Author Archives: Max

Beavers learn about the Boat Build

This evening the Beavers were learning about boats and water safety so it seemed like the ideal opportunity to show them how a boat was constructed!

Beaver Scouts are the youngest members of the Scouting family aged between 6 and 8 years.

Come and build with us!

We’d love to welcome more people to the team! We are keen to attract more community members, you do not have to have a connection with the Scout Group or Scouting at all. There is no special skills requirement, just a desire to get stuck in and a sense of humour. Some weeks it’s just wood cutting, or sanding, or epoxying, or trying to work out how that piece of wood becomes that part on the boat….

At the end of it you will be able to say, quite rightly, “I built that”… come down and get stuck in!

The skiff will be taking part in the Great River Race (maybe not this years) – we’re always looking for more rowers too!

Please email me bruceburrowes at outlook dot com or call on 07790 229 817.

New Webcam

We’ve installed a camera that covers the building frame. It takes a photo every Wednesday at 8pm and more often if we are working on the boat.

At the end of the project we’ll stitch all the photos together to create a time-lapse video that shows the construction of our St. Ayles Skiff from start to finish.

Update & next steps!

It’s been a while since the last post but we hope to provide weekly updates from now on.

We’ve made great progress assembling the mould. All templates have been cut out and the shape of the boat is starting to become evident.

The mould is assembled on the frame according to the plan below. Unlike an IKEA plan, this plan only shows a design overview and and lists important measurements. As we have no experience of boat building this has caused piecemeal progress whilst we get used to boat building terms.

The next steps are to tape up the mould pieces with masking tape. Numbers 2 and 4 will need to be taped on the forward side, 6 and 8 on the aft side. They will also all need to be taped on the top edges where the planks touch. This will stop epoxy sticking when it’s applied.

We also need to build a Jig for the stems as they are laminated. The stems will be built much longer than normal as we plan to add some sort of  “mast head”  at a later date. There has been some discussion over the calculation of spring-back allowance required on the stems and we’ll need to consider this when building the jig.

The wood delivered for the stems is not consistent in thickness and so before progressing we will need to get it planed to a uniform size.


Building the Frame

After clearing space in the boat shed, we got underway with building the frame on which the entire boat would be constructed.

It’s a simple ‘ladder assembly’ on legs measuring about 5m long by 1.2m wide and sits 0.5m above the ground.

The frame was set perfectly level and screwed down into the concrete floor to make absolute sure it couldn’t be moved and us end up with a wonky boat.

The finished frame

We’re building a boat!

After a few weeks of research, we’ve decided that we’re going to build a St. Ayles Skiff.

Handily, the St. Ayles Skiff comes as a kit and is suited for the “average DIYer”. The Scout Group doesn’t have a history of boat building and the St. Ayles skiff is generally regarded as a simple build so fingers crossed we can pull it off!

The St Ayles Skiff has four stationary rowing positions and room of a cox. It’s 22ft long and nearly 6ft wide but is very light (circa 160kg), this will allow it to be carried by the Scouts and make transportation easy.

The cost of the boat building kit will be met by external funding sources. It’s our aim that the project be entirely ‘self funding’.

We’ve already pulled together a small team of interested people and the plan is to meet twice a week at the Scout Hut for ‘build evenings’. Days are yet to be confirmed but initially we’re looking at Wednesdays, Fridays and Sunday mornings to fit around the current Scout activities.

It will be a fairly relaxed project and the idea is that people will be able to just dip in and out as they please.

We hope to start building stuff before October and be on the water in mid 2017 to allow plenty of time to practice for next year’s Great River Race!