The Largs Skiff
Originating in the town of Largs on the Clyde on the west coast of Scotland, Largs skiffs, a lighter version of the Loch Fyne Skiffs were originally built as fishing skiffs. Despite being initially built as fishing skiffs they proved such good sailers that soon they began to hold regattas. The Largs Lugsail Club was formed an in 1880 a Challenge Trophy was established.
Between 1869 and 1900 there were 21 skiffs or half deckers, and 101 open skiffs in the Largs area. By this time, the idea of sailing as a recreational sport had caught on and many of the skiffs were owned by “weekend sailors” from Glasgow and the industrial hinterland.
As time went on the number of grew steadily fewer with no new boats being built. The last known Largs Skiff was stored at the yard of William Fife by an employee of the yard with a view to a restoration. Sadly, the restoration did not happen and as an alternative the last remaining skiff was converted to a plug for a GRP mould. From the mould a single boat was built in the late 1970’s after which the mould was kept in storage until acquired by Self Finished Boat Limited. After some minor restoration, the mould was used to produce only the second GRP Largs Skiff which was launched in 2020.
The description of the Largs Line Skiff in The Chatham directory of Inshore Craft:
The typical fishing boats of the lower Firth of Clyde were 18ft to 19ft, beach-based skiffs. Shallow, double ended, and of fairly light build (pine-planked), with a lean wedge of a bow merging to a markedly fuller stern, they were round-sectioned and reputedly fast sailers under a single square-headed standing lug, needing shifting ballast. Several of their line-fishing crew members- from Saltcoats, Millport and Largs -achieved fame in both local regattas and as racing yacht skippers.
On the water the Largs Skiff can accommodate 2 or 3 people rowing depending on its configuration and in addition can be fitted with a lugsail.
The overall length is 18ft with a beam of 5ft