The metamorphosis of the Norwegian model of boat into the Shetland model of boat: an analysis of the literature.

Rowing a Norwegian faering off North Ness c.1904

Rowing a Norwegian færing off North Ness C. 1904. Photo: Shetland Museum and Archives.


Understanding how, when and why the Norwegian boat model metamorphosed into the Shetland boat model is very important in determining the evolutionary process of the open boats of Shetland. These boats, to the untrained eye, look very similar to each other, but their hull forms are in fact quite different.

Within this discussion seminal works are analysed and evaluated in an attempt to determine:

  1. a date for the metamorphosis between the Norwegian and Shetland models;
  2. and a determination of the influencing factors on the hull form and design of the Shetland boat.

Relevant examination of the boat operating conditions and the trading relationship with Norway are used to assist in answering these two questions.


Shetland boat definition

Broadly, the types of boats are known individually as:

  • the Fair Isle yole;
  • the Ness yole;
  • the fourern or  fourareen or  foureen and
  • the sixern or sixareen.

Collectively these boats are known as the Shetland model. There are other Shetland boat variations that are considered members of the Shetland model family, but they fall outside the parameters of this Norwegian to Shetland model metamorphosis, and so are not discussed within this paper.

  Fair Isle Yoals alongside their noosts (Peterson, J) c.1940's

 Fair Isle Yoals alongside their noosts (Peterson, J) C. 1940’s. Photo: Shetland Museum and Archives.

 Ness Yoal (1920's) Ivy LK 237

Ness Yoal (1920’s) Ivy LK 237. Photo: Shetland Museum and Archive.


   Fourareen from Burra to pick up passengers. (Smith, J. H.) C. 1910’s. Quarff. Photo:  Shetland Museum and Archive.

Noost at Voe, Sixern LK225 Hope, LK794, Active, Ness yoals behind. c.1905, Dunrossness (Fotheringham, W)

Noost at Voe, sixern, LK 225, Hope, LK 794, Active. Ness yoals infront. C.1905, Dunrossness (Fotheringham). Photo: Shetland Museum and Archive.


 What is the significance of this boat transformation?

The evolution of the ‘generic’ Shetland model was tangibly linked to the boat’s purpose, the function or work that it was intended to perform. The boats purpose or function(s) as Osler (1983: 13) and McKee (1984:19) suggest are also tangibly linked to the geographical location that the boat operates in, the type of waters in which the boat works which could, for example be:

  • lake;
  • river;
  • estuary;
  • sheltered coastal;
  • exposed coastal and or
  • open sea.

As well as these operating conditions, consideration needs to be given to where the boat is kept when it is not being used. This is dependent upon the geography of the coast, for example; are there good natural harbours to provide a sheltered safe haven? Or is the coastline exposed with a few sheltered beaches? McKee (1984) succinctly states that:

“Before a boat can operate, she must have come to terms with the limitations imposed by the climate, land and seascape”. (19).

As well as the factors already discussed, boat development is also determined by technological, social, economic and cultural factors which influence the design and construction of the actual boat itself. McKee (1984: 17) proposes that before boats can be developed there has to be a need for the boat in the first instance with the availability of appropriate waters, boatbuilding skills and materials.

Putting McKee’s proposition into a Shetland context it is easy, first of all, to determine the need for a boat, as Shetland is an archipelago of approximately 100 islands. This naturally means that for transport and fishing purposes owning, of having access to a boat will have been a prerequisite requirement for living in Shetland.

McKee’s notion of appropriate waters is of extreme importance in Shetland’s case, as this archipelago, 100 miles in length is divided vertically north and south by the North Atlantic Ocean on the west coast and the North Sea on the east. The meeting of seas at either end of the island chain, combined with Shetlands underwater topography, manifests in a confluence of water creating dangerous tide races and overfalls, known locally as roosts.

Buchanan (2009: 3) describes the Shetland isles as lying on the 60o parallel and because the north Atlantic drift runs up the west coast the climate is temperate for its latitudinal position. Shetland’s position however lies on the north Atlantic winter depression track which means that winter gales are very frequent and are accompanied by very large seas and large amounts of cyclonic rainfall (Goodlad 1971: 6).

