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Project Summary

By building a traditional Scottish salmon coble, we will enable our community to engage with their seafaring heritage Volunteers will learn the skills required to build and operate this vessel. These include the following: coble plans, function and history; selection and preparation of timbers and materials; preparation of a boatbuilding site; training in use of traditional boatbuilding tools; training in wooden boatbuilding processes and skills; boat handling and sailing skills; maintenance and operation of traditional coble engine.

We will create opportunities for volunteers of all ages and abilities to become involved, developing those skills outlined above. We will prioritise opportunities for them to demonstrate and share these skills with the wider community. There will be regular opportunities for the community to view progress and opt into activities.

The whole process will be filmed and photographed. A DVD will be produced professionally from the above. This, together with outcomes of investigations into the history and tradition of coble building will be displayed with the completed vessel in an end of project exhibition. This will be a major attraction at the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, 2014. The exhibition will then be made available nationally.

Needs and opportunities our project will address

As well as fulfilling STBF’s remit of heritage and tradition, the project addresses several of PORT’s specific boatbuilding objectives, i.e. to engage with our community in active celebration of our sea-faring heritage; stimulate community participation in traditional boatbuilding and sailing, by creating programmes of practical learning tailored to life-long learning; facilitate the sharing of traditional boatbuilding skills between experienced and novice boat builders; promote links with boatbuilding communities nationally and internationally.

Those already involved in our boatbuilding project have expressed the wish to come together in this joint enterprise. Local schools have confirmed that they wish to be involved and that our project fully meets the requirements of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. The project also offers opportunities for lifelong learning.

The coble build will be an asset in efforts to promote heritage awareness and tourism in our area, and is supported by local council and tourism groups.

The DVD charting historic background of salmon fishing and story of our coble’s construction will be made available locally and nationally.

The active use subsequently made of the completed coble will also indicate the success of the project.

When the project is complete

The coble will be fully operational and capable of taking visitors to local sites related to the historic salmon fishing industry. Throughout the year it will be displayed at Portsoy Salmon Bothy Museum. During the annual Boat Festival it will serve as a work boat and a focus for visitor activities.

The coble and record of its construction will be on show at the Bothy Museum and available for exhibition, nationally.

The skills developed by volunteers will be employed in the renovation of historic wooden boats, owned by STBF/PORT. The group will continue to create opportunities for community engagement in heritage boatbuilding and promote this as a visitor attraction.

Tools purchased for the coble build will continue to be well used in future boatbuilding projects, and at STBF/PORT’s community Boatshed also to be opened at 2014’s Boat Festival.

The coble will belong to STBF, who through exhibition and fund raising, undertake to maintain it, ensuring that it is sustainable.

Tools bought for this project will have important use in future boat restorations