Billie (the Bendigo Skiff) – lbt

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Billie (the Bendigo Skiff)

“A Community building a boat, a boat – building a Community”

‘Billie’ is a St Ayles Skiff, built in 2014-15 using a grant provided by the Huon Valley (Bendigo) Community Bank.  She is the second Skiff built at the LBT, the first being Imagine completed in November 2012 by the Women on the Water (WOW).  The St Ayles Skiff is an Ian Oughtred design based on the traditional Fair Isle Skiff from the far north of Scotland – it is easy to see the Viking genes.  This new design has been a big success: a boat that is easy to row, light and seaworthy, and many examples have been built for community rowing.  WOW attended the St Ayles Skiff Championships in Scotland in 2013, (see ),  and held an international Skiff regatta in Franklin in February 2015 (see  Boats came from the mainland and New Zealand, and competitors from as far afield as Scotland.

Length: 22ft
Beam: 5ft 8in
Weight: 155kg upwards
Construction: Clinker Plywood from kit

YouTube Video

The ‘Billie’ blog

  • Day 74Launch and Naming Day!  The ‘Bendigo’ Skiff becomes ‘Billie’.  For all the details see
    Posted Jun 21, 2015, 6:25 AM by Posts Editor
  • Day 73From Graham Rankin:‘That’s it! We are done! Last coat of clear finish applied, colour coded steering lines in place,light weight floor mats cut . Just some elastic rowlock
    Posted Jun 12, 2015, 4:56 PM by Posts Editor
  • Day 72From Graham Rankin:‘Oh so close! Thanks to the Monday nighters for helping turn the skiff the right way up.  The interior was given a light rub in preparation for
    Posted Jun 10, 2015, 5:28 PM by Posts Editor
  • Day 71From Graham Rankin:‘A cold morning in the shed today, got to admire those dedicated WOW girls, though.  While waiting for the temperature to rise sufficiently for varnishing we gave
    Posted Jun 5, 2015, 5:02 AM by Posts Editor
  • Day 70From Graham Rankin:‘Today saw the final topcoats applied to the hull and doesn’t she look smart. After the paint had gone off sufficiently we removed her paper skirt
    Posted Jun 3, 2015, 4:13 PM by Posts Editor
  • Day 69From Graham Rankin:’Another two coats of Off White top coat were applied after a light sanding. With this polyurethane system it is essential to sand lightlty before the next
    Posted May 30, 2015, 10:08 PM by Posts Editor
  • Day 68Painting, painting, painting.
    Posted May 27, 2015, 1:02 AM by Posts Editor
  • Day 67Antifoul finished, and time to put the skirt on.
    Posted May 21, 2015, 11:11 PM by Posts Editor
  • Day 66From Graham Rankin:‘We kept our fingers crossed and the sun shone. With the help of the WOW ladies (thank you girls!) the boat was turned over, the water line
    Posted May 15, 2015, 1:34 AM by Posts Editor
  • Day 65From Graham Rankin:‘Just a bit too cold today to start painting the antifoul, so we thought we’d hang the rudder prior to turning her over on Friday. Once
    Posted May 13, 2015, 10:35 PM by Posts Editor
  • Breaking news: the ‘Bendigo’ trailerThe Bendigo Huon Valley Community Bank have agreed to sponsor a trailer for the new skiff:  see for the details.
    Posted May 12, 2015, 4:25 PM by Posts Editor
  • Day 64From Graham Rankin:  ‘Today saw the last coat of paint to the skiff’s interior, and doesn’t she look great! Prior to launch the interior will have a light …
    Posted May 8, 2015, 9:49 PM by Posts Editor
  • Day 61From Graham Rankin:      Time to take a deep breath and apply the first coat to the inside of the hull. After a quick sand and a wipe down with a …
    Posted Apr 29, 2015, 3:45 PM by Posts Editor
  • Day 60From Graham Rankin: A third coat of clear polyurethane to the bright work, looking great, and leathering the oars.   Pic from Sue Jenkins
    Posted Apr 29, 2015, 3:41 PM by Posts Editor
  • Day 59From Graham Rankin:  ‘After a light sand, and a dust down we adjourned from our heavy labours for a coffee, Anzac bikkies and chocolate cake.  Suitably refreshed, we felt we
    Posted Apr 23, 2015, 4:51 AM by Posts Editor
  • Day 58From Graham Rankin: ‘Another milestone day today! The first clear coat of brightwork has been applied to the gun whales, sheer strake, thwarts, cox and bow seat. After a final
    Posted Apr 15, 2015, 1:43 AM by Posts Editor
