The Skiff Club is very privileged to own the first ever matched sets (3) of double & single racing skiffs built in the 1890′s. As such we have a responsibility as custodians of these historic boats to ensure that they are maintained for the enjoyment & use by generations to come.
We therefore committed to the journey of breathing new life into these boats & had them inspected by 3 boat builders before finally settling on Stanley & Thomas of Windsor, who’s work is well know to us, as they built our newest 2 skiffs. Originally these two new skiffs were to replace some or all of the oldest doubles, until we found out their provenance & importance.
At the time of inspection it was thought that the refurbishment of the 3 doubles would be in the order of £18k, however having stripped the first 2 down the estimate has significantly increased, with considerable re-planking of the hulls required, together with keel & stem post repairs & re-riveting where their heads have been rubbed down over time among other considerations. The photos in the gallery do not fully convey both the number of marked up planks to be replaced but also the beautiful colouring of the old exposed Honduras mahogany. Replacement Brazilian mahogany, which is the best substitute for the Honduras that can no longer be found, has been sources from Belgium.
In discussions with Stanley & Thomas we have agreed an approach to the continued restoration of these first two boats. This will result in a cost for the two of approximately £26k, with a requirement that the Club will do the finishing 6 coats of varnishing required inside & out to save a further £6k. This will involve some 160 hours work on our part per boat to complete them. This is heavy commitment on the Club in terms of our finances & time, but we as the Committee have agreed that the boats deserve such attention. Cashflow will be tight to complete this work & then plan for the next 5-years to raise funds to complete the 3rd double & subsequent 3 singles. In due course we will commence a series of efforts to meet these challenges, which in the end will result in these prized assets coming back to the Club to our benefit & for that of the sport long-term.