Published on: Aug 15, 2019
Managing the delivery of Shetland Boat Week 2019 was a pleasure and an honour. The event welcomed more people than ever before during the week and facilitated more access to boat trips than in previous years.
33 volunteers, land and boat based, delivered an amazing event, supported by the great staff on the front desk at Shetland Museum and Archives.
With the two sixareens on the water together, 199 people were able to experience a traditional dipping-lug sailing experience. another 157 were able to take to the water in other small boats from Hay's Dock and another 120 in external trips laid on especially for Shetland Boat Week.
There was an average daily attendance on site of around 500 people and this spanned all generations, from the very young to the more experienced and knowledgable visitor! Wtih 33 traditional boats on display and a special focus on boatbuilder, Jimmy Smith,. there were certainly plenty of converstaions to be had. Several of the boats on show had not been seen in public for many years and made a welcome return to the limelight. These included Jimmy Smith's Ripple and Vaila.
The Creel lotto activity was a big hit, with one creel hauling up 46 crabs! Another record for the week was the quantity of small boats made and decorated by the bairns. John Huighson provided 200 wooden boats for the purpose and they were very well received.
An application for funding to the Year of Coasts and Waters fund has been made with the hope of extending Shetland Boat Week in 2020. Working closely with Swan Trust, Sail Training Shetland and Shetalnd Tall Ships Ltd, we hope to expand the sailing opportunities and interest to a younger audience and revive a real passion for Shetland's maritime heritage among all ages.
Forging was another new demonstration activity this year, along with rope making on the dock. Both kept the audience entertained for hours.