Open Day Sunday 3rd March 2013

To any potentailly interested individuals eg Wells/Brancaster/Burnham sailing clubs,  other rowing clubs, Norfolk skiff club members etc- or just come along yourself

Open Day for the St Ayles Skiff in Norfolk

Ian Duffill and Victoria Holliday of the Coastal Rowing Association of Blakeney would love you to drop in to Ian’s workshop in Thurning on Sunday March 3rd (2-5pm)  to see the progress we are making on “Hoi Larntan” – the St Ayles Skiff we are building. This is a traditional 22ft, 5 man, wooden boat – popular in Scotland but this is the first in England. You will be amazed by what our dedicated group of boatbuilders have achieved, which is fortunate as we are planning to go to the World Skiffie championships in Ullapool in July. We plan to run a Norfolk Regatta next year and so we are hoping to inspire you  to build yourself a skiff and try traditional rowing! Ian has very detailed instructions on how to find his house if you send us an email at We look forward to seeing you then.

Anglia News

Luke Farrington, a reporter with Anglia News came to find out what we are doing.  His report was in Anglia News on Tuesday 29th January 2013 at approximately 1815 hrs.  You can watch it on this link.  See also our “Links>Press” page for other newsworthy stuff.

We also glued up the laminated stem (pictures to follow) with some lovely knot-free larch from Geenix Sawmills. They have just taken over  J B Timber of North Cave, Yorkshire who have a website, including pricelist.


A combination of snowy weather and tortuous routes to acquire the requisite timber for the next stages has led to the lack of posts lately. Even so, work has continued albeit slowly. The scarphing of planking sections went well, eventually. The aft and mid sections of all 12 planks are now securely glued. Advice from Alec Jordan (the kit provider) was to fit the forward sections on the boat when hanging the planks for real, so that’s what we’ll do. Tom has found us a 20ft length of good clean Douglas fir for the hog. Chris has been on hands, knees and on his back making the jig/former for laminating the stems and between us we have cut out and glued up the rough shape of the rudder. Taking note of other posts on various Skiff web pages we have modified the shape slightly in the hopes of reducing unhelpful drag. Again we shall have to wait and see. Adrian is keen to get started on our first set of oars.

The next major adventure is a run up to the East Riding of Yorkshire to collect the long awaited larch. This is planned for Monday 28 Jan., greatly aided by the generous loan of John Seymour’s fine trailer.

Vicky, Adrian(T) and Godfrey have been working hard on our logo and colour schemes for the first hull.

Charlie Ward has given us guidance and practical help and is always at the end of a phone with his wealth of boatbuilding experience.Image

Despite the weather we have not been idle. In fact at least 10 volunteers have come along and got their hands dirty or at least covered in good honest sawdust with others working away in the background. It’s amazing how much there is to do – and we’ve only just started!




We have had great publicity through full or two page spreads in the North Norfolk News and the Eastern Daily Press. Many thanks to Sophie Wyllie for listening to our garbled enthusiasm and putting it in to very readable form.

Northern trip abandoned due to weather!!

This week, Ian Adrian and Andy were planning to visit some of our Scottish contact. North Berwick are building their third St Ayles skiff and offered to let us row in the morning and chat to them and see the third in the process of beuing built. Eymouth were also going to let us spend time with them. Sadly, the forecast is for snow and freezing conditions over the next few days and there is an “Amber” weather warning.
Sadly, we have decided to postpone our trip but hope to reorganise it for some time in the next few weeks. There is a fourth seat available in the car.

Better news on the building front – assemly of planks is going strong and the larch we have may in fact be seasoned sufficintly to use now rather than in a future project. More news later in the week.