Views of our stuff


 Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club has developed from a small group of individuals inspired by Topher Dawson and the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project to build and compete in a St Ayles skiff (the SCRP class boat) in Regattas around the coast of Scotland and possibly further afield. The idea behind the Coastal Rowing Project is that communities build and race their home-built boats against others from around the coast of Scotland. Topher built our first Skiff in the Spring of 2010 and has steadily refined her since. If you stay in the Loch Broom or Coigach area,  and would like to get involved or just see what we are up to then please get in touch.  A Coigach Community group is very active in the Coastal Rowing scene – if you stay in Coigach they will be happy to see you.

So what is the St Ayles Skiff – in simple terms a reworking by Iain Oughtred, renowned small boat designer, of the traditional Fair Isle Skiff for Clinker/Lapstrake Ply construction. 22 feet in length and 5ft 6inches in breadth she is big in the shed but soon shrinks when on the water with a crew aboard.

The design was commissioned by the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther and digitized for kit manufacture by Alec Jordan of  Jordan Boats. Using the Jordan Boats kit as the basis of the project means that all the boats should be very close in hull form and dimensions resulting in teamwork being the deciding factor in competition. Use of the kit also means that the cost of a boat is minimised – the maximum build cost  is around £3,000 (in 2010), the build method means that it is well within the ability of an average DIYer. Having a Skiff built professionally in ‘real’ wood would cost around £10,000. The finished kit looks like this :
The Prototype St Ayles Skiff by Jordan Boats

The Prototype St Ayles Skiff by Jordan Boats

The St Ayles has been designed for four oarpersons and a Cox. In competition rowing the oars(wo)men need to be concentrating on their technique so a Cox is necessary to keep them on course. The racing rules have been drawn up by the  Scottish Coastal Rowing Association formed from groups joining the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project. Much more information on the background and future intentions may be found on the Scottish Coastal Rowing Prospectus.

3 Comments on “About”

  1. Hallo,
    Did you know that there will be a chance that we will build a St. Ayles Skiff in Holland on the Amterdam Boatshow 1-6 of march?
    Also we want to finish one that is already on its way to be turned over in a week or 2.
    If we will succeed we will send you the pictures.
    Maybe we can do a “North Sea Challenge” and come over to Scotland once. That is: by car/ferry and not rowing to get across.
    Greets from Holland
    Bert van Baar


  2. topher says:

    Hi Bert,

    Nice to hear from you. It would be great to meet you and your crew. There are a lot of events this summer (see Scottish Coastal Rowing) at which I am sure you would be welcome.

    There are 5 boats being made in the USA and I can see a day coming when we will hold Internationals. It is feasible to bring a boat from the Netherlands but not really from the USA. It would be possible for visiting crews to borrow a boat (perhaps bring their own oars?) so as not to have to bring one.

    Anyway keep in touch, it is great to think there are groups outside Scotland. There is even one in England!

    Cheers. Topher.


  3. Hi can someone at the club please pass on the winning times for all the races at the last worlds that you hosted. We want to use them to set qualifying times for crew wanting to participate for our club at the next worlds


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