Unique project sets sail in Plockton

Ross Sproule and Daisy Stuart pictured working on the boat at Plockton High School.

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A short film highlighting the incredible traditional boat building project at Plockton High School is available to watch on the Highland Council’s YouTube channel.

Am Bàta is a unique collaboration, running successfully since 2007, between the school’s technology department and Ullapool-based professional boatbuilder Mark Stockl.

Council vice convener and local Ward 5 member Councillor Biz Campbell said: ‘Launch day is an exciting event in Plockton. The celebration begins with a procession of the completed boat down the street which is always a fun spectacle for everyone involved.

‘The community each year look forward to a shared moment of jubilation when the boat finally reaches the water after months of labour from our talented young people.

‘Plockton is a beautiful coastal village. This project provides a service to our community by building and repairing boats using traditional methods and materials while preserving skills which have been handed down for generations.’

The experience is different to a traditional day at school as pupils spend the day in a workshop and do not need to wear a school uniform.

Education chairman councillor John Finlayson said: ‘Having been a head teacher in Plockton for 12 years in the 1990s, I know how important sailing and sea activities are to the community and how important the traditional skills associated with boat building are for Plockton and the west coast generally.

‘Involving our young people in education outwith the classroom which develops practical skills is something I am keen to see happening in more schools and I congratulate Plockton High School and the community for supporting the innovative Am Bàta project.’

The film features staff and former and current pupils who share their thoughts on the project and the impact it has had on them and the community.

Photograph: Ross Sproule and Daisy Stuart working on the boat at Plockton High School. NO_F30_PlocktonBoatbuilding