St Ayles Skiff launched

I took some time out at the weekend to get over the the Kingdom (of Fife) for the official launch of the first St Ayles Skiff.  A new Iain Oughtred design based on a Fair Isle skiff and to be used for on-the-sea rowing races.  If you haven’t yet got the idea think Cornish Pilot Gigs – but in Scotland – with four rowers and a cox – and much cheaper as they are glued plywood construction.

The new boat looked great.  Alec Jordan (who makes the kits), Chris Perkins and a number of  other folk had made a great job – and the weather smiled on us all.

Everyone who wanted to row got a row and there was a fair amount of discussion about both technical and non technical issues.  The ‘organisation’ that has initiated the class and will organise racing is Scottish Coastal Rowing.  On the basis of the response by those present I think that there is likely to be quite a few of these built in the next few months.

I took a few photos and even a bit of video.

The boat, at the moment, is very simple. Not even sole boards to complicate things. It looks as if there will be strict control of the hull form but that clubs will be able to experiment with various fixtures and fittings until things settle down in a few years.

Iain Oughtred examines the new boat.

I could be tempted to build one of these….

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