Building the Caravelle Skiff

Scoraig – 25th to 1st June - £1000

Isle of Iona – 20th July to 27th July - £800



This course is the heart of the folk school. So good we’re running it twice in two new locations. Over the week, with a group of 6 people, we will build two lightweight plywood rowing boats from start to finish, before launching them to see how they work!

We take a day off in the middle of the week for rest and exploration. From Iona, we will go sailing on the beautiful Birthe Marie – a traditional wooden boat- to explore the local coastlines. On Scoraig, we will explore this very special and wild peninsula on foot.

At the end of the course, you will have the option to buy one of the boats you have made. You can do so for just the price of the materials - by far the cheapest way to get a new boat of your own. If you would like to leave with a boat, please get in touch.

The Work

We’ll be building the Chase Small Craft Caravelle. A boat that perfectly marries actual technical boat building with easy to understand techniques - it’s a perfect boat for novices to learn to build for the first time. The boat is made in plywood from a pre-cut kit that means we can get the boat built comfortably in the week. Unlike other plywood boats we use timber rather than fibreglass to join the panels, which makes for a much nicer build process.

While we do not have time on the courses the boat can also be fitted with a sailing rig which turns the boat into a fun and lively sailing dinghy - great for sunny days on the water!

When finished we will launch the boats out the workshop door and go for a row.

The week is taught by Director Ben Wilde, Boatbuilder Daisy Martinez will join us on Iona for support work while on Scoraig support is provided by the local communities.

The accommodation

We have two different locations for this course which bring two different accommodation options.

On Iona we stay in the wonderful Iona hostel - it’s famously one of the most beautiful hostels in Scotland with a lovely atmosphere and a generous spirit. We’ll be in two shared dorm rooms but if you prefer we may be able to arrange alternative accommodation in a private room.

Scoraig is something very special - we’re hosted by the local community around the small collection of crofts. People open their homes to us and welcome us into the beautiful spaces that many of them have built for themselves. Scoraig does not really get tourists nor is it set up for them, so expect something very special.