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All Aboard For Shetland Boat Week!

by Alastair Hamilton -

Anyone with an interest in boats and the sea will be setting course for Shetland in August, when the second Shetland Boat Week offers a great programme of events, in which there’s something for everyone.

Firm favourites from last year remain in the schedule, such as the tours of the NorthLink vessel, Hrossey, and pelagic boat, Adenia. Cookery demonstrations with Marian Armitage and fancy knotwork demonstrations with John Jamieson also make a return to the line-up.

there’s something for everyone

New this year are several additional boat trips including three options for cruises on the Swan, the beautifully-restored ‘Fifie’ sail drifter. The vessel will take passengers to Whalsay, around Bressay and Noss and on a shorter cruise around Lerwick Harbour. Other options include three different trips on the Mousa Boat; one of which will reveal local fishing traditions. There will be daily cruises in St Magnus Bay with Shetland Marine Charters; daily traditional fishing trips aboard the Utilise with Heritage Fishing Shetland; and Lerwick Harbout cruises aboard the Wootton Lass.

This year’s lecture programme includes Charlie Simpson’s illustrated tour of Shetland’s coastline; Dr Ian Napier (NAFC Marine Centre UHI) on the story of how Shetland fishermen progressed from small open boats to large modern vessels; and Charles Grant on the story of the Fairmile D-class MTB. The keynote speaker for 2017 is Dr Matthew Tanner, Chairman of the SS Great Britain Trust, who will discuss the incredible journey of that ship, and the Shetland-born captain who disappeared in mysterious circumstances.

There are 55 different events in this year’s programme, including exhibitions, talks, demonstrations, boat trips, tours and other activities. The Serco NorthLink Ferries Boatbuilding project will also take place every day in the Shetland Museum Boat Shed.

Event co-ordinator, Emma Miller, said “I’m really pleased with how the programme has grown this year. The key aim of Shetland Boat Week is to get as many people as we can out on the water, and have the opportunity to take part in maritime related activities. The events on offer this year certainly do that, and all of us involved with the organisation of the event are very grateful to the sponsors, other groups who are delivering events, and the great group of volunteers who will be helping out during the week.”

Boat week runs from 7 to 13 August and, if you're thinking about a trip to Shetland, it would be a great time to be in the islands. Events are suitable for all ages and many are on a drop-in basis with no booking or payment required. For events which do need to be booked, tickets can be reserved online now at and all details are available on the Shetland Boat Week website where you can download a programme. Shetland Boat Week is sponsored by Ocean Kinetics, Serco NorthLink Ferries and Lerwick Port Authority, with support from Shetland Museum and Archives.

Posted in: Heritage

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