A St Ayles at Southampton Boat Show

The St Ayles Skiff Apollo is at the Southampton Boat Show as an example of the work of Kevin Halcow’s Lakeland Wooden Boats.

Apollo was built earlier this year to enable a group of former Scots Guards officers to raise funds in memory of a 17 year old who died from heart failure. See this earlier post for the full story of her cruise up the west coast.

Apollo is for sale for £13,000 which includes the skiff on its trailer with launching trolley, oars, rudder and ancillaries (4 x paddles, anchor, chain & rope, 2 x 7m painters, 2 x bailing scoops), delivered to its new home (within reason!).

There is already interest in buying her, so if you wish to obtain a professionally built skiff and be able to get rowing immediately, get in touch quick! Contact rupert@weyhilltransport.co.uk if you are interested. The skiff is based in Hampshire.

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St Ayles Skiff – the documentary

It is now ten years since the St Ayles Skiff began its fantastic journey from Alec Jordan’s idea getting the backing of the Scottish Fisheries Museum to where we are today with well over 300 kits sold around the world and thousands of people enjoying them.

To mark this incredible decade, an effort is being made to crowdfund the production costs of a documentary on the skiff. There is a crowdfunding site for you to make a contribution. There is “sub-target” of £5000 to be raised before Skiffie Worlds in July so that the film-makers can attend for the week and make a good start while we have hundreds of people together.

Here is the message on the Crowd Funder page…

Next year, 2020, marks the first ten years of Scottish Coastal Rowing. Join us to celebrate this milestone by helping to crowdfund a film which will capture how it all started and showcase where we are today.

To kick-start our fundraising, we are asking you – our coastal rowing community – to donate whatever you can. Why not have a club fundraiser and donate the proceeds? Or spread the word amongst your friends and ask them to do the same. If everyone chips in what they can, we will commission film-makers Raw Film, who recently made the SCRA training videos,  to go ahead.

The finished film will be available to everyone online for years to come. Play your part in recording our history and let’s make something special.

Here is the link again…. https://www.gofundme.com/scottish-coastal-rowing-help-fund-a-film. Let’s get these funds raised!

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The First African Skiff

After a short build period, Hout Bay YC club’s first skiff took to the water last Sunday to the sound of the pipes, as has been the case in so many places.

Check out HBYC’s Facebook page for more comments, video and pics.

St Ayles Skiffs are available in Southern Africa from CKD Boats

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St Ayles kits in Cape Town

It’s a familiar sight to many people involved in the world of the St Ayles Skiff, but represents a major new step for the class.

The kits are now being cut near Cape Town, and can be shipped all over southern Africa.

The first builders are Hout Bay Yacht Club, ten miles south of Cape Town, with assistance from boat builders Peter Adamo and Roy McBride of CKD Boats. They have a very ambitious plan to grow coastal rowing at Hout Bay, and are hoping that other boating clubs in the area and along the South African coast will share the interest to build up a rowing scene to rival that in Scotland.

We’re pleased to see this happening, and will now be concentrating on getting the next cutting licence agreed in another Southern Hemisphere country.

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Everyone’s doing it…

..that is, taking video footage from drones.

At the Ullapool regatta in July

and at Sheildaig last weekend.

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Building a Skiff in London, or needing help elsewhere?

Since this year’s Great River Race on the Thames, we have had new interest in building St Ayles skiffs for competing in next year’s race, and hopefully other skiffie events in the UK, Ireland, and Netherlands.

One of the problems in London is finding a place to build a skiff, and out of the GRR came an offer from John’s Boat Works on Lots Ait at Brentford. This boatyard offers build space and help and advice from John Watson or boatbuilder Jonathan Davies. There are power tools available for rent on site.

If you are considering a St Ayles build elsewhere in England, Jonathan Davies is an experienced boatbuilder who has assisted others in building very similar designs to the St Ayles and is willing to travel around Southern England to give advice on site and assist as required. He can be contacted on 07925 122003 or jonathandavies1956@gmail.com.

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St Ayles Stories and Pictures

The St Ayles Skiff has been a remarkable story over the past six years.

One of the reasons for starting this website is to build a collection of writing, video, pictures, and anything else that can go on a website about the skiff. While Scottish Coastal Rowing covers what is happening, StAylesSkiff.net is here to tell other people looking in about what the skiff means to people in the communities, clubs, schools and other organisations that have built and rowed them.

We’re very keen to see contributions from builders and rowers from outside the UK. It is very easy to keep in touch with people here. Less so over a long distance.

Contributions can be short or long, it depends on the story that you wish to tell. Some examples can be seen from the Brochure PDF (Economic Print version here) we published a couple of years ago. These were of a limited wordcount so if you feel inspired to inspire others, don’t worry about the length.

One of the pleasures of the St Ayles for me has been seeing the variety of features of the skiffs. As part of this site, I would like to gather pictures of each skiff, and especially how they have been finished – oarlocks, thwarts, rudders, footrests, any of the ways in which your skiff has been built. These will show new builders the different ways that the skiffs have been built, and give them inspiration for their build.

So, if you fancy writing about your skiff, please get your fingers on your keyboard, and get in touch with us at alec@staylesskiff.org.uk

Thank you in anticipation.

Alec Jordan

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Michael Brolly on Sephira

St Ayles Skiffs inspire people in many different ways. Michael Brolly built his St Ayles Sephira to talk to the whales. Watch the video below to see Mike telling the story of how he came to build Sephira in a TEDx talk.

And in case you haven’t heard of Sephira before, here she is at her first outing.

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The Strangford St Ayles Project

In late 2013, the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership from County Down in Northern Ireland contacted Jordan Boats about the possibility of building St Ayles Skiffs in eight communities around the Lough and close by. Troon CRC kindly offered to provide a skiff for a try out in January 2014, and following this, an order was placed for nine skiff kits.
Within a few months, the local groups were making good progress, with the builds being videoed to record the project for posterity. This video has now been released and can be found here:

It is thirty-eight minutes long but well worth every second to get a feel of what the St Ayles Skiff is about in engaging Communities in a project, both for those who have been involved from the start, and for anyone thinking of trying to start building a St Ayles in your community.

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Welcome to StAylesSkiff.net

Welcome to StaylesSkiff.net. This is a new site from the kit manufacturers Jordan Boats which will carry information about the skiffs which is broader than the SCRA site www.scottishcoastalrowing.org.

During the Southampton Boat Show, we built a St Ayles Skiff from scratch to the point of gluing the first gunwale lamination so that the hull could be trailered off the exhibition site. I will be writing up the build very shortly below.

In the meantime, feast your eyes on the St Ayles Skiffs rowing in gorgeous Scottish scenery below.

Alec Jordan

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