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Peerie Boat Week Proves Popular

Published: 21 August 2018

Shetland Amenity Trust have released details of the numbers of visitors to the Peerie Boat Week event last week and are pleased with the turnout and public feedback on the miniature maritime festival.

Although the event was smaller than its big brother, Shetland Boat Week, it still proved a popular attraction for hundreds of visitors who enjoyed a programme of tours, lectures, craft activities and boat trips.

122 people enjoyed trips through Lerwick Harbour in the traditional sixareen, Vaila Mae, and the modern built Haddock Boat, Laura Kay. Those in the Vaila Mae had the opportunity to see the traditional Dipping Lug sailing technique in use, with the dedicated volunteer crew who have been training all summer with Brian Wishart and Robert Wishart to ensure the skill in this type of sailing is preserved. 

The wind proved a little high on Saturday for the public to enjoy a sail, however a hardy crew took the sixareen off in a strong wind for additional training in the challenging conditions and handled her expertly through the harbour to the delight, and gasps, of onlookers.

Those lucky enough to join Trevor Jamieson in the Laura Kay on the sunnier days were also treated to a song from the well-known North Ness Boy. Michelle Smith commented, “The boat trip with Trevor was fantastic. We loved the experience and were especially moved when he sang!”

Around 34 others set to sea in other boat trips provided from other locations.  Almost 40 people enjoyed various tours around the Shetland Museum galleries, Hay’s Dock or Lerwick harbour and 146 people attended a number of maritime themed lectures, including the popular keynote lecture by Brian W. Lavery.

The event was organised by Shetland Amenity Trust, with co-ordination from Emma Miller of Realta Events Management and with support from NorthLink Ferries, Ocean Kinetics and Lerwick Port Authority.

Davy Cooper, Head of Development at Shetland Amenity Trust said “I’m delighted with the way Peerie Boat week has run. The enthusiasm from boat owners, volunteers, boat crews and the public is still clear to see. There is a demand for this type of maritime themed festival and I do hope that we can begin discussions for the 2019 event within the next few weeks.

“There have been a number of suggestions for events, activities and additional boats to display and we will be following all of these up. I know that the Amenity Trust is committed to preserving and promoting Shetland’s maritime heritage and this is the perfect interactive, community led way to deliver on this.”