Sunday, 23 October 2011

Speed Bonnie Boat

I got a phone call from Alec Jordan a couple of weeks ago. I've known Alec for a few years now and recently his calls have been to introduce me to new Coot builders who have joined the ranks building from  one of Alec's kits. We have quite a self help group going now.  So I was quite surprised this time when Alec asked me what size my garage was!

Alec has been the main instigator behind the Scottish Coastal Rowing resurgence which I've written about previously here  Fae Fife?  and here Happy Birthday Skiffies

You'll remember that Alec got together with Iain Oughtred who designed the fantastic St Ayles Skiff to encourage competitive coastal rowing and provide kits so that communities could build their own boats cheaply. 
The project took off and the St Ayles Skiff has now become very popular throughout Scotland and abroad with communities and groups finding a common cause in building these beautiful boats and then going out to thrash their neighbours from near and far. 

Alec felt there was a case for a smaller boat which could be rowed by one or two people maybe with a lightweight cox.  It could be used by clubs when there wasn't a full crew available or by people who wanted to build and own their own boat.  And so the Wemyss Skiff came about. 

Once again the boat was designed by Iain Oughtred and this shows in the distinctive lines and close family resemblance to the St Ayles skiff.  The boat is 16ft 6ins overall and has a beam of 4ft 9ins.  

Once the prototype "Swan" was built Alec took it up to Portree on Skye to let Iain try her out, which is where these photos were taken. The top photo shows Iain trying her out single-handed with Alec below and the pair of them pulling together in the last one. You can see how much flare she has, giving her bags of reserve buoyancy making her a very good sea boat. She is also rumoured to be very fast!

There is some development work to be done to include buoyancy tanks and kits should go into production at the end of November. So if you really hurry you might just get one for Christmas.

Alec told me that Iain had already started thinking of ways to improve her even more, including making her longer, but Alec was concerned it wouldn't fit into an average modern garage, hence the phone call !! 

Alec is marketing kits for the Wemyss Skiff from Jordan Boats 

You can find out more about Scottish Coastal Rowing here.

1 comment:

robert.ditterich said...

Lovely pics! But as a former rowing coach, looking at the bottom pic, I'd have to get stuck into bow for being late at the catch, despite nice parallel shafts....

but looking at the fantastic grin on his face in the first pic, all is forgiven.