Shed is ready


The shed for the construction of the two St Ayles Skiff is now ready.

Thanks go to Nathan, our wonderful Bosun at the Club, who has done a great job getting the shed ready. As Paul Bayliss, the Club CEO commented, it will be a great Club asset post the St Ayles build.

All we need now is for the flat packs to arrive and we are up and running.


The heritage of rowing at RFBYC

RFBYC’s first name was the Freshwater Bay Boating Club.

In the early days of the Club there were actually more rowing events than sailing ones.

In Ken Tregonning’s history of the Club he explains that on Opening Day 1898, there were two yacht races with four boats in one race and six in the other. He goes on to explain;

“These two afternoon races climaxed a Regatta that had begun at 10-30am, with dinghy oar races, sculling races, a model yacht race and a duck hunt.” (  A duck hunt is a four oared boat but no coxswain, chasing a one person dinghy).

It is nice to think we are going back to the roots of our Club with the construction of these two skiffs.

Maybe we can even have a Duck Hunt at Opening Days in the future.


Its all happening in New Zealand

I received an email from Mike Mahoney who is the driver behind the St Ayles skiffs in New Zealand.

He tells me that Kit  5 was sent to Muchison where Alex Hislop, a shipwright with a long association with Scottish craft, will be coordinating the Build.

Kit 6 came out of the Tawera mould and Kit 7 is now on the mould.

This is a picture of Tawera from Kit 2 that Steve, Manfred, Gary and I rowed at the Australian Wooden Boat Show this year.

Kiwi St Ayles

Mike has evidently got a nice design for oars that I have asked him for.

Background to the St Ayles Skiff Project

The St Ayles Skiff Project is aimed at providing a new Club activity for interested Members of all ages and genders. The St Ayles Skiff originates from Scotland where in 2009 an initiative was launched by the Scottish Fisheries Museum to reconnect with its community through coastal rowing that was popular in Scotland early in the 20th century. (Visit Highly renowned Australian traditional boat designer, Iain Oughtred, was commissioned to design a Clinker Ply version of the Fair Isle Skiff that could be built by amateurs. The first was launched in 2009 and the concept has proved very popular. Nearly 200 have since been built in USA, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand and recently Australia.

The St Ayles Skiff is a very stable and safe sea boat. She takes the waves from any quarter with hardly any water coming over her bows. The concept of the worldwide movement is that boats are built, used and owned by community organisations. The boats are built from a kit that provides laser cut marine ply components and moulds for the hull. Communities provide the remaining timber required for thwarts, gunnels, knees and oars. The inaugural World Championship was held in 2013 in Ullapool Scotland with 44 boats and 800 rowers. RFBYC is planning to build two boats during the 2015 winter in the small shed to the west of the dinghy storage area, with Steve Ward as volunteer supervisor. The boats will be built by interested club members, from Senior to Junior, and will be then be available for use by all Members.