Northboats has helped save a 40-year-old dinghy from becoming a flower planter in the Moray town of Forres. The 11ft 6in dinghy was apparently built in the late 60s or early 70s by RAF personnel at the Kinloss air base, a few miles from Forres, for use by its angling club. It spent most of its life at a nearby inland loch.With the shocking announcement earlier this year that the base was to close, however, the boat was earmarked for firewood or to end its days in the town as an ornamental flower bed. Forres is a five-time overall UK Britain in Bloom winner.

A former employee at the base heard of the plan and, thankfully, rescued her from an ignominious fate that no wooden boat should face. He and his son then began stripping her back to start the process of making her fit for a return to angling duties. We were then asked to re-frame her and to tackle some of the other deficiencies caused by the ravages of time.

The boat was rustically built, to put it politely, and the utility-timber planking is not of the best, but by carefully removing the remaining cracked frames one at a time to keep her shape, we were able to fit new frames of Scottish oak, traditionally nailed and roved in place. We also added a couple of new floors, too, plus a new aft seat in matching oak and a new quarter-knee to replace one that was missing. The boat’s owners now intend to make the boat watertight and return her to her original mooring.

She is much too interesting to be scrapped and we look forward to her being filled soon with fresh-caught brown trout rather than begonias and geraniums.