More about the boats

The heritage of the Moray Firth is closely tied the fishing industry and in the past few years a collection of the traditional fishing boats including fifies, scaffies, zulus and yoles have been restored. Although these boats are remembered by the older generations, they are not very well known among the younger and more recent inhabitants of the Moray Firth area; a key factor behind developing the Flotilla!

  The Swan

SWAN: Overall length 67 ft.  When launched from Hay & Co.'s yard in Lerwick in 1900, the Fifie SWAN was the largest fishing boat in Shetland at the time.  Having fished until 1960 she was sold and taken south. Several owners later she was discovered at the bottom of a dock in Hartlepool. Raised and repaired sufficiently to motor home in 1990, she was rebuilt and relaunched by the Swan Trust.

  Isabella Fortuna

ISABELLA FORTUNA: Overall length 43ft.  Originally named ISABELLA, she was built by James Weir for the Arbroath fisherman John Smith, and when launched in 1890 was the largest yawl in the harbour.  Motorised in 1928 and renamed Fortuna, she ceased fishing in August 1976.  In 1980 she was restored to sail and renamed Isabella Fortuna.  Bought by the Wick Society in 1997, she is used as a pleasure craft and as an ambassador for the town.

  The Reaper

REAPER: Overall length 70 ft. The Reaper is the last authentic example of a sailing herring drifter of the Fifie type, built at Sandhaven in 1902. It was the most popular design of fishing boat on the East Coast of Scotland for the greater part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Purchased by The Scottish Fisheries Museum in 1979 and restored to her original appearance.

  White Wing

WHITE WING: Overall length 31 ft. White Wing is a Fifie Bauldie launched in Gardenstown in 1916. Owned by the Scottish Fisheries Museum and berthed at Anstruther, near the museum.

  Liberty (c) Kathy Mansfield

LIBERTY: Overall length 25ft. Built at Fraserburgh in 1935, she was small line, hand line and creel fishing along the eastern Moray Firth coast until about 1990 when she moved to Portsoy where she was used for leisure fishing. Unfortunately she was sunk in severe weather in the harbour and sold to Portsoy Maritime Heritage and restored to her original form in 1996. Liberty has attended events as far away as Arbroath and had a new engine installed in 2006 with the help of a grant from the Moray Firth Partnership.


OBAIR – NA – GHAOL: Overall Length 25 ft. A replica of the Scaffie 'Gratitude', built at Portknockie in 1896, she was built in the traditional way by Alex Slater and Sinclair Young of Portsoy Maritime Heritage over 16 months. She was launched at the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in 1996.

  The Clan Gordon

CLAN GORDON: Overall length 37ft. This Loch Fine skiff was built in Argyll in around 1911 for ring net fishing on the West Coast, where she spent her working life. She fished until the 1960s, when she was bought by the then coxswain of Aberdeen lifeboat for conversion into a pleasure vessel. In the 1980s and 1990s she was extensively restored at Granton in a manner sympathetic to her original design.

  The Black Gold

BLACK GOLD: Overall length 20 ft. A fifie yawl built by Alisdair Scott at Portsoy over the winter of 99 and spring of 2000 and launched at the 2000 Traditional Boat Festival.

  The Misty Morn

MISTY MORN: Overall length 20 ft. Misty Morn is a Cornish Shrimper owned by Roger Tushingham  from Whitby.

  An Sulaire

An Sulaire: Overall length 33 ft.  A sgoth niseach (Ness Boat) which was used in the 19th early 20th Centuries. None of the originals survive but this replica was built by John Murdo MacLeod and launched at Stornoway in December 1994.


Johanna: Overall length 72 ft.  Originally named Oxfordshire, this English Smack was built in Rye, Sussex in 1884 at the famous shipyard of James Collins Hoad. Owned for 10 years by John William Haylock, she was sold twice in 1894 - the second time to Jákup Dahl, a general merchant in Vágur, in the Faroes, joining his company's fishing fleet. At the outbreak of World War 2 most Faroese smacks changed operation to ice fish for the market in British market, where fish was in short supply.


Solan: Overall length 29 ft.  A traditional long keel cruiser, launched in 1973 at Broughty Ferry on the Tay. Built to an FBR Brown design - Brown was the founder of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and was renowned for his designs of very pleasing, sea worthy cruising yachts. Splined carvel Mahogany on Oak construction. Based at Scrabster.

  Paragon II

The Paragon II: Overall length 21 ft.  The Paragon II, is of scaffie shape, built by Millers of St Monans in 1935 She is 18ft over the decks, about 21ft when you add on the bowsprit and rudder. Powered by sail (gunter rigged sloop) and oar. Construction is clinker larch on oak.