As previously mentioned headlands in the south and the north of the islands play host to powerful tidal streams, the most notorious being the Sumburgh roost off the tip of Sumburgh head in south mainland. Here the tide runs at four knots during neap tides and at seven knots during spring tides. This strong tidal race when combined with an opposing wind creates a maelstrom of confused seas three miles wide (March, 1970: 32). These tidal conditions on Fair Isle and at Sumburgh led to the development of the yole, a specialist boat designed for these waters Sandison (1954: 11).

In terms of McKee’s proposition that boat building skills and materials need to be available before boats can be developed brings us to Shetland’s longstanding boat trading relationship with Norway. The fact that historically all the materials and boatbuilding skills have been located in this Scandinavian country is, as shall be discussed in the next section of this paper, of extreme importance to the eventual development of the Shetland model.

As well as these practical boat-trading matters, Shetland has a long cultural relationship with Scandinavia, and in particular Norway. This relationship dates back to around 800 AD when Shetland began to be settled by Norwegian Vikings. Shetland was of strategic importance to the Vikings as this archipelago lies on the middle of the Viking trading road that ran from South West Norway across to Orkney and Shetland then to the Færoes, Iceland and then Greenland (Sandison, 1954: 1).

The trading and cultural relationship with Norway continued long after 1469, when king Christian I of Denmark, mortgaged his rights and lands in Shetland and Orkney to King James III of Scotland. This mortgage was in lieu of a dowry payment for the marriage of King Christian’s daughter, Margaret, to the king James III.


 Shetland is a place of Norwegian Viking ancestry.

South Western Norway lies 204 nautical miles due east of Shetland and is just over two days sail away. When the Norwegian Vikings settled in Shetland they will have brought their small wooden, clinker or lapstrake open boats with them. These boats are known as the færing and seksæring and are recognised as being the fore runners of the fourern and sixern. The boat nomenclature of færing and seksæring, and in Shetland, fourern and sixern simply mean four oared and six oared boats.

McKee (1984: 18) describes two influencing factors on boat design that are pertinent in analysing the metamorphosis from the Norwegian to the Shetland model of boat. These two factors are:

  1. The influence of the design that already exists (the native influence)
  1. The influence that comes from elsewhere (the foreign influence).

An anomaly arises when using this formula in analysing Shetland boat development, as there is no historical record of the native Pictish boat that would have been in use prior to the arrival of the Vikings. As has already been discussed in the previous section of this paper, boats were an essential part of everyday life, and so there is no question that the Picts would have been accomplished boat users.

 Does this mean then, that the native influence is Norwegian rather than Shetland? Osler (1983: 15) suggests that this is the case as he asserts that the arriving Norwegians swamped the Pictish culture in every respect. This means that the ‘native’ influence is Norwegian (the place where the Shetland model originated from). The Shetland model’s subsequent development is thus a ‘foreign’ influence (meaning that the boat’s evolved to operate in Shetland specific fisheries).

This model of influencing factors has the potential to become confusing when used in this context, and so, for the purposes of this research McKee’s model has been adapted and will be known simply as the:

  1. The Norwegian influence and
  2. The Shetland influence.

Each fishery had very different sea conditions in which boats operated. This meant that the hull forms of each boat model evolved in a distinct way in order to maximise the boats efficiency for each fishery.

The fact that the færing and seksæring remained in use in Shetland for approximately 1000 years is testimony to its perfection in terms of functional design (Christensen 1968, March 1970). This fact of perfection in design is relative to the available boat building technology which supports McKee’s hypothesis that:

 “The boat design that will last is the one that proves itself in daily use, and there are examples of successful native, foreign and combined solutions in Britain”. (18)

The fourern and sixern are similar in construction to the færing and seksæring but their hull forms have evolved to be quite different. These differences will not have occurred overnight and will have developed over time as a consequence of hull form experimentation. The evolution of hull form came during a time of the expansion of the haaf and far haaf white fishery during the eighteenth century. This expansion of the white fishery Smith (2000: 71) argues was a consequence of Shetland landowners leasing their fishing rights, and their tenants, who were then obliged to fish, for the new class of merchant laird. This expansion Coull (2008) suggests lasts until the 1880’s when the herring boom took hold and the Crofters Holdings (Scotland) Act 1886 was passed which gave crofters protection under law and released them from being bound to their land and fishing masters.


