New skiff rowing club is looking for members

Posted on 14th October 2013 | in Amble Coastal Rowing Club , Community

Amble-Coastal-Rowing-Club-lA new rowing club is being set up. This is a rowing club with a difference however: the first task will be to build the boats. Ex Amble fisherman Rob Angus wishes to establish a community project to build and operate two St. Ayles “skiffs” which can then be raced with other skiff clubs around the coast.

A skiff is a traditional small coastal or river boat used for fishing and more recently, leisure. They are available to build in kit form. They can be rowed, sailed and used for racing. There are a number of skiff rowing clubs up and down the North East Coast, which regularly race against each other, from as far north as Anstruther and south down to Yorkshire.

Rob’s idea is to build two 22ft x 5.5ft skiffs initially, training local people in boatbuilding in the process, and then to participate in skiff races, including one or more annually at Amble. Participation in rowing and racing would be open to all, not just those who built the skiffs – Rob wants to maximise participation.


Building a skiff

Each skiff requires a crew of five: four oarsmen/women plus one coxswain. The races would enable and encourage participation by local people (especially young people and including disadvantaged) developing and building teamwork, leadership and confidence.

Rob’s group already includes Puffin Cruise owner Davy Gray.

A home for the boatbuilding project is being sought. “We’re talking with various parties to find a home” said Rob. “But in the meantime, I’m happy to speak to anyone who’s interested.”

Anyone who is interested can contact Rob on 07855766171 or


This article was amended on 16 October. We stated that a local retired boat builder was part of the group, which is not the case, although he has wished the group well.

Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club

Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club

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One thought on "New skiff rowing club is looking for members"

  1. Rob says:

    A big thank you to The Ambler for their support and helping to publicise our project.

    Around 50 coastal towns and villages primarily around the coast of Scotland have established successful community rowing clubs and built their own boats since 2009. There are also clubs in Gosforth and Byker too and our neighbours in Alnmouth have just begun the build of their first skiff. And we’re joining in 🙂

    There are definite double benefits to these projects. First there is the collective achievement of actually building our own boats from scratch which in it’s self is something to be proud of. Once built they can be rowed for pleasure, or as a way of keeping fit, or for friendly competitions or even just messing about on the water, but either way they the clubs do provide a welcoming and inclusive social atmosphere. Most clubs hold their own annual regatta where clubs gather from far and wide to enjoy a race or two. Try a Google search for St Ayles Skiff to find links to club websites in other towns for an idea of what we are aiming for.

    Our project like those mentioned above is open to anyone, any age, male or female, with absolutely no experience in boat building or rowing required.

    We have submitted a grant application for initial funding to get our project off the ground and we are currently arranging a public meeting to present a talk and slide show explaining our objectives. Once a date and venue is set we will announce it on our Facebook page and also here on the Ambler website. We would be happy to hear from anyone who has an interest in getting involved or wishes to have their email added to our mailing list so please get in touch.


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