Seafaring village’s skiff plans grounded

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St Monans Community Council may have to return donations for an initiative which would see locals build and sail their own skiff rowing boat due to a lack of interest.

Other Fife coastal communities such as Anstruther, Pittenweem and Crail are all getting on board with the skiff scheme but no-one has stepped forward to lead the proposed rowing group in St Monans.

The community council has already raised some of the funds required but if more local people do not show an interest in the project soon the plan may have to be abandoned and the money returned to donors.

In nearby Anstruther the St Alyes Rowing Club has attracted around 30 members.

Press officer for the club and active member Shona Muirhead said: “I think people feel they have to be really fit or an experienced rower to get involved but most of our members have never tried rowing before. If more towns and villages get involved it could bring Fife’s communties closer together.”

Pittenweem Rowing Club Chair Jim Morrison said the project had been great for community spirit, with more than 40 people already signed up.

Leven-based businessman Alec Jordan, who supplies the skiff kits to community rowing groups said: “I’ve been gobsmacked by how popular the skiffs have been. This is definitely on the ‘in my wildest dreams’ end of the spectrum in terms of how many orders we’ve had.”

Unlike other rowing boats such as Cornish pilot gigs which cost around £30,000 to be built professionally, Mr Jordan’s skiff kits are designed to be constructed by community groups themselves for an estimated cost of £3,000.

This affordable model is proving popular throughout Scotland and England and orders have started coming in from farther afield, including the Netherlands and the US.

Mr Jordan hopes communities closer to home like St Monans and Leven will join the growing number of skiff rowing groups.

To get involved with the St Monans skiff project contact a member of the community council.