Homecoming for boat builder

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MANY Sea Fest visitors took advantage of the opportunity to learn a bit more about traditional boat building.

One of the stalls drawing admiring crowds was run by former Arbroath man, Mike Lowson, who owns Northboats in Aberdeenshire, a traditional boatbuilding yard which specialises in building and restoring wooden craft.

Mike said: “We had a very successful visit to Sea Fest and we were delighted with the crowds who came up to our stand. What we were trying to do was to demonstrate the traditional boat building techniques.

“We were making oars on the stand and we had a little thing to let people try to do nailing pretty much the proper way that boats have been nailed through the centuries.

“From our point of view it was a great success and we thoroughly enjoyed it.”

One particular attraction was the scale model of the four-oared Norwegian Faering. Mike said: “People used them the way we would use a bike or car to get around the Norwegian fjords. She’s a very efficient rowing boat and she has a little sail to get you home. I saw a lot of people having their photo taken with it.”

Sea Fest had a special meaning for Mike, who was born and raised in Millgate Loan. He said: “Coming to the Sea Fest was a very emotional thing for me, and Beacon Green was one of my childhood playgrounds.

“It was a great day and the weather was very, very kind to us. To be there watching the Reaper and the North Sea fishing boats was just like stepping back and full marks for everyone involved in organising it. We hope to return to Sea Fest next year!”