Archive for November, 2010
Due to the amount of ice and snow in Dunbar, the launch of the towns first St Ayles skiff has been postponed. Hopefully it can be rearranged for a time when people can travel safely to welcome the new boat to the fleet. Watch this space.
Amid all the celebrations going on with new skiffs being launched, some may not have heard of the damage done to the fleet in the early hours of Monday 8 November as a storm blew accross Scotland. In North Berwick St Baldred was blown off her trailer, but thankfully suffered only minor mostly cosmetic damage. Meanwhile in Fife Chris O’Kinnard was blown over on the pier at Anster, suffering some damage to her structure which is being assessed and repaired.
The most serious damage however was sustained by Ulla, pulled up on the foreshore of Loch Broom. Large holes were punched in her planking and her stem was badly chewed as the breakers reached her and dashed her on the rocks. The spirit of her builders, and the love they have for their boat, is strong. Clean up and repairs started immediately. As ever they are carefully recording their work on their blog, which will be of great assistance to anyone faced with repairing planking in clinker ply boats. Good luck in the repair and we all look forward to seeing Ulla back on the water.
In the meantime everyone…….. review how your boat is stored when not in use!
Dunbar to launch “The Volunteer” on 4th December 2010 – POSTPONED- NOW SCHEDULED FOR Saturday 26 March
Due to the current weather conditions, the launching of “Volunteer” has been postponed. Will post again when we get the new date.
Hard on the heels of the launchings at Newhaven and Port Seton we are pleased to be able to report that another skiff is joining the fleet to the South of the Firth of Forth. The community of Dunbar will be launching their first St Ayles skiff at the town’s Victoria Harbour on Saturday 4th December 2010. Coastal Rowers from around Scotland are invited to help the Dunbar community celebrate with those who have been invovled in the build. Alastair Mackie of Dunbar Coastal Rowing Club advises that the order of events will be as follows:
12.00 Chairman’s Address
12.05 Choir Recital
12.20 Blessing of the boat by Rev. Laurence Twaddle.
12.35 Naming of the boat
13.15 Refreshments and sandwiches at The Volunteer Arms.
Cockenzie and Port Seton Launched their second St Ayles skiff on Saturday 20 November. The boat, named “Boatie Blest”, was taken along the High Street behind the pipe band before being launched at the Boat Shore. She is painted in traditional fishing boat colours, of a black hull, with a white band along the water line, and the underwater sections painted red. Her gunwhales are magnificent oiled oak. Best of luck to Boatie Blest and all her crews.
Some of us who were busy building boats last winter are kicking our heels a bit looking for constructive things to do through the winter. Look no more. Jordan Boats have developed a kit for a model of the St Ayles skiff. The kit consists of the moulds, frames, planking (no scarphing required!), hog & keel. All other parts will need to be sourced at the builder’s local model shop, or from scraps from the workshop.
The kit is at 1/6th scale, giving a model approximately 44″ (1.11m) long. The scale is correct to add those Action Man and Barbie figures stashed in the back of the attic. The kit is built in exactly the same way as the real thing.
Alec Jordan has advised that there will be a model builder’s competition at the Anstruther Regatta, with a prize for the most faithful replica of one of the full size boats.
Kits, including a set of plans, will cost £49.99, and will be available for delivery before Christmas. Contact Alec through www.jordanboats.co.uk if you are interested.
…but whether she will be seen on the water is a different matter.
Construction Lead Norman Thomson emailed over these pictures of his latest creation.
If you have noticed any maroon clad figures racing around Scotland’s coast this year, that will have been the combined communities of Cockenzie and Port Seton sweeping all before them in St Ayles skiff races. The communities have been busy building their second skiff and will be launching her on Saturday 20th November.
The boat will be led in procession from the Boatie Blest boatyard at the East Basin of Port Seton harbour, leaving at 1200. She will process along the High Streeet, stopping outside the Thorntree Inn , Cockenzie for a drink and a dance.
After a dignified pause, she will carry on to The Boat Shore, Cockenzie for the launch at 1330. Fellow skiffers from other communities are invited to join the procession and to help celebrate afterwards at the British Legion for drinks and nibbles, 1400 to 1700.
Stand by also for news of Dunbar’s launch on Saturday 4 December 2010.
Why, a second one of course! Here are North Berwick’s two skiffs at rest after some social rowing on Sunday 31 October 2010. Anstruther’s second skiff is ready for the water, and Port Seton are to launch their second skiff on Saturday 20th November 2010.
The community of Newhaven, near Leith, launched their first St Ayles skiff on 14 November at 0930 into Newhaven harbour. A crowd of around 300 turned out on a wet blustery morning to see George Hackland, who was present the last time a newly built boat was launched into Newhaven Harbour, in 1928, name the vessel “The Wee Michael”.
Previously, James IV’s Navy’s flagship “The Great Michael” was launched at the new dock at Newhaven in 1504. The Great Michael caused a bit of a stir at the time, allegedly using all the woodlands of Fife in her construction. She was twice the size of England’s flagship Mary Rose. Hopefully the Wee Michael can make just as much of an impact on the community and her neighbours, but with less deforestation.
The Wee Michael was joined on her maiden voyage by St Baldred from North Berwick and Icebreaker from Portobello, who salutued with tossed oars as the Wee Michael passed them in Newhaven harbour, and then followed her in procession out into the lumpy seas of Wardie Bay.
Congratulations Newhaven Rowing Club for bringing boat building back to your community. The Newhaven skiffies have enjoyed some rowing this year in borrowed boats, and will be champing at the bit to show what they can do in a boat of their own.
It gave me a great deal of pleasure to see Wee Michael officially launched today. She is the first of the skiffs to be built entirely by a team with no previous boat building experience. The closest they had was a joiner.
The photos do not do justice to the quality of workmanship, and the superb paint job – and they still don’t think is it quite good enough!
The community of Newhaven, near Leith, will launch their first St Ayles skiff on 14 November at 0930 into Newhaven harbour. The boat’s name was chosen from suggestions by pupils of Victoria Primary School. The name will be officially given to the boat by local resident George Hackland who was present the last time a newly built boat was launched into Newhaven Harbour……. in 1928. Congratulations Newhaven Rowing Club for bringing boat building back to your community. Below is a picture of the boat having her topcoat finished off.
The Newhaven skiffies have enjoyed some rowing this year in borrowed boats, and will be champing at the bit to show what they can do in a boat of their own.