Freshwater – a skiff-like salmon trolling boat built by Adrian Morgan

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Freshwater – as usual, click on the picture for a much larger image

Launched in the last few weeks, Freshwater is a 16ft trolling boat built for salmon fishing in a loch near Aviemore. Built along the lines of a Scottish skiff with a narrow waterline, she is clinker-built of larch on oak, and has a small fore-locker and removable bench seats aft.

She replaces an older boat that was past her prime, and perhaps for this reason every effort has been made to prevent pockets of stagnant water causing rot – which is the reason for the unusual open gunwales.

Adrian reports that the price was under £5,000, excluding long-shaft Yamaha 6hp outboard. The boat is kept on a mooring on Loch Insh.

See Adrian Morgan’s website.

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A well-travelled skiff

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Venus the well-travelled skiff in Victoria

Venus, a well-travelled Thames-style skiff spotted in Australia by Jeff Cole

Lest we get too doomy, and serious I’ve decided to post this photo of an 1880s single-scull Thames-style skiff hanging in a country nursery at Victoria, Australia. Jeff Cole, who spotted and photographed Venus for us, says the story is that she was imported from Scotland, and was built by the nursery owner’s great-grandfather.

It’s clearly very well-travelled for a small river boat. I wonder what the rest of the story may be – did a River Thames boatbuilder move to Scotland? Did a Scot learn boatbuilding on the banks of the Thames? Or was great-grandfather an amateur who worked from a book? Or were skiffs of this kind far more widespread in the last 19th century than we tend to think?

Whatever the answer, the boat in the photo looks very much like the one shown in this earlier intheboatshed.net post.

Once again, my thanks go to Jeff Cole. To see some earlier material he has sent us, including some mouthwatering shots of early 20th century racing yachts, click here.

For some photos of later skiffs with rather more sheer at Ruswarp on the River Esk in Yorkshire, click here.

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