St Ayles Skiff Oars - set of 4
A Community Rowing ProjectThe Scottish Coastal Rowing Association was formed on 29 May 2010 to encourage the building, rowing and racing of coastal rowing boats around the Scottish Coastline. The concept of a community built rowing boat kit came from Alec Jordan of Jordan Boats who was inspired by the Miners’ Rowing and sailing Regattas in East Wemyss where he formerly lived.
At 22ft overall, with a beam of 5’8″ the St Ayles Skiff was developed in a clinker ply construction and carries a standard Crew of four rowers, each with a single oar, and a coxswain. The name of the design comes from the former chapel which now forms the entrance to the Scottish Fisheries Museum.
At present, there are many variants on the shape of the St Ayles Skiff Oar as currently there are few restrictions on the profile and length. Spoon blades, as found on the Cornish Gigs however, are not permitted. The length varies between 12' - 16’, with a pencil or Macon style blade, not to mention many shapes in between, looms can be hollow or solid.
Having been on the receiving end of many clubs designs and ideas, we have been producing a ‘standard’ type of St Ayles skiff oar. Whilst there are some elaborate designs for these oars floating around on the internet, most would be totally unfeasible to make commercially. The oar we produce is a balance between cost and suitability for the job in hand. The looms are normally hollow outboard to reduce weight with Columbian Pine looms for strength and stiffness and spruce blades to help keep the weight down where needed. The looms are often left square inboard for the pin arrangement and comfortable handle at 1-3/4” diameter for a secure grip. The bow and stroke oars are normally 13’2” and the 2 and 3 oar are 14’2”, but different lengths can be accommodated.
To try and introduce a standard oar, The Scottish Coastal Rowing Association have recently set up a task force, who are in consultation across all their members, to see if it is possible to come up with new rules for oar shape and size that all clubs can eventually adopt, putting everyone on an equal footing. However oars currently in use will not be exempt for competition.