  • Day 57From Graham Rankin:‘A quiet day today, more sanding, it’s amazing how many times you can go over a boat and find a patch you have missed! Mick applied
    Posted Jun 1, 2021, 9:46 PM by Richard Forster
  • Day 56From Graham Rankin:‘Having decided to forgo our penalty rates for hot cross buns and Easter eggs we pressed on regardless of the Public Holiday, as did many of the
    Posted Apr 9, 2015, 5:34 AM by Posts Editor
  • Day 55From Graham Rankin: ‘After the flurry of day 54, we seem to have found our mojo (or perhaps we can see the light at the end of the tunnel).   Another
    Posted Apr 2, 2015, 2:11 AM by Posts Editor
  • Day 54From Graham Rankin:  ‘A flurry of activity today. An symphony of sanding, planing,thicknessing,routing and bandsawing saw the the stretchers coming closer to being glued into place. The “winged
    Posted Mar 25, 2015, 3:40 PM by Posts Editor
  • Day 51From Graham Rankin:  ‘Getting closer! Today we sanded Wednesday’s fillets. Willis took to the stern stem with the Japanese saw and Mick glued a celery top capping in place
    Posted Mar 6, 2015, 2:24 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 50From Graham Rankin:‘It’s funny how the closer you get to the end of the project, the longer things seem to take. Today saw the application of epoxy fillets
    Posted Mar 5, 2015, 2:51 PM by Richard Forster
  • Day 49From Graham Rankin:  ‘The usual group of suspects gathered, lovingly stroked the gunwhales, admired the lines and decided a cuppa was in order. After that it was back to sanding
    Posted Mar 1, 2015, 3:21 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 48From Graham Rankin:  ‘The faithful gathered for another day of sanding and fairing the thwart fillets, Willis made a slight alteration to the oar locks,widening the gate slightly. Doug
    Posted Feb 26, 2015, 3:33 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 47From Graham Rankin: ‘A day punctuated with many visitors dropping in to see what we do, mostly people who had come for the Festival and have stayed around, happy to
    Posted Feb 20, 2015, 3:58 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 46From Graham Rankin:  ‘Not sure what happened to day 45, a bit of blur after the excitement of the Wooden Boat Festival and the Skiff Regatta, but now it’s
    Posted Feb 18, 2015, 3:46 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 44From Graham Rankin:  ‘Another day of good progress on the slow and careful stuff.  The oar blocks were glued to the gunwhales in preparation for fitting the rowlock pins, thwart
    Posted Jan 21, 2015, 4:03 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 43Everyone who comes into the shed, visitors and regulars alike all say the same thing “isn’t she beautiful!” and she is. Many people also comment that she must be …
    Posted Jan 17, 2015, 4:14 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 42From Graham Rankin: ‘The edges of the gunwhales and inwhales were rounded over with the trimmer before sanding (saving a hell of a lot of time and elbow grease). The
    Posted Jan 13, 2015, 10:48 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 41From Graham Rankin:‘Today saw the the innels and breasthooks glued into place. With a little head scratching and some deft work by Pete with Japanese saw and chissel ,the
    Posted Jan 9, 2015, 1:35 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 40From Pete Heading:’Best wishes for 2015 to all those involved in the St Ayles Skiff build. We have about three weeks before everyone scatters for the Tawe Nunnugah,  Wooden
    Posted Jan 7, 2015, 12:44 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 39From Graham Rankin:‘Thanks to all the extra helpers who helped out sanding the hull yesterday. Today work continued on sanding the inwale spacers, while Pete and Willis worked on
    Posted Dec 18, 2014, 10:05 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 38Flipped the boat, then sanding, sanding sanding.  Ready for another ‘boatcote’ now.Thanks to Abe Weinstock for the pictures.
    Posted Dec 17, 2014, 8:05 PM by Richard Forster
  • Day 37From Graham Rankin:‘Today our faithful crew (or is that faithful few) scraped and planed the outer wales and prepared the spacers which form part of the inner wales, ready
