent that Ierne’s restoration won the Classic Boat Restoration of the Year Award, click here.

Finally, non-UK readers might like to search YouTube for some Ierne footage reported by Dale – see his comment in the link below.

Iain Oughtred draws the boat that will bring coastal rowing races back to Scotland

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St Ayles skiff

Iain Oughtred’s initial drawings for the St Ayles skiff

The Scottish Coastal Rowing Project is a new initiative intended to encourage boat building and rowing racing in Scottish coastal communities.

Based at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, its plan is to re-start the intercommunity rowing competition that for many years was a strong feature of life in the coastal communities of Scotland.

Until the 1960s there was a considerable interest in boating in the mining communities in Central Fife, and a strong fisheries industry in the East Neuk, and these communities held their own regattas on a regular basis using their own local boat types.However, where these regattas have continued, they are generally run by sailing clubs using largely mass-produced GRP yachts and dinghies, with the exception of Dysart Sailing Club, where I gather a few traditional boats are still raced.

There are, we’re told, no rowing races in Fife apart from the Newburgh World Coble Boat Championship.

I guess the organisers have looked long and hard at the wonderfully successful resurgence and spread of interest in racing pilot gigs from the Scilly Islands and Cornwall – no doubt there was a danger that this kind of racing could have appeared in Scotland, but in Cornish boats!

The folks behind the SCRP have wisely commissioned Iain Oughtred to design a suitable clinker ply boat based on the lines of the Fair Isle skiff and to be called the St Ayles skiff, while kit supplier Alec Jordan of Jordan Boats is on board to supply the cut parts for the project. Iain’s beautiful initial drawing appears above.

The first boat will be made from a kit cut by Alec over the winter of 2009-10. The process will be recorded and placed on a website as a tutorial for other builders to follow, and the kits are estimated to cost about £1350, with the complete boat costing around £3000 in materials. I should add that a sailing rig is also planned.

For more, read the leaflet and prospectus. I gather the building project will be covered in Water Craft magazine.

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