St Ayles Skiff: Progress Report


October ends and we prepare for the internals and the Oars…

Opening Day preparation and on display: 5th October…

Later in September:


and now it’s September:







the August update:

Sorry that its been a little while since I’ve sent out an update of the building of our beautiful little skiff.
While I have  had a fair bit going on over the last few months, the build has been continuing each Thursday night and Sunday.
and those who have been available have done a great job in keeping the building happening and close to our schedule.
We now have the skiff getting close to painting stage and ready to turn over. The attached pic shows all the planking completed and the outer stems and keel in place.
The hull has been filled and sanded to a point that painting will commence in the next couple of weeks.
Our next major milestone is the turn over which we expect to happen by mid September. I will let you all know when we have a firm turn over date and you are all invited to the turn over party.
The clubs Opening Day will be on the 5th of October and the skiff will be on display at whatever stage it is at.
Again it would be great to see you all at the opening day, Cariad will also be there as well as the Bendigo bank, our state and Federal members, and a band to provide some salty music.
We hope to officially launch the skiff before Christmas this year, agin I will keep you informed of the official launch date.
As you are aware once completed we will be searching for a number of rowing teams to row the skiff at Mordialloc Sailing Club and take part in local regattas and rowing raids.
The first event will be the SW Regatta at Warnnambool on the 22 and 23rd of Feb 2020.
The second event will be the steamer raid which is a three day rowing event from the 26th to the 28th of February 2020. This event starts in Sale (Gippsland) and ends at the wooden boat festival at Paynesville.
So if you still want to be part of a rowing team keep these dates in your diary
I will be in contact again closer to launch date to organise rowing teams and practice dates and times
In the meantime don’t forget we would love to see you at the build any Thursday evening or Sunday


July – all planked, now for the keel.






Well its now or never!
Richard has had a look at our work so far in preparing the skiff for planking and with a little bit more work we are ready to install the first plank to the skiff tomorrow night.
The plan for tomorrow night is to complete the final adjustment tp stems, keelson and ribs. Then fit the first plank and screw into place.
On Sunday the Sunday crew will do the same with the second plank and hopefully scarf join the next 2 planks ready for next week.
So if you want to be involved in the planking right from the start, see you at 6.30pm tomorrow night (22n May) or 10.30am on Sunday.



After a little break of two weeks,  Thursday night saw us back into the action of skiff building. Finishing off the ribs and welcoming the Bendigo Community Bank who paid us a visit to view our progress..The excitement showed when there was discussion
about the type of nautical themed entertainment that might be possible on launch day. I think we have a little way to go yet !!
Sundays activity was based around Richard’s instruction on sharpening tools and scarfing planks. Scarfing involves forming joins in planks that are nearly impossible to see and are as strong as the timber they are joining. Each plank on the skiff (6 on each side of the skiff) is over 6.5 mtrs long and is made up of three sections.
Next Thursday  (6.30pm) we will start forming the fore and aft stems. These are laminated around a pattern using individual timbers and form the curve of the bow and stern of the skiff.
Sunday (10.30 am) will see this continue as well as starting  to scarf the planks.
There is lots to do right at the moment so please feel free to drop in and lend a hand.
Here are a couple of pics to get you motivated.
One shows the guys mulling over how those darn planks line up.
The other shows our power tool wizard Leonie sanding the stock of the rudder.

We have had a very productive few weeks of building and we now have the temporary frames secured to the building jig and all 4 ribs fabricated. (ref attached pic)
The next job is to fabricate the Stems and the keel timber before starting on the planking.

We must mention Mentone & Parkdale community bank  for getting behind this project.
Without their support it would not be happening.


Just a quick update for this week.

Geoffrey recently returned from St Ayles Skiffing in Tassie and Warnambool with lots of stories and enthusiasm.
Last Thursday night we finished the building jig and also had a visit from Rod from the Franklin Living Boat Foundation. It was great to have another skiff person sharing what we are doing.
Sunday was a special day this week as we really started the build. Richard Lozell (our build advisor and club member) gave us all a lesson in safe use of Bote Cote epoxy and demonstrated how to glue one of the ribs together without spreading glue all over the workshop.
So we now have the bow template fitted and the first rib partially completed.
Next Thursday evening (14th) we plan to complete the other 3 ribs.
If we get this done on Thursday night then next Sunday we will start erecting all temporary frames with ribs attached.
if you are planning to come down next Thursday and have access to some timber clamps, could you please bring them along. We have 8 but need about another 16 if possible.
To all those who we have seen so far, thanks for your help. To those who haven’t had a chance to get down yet, don’t worry there is plenty of opportunity still to come.