Coastal Rowing in Scotland has seen an incredible rate of growth since the first St Ayles Skiff was launched in May 2010. In the next five years 94 of these beautiful 5-person boats launched across Scotland.  Many more kits have since been sold and are currently in construction both in Scotland and around the world.

Each of them is rowed and maintained by local people keen to make the most of the coastal waters around them. The Scottish Coastal Rowing Association was founded in May 2010 to bring rowing clubs together and provide guidance and advice to both emerging and existing clubs. The founding principles are ‘to encourage boat building, and rowing and racing of coastal rowing boats around the Scottish coastline.’

To this end not only have a large number of traditional rowing boats – St Ayles Skiffs – been built across Scotland but also a large number of coastal racing regattas now take place each summer, hosted by different clubs and listed and promoted through SCRA.

Local history

Portobello, to the east of Edinburgh, traditionally sported two coastal rowing clubs: PARC – Portobello Amateur Rowing Club and EARC – the Eastern Amateur Rowing Club. Both clubs competed against each other sharing the same water, with separate club houses and boats from the 1890s to the 1980s.

The wide sandy beach and large number of people make water sports of many kinds a natural activity in this busy suburb. Portobello Sailing and Kayaking Club is also home to Rowporty, a successful community rowing club with two St Ayles Skiffs used year round. As well as rowers there are also sailors, kayakers, windsurfers, kite surfers, paddle boarders and open water swimmers who use the water of the Firth of Forth for sport and leisure.

Eastern Amateur Coastal Rowing Club

A group of keen rowers, who enjoyed rowing in Portobello through Rowporty set up Portobello’s second coastal rowing club in 2015; drawing on the history of the two clubs in Portobello and opening up new opportunities in this growing and developing sport. They built Skelf from scratch and are keen to continue to develop the amateur sport of coastal rowing. They launched their second skiff off Portobello beach in May 2018, thanks to funding from National Lottery Awards for All.

The primary aim of this club is to develop the competitive sport of coastal rowing. The secondary aim is to enjoy the opportunities a shared boat affords for recreation, adventure and leisure. Membership is open to anyone who shares the aims of the club and all members are expected to contribute to the on-going work involved in maintaining and enjoying a collectively-owned coastal rowing boat. The club is committed to creating a positive and encouraging environment for members in which everyone can improve their technique and fitness in line with Scottish Rowing’s equality policy.

We are a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), charity number: SC047648


Updated Sep 2018