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'Am Bàta', the project

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The project

Project summary 

Plockton has a long tradition of boat use and the village still has a strong interest in its boat heritage. The Plockton local boat is the one of the few traditional boats in the North West of Scotland still being regularly used, with a fleet in excess of sixteen boats and an annual regatta, races and events, organised by the Plockton Small Boat Sailing Club (PSBSC). Plockton has its own unique design of small clinkerbuilt sailing boat, with one as old as 120 years old still in use. In the past 22 years, nine new boats have been built for the fleet, but apart from one which was built in Plockton in 2001 by a club member, the others have been built in Thurso and Skye.

logoAm Bata began as the result of an exciting partnership between the Technology Department in Plockton High School, the Cultural Coordinator in Schools programme, the Plockton Small Boat Sailing Club and various heritage services and organisations.  The project came about thanks to the generous donation of the supply of larch to build the first boat, from Nicholas Donnellan who offered the wood on condition the wood was used for a "local boat", to James Kean who then set out to find a way to start a boatbuilder-in -residence type project.  What you see here on the website is the outcome!

Contracting a boatbuilder two days a week, Am Bata is teaching traditional boatbuilding skills to young people during the school day in Plockton High School (17-18 years old) and to members of the community in evening classes. The first boat the project  built is now was owned by the Plockton Small Boat Sailing Club and was used for providing sail training to members of the community. The subsequent new builds are  sold to help raise funds to continue the project.

The project is also working to collect oral tradition, archives, records, photographs and artefacts relating to boats and boat use. See the Heritage page for more information. The Am-Bata team Am Bàta Boatbuilder Mark Stockl- studied boatbuilding at the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft, Suffolk. In 1998 he joined boatbuilder Nat Wilson in Ullapool at which point the well known partnership of Ullapool Boatbuilders was formed. He has built in excess of 35 boats and restored many others. His current projects have included a new 23’ Fifie for a customer from the Isle of Wight. He has recently completed the restoration of a 27’ Fifie from Scalpay. Mark is also a qualified yacht and smallcraft surveyor. His website can be found at Neil Jardine-Faculty head of technology.Neil joined the team in 2013 and enjoys a keen interest in sailing,kayaking and being on the water. James Phimister- Plockton high school technician.James comes from a family of boatbuilders and repairers as well as fishermen and enjoys repairing wooden boats in his spare time and has renovated and refloated in excess of 14 small craft ranging from 12ft to 21ft. Sandra Holmes. We gratefully acknowledge funding for this website from Leader +.

The project ‘Am Bàta’ is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, European
Union, Highland 2007, Scottish Arts Council, The Highland Council, and The
National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Website by Ronan Martin Associates
Content by Susan Walker, and Jamie Kean.
Photographs have been generously donated by various contributors and remain their property.


Leader + HIE Europe Highland 2007 Scottish Arts Council Highland Council Unknown Sponsor PSBSC The National Lottery - Heritage Lottery Fund
Am Bàta, Plockton High School, Plockton, Ross-shire IV52 8TU | Copyright © 2008 Am Bàta. All rights reserved. Website by Ronan Martin Associates