Saturday, 10 July 2010

Sail and Oar Maritime Celebration

At GalGael we're gearing up for one of the highlights of the Dorna Project. Together with Cumbrae Community Development company, GalGael are hosting a Sail and Oar Festival in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae. The event aims to be a celebration of Dorna activity so far as well as an opportunity to look at what it might achieve in the months leading up to March 2011, when the project comes to an end. Beyond this the project will be a celebration of traditional boats and boat building in the partner regions.
Not only will GalGael be there en masse with all the crew & crafts we can muster but we'll be joined by crews from Causeway Coast, N.I. in their curragh, and Galicia and the Basque Country with some of their traditional boats, music & food! Expect usual GalGael presence, boat races (the Basques reckon the will thrash us which is probably true!), crafts, ceilidh, Albannach stompin' and more. I'd like to add sunshine but this is the west coast! For more details, we'll be posting them on

Thursday, 8 July 2010

GalGael & Dorna go down a storm at Portsoy 2010

Early on Friday 25 June, about 20 men and women packed up a luton van, a pick up, 18-seater minibus and various other vehicles and travelled the long road from Govan to Portsoy on the Moray Coast. A few hundred miles and a couple of stops to tighten straps later and we pulled into the historic old harbour.

We unloaded all our kit into the marquee and weren't sure we'd be able to fill the marquee. But as banners were unfurled, boat building demonstrations set up and baskets laid out our display quickly took shape.

By the time the first visitors started to wander by we'd turned a little bit of Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival into a GalGael workshop. Four workbenches gave hordes of visitors an opportunity to try their hand at wood carving. Working with one of the school boys involved in the St Ayles skiff project - the puffin sailing dinghy took shape over the weekend event.

At the other end of the marquee people could pick up a bit of basket weaving, spinning and felting or attempt green woodturning on the pole lathes. The First Minister, Alec Salmond and Mike Russell MSP were just some of the visitors passing by.

This was the second year, GalGael had taken Dorna Scotland to the Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival with one big addition - Dorna being a sponsor for this years event. Throughout the weekend, we were able to talk to people about what Dorna is trying to achieve and encourage folks to map traditional boats and yards on a giant map of Scotland.

All in all in was a big success and we even got time to go for a row in one of our yawls. Our hard work paid off in some great feedback and invitations to return again next year...

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

GalGael & Dorna Scotland to headline at Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival


The craft skills employed in traditional boat building will be celebrated in style at this year’s Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy this June, thanks to a new partnership between the festival and DORNA Scotland. The main marquee at Portsoy’s Old Harbour will be given over to demonstrations of traditional maritime crafts.

Additionally, Scotland’s west coast island of Cumbrae will host an international gathering celebrating maritime heritage and culture this August. Sail and Oar at Cumbrae will welcome participants from Scotland, Ireland, and Spain with traditional boats, crafts, music, dance and food for a long weekend of events and activities on sea and land.

This event is a partnership between two Scottish social enterprises, the Gal Gael Trust and the Cumbrae Community Development Company. Glasgow based Gal Gael Trust are well known for engaging the community in building and sailing traditional boats in celebration of Scotland’s heritage. CCDC is the development trust for the island of Cumbrae, owners of the Garrison House, and charged with the regeneration of the island.

Both events are supported by the DORNA partnership, a European initiative promoting traditional boat building and related skills.

DORNA Scotland is a partnership celebrating traditional boat-building in Scotland. It is cataloguing traditional craft and the yards that built them, celebrating maritime heritage and traditional skills at festivals and events, and working with partners to explore opportunities for the future of these traditional industries.

DORNA Scotland is led by the GalGael Trust. Gehan Macleod, Project Co-ordinator, said: “DORNA Scotland is delighted to be working again with the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival to highlight the importance of boat-building in Scotland both historically and in the future. DORNA aims to not only celebrate and share the historic craft skills employed in building traditional vessels, but also explore how traditional boat-builders can work together to find new markets in the future.”

This year’s Scottish Traditional Boat Festival takes place in Portsoy, Aberdeenshire on 26 and 27 June 2010. Sail and Oar at Cumbrae will run from Saturday 14th – Sunday 15th August 2010.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Conference Programme

You can download the conference programme from here. Copies will be available on the day.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Booking essential - to book click here
or call 0141 427 3070 or email:

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Scottish Launch

The Scottish launch of the Dorna Project took place at Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival, Moray Coast on 2 July. GalGael's marquee with displays of wood carving, pole lathe work, wool craft, pottery and leatherwork housed a Dorna information stall for the remainder of the Festival until 5 July.

The event was well attended by the public and traditional boat community alike. It was a great opportunity to talk to people about Dorna and the potential benefits to future traditional boat building. Our partners from the Causeway Coast Maritime Heritage Group joined us for the event and were on hand to talk about their work conserving some of the rich maritime culture of the North Irish Coast and sailing in their currach the Colmcille.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Dorna Activities & Themes

• traditional technique
• oral and pictorial archive
• training and skills development
• construction methods
• market development
• tourism potential
• culture and sport
• innovation and design
• sponsorship opportunities
• educational programmes