A call has gone out to the people of Montrose to join the boat building phenomenon that is captivating coastal towns around Scotland and beyond.
Members of recently-formed Montrose Coastal Rowing (MCR) have set themselves the task of recruiting like-minded enthusiasts to build a St Ayles skiff.
Scores of skiffs have been launched from UK coastal towns and villages this year, among them Broughty Ferry and Wormit.
The Scottish Coastal Rowing Association was formed in 2010 and clubs around the country regularly row and race their “skiffies” with crews of five in boats built by their own communities.
MCR secretary Fiona Guest said: “Building a boat seems a mammoth task but dozens and dozens of other communities have done it and so can we. Whether you’re a boatbuilder or a rower or, like some of us, had never rowed or thought about building a boat before, then join us.”
She added: “The dots around the Scottish coast showing where boats are based are being joined up let’s not get left behind.”
The boat is based on a Fair Isle skiff and is made from a kit by Fife boat builders Jordan Boats.
The principle is that the boats should be low cost (around £3,500) and appropriate for “reasonably handy amateurs” to build.
MCR is a small, voluntary group open to anyone who wants to be part of the maritime heritage of the Angus town by building and rowing a St Ayles skiff.
While the group would welcome experienced hands, it also wants people who have nothing more than an abundance of enthusiasm.
Fundraising is now under way to buy the materials that form the skiff and then to purchase crew equipment but the immediate challenge is to find a place to build the boat.
Fiona said: “This is the hard and vital bit. We need somewhere in Montrose to build the skiff.
“This means a shed that we can heat over winter, which can accommodate a boat that is 22 feet long and just under six feet wide, with room to work around it.
“It’s a big ask but it would be a real triumph for the town to build the boat.”
New recruits will be recorded as founder members up until the end of January 2015. Membership is £15 per year and anyone joining now will have membership running to the end of January 2016.
People can also buy one of the skiff’s 36 planks for a minimum donation of £30.
For more details visit www.montrosecoastalrowing.weebly.com.