Major milestone reached for Alnmouth rowing skiff

Alnmouth Skiff
Alnmouth Skiff

Boatbuilders have reached a turned point in the construction of a rowing boat in a north Northumberland village.

The Alnmouth Bay Community Rowing Association held a special celebration at the shed where its wooden skiff is being built to mark the turning over of the boat.

Alnmouth Skiff

Alnmouth Skiff

For the last 12 months, the vessel has been upside down while it was being built.

But now it sits upright on a cradle, ready to take to the water next month.

Turning over the boat, has revealed the beautiful organic shape and the workmanship that has gone into it.

All that remains is to fit out the internal structure and seats of The Pride of Aln before she can be launched.

Alnmouth Skiff - Keith with the pole lathe

Alnmouth Skiff - Keith with the pole lathe

During the ‘turn over’ event, Champagne was drunk in a celebration of all the hard work and there was a demonstration of some of traditional woodworking skills used to create such boats.

Eventually it is hoped that the group will be able to find a boathouse in which to store the skiff and where tools, photographs and plans from traditional Northumberland boat building can be displayed, as well as where these artisan skills can be demonstrated and passed on, before they disappear forever.

The group was given a grant of £1,000 from Northumberland County Council’s community chest fund to help with the construction of the St Ayles Skiff, as well as a number of other grants from elsewhere.

The Association was formed after seeing groups in places such as Newcastle and Eyemouth who had built their own skiffs for community use.

We last reported on the skiff when newly-elected county councillor Kate Cairns added a two-pound coin to the keel of the skiff as part of a maritime tradition.

The Alnmouth Community Rowing Association is open to local people of all ages, as well as organisations and the skiff will be used for recreation, sports training, team building, as well as being entered in regional and national rowing regattas.

Anyone interested in joining the group or finding out more can visit www.alnmouthrowing.org