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Thread: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

  1. #1
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    Default The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    I hope you find this week's subject a little more to your .. liking .. than you did last week. But, as always, I have appreciated all your comments.

    And I'm particularly interested in what you'll have to say about our brand-new Boatbuilding & Rowing Challenge (BARC).

    To check it out, please go to www.woodenboat.com/boat for this week's "My Wooden Boat of the Week." And please post comments there. I think this is going to be a lot of fun, and hopefully of great value. Maybe you can lead a similar effort in your local high school, or as a community project?

    Next Tuesday I'll be at IBEX. I'll TRY to post from there, but no promises. And I suspect news of the BARC project will inspire people longer than one week.

    My very best wishes to you, Carl

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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    You make the point of losing touch with hands on work......and then you want to build a glue lap kit boat!!!

    Seriously, what will they learn? How to mix epoxy in the right quantities?

    Given the aim of the project,i would have thought a traditional build would be better for everyone concerned,more skills to learn.

    What am i missing here???? Maybe its just me,or maybe the attention span of those that will participate are considered too short?? Sound idea though. Cheers

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    You make the point of losing touch with hands on work......and then you want to build a glue lap kit boat!!!

    Seriously, what will they learn? How to mix epoxy in the right quantities?

    Given the aim of the project,i would have thought a traditional build would be better for everyone concerned,more skills to learn.

    What am i missing here???? Maybe its just me,or maybe the attention span of those that will participate are considered too short?? Sound idea though. Cheers
    I think that it is more about the rowing and team work than boat building. How many 5 man boats can you sell year on year if this were to be about boat-building?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    i understand the teamwork involved in rowing,having rowed gigs. But Carl mentioned the "hands on work" in the build process. The build time of the boat is nothing in comparison to how long it will probably live for,and how much experience it will give when afloat. I just feel the build process is a fantastic way to learn skills. When Carl said "hands on" maybe he was just refering to oars?? Whatever,i wish the project well.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    The Scottish rowing project has been a ballistic success in Scotland - from nothing to 30 boats in just a few years. Its all grown through word of mouth. They wouldn't be sucessful if they were too difficult, too expensive or too tricky to row. The kit cost 1300, is easily split between half a dozen rowers, the extra hands making light work through a winter.

    The objective - to create that initial spark - to get kids doing something practical that takes shape quickly then can be used straight away and hopfully competitively with other kids would be achieved and create a beautiful object that they could take pride in and other people will respond to at the dockside. With an open rowing boat its just a bare hull and a few thwarts - no centrecase, spars, foils or sails to make or pay for. Its also much easier to explain and understand how a rowing boat moves for a kid than a sailing boat. Ian did design a simple dory for school construction, but I'd think it is better for say 5-10 kids to build one boat like the St. Isles Skiff between them.

    Definately go for it. Build at least two for a race.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    This is great. I've built a lot of glued boats with kids. The hands on work is endless...traditional or plywood construction is not a concern. It is about completion of a product (something most kids do not get in their lives anymore) and it is about working in a team to do a good job. Now add the rowing experience!

    I've made sure Compass Project knows and a colleague at Casco Bay High School with whom I ran a rowing club for a little while.
    Last edited by Clinton B Chase; 09-23-2010 at 06:03 AM.
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    Thanks so much, Clint. You do such good work. I've already been contacted by the Compass Project.

    I echo your observations precisely, and have just finished responding to a detractor with those points.

    My best wishes to you, Carl

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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    It's a terrific introduction and I have no doubt that if it works out future fully traditional riveted clinker rowing boats could be turned out as well.

    Much nicer than last week's 'boat'. Thank you Carl!
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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    Unless I'm mistaken, the aim here is not necessarily to train kids to be boat builders, but rather to get, and keep, them in a project that will probably seem overwhelming at first, and at the end is likely to be one of the biggest successes to date in each participant's life.

    Glued-lap plywood or riveted lumber, kit or from scratch, I don't think it makes a bit of difference for the purposes of this program. The benefit of a kit boat is that it starts to look like a boat fairly quickly (to the point of a previous poster, re:attention spans), thus keeping the spark.

    I think this is a GREAT idea. Again, not to make more boat builders, but to show young people (particularly at-risk young people) that they can succeed at a huge challenge, but only as part of a team. Other benefits are highly transferrable, too: breaking any large project into manageable tasks, opportunities for leadership development, tie-ins with math/science/history education, etc. The list goes on. The structure of a boat like this is a perfect model of every part relying on its relation to its neighbor to provide its strength to do its job. Sorry to get preachy there, but teaching a program like this, especially if it were a combination of shop time and classroom time, is my dream job.

    I really hope this gains momentum.

    Sign me up!!!

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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Gibbs View Post
    It's a terrific introduction and I have no doubt that if it works out future fully traditional riveted clinker rowing boats could be turned out as well.

    Much nicer than last week's 'boat'. Thank you Carl!
    Well Duncan, have a look at these http://www.cornishpilotgigs.com/

    Nick

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    Building a St Ayles skiff is child's play!



    Great photo from newly launched skiff

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8481835...l-1345493@N25/

    Brian
    Last edited by keyhavenpotterer; 10-01-2010 at 09:21 AM.

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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    I love the little girl in the bow hanging off her oars, like this is another day in the park! WHat a gorgeous job the builders did.
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    In 1975 +- Triton high school in Newbury Ma. ran a program where they intigrated Junior year science history english and manual arts classes. The Junior year students built one Banks dory a year for four years in a row, the curriculum was called Newengland and the Sea and the culmination of the curriculum was a three day hike from the head waters of the Parker River to the ocean. the Dories were used along the way to carry supplies and ferry the Junior class across the river at numerous locations, crews rotated through the dories so all experienced the boating aspect of the trip.

    This really sounds too good to be true but it was a robust curriculum that was followed for over a decade. After the endo of the curriculum the boats were used for a Triton High rowing club and participated in openwater rowing as the "Rings Island Rowing Club"
    I went to triton and am still a member of the club today alass the dories have rotted away but over 30 yrs. hard service and little maintaineance for glue (not epoxy) and screw seems pretty respectable.

    Carl if you would like to hear more about the program I can put you in touch with one of the teachers/ boat builders and founding member of the Rowing club

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    Thanks, Daniel. I'd love to be in touch with them. (Sorry not to have replied earlier -- I was at IBEX.)

    Grand news: We have two more high schools in our down east network: George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill (ME) and Sumner High School in East Sullivan (ME). They'll be building this winter, and racing against each other and Deer Isle-Stonington High School (ME) the first week of June 2011.

    For others of you interested, the kits are available here (in North America): http://www.cnc-marine-hewesco.com/. WoodenBoat has NO financial interest in this.

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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    Alec Jordan sent along this video, shot by the BBC last May. It captures -- perfectly -- the spirit of the St. Ayles Skiff build and row.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/edinburg...00/8848843.stm

  16. #16
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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    Of course there is the Floating the Apple program started in New York in the 1990's , spreading west to Boston, which uses a 4 oared stretched whitehall, glued lap. I suspect that the cost, without being a kit, is pretty similar to this one. Unfortunately the kids building the St Ayles skiffs will need to borrow a boat if they want to participate in the vigorous interregional program that does stuff like host the New England Youth Rowing championship. And they will need to build a six to play with the Maine crews on North Haven and Vinalhaven. But as we have seen in one design sailing a new boat is always better. Is the program?
    Ben Fuller
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: The St. Ayles Skiff, & BARC

    great to hear there's so much interest, encouraging for the future of small boat handling

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