Rowers trying out the original St Ayles skiff at Eyemouth last weekend
Alec Jordan of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project tells me that he received the 19th order for a St Ayles skiff kit this week.
Nineteen St Ayles skiff building projects in less than a year reflects a fantastic explosion of interest in the SCRP project since it began. See my post about legendary small boat designer Iain Oughtred drawing the plans for the St Ayles skiff for the Scottish Coastal Rowers here: Iain Oughtred draws the boat that will bring coastal rowing races back to Scotland. It appeared only in July last year!
Alec, whose business Jordan Boats makes up the kits, says that planning is well underway for the first regatta at Anstruther on 29 May, and that seven or eight completed boats are expected to be ready and on the water for the event.
He’s careful to observe that some of the teams won’t have had much time to practise rowing by that time and however, and suggests the standard of the rowing should be a little bit higher by the time of the Portsoy Festival four weeks later, when there may be even more of the new boats competing.
Other news this week is that the first official women’s crew from Anstruther will have had its first practice.
A particularly striking development is that I gather there have even been expressions of interest in the SCRP from south of the border with England…
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The cut out components of Norman’s skiff wait to be taped and stitched together; the model on his desk proved the principle
Norman Fuller has started work on the rowing version of the Ella skiff, a simple 12ft stitch and glue flattie skiff named after my daughter. He lives in Norwich, close to the Norfolk Broads, and I gather intends to take it to the Barton Broad UK Home Built Boat Rally event in May – so let’s all wish him luck with his project. It’s looking good so far, and I’m pleased to see he built a model first.
Making a model is always a good first step, not least because it boosts the builder’s confidence in the design and the process.
For more on the rowing version of the Ella skiff, click here.
Bill Whalen of the Crystal River Boat Builders chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association in the USA has been in touch to say the group is building the 14ft flattie skiff recorded and published by H I Chappelle that I mentioned here a couple of years ago. At the time I suggested that it might make a worthy and good-looking boatbuilding project for many people, and I still think so as this year’s boat-dreaming season hots up.
Chappelle includes the lines and a description of the boat in his classic American Small Sailing Craft, which is thankfully still available.
From the photos above it’s clear Bill and his pals have built themselves a splendid boat shed, and are using a gratifying amount of white lead and suitably good looking timber in line with their motto ‘Our emphasis is on tradition… ‘ .
See what they’re up to at their website: http://www.tsca.net/CRBB