Shetland, Britain′s most northerly area, is something of an undiscovered cruising destination. Yachtsmen are increasingly looking beyond their home waters for interesting sailing challenges, and Shetland offers a fantastic cruising ground.

Shetland offers a cruising ground that is easily accessible from most of north west Europe, but with no need to cross oceans.

Find a Marina

Select from the areas of Shetland below to find your ideal marina.


Yachting Information

Any well-found yacht that has sailed to the Shetland Islands will be well equipped for cruising in the area, however, it is advisable to carry a heavier anchor, not only for security in heavy weather, but because many anchorages have extensive kelp (seaweed) on the seabed.

The Shetland Islands lie at 60°N, but enjoy a warm climate for their latitude, thanks to the warm waters of the Atlantic. The weather is relatively dry, although changeable. Fog occurs on average 3 days per month in summer and gales on less than 1 day.

Tidal streams can be strong around exposed headlands and in the sounds between the larger islands. Time your passage to use them to your advantage. Admiralty Tidal Stream Atlas (NP209) should be carried.

Charts and Sailing Directions
Yachts should carry the appropriate charts for their cruise, which can be selected from the Admiralty Chart Catalogue (NP109), or from

The Clyde Cruising Club's Shetland Islands is the only Sailing Directions describing yacht anchorages and inshore passages in Shetland and is essential (

Note that the chart illustrations and harbour diagrams in this publication are for guidance only and should not be used for navigation.

Some of the smaller marinas are too shallow for use by cruising yachts, but are useful for landing by dinghy. If a marina or peir master cannot be contacted, visitors should proceed to a berth. There will usually be a local person willing to give advice and lend a helping hand. All marinas have a £10 per day charge.

Fish Farms
Care must be taken when navigating or anchoring near fish farms, which are marked by buoys, usually lit.

Cruising Panel
Visit Shetland has put together a panel of local sailors with a wealth of knowledge and experience to answer your questions on sailing to Shetland. E-mail them on:


In the event that breakdown, illness and injury occur, Her Majesty's Coastguard (HMCG) respond to all incidents on the coasts or at sea free of charge. They are also responsible for the broadcasting Marinetime Safety Information (MSI) using VHF, MF and NAVTEX and also the provisional of a Radio Medical Link Call service (MEDLINK) in UK waters. Shetland Coastguard covers both Shetland and Orkney waters.

Should any member of a crew require medical advice or assistance the Master or Skipper should contact Marinetime Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Shetland using VHF or MF DSC, VHF Ch 16 (156.8MHz) or MF (2182kHz). In an emergency situation, an urgency alert using the prefix word PAN PAN should be made. The vessel will then be linked using the most suitable VHF channel or MF frequency to a doctor by the MRSC, and SAR units would be brought to immediate readiness.

Shetland has twp Severn Class RNLI all weather lifeboats: the "Charles Lidbury" based at Aith on the west and "Michael & Jane Vernon" at Lerwick on the east of Shetland. As well as a rescue helicopter based at Sumburgh, on the south of the mainland, there are 33 teams of trained Volunteer Coastguards strategically placed throughout the islands. All RCC's have access to a translation service and are fitted with the latest equipment.

Requests for weather forecasts, general information or passing passage planning information can be made directly to MRSC Shetland 24 hours a day either by telephone on 01595 691976, VHF/MF radio telephony, or Digital Selective Calling (DSC) using MRSC Shetlands MMSI, 002320001. Gale warnings, strong wind warnings, local navigational warnings, local inshore forecasts, extended weather outlook, navigation warnings and Sullom Voe traffic broadcasts are made at 0105 UTC and every 4 hours subsequently.

Lerwick Coastguard - Tel: +44 (0)1595 692976


  • Lerwick - Tel: 01595 692110
  • Baltasound - Tel: 01957 711424
  • Brae - Tel: 01806 522381
  • Dunrossness - Tel: 01950 460707
  • Scalloway - Tel: 01595 880222
  • Symbister - Tel: 01806 566432
  • Yell - Tel: 01957 702012

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

  • Aith Lifeboat - Tel: 01595 810276
  • Lerwick Lifeboat - Tel: 01595 693827

International Services (Consuls)

  • Denmark - Lindsay Aitken Tel: 01595 692533
  • Iceland - Lindsay Aitken Tel: 01595 692533
  • Finland - John Smith Tel: 01595 692556
  • France - Bill Stubbings Tel: 01595 692556
  • Germany - John Smith Tel: 01595 692556
  • Norway - John Smith Tel: 01595 692556
  • Sweden - Iain Tulloch Tel: 01595 692533

Tidal and Weather Information

Tidal Information
For tidal information contact Shetland Coastguard on: 01595 692976

Weather & Shipping Forecasts
Shetland Coastguard broadcast weather on VHF and MF Radio telegraphy at 0105 UTC and every 4 hours subsequently, alternatively contact Shetland Coastguard on 01595 692976.

The Met Office
Weather Call - 09014 722076 or Weather bulletins for shipping are broadcast daily on BBC Radio 4 at the following times: 0048 and 0535 (long wave and FM) 1200 and 1755 (normally long wave only). The following are broadcast: Gale warnings, general synopsis, sea area forecasts and coastal station reports.

Shetland MCA Broadcast Working Channels Travel
Shetland Islands Council has timetable information for ferries, buses and air services which can be viewed at The main airport on the islands is in the south at Sumburgh

Extracts from Admiralty Charts in this publication are reproduced as follows: © Crown Copyright and/or Database Right. Reproduced by permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationary Office and the UK Hydrographic Office (

Yacht Cruising Consultant - Mike Balmforth

Harbour Plans - Shetland Islands Council & Mike Balmforth

Overwintering - Overwintering your yacht is possible in several Shetland marinas. To make an enquiry about overwintering your yacht in Shetland please use the contact us form.


