A group of north-east residents are looking forward to showing off their handcrafted boat this weekend.
Collieston Offshore Rowing Club has spent the last nine months building the 22ft St Ayles skiff, joining dozens of other coastal communities who have built the traditional Viking-style rowing boat in recent years.
The project stemmed from the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Fife’s efforts to reintroduce the skiff, and now at least 65 coastal communities have bought a kit to build their own boat and race against each other.
On Sunday, the Collieston group unveiled the boat to the village for the first time, and are now preparing to make their first big appearance at the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy this weekend.
Karen Burrows, from the group, said: “We’re a very small community with a lot of history of boating in Collieston, so it was a natural thing for us to get involved in.
“It doesn’t just stop at building the skiff, we’ll now be racing and competing with other communities, with everyone coming together. It’s a unifying activity.”
The skiff has been named Admiral Redsocks after local resident Rear Admiral Steve Ritchie, who had a distinguished career in the Navy as a hydrographer. He died in 2012, aged 97, but was a familiar face within the village, renowned for his energy and love of life – and red socks.
Mrs Burrows added putting the boat on the water on Sunday had been poignant, with Rear Admiral Ritchie’s son Paul telling residents his father wore the colourful socks so he would never be forgotten.
She added: “This is the first boat that has been named here in a long time, and there was a real sense of achievement.
“Naming the boat after Steve and his socks certainly means we won’t forget him.”