Fourern and sixern ancestry

Færing and seksæring ancestry can be traced to between 600-900 AD as evidenced through the discovery in 1880 of a ship burial at Gokstad farm in Sandefjord, Norway. Within the boat burial furniture, found in the Gokstad ship were three smaller boats. Christensen (1968: 40) discusses the three boats found in the burial mound that he describes as being smashed at the time of their burial.

Two of the three boats were in good enough condition to be restored and the largest of these boats was 9.75m long with a beam of 1.86m and the height from the top of the sheer strake to the bottom of the keel was 0.6m. The smallest of the three boats was 6.5m long with a beam of 1.38m and a height amidships from the top of the sheer strake to bottom of keel of 0.5m. The construction of these boats Christensen describes as being light, the garboard thickness on the smallest boat is only 12mm with a width of 330mm. Other aspects of the build also mean that the boat was built to be light and felxible. Christensen describes these boats as being beautifully light and easy to row.

March (1970: 26) discusses the similarities between the larger of these two boats which he suggests is a direct descendent of the Sixern. This ancestral lineage is pushed even further back by Halcrow (1950: 66) who believes the Nydam boat to be the true ancestor of the sixern and which he states experts have dated to the second century AD. Christensen (1968: 20) suggests that the true  date of this boat is around 350-400 AD.

It is important to recognise the emotive, and at times, romantic relationship between Shetland and Scandinavia in respect to the origin of the Shetland boat. These romantic notions can sometimes obscure the truth, and it is prudent to recognise these differences in opinion about the Shetland boat’s precise ancestry. This ancestry can only be proven through an unbiased critical analysis and evaluation of the various hull forms.

Gokstad færing –> Oselvar færing –> Hjeltebåt –> Fourern & Sixern



  Fair Isle & Ness Yole

Table 3. The evolution of the Shetland model.


The yoles of Fair Isle and Dunrossness.

There are two further types of boat known as the Fair Isle yole and the Ness yole which have already been briefly mentioned. These two types of boat are probably the closest Shetland relatives to the Oselvar boat. This developmental relationship between the boats is confirmed by Christensen and Morrison (1976) who describe the Ness yole as being a direct descendent of the Viking færing and this then ties in with McGrail’s (1974) observation that the small færing found within the Gokstad Ship burial is very similar to the Oselvar færing (which is still built and used in South West Norway). Table 3 provides a preliminary ancestral tree for the evolution of these boats.

The Fair Isle and Ness yole, are named after the places where they were used. Fair Isle is an island some 40km southwest, off the coast of Sumburgh Head. The Ness yole’s name is shortened from Dunrossness which is a parish located in south Mainland.

Both the Fair Isle and Ness yoles operated in very difficult coastal tidal waters. These were very different operating conditions to those of the fourern and the sixern which generally operated off shore. The hull form of the yole is long with a narrow beam, and an extenuated sheer.  The yole is light and flexible in construction which Sandison (1951: 12) and Osler (1983: 79) suggest makes it ideally suited for the strong tidal waters in which it prosecuted the saithe fishing. March (1970: 47) describes the yole as an ideal pulling boat due to its low freeboard and narrow beam. He describes the building method as following that of the Vikings, in which, the boats were lightly built with only five baands that were not bolted to the keel, being instead, connected by way of rivets to the garboard strakes.

Goodlad (1971) provides an eloquent description of the sea keeping and rowing properties of the yole (yål).

“To operate in these waters the smaller boats, earlier than and contemporary with the sexærings, were built to be as “lively” as possible, with a short slack bilge to react quickly to the short waves and to prevent crests coming aboard. One of the essentials in an open boat is to keep the water out as much as possible and the Norse boat in Shetland had high flared ends to accomplish this. A high length/beam ratio gave the boats good directional stability and rowing qualities and was combined with a strong sheer and low waist.” (104).


The import of Norwegian boats to Shetland.

As discussed previously, ties with Norway date back to when the first Norwegian Vikings settled in Shetland.  This close trading relationship between Norway and Shetland is demonstrated in a speech made by the Norwegian King Sverre in 1186 in which he welcomes traders from Orkney, Shetland, Faroe and Iceland. Reid Tate and Scott (1955) put this speech into context; in this speech the German Hanseatic traders are denounced in favour of the English:

“who have come here bringing wheat and honey, flour and cloth. We desire next to mention those who have come from the Orkneys, Shetland, the Færeys or Iceland, all those who have brought here such things as make this land richer and we cannot do without”. (14).