A. Adamson 7 Co.
22 Commercial Road, Lerwick, ZE1 0LX
Tel: 01595 696656

C & R Diving Ltd.
Sella Ness Ind. Est. Graven, Mossbank, ZE2 9QR
Tel: 01806 242755

H.N.P Engineers (Lerwick) Ltd.
Commercial Road, Lerwick ZE1 0NJ
Tel: 01595 692493

Ian Irvin Engineering Strath Haven,
Symbister, Whalsay, ZE2 9AG
Tel: 01806 566627

J.L.B Surveys,
Bakkabrent, Sandwick, ZE2 9HP
Tel: 01950 431323

60North Marine Canvas ( Sail Repairs and Marine Canvas work )
12 Commercial Street Lerwick
Tel: 01595 697146
Mob: 07796 085760

Malakoff Ltd.
North Ness Lerwick, ZE1 0LZ
or: Moores Yard, Westshore, Scalloway, ZE1 0JX
Tel: 01595 695544

Marine Autos,
Hillside, Gulberwick, ZE2 9JX
Tel: 01595 697455

MSM Diving,
Houbans, Sullom, ZE2 9RD
Tel: 01806 522573

Oceans Kinetics Ltd.
Marina Bus. Park, Gremista, Lerwick, ZE1 0TA
Tel: 01595 696707

Shetland Composites (Repair Fibre Glass Hulls),
SBS Base, Lerwick, ZE1 0PY
Tel: 01595 696426

Thule Craft Ltd. Spares Dept. & Workshop,
Gremista, Lerwick
Tel: 01595 692500

Underwater Inspection Services Ltd.
Sheencrest, Cunningsburgh, ZE2 9HB
Tel: 01950 477457

Unst Inshore Services Ltd.
Hagdale Ind. Est. Baltasound, Unst, ZE2 9TW
Tel: 01957 711881

Zetland Marina Services Old Weighbridge,
Esplanade, Lerwick ZE1 0LL
Tel: 01595 693164

Other Information

HM Customs & Excise

  • EC Arrivals and Departures: If arriving from, or sailing to, other EC ports there is no requirement to report in or out.
  • Non EC Arrivals and Departures: If arriving directly from , or sailing directly to a non EC country there is a requirementto report, or clear as appropriate. Form C1331 (Pleasure Craft on Non EC Voyages) must be completed upon departure from the UK and can ba obtained from Lerwick Port Authority. Completed forms should be returned to Lerwick Port Authority.
  • National Advice Service - Tel: 0845 0109000
  • Aberdeen Office - Tel: 01224 844632
  • Bond Shipments - HM Customs and Excise must approve entitlement and quantities before duty-free stores can be supplied to your vessel. Yachts and other private craft of less than 40 tons who register departing on a voyage to a port outside Home Trade Limits (between the north bank of the River Eider and the Port of Brest inclusive) are entitled to carry duty-free stores. The quantity of duty-free stores you can apply for depends on: the number of crew/passengers on board, the expected length of the voyage, the amount of surplus stores still on board. (View notice 69A at for more details).

HM Immigration
The Immigration Act requires that any national from a non EEA country arriving at a UK port must present themselves to an Immigration Officer. On arrival in Shetland all non EEA nationals must contact the local Immigration Officer on mobile no: 07721 466199.

Shetland Yachting Limited's ( newly acquired Bavaria 37, "Reach North", is now available for charter. "Reach North" has three double cabins, one forward and two aft, and is capable of accommodating up to eight people.

Bonded Stores (Duty Free supplies), Zetland Bonded Services, 12 Thorfinn Street, Lerwick. Tel: 01595 693537

Cooking Gas
Calor Propane Gas supplied by: Rearo Gas Supplies, Staney Hill, Lerwick Tel: 01595 692807

(They can only refill Calor Propane Gas bottles which can be identified. The bottles must show the manufacturer’s name, size of bottle and the test date must be clearly visible. Camping Gas Bottles and re-fills are available as well as Calor Gas Butane and Propane).


Globus (Shetland) Ltd.
8 Lower Blackhill, Lerwick
Tel: 01595 696222

LHD Marine Supplies Ltd.
1 Alexandra Bldgs, Lerwick
Tel: 01595 692882

Thulecraft Ltd.
6 Commercial Road, Lerwick
Tel: 01595 693192

H. Williamson & Sons Ltd.
Main Street, Scalloway
Tel: 01595 880645

Garthspool Autos
12 North Road, Lerwick
Tel: 01595 692955

Malakoff Ltd.
North Ness, Lerwick
Tel: 01595 695544/693731

Williamson & Sons
Main Street, Scalloway
Tel: 01595 880645

DH Marine
01595 690618

Situated opposite the Lerwick Co-op:
JLB Surveys
Brakkabrent, Sandwick
Tel: 01950 431323/07801940535


Tods of Lerwick
25 Gremista Ind. Est. Lerwick
Tel: 01595 693850

J.W Gray & Co.
25 Gremista Ind. Est. Lerwick
Tel: 01595 693749

Hughson Brothers Gremista Ind
Est. Lerwick
Tel: 01595 693150


Co-op, Holmsgarth Road, Lerwick
Tel: 01595 693419

Tesco, South Road, Lerwick
Tel: 01595 692426

Chart Agents

LHD Marine Supplies Ltd.
1 Alexandra Bldgs, Lerwick, ZE1 0LL
Tel: 01595 693768

Other Publications

The Clyde Cruising Club:
Shetland Islands.
(ISBN 1-899786-85-6)
CCC: 0141 221 2774.

Adlard Coles Ltd:
Reeds Almanac
(ISBN 9780713673487)

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