Those who are familiar with the Shipping Forecast on BBC 4 will have heard of Tiree. For those who have never visited or perhaps even heard of the island, the Isle of Tiree sits in the Atlantic Ocean in the waters off the West Coast of Scotland. It belongs to an archipelago known as the Inner Hebrides, and lies over twenty miles west of Mull and about four hours by ferry from the Mainland Port of Oban. The island is eleven miles long, five miles across at its widest and less than a mile at its narrowest.
Today, Tiree is famous for its many white, shell sand beaches and its reputation as the sunniest place in Britain. However, while it lacks a good natural harbour, the island has a proud association with long line and shellfish fishing and seafaring. Founded in 2005 Tiree Maritime Trust seeks to build on that heritage by encouraging the preservation of the traditional wooden working boats of Tiree and the maritime heritage that surrounds them. It also seeks to promote that heritage by passing on the associated skills and by encouraging local interest in the maritime heritage of Tiree as a recreational activity.
It is no surprise, then, that under the leadership of Doctor John Holliday, many from within the community came together in 2018 to construct a St. Ayles Skiff. This blog is a record of that build.