 This welcoming speech by King Sverre is reinforced by the fact that near to Bergen there is a fjord called Hjeltefjorden (Shetland Fjord). The fact that a fjord is named after Shetland suggests not only the value Norwegians placed on trade with Shetland but also the length in time that this trading relationship had existed.

This long trading relationship possibly goes back to the reign of King Harald Fairhair when timber exports from Norway to Iceland are first recorded. Iceland, like Shetland is a treeless place and both Halcrow (1950: 67) and Thowsen(1969: 145) surmise that if timber was being exported to Iceland then it is probable that timber, and possibly boats, were also being exported to Shetland. Smith (1984) discusses the fact that during the sixteenth century some prominent Shetland landowners were wealthy enough to also own estates in Norway. The most notable of these landowners was Andrew Mowat of Ollerberry. Who also had a relative (Axel Mowat) who owned a Norwegian estate and was a timber merchant based in that country.

Thowsen(1969) and Smith (1984) examined Bergen export records dating from 1519 in which boat exports to Shetland and Scotland are listed (Table 1 and 2). Noted is a discrepancy between the two authors records and these anomalies have yet to be resolved.

Year Shetland & Orkney Ships Total Timber & Boat Exports
1597 11 080
1610 17 112
1611 11 077
1612 12 076
1613 11 087
1614 07 073
1620 07 071
1621 21 107
1624-25 19 083
1626-27 10 081

Table 1. Thowsen (1969) list of the vessels recorded as clearing the ports of Sunnhordland, Norway.

Date               Ork/Shet Ships          Scot Total Timber & Boat Exports
1597 12 41 082
1610 18 57 114
1611 12 39 076
1612 12 44 076
1614 11 43 073
1620 06 39 067
1621 19 66 107
1624 19 47 086
1627 14 62 090
1634 17 63 088
1639 12 22 035
1641 11 48 062
1642 15 66 084

Table 2. Smith (1984) Vessels clearing the ports of Sunnhordland.

These Norwegian export boats were called Hjeltebåt (Shetland boat). As mentioned previously, timber was also being imported and this timber was called Hjeltespirer (Shetland spars or planks/boards). Christensen (2009: 92) states that no one knows what the Hjeltebåt looked like but he believes that it was probably very similar to the boats being produced in South Hordaland at that time. Shetland was the biggest importer of Hjeltebåter which were also being exported to Scotland, the Western Isles and Orkney (ibid). The trade in wooden boats to Shetland lasted for around three hundred years and Osler (1983:19) suggests, through the use of anecdotal evidence, that these boats continued to be imported in very small numbers up until the 1930’s and possibly later into the 1940’s

Stuart Bruce (1914) briefly discusses the import of boats from Norway; he states:

“All Shetland boats are to the present day, clincher built,and it used formerly to be the practice to import from Norway six-oared and four-oared boats ” unset-up,” i.e., in bundles. All ready to be put together, each piece being properly numbered”. (296)

Fenton (1978) describes the practice whereby in Norway the boats were constructed and temporarily fastened. Then each part of the boat was carefully marked before the boat itself was dismantled and loaded onto the ship. Boats were also transported tupperware style, the baands and tafts being removed so boats could be stacked inside one another on deck when cargo space below deck was full.

Evidence of this tupperware style of boat transport is provided by Nicholson (1982) who through his analysis of the records from Hay and Company tells of a trip made in 1847 by Captain James Ollason who was sent to Bergen by Hay and Company for a cargo of boats from 19-20 feet of keel. The orders were to fill the hold with crooked timbers of fir and oak for building boats from the size of willies to herring boats.

“He was also instructed to obtain a quantity of boat scoops, ladles, platters and milking kits to store in the cabin, forecastle and forehold. Finally to ensure that no space was wasted, every crevice in the hold was to be filled with birch bark which was used in the tanning of herring nets. Even this was not considered sufficient cargo since Captain Ollason was told to take a deck cargo of “upset” boats, 10, 11 and 12 feet long of keel, Carpenter James Arcus was sent as supercargo and he was told to remove the timbers from the “upset” boats after first numbering them carefully so that the boats could stand one within another as compact as possible.” (33).