    Posted Dec 17, 2014, 2:42 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 36From Peter Heading:  ‘A boatbuilder never has too many clamps- we used anything that looked like it would hold two bits of wood together and the outer gunnels are now
    Posted Dec 10, 2014, 1:47 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 35From Peter Heading:‘Whatever happened to the “work boat finish ” of the good ole days – this sanding business seems to go on forever . Nearly over for a while – at least
    Posted Dec 3, 2014, 1:33 PM by Unknown user
  • Days 33 and 34From Graham Rankin: ‘Steady as she goes while Pete is on the slip at Cygnet. The crew sanded the inside of the hull on Wednesday ready for the first coat
    Posted Dec 1, 2014, 1:15 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 32From Peter Heading    Heads down, bums up sanding and bogging the interior  with our local Dalek supervising .Photos from Pete, Graham and Ken
    Posted Nov 21, 2014, 7:10 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 31After all the excitement of the ” turning of the hull ‘ it was was back to more mundane tasks today  THe interior was fairly free of glue dags but still enough …
    Posted Nov 19, 2014, 1:23 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 30Getting ready to turn the hull (see pic of hull turning below)
    Posted Nov 19, 2014, 1:23 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 29From Graham Rankin:‘Another hard day at the office. Lots of sanding, a dust off with the vacuum, then a first coat of epoxy to the hull and oars. Nice
    Posted Nov 12, 2014, 2:32 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 28From Graham Rankin:‘A short  but momentous day with the keel and outer stems glued in place, our supervisor kept muttering something about extermination, but we survived! Next Wednesday the
    Posted Nov 6, 2014, 11:38 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 27From Peter Heading:  “Many thanks to Graham R for keeping the skiff build ticking along while I’ve been away.   A deadline for the turnover has been set -17 November
    Posted Nov 5, 2014, 11:51 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 26From Graham Rankin:“Slow and steady today! Lots of fiddling and fairing, a lot of the laminations added on Wednesday were carefully shaved away to achieve a nice snug fit
    Posted Oct 28, 2014, 1:52 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 25From Graham Rankin:‘Work continued on the outer stems, with extra laminations on the outer stems and the two keel pieces glued up. A short week, next week with no
    Posted Oct 22, 2014, 7:11 PM by Unknown user
  • Days 23 and 24From Graham Rankin:‘Pete may be sunning himself in Queensland, but he has left us some homework to carry on with. This week saw the outer stems laminated from thin
    Posted Oct 17, 2014, 3:36 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 22From Pete Heading: ‘A major landmark passed today – the sheerplanks are now glued in place with appropriare celebrations afterwards  -photos and a cuppa !  Of course the oars continue to be
    Posted Oct 10, 2014, 5:05 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 21From Pete Heading:‘Old projects drawing to close and new ones starting up . Our dedicated oar makers have pretty well sanded the life out of the four oars and they
    Posted Oct 8, 2014, 6:00 AM by Unknown user
  • Days 19 and 20From Graham Rankin: ‘Day 19 of the skiff build had us scratching our heads, when we positioned the fifth plank things just didn’t look right at the forward third
    Posted Oct 6, 2014, 3:40 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 18All got a bit lovey dovey.  Hope they got some work done too.  Pics from Graham Rankin.
    Posted Sep 25, 2014, 10:10 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 17From Graham Rankin:“Day 17 of the Skiff build saw seven of the faithful soldiering on while Pete was in Cygnet with Nancy. Work continued on the fourth planks, with
    Posted Sep 24, 2014, 1:26 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 16From Pete Heading: ‘A quiet day in the shed – a group of five of us mostly playing with oars. All four looms are  now at the sixteen sided stage and
    Posted Sep 25, 2014, 4:19 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 15From Peter Heading: ‘As promised, it was a day of sticky fingers, at least for  some of us.  The third pair of planks are now glued in place.  The fifth
