Published on: Jul 16, 2019
After 3 years of wishing and talking, it has been confirmed that the Faar Haaf will make the journey from Unst to Lerwick to sail alongside the Vaila Mae at this year's Boat Week.
As co-ordinator of Shetland Boat Week, we are proud and delighted to announce that the Far Haaf will make a special appearance at this year’s event, thanks to Unst Heritage Trust and the Shetland Ex-Whalers Association. Shetland Amenity Trust, the lead partner is very pleased to receive this news.
The full sized sixareen, or sixern, is based at the Unst Boat Haven and has a unique history in that she is actually a remake of the original Far Haaf which was destroyed in a storm in 1992. The current boat was built from the keel of the original boat and was reborn into the beauty that can be seen in Unst today.
The boat will be in the water in Haroldswick for the first time in many years from today ahead of her trip to Lerwick in August. There is sure to be a great deal of interest in seeing her sail alongside the Shetland Museum sixareen, Vaila Mae which is always hugely popular in offering harbour sails during the week.
This particular type of boat has a well known and important history in Shetland. Brian Wishart explains the significance of having the only two remaining functional sailing Sixareen’s together on the water: “I think it is virtually certain that there were not sixerns under traditional fishing rig (square sail or dipping lug) after WW1. Sixerns often were turned into flitboats, under a standing lug and jib as a more manageable rig, before they were all gradually motorised. As far as we can tell, this will be the first time in over 100 years that two traditional square sail rig sixerns will be sailed side by side.”
Shetland Amenity Trust Chairwoman, Ruth Mackenzie, added “It’s an incredible honour that the Unst Heritage Trust have agreed to work with us to bring the Far Haaf and the Vaila Mae together for Shetland Boat Week. These are two iconic boats and there is much excitement all round that we will see them together on the water. We are very grateful to those in Unst, and to the Ex-Whalers Association for all coming together to make this happen.”
The Ex-Whalers group have agreed to donate the price for the insurance of the boat to make the trip. This will mean that the public will have an opportunity to sail in both vessels during the week. Sailing times are included in the published Boat Week programme, and Far Haaf times will be released nearer Boat Week when crew details are confirmed.
Shetland Boat Week takes place from 5th to 11th August and tickets for all events are now available online at www.thelittleboxoffice.com/sat. Programmes are available from local outlets or online at www.shetlandboatweek.com/events
Shetland Boat Week is sponsored by Ocean Kinetics, So Much to See Campaign, Lerwick Port Authority and Serco NorthLink Ferries.