Man rowing faering in Bressay Sound

Man rowing a færing in Bressay Sound. Photo: Shetland Museum and Archive.


The metamorphosis of the Norwegian model to the Shetland model of boat.

Smith (1978) discusses the import of boats from Norway during the middle of the eighteenth century and he states that the main type was 12-20 foot of keel and that these Norwegian export boats were a specialised item built specifically for the haaf fishery.

“These boats seem to have been constructed to specified designs adapted for Shetland conditions and were somewhat different in detail from comparable Norwegian boats. The two basic types were the four-oared fourern and the six-oared sixern.” (25).

Smith goes on to suggest that from 1790 the increase in timber imports coincides with the development of Lerwick which begins from about 1780. At this time the locus for timber export moves away from Bergen to the timber ports of South Eastern Norway, particularly Kristinansand.

Thownsen (1969) states that the absence of wood and boat imports as a result of the blockade by the English of Norwegian ports during the Napoleonic wars between 1807 and 1814 lead Shetlanders to begin building their own boats. These early home built boats were not liked by the Shetland fishermen who contemptuously called them ‘deal boats’. The fishermen stated that they preferred the Norwegian boats instead and they viewed these Shetland built boats with disdain (ibid). To be fair to the boatbuilders this lack of appreciation of their efforts would have been at least partly due to the lack of wood, which possibly was also of poor quality. Once the English blockade had been lifted in 1814 the boat and timber trade once again resumed with Norway and it is not clear how boatbuilding in Shetland proceeded from this point.

The progression from the Norwegian to the Shetland model is discussed by Sandison and Sandison (1954: 293) who cite Hibbert (1817) who describes the boats at the Fethaland fishing Station as being ‘a fleet of yawls’. Hibbert states that the frames for these boats were cut out in Norway and imported to Shetland making boats of between 18 to 19 foot of keel with a six foot beam. The authors point out that these dimensions are near yole size rather than that of a sixern. This points to these boats being of the færing type. However the authors suggest that when the Færoese Ployen visited Shetland in 1839 the Norwegian model had by then been replaced by the sixern:

“…and though he notes particularly the three-man yoles that met them as they approached Lerwick from the south, and their similarity to the boats used in the Færoes, he makes no such remarks with regard to the boats at the same station of Fethaland, and it seems probable that by this time the new type of boat had largely replaced those imported from Norway”. (293).

Goodlad (1970) discusses the sail handling and rig type that is unique to the Shetland sixern. He describes the sail as being modified from a traditional square sail, as used in Norway, to an asymmetric sail with a higher peak. This was combined with modifications to the way the sails luff was rigged to the sixerns bow. This modification greatly increased the windward sailing performance of the sixern. Goodlad notes a comment made by the Færoese, Ployen in 1839:

“Many a Færoese boat, which has been lost, would have been saved if the Shetland method of handling sail at sea had been known and used”. (106).

 Ployen’s admiration of the Shetland method of sail handling further reinforces Sandison and Sandison’s (ibid) assumption that the Shetland model was in existence by 1839 and is further reinforced by Sandision (2005) who states:

“When Ployen visited Shetland in 1839 this new type had largely replaced the Norway yawls, for he says, “the ordinary fishing boats are of the size of eight manned boats with us (Faroe), but considerably broader, and rowed by six  men”. (27).

 This metamorphosis from Norwegian to Shetland model is further supported by Thownsen’s (1969) observation that the Norwegian County Prefect’s 1836-40 official report states that boatbuilders in Tysnes are constructing some larger boats called Jæltebaade. This then suggests that the Shetland sixern was being built in Norway from 1836.

It is an accepted fact that the Norwegian boat exports to Shetland were mainly from the towns of Os and Tysnes located on the mouth of the Oselvar river in South Western Norway. Not surprisingly, boats from this region are called Oselvar færings or Oselvar boats and consequently it has always been assumed that the main influence on boat design is from this region of southwest Norway. This notion of a South Western Norwegian design influence is questioned by Christensen (2014) who suggests, that, there are actually greater similarities between the later Shetland models and the boats from eastern Norway. Currently there is no material evidence to support this hypothesis. However, as discussed, the earlier suggestion by Smith (1978) that the regional emphasis in the timber trade that moved from South West Norway to South Eastern Norway in about 1790 gives weight to Christensen’s observation, suggesting the possibility, that Shetland boats of this time were influenced in design from those boats from Eastern Norway.

