School pupils in Maybole and Troon, supported by South Ayrshire Council and local community members, are taking part in an ambitious boat building campaign run by the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project.
Delivered through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme (DofE), the initiative, sponsored by the Scottish Fisheries Museum, aims to reintroduce inter-community rowing in Scottish coastal areas, using hand-built craft, supplied in kit form through the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project.
Two kits of a St Ayles skiff have been purchased thanks to sponsorship from Boyd Tunnock of Tunnocks Biscuits and a number of private individuals, for pupils at Carrick Academy in Maybole and Marr College in Troon.
When complete, the 22ft boats will need four people to row, plus a coxswain.
The Carrick boat building project will start in earnest at the beginning of the new term in August, but work on the skiff in Troon, berthed in a boat shed donated by West Coast Marine Services, has already reached the halfway stage.
Development worker Vincent McWhirter said: “Both boats are being built with the help and support of young people doing their bronze and silver section of the DofE and we aim to use the skiffs for expeditions on our coasts and inland lochs next year.
“The Troon boat was recently turned, meaning work can now begin on the interior of the vessel, so it is nearing completion.”
Councillor Hywel Davies, said: “The boat building initiative is an excellent idea, combining practical skills with project management, woodworking and problem solving.
“It will also promote healthy living through rowing and the notion that we might have a number of skiffs racing and competing on local waters again is exciting.”
“Troon’s new rowing skiff will soon need a name and this is will be done by a competition, so this is your chance to make your mark.
“The rules for entry are simple. The successful name must have a direct association with Troon and four entries will be allowed per person.”
Use a sheet of plain paper and, on one side, write one suggestion for a name. On the other side of the paper please add your name, address, a telephone number and an email address, if you have one. Put your entry in an envelope marked Troon Boat Name Competition and post it to: Troon Library, South Beach, Troon KA10 6EF. The closing date is September 10 at 5pm.