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St Ayles Skiff

This info nicked without the kind permission of Newhaven Coastal Rowing! (See Other Skiffies tab – right.) Sorry guys 😀 Good luck to you builders in Newhaven.

‘The St Ayles Skiff was commissioned by Anstruther Fisheries Museum and designed by Ian Oughtred, a renowned small boat designer based on Skye. The design is based on the Fair Isle Skiffs, like the  replicas on display in the Museum. They share a common heritage with the Norwegian faerings, seksaerings and ottrings – 4, 6 and 8-oared boats.

St Ayles Skiff . Can't you smell the paint drying?

The Skiff is very seaworthy given the amount of boat above the waterline and the broad beam, but is narrow at the waterline. This ensures that when the boat meets a short steep wave – intendingto swamp the boat – it will ride up high and dry ready to face the next wave. The Skiffs can be pulled hard against wind and sea, their lightweight making it easy to row, even for an 11 year old.

The Skiff can be optionally be fitted with short mast and sail, but the intention is to just row them with a crew of five. Four single-oar rowers sit on rowing thwarts, which are closely spaced at around 3ft to concentrate the crew’s weight amidships. A coxswain steers the skiff from a small bucket seat at the stern with hand on tiller to a rudder or alternatively by using a steering oar.

The St Ayles Skiff is 22ft long, with a beam of 5′8″.  Manufactured from marine graded plywood the Skiff is supplied in kit form by Jordan Boats located in Fife. The skiff is build upside down on a mould, the builder fitting plywood planks to create the clinker hull. The bow, stern and keel are made from laminated larch, carefully bend around a frame to create the correct shape.’

So now you know!

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