Citizens of Taroona – Lend me your saw horses!!

Welcome to the first Taroona Coastal Rowing Pilot Project Update. This is the first of many updates to keep you informed of how the project is progressing and how and when you can particpate.

Project Launch
We had a truely inspiring turnout on the 5th August for the project launch at the Taroona Community Hall. Around 30 people attended including Liz, Jane and Edna from the Women on the Water Franklin who are 3 of the builders and rowers of Australia’s first St Ayles Skiff. Jane gave a spirited account of her recent experiences in Ullapool Scotland at the first international St Ayles Skiff championships. The Women on the Water group also presented 2 DVD’s of their experience in Scotland as well as the building of their skiff at the Wooden Boat Centre.
After the presentation, 21 aspiring skiff builders signed up to the project via a form as well as another handful that couldn’t make it on the night. The forms sounded participants out on their availability, skills and interests & allowed us to form a steering committee from those who expressed an interest in this area on the night. Well done everyone.. you could really feel the sap rising!.

The St Ayles Skiff Kit from Stray Dog Boat Works in South Australia has been ordered and should arrive by 6 September.

Building Location
Taroona High School have kindly agreed to allow the project to use its bus garage as a boatshed, subject to a number of conditions to be contained in a Memorandum of Understanding with the Taroona Community Association. The project’s target completion date is prior to the return to school for the 2014 school year. The shed measures a roomy 10 metres by 5 metres, has a concrete floor and a single roller door. For week end builders, the shed will not have access to any tooling inside the THS woodworking shop. We will set up with some locking cabinets and kit out sufficient tools for the job. Stay posted for a call to arms (no, tools!)

Steering Committee Meeting
On Wednesday 21st August, the steering committee met for the first time to get down to the nitty gritty of assigning roles and mobilizing the project. This was a good, focused meeting that plowed through a lot of material. A special thank you to John Hurn who took a smashing set of minutes that will be posted here for your enjoyment and bedside reading.

Damian chairs the first steering committee meeting

Damian chairs the first steering committee meeting

Supervising Shipwright
Many thanks to the networking skills of steering committee member Richard Johnson who has arranged for the legendary Bill Foster to be our project’s supervising shipwright. This is an incredible windfall as Bill has (apart from a life building boats) run a similar project at Rosny College which produced a replica of the May Queen’s dinghy. We’ll meet Bill in 2 to 3 weeks when he returns from the west.

Rob Easther has set up a blog to monitor and record progress of our project.
Currently this has some borrowed pics to show how it will look shortly when things start picking up pace. Rob and John Hurn will come up with a web site to keep you posted on events, news and resources. Speaking of which, if you havn’t already, start looking through the resources on the Scottish Coastal Rowing’s web site

First Boatshed Event -Saturday 31 St August 1.00pm TO BE CONFIRMED.
1. Shed Clean Up- This should not take too long
2. Woodworking Skills Refresher/Tutorial. Richard Johnson has agreed to run a skills refresher on such topics as: Using and adjusting hand planes, sharpening plane and chisel blades, using chisels and saws, drilling and countersinking screws etc. Richard taught manual arts for over forty years and has a wealth of experience to assist us in many ways. I strongly encourage you all to take advantage of this great opportunity. It’s the equivalent of having your tennis swing corrected by Roger Federer.
3. Building Frame- We hope to knock up the building frame as well on the same afternoon. Its a fairly simple job, check it out at

Please note that I will send a confirmation that this Saturday’s First Boatshed Event is on and the exact location at THS

Kind regards & hope to see you Saturday 31st

Damian Devlin
Project Manager
Taroona Coastal Rowing Pilot Project
0400 875 528