    Posted Sep 17, 2014, 2:59 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 14From Peter Heading:  ‘I’ll admit I sneaked in an hour or so early today ,marked out the trench for the keel and used a very noisy power  saw to
    Posted Sep 12, 2014, 5:42 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 13From Pete Heading: ‘Mostly an oar day today. The handles are shaped and sanded, the blades sawn out and ready for the backs to be planed down and the looms
    Posted Sep 12, 2014, 5:43 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 12From Peter Heading:‘In traditional boatbuilding today would have been a rivetting affair but for us it was sticky fingers!  The second pair of planks are now glued in place
    Posted Sep 5, 2014, 6:49 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 11From Peter Heading.  Wednesdays are the most popular day for skiff building volunteers – eleven enthusiastic souls rolled up for a day of preparing and fitting the second set of planks
    Posted Sep 4, 2014, 3:03 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 10From Peter Heading.‘Nice to have three ladies on the Friday workshop.  Another mini -milestone achieved today – the first planks or garboards are now glued in place. The four oars
    Posted Aug 31, 2014, 6:29 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 9From Peter Heading:‘A good workout for the bandsaw cutting out the four oregon oar blanks ready for gluing on the blade edges and final shaping with lots of handwork
    Posted Aug 27, 2014, 4:52 AM by Unknown user
  • Day 8From Peter Heading:‘ A day of carefully shaping the backbone to accept the first plank , marking out the oars ready for cutting out  and scarfing plank four. Basically a day
    Posted Aug 22, 2014, 2:52 PM by Unknown user
  • Day 7From Peter Heading:  ‘A day of good progress with a dozen people beavering away.  A boat building  milestone was achieved today – the stems hog and four frames were glued together
    Posted Aug 20, 2014, 2:52 PM by Unknown user
  • Pics from Skiff build day 6Lots of activity.  The LBT is lucky to have boat builders like Peter Heading around for projects like this – he has more tricks up his sleeve than a card sharp
    Posted Aug 18, 2014, 3:37 PM by Unknown user
  • Skiff build news day 4Graham Rankin writes:  ‘Another busy (and crowded) day in the workshop on Friday, with both the skiff build and the fantastic kitchen renovation being done by Brett Doubleday and helpers
    Posted Aug 9, 2014, 1:54 AM by Unknown user
  • Skiff Build Day 3Graham Rankin writes:‘Another great day’s effort on day three, we must remember not to peak to early!  Excess glue has been cleaned of the stems, the garboards have
    Posted Aug 6, 2014, 6:12 PM by Unknown user
  • Too cold to be anywhere but hard at workGraham Rankin writes:  ” Day two of the Bendigo community skiff build has seen more action, with the celery top strips glued and laminated for the stems as well as the
    Posted Aug 6, 2014, 6:14 PM by Unknown user
  • Pics from 30th July work dayThe FUN begins! First day of the build saw good progress, with the four frames cut out and glued up. The celery top for the stems was sized over the …
    Posted Jul 30, 2014, 10:17 PM by Unknown user
  • Cutting the ribbonOn Friday morning Janet Storan and Colleen Shield from the Bendigo Bank cut the ribbon on the St Ayles Skiff pack to begin the new build.  We are off and …
    Posted Jul 26, 2014, 4:20 PM by Unknown user
  • Bendigo Skiff web site and mailing ListThis web site has been set up to support the Bendigo Skiff build.  A newsletter is automatically generated from the associated news page, in the same way as the LBT …
    Posted Jul 6, 2014, 6:10 AM by Unknown user
  • Expression of Interest: Bendigo Bank Community Skiff BuildTess Hallinan writes:‘Are you interested in taking part in a community boat building project? The Bendigo Bank has generously provided a grant for building a St Ayles skiff at
    Posted Jul 4, 2014, 3:20 AM by Unknown user
  • Bendigo GrantGraham Rankin writes:‘As some members may already know, the LBT has been successful in obtaining a grant from the Huon Valley Community Bank Grants programme to build another St
    Posted Jul 4, 2014, 3:13 AM by Unknown user

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