Monday, 5 August 2013

The St Ayles skiff

I have mentioned this before, now we are further down the road and the class is even larger, maybe we can start our own class here in South Africa and have 'raids' as many other countries are doing?

the Wemyss Skiff 
 Ian at the front and Alec at the rear.

From  Alec Jordan:


Thank you for showing an interest in the St Ayles skiff. Your life may be about to change, hopefully for the better, as you
discover the joys of boat building and being on the water as part of a community.
Those of us who were involved in 2009, at the start of what was then the “Scottish Coastal Rowing Project”, under the auspices of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, had a pretty good idea that building and rowing the newly designed St Ayles skiff
would be a very rewarding and sociable experience. We knew friends in our own community and some in neighbouring
areas might well catch on and get an enthusiasm for the concept too. However, we have been somewhat taken aback by
the speed at which the fever spread, not just around the Firth of Forth, which we might have expected, but initially along
the coasts of Scotland, then down into some lovely parts of England, and then around the world.
Therefore, it is worthwhile trying to look at what is so special about this boat, and the way it brings communities together.
Perhaps most importantly, the St Ayles is not something you just buy off the shelf. It is supplied in a kit form, which means
that the basic hull shape and dimensions will be the same for each boat. However, a great deal of work goes into transforming sheets of precut plywood parts into the graceful shape of a St Ayles skiff. It’s that work which is enormously rewarding, and can be done by you, in your community, with your friends, some of whom you will know already and some of
whom you have yet to meet, but all of whom you will have a special bond with. You and your community will be very
proud of what you create, and it will have touches which make it unique.
Then you and others will start to row your community skiff. Many of the rowers will have lived beside the sea for years,
but never looked at their community from seaward before. Just as you discovered the rewards of teamwork when building
the boat, rowers will discover the joys of teamwork in making the boat sweep gracefully through the water, and making
her ride purposefully over the waves. During the build some experienced woodworkers will have shared their knowledge
with learners, a rewarding experience for both. Now on the water the same thing will happen, with experienced rowers
and mariners will share their experience with newcomers. Some of those newcomers will be youngsters, some will be pensioners, but all are discovering that joy of working together with others to achieve a goal.
Coastal rowing is a very accessible sport. You do not need huge resources or specialist knowledge to become involved. All
the rowers have a contribution to make to the forward movement of the boat, and all share the same rewards.
As I write this, I am greatly looking forward to welcoming St Ayles skiff rowers from Canada, USA, New Zealand, Australia,
Netherlands, England and Scotland to the first St Ayles World Championships. This is a chance to bring together a worldwide community and I look forward to hearing all the stories of how these rowers became involved.

Open the link to read the rest of the text and view the pictures.

We can supply these boats as kits for your own construction, or as completed boats to your order.