There’s not many people who would walk past some wooden pallets and think they would be great for making a boat.

For Lorenzo, though, that was exactly what the situation was at the Edinburgh Forge workshop. He’s been attending it for a couple of years now and he’s always had it in his mind that he wanted to build a boat. A trip to Spain and seeing one being built with pinewood added to his ambitions and he got working on it.

It took him less than 24 hours and now he’s planning on spending two days on it rowing from Glasgow to Edinburgh to raise money for charity. Scottish Action for Mental Health (SAMH) will be the recipients of the funds raised by Lorenzo and his rowing partner Jack.

The pair met through the workshop but they’ve not had much opportunity to row together before the challenge this weekend.


They set off from Glasgow on Saturday at 8am and hope to arrive in Edinburgh in time to watch the Euro 2024 final on Sunday evening.

Mental health charities are something that is close to Lorenzo’s heart and it was a simple choice for who he wanted to do the challenge for, while also raising awareness for the workshop which has been huge for him over the last 24 months.

He said: “I looked for one of the best mental health charities in Scotland and just went for it. Three in four suicides are men so I think we need to talk.

“The Forge workshop is a community workshop that has been going for about seven years. They are on a site that is earmarked for development. They’re due to be relocated, I don’t know where it’s going to be or go. This is also why I’m doing it, to raise awareness for the Forge.

“It’s a great resource and they are looking for a new place to go. It’s just out of some shipping containers so they’re looking for a new place, it’s run by volunteers and most of them are engineers or electricians or other skills. If you go there and don’t know something they help you and there are about 150 members at the moment and all like minded people.

“There’s always someone you can bounce your ideas of.”

The challenge will see Lorenzo and Jack look to make their way between Scotland’s two biggest cities.

There was never really a plan to do it until after the boat was built and he tested it out to see if it could float.

Making it waterproof was a bit of a challenge but using materials such as a tarpaulin, clingfilm and gaffer tape has got it ready to go, or at least he hopes so with a final test to come later this week before the challenge begins.

Tarpaulin and clingfilm has been used to make it waterproofTarpaulin and clingfilm has been used to make it waterproof (Image: Lorenzo/PalletPaddleQuest)

He continued: “It wasn’t an idea until I built the boat. I built the boat and then said ‘let’s see if it floats’ and it did so I thought ‘what can I do now?’.

“I don’t want to take it to the sea just yet but I tested it on the canal and decided to see if I can do it from Glasgow to Edinburgh.

“I go to the Edinburgh Forge quite a lot for about two years and I like to make stuff mostly out of pallets, simply because I have no woodworking skills and if I use pallets then I don’t waste any good wood.

“I like pallets and I kept on walking past a stack and in the back of my mind it’s always been an idea. I was thinking about what I can make with pallets that isn’t a coffee table or something like that.

“I YouTube’d about pallets and boats and something came up and it was relatively easy. That was a year ago and then I went on a trip to Spain and there was a canal there and a boatmaker and I noticed the boat was made out of pinewood. Pallets are made out of pinewood because it can bend very easily and then when I came back I thought ‘lets see if I can do it’ and it didn’t take me long to build a boat.

“It probably took me a day, so making the boat wasn’t very difficult. Making it waterproof was a different matter.

“I put a plastic sheet in and put it in the canal and there was water coming in slightly. It wasn’t too bad and wasn’t sinking straight away, it was manageable but it wasn’t great. I watched another video of people making a boat out of clingfilm so I went and got some and that really sorted the waterproofness of the boat.

“There was still some so last Saturday I added a layer of gaffer tape and hopefully that will do the trick.”

With a challenge like this, surely he’s got plenty of experience on the water? Think again.

When asked about that, he laughed: “No. I rowed a boat on a lake 20 years ago for an hour, but not for two days.”

You can donate to Lorenzo’s challenge by clicking here.