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 www.scottishcoastalrowing.org). 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.

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