The influence on the Shetland model design from eastern Norway is as yet an unexplored path that will have to be investigated as part of the Author’s on going research into the Shetland model. Christensen’s revelation leads the debate back to McKee’s influencing factors on boat design discussed earlier in this paper. These two influencing factors, the first being the native; the one that already exists and the second being the foreign; which comes from elsewhere might help elucidate the influences which have resulted in the evolution of the Shetland model.

It is clear from the evidence that from 1853 Shetland was becoming self-sufficient in boat building although the wood was still coming from Norway. Nicholson (1982) provides evidence of this in the from of an 1853 letter from Hay and Company to Alexander Grieg who was instructed:

“…. to prepare another cargo of boats and also select a part cargo of fir crooks for boat building “as many parties here will not use the Norway boats but think that they can build them cheaper themselves.” (33).

This then suggests that price was an issue for the Shetland fishermen and may have been an influencing factor in the further development of the Shetland model and Shetland boat building.



The purpose of this analysis of the literature has been to determine how, when and why the Norwegian boat model metamorphosed into the Shetland boat model. Through discussion and evaluation of the evidence it is possible to tentatively date the departure from the pure Norwegian model to the Shetland model as taking place between 1750 and 1836.

1750 predates the beginning of home built boats in Shetland and suggests that the Shetland model departed from the Norwegian model before 1807. The date of 1807 needs to be put in context with the suggestion of Smith (1978) that the specialised Shetland boat item was actually being constructed in Norway from the middle of the eighteenth century. This then moves the birth of the Shetland model of boat back to around 1750 and this date very loosely coincides with the growth of the haaf fishery.  This date of 1750 does not however tally with Hibbert’s observations at the Fethaland fishing station where he states that the boats there were “a fleet of Yawls” (Sandison and Sandison, 1954: 293).

The expansion of the haaf fishery is known to have begun from around 1780. By this time boats were operating thirty miles off shore and by 1800 they were fishing up to fifty miles offshore. It therefore seems likely that by 1780 and definitely by 1800 that bigger boats of the sixern type will have been required. The dating of the beginning of the Shetland model at present remains unresolved but the date of between 1750 and 1807 provides a starting point for future research.

The modified model of McKee’s (1984) influencing factors has proven helpful in considering the Norwegian and Shetland influences on the development of the Shetland boat which are not yet fully understood.  These influencing factors are known to be South Western Norwegian but there are possibly other Eastern Norwegian and Scandinavian factors that need to be investigated. The fact that the timber export trade moved to south east Norway about 1790 provides a starting point for further investigation.



 Buchanan, G. (2009) Shetland Islands Pilot. Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson Ltd. St. Ives, Cambridgeshire.

Christensen, A, E. (1968) Boats of the North. Det Norske Samlaget. Oslo.

Christensen, A, E. (2009) Cultural Vegbok of Oslo. Oslo 1993/2009. Oslo.

Christensen, A, E. (2014) Hjeltebåt questions, please can you help? [email] to Chivers, M. [08 January, 2014].

R. Stuart Bruce (1914) The Shetland Sixern. The Mariner’s Mirror, 4:9, 289-300.

Coull, J, R. (2008)  White Fishing. In Scottish Life and Society. A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology. Boats, Fishing and the Sea. Vol 4. Birlinn Ltd, Edinburgh (253-276).

Fenton, A. (1978) The Northern Isles: Orkney and Shetland. John Donaldson Publishing. Edinburgh.

Goddlad, C, A. (1971) The Shetland Fishing Saga. Shetland Times Ltd. Lerwick.

Halcrow, A. (1950) The Sail Fishermen of Shetland, and their Norse and Dutch Forerunners. Lerwick.

Nicholson, J, R. (1982) Hay & Company Merchants in Shetland. Hay & Company, Lerwick.

March, E, J, (1970) Inshore Craft of Great Britain in the Days of Sail and Oar. Vol 1. David Charles, Newton Abbot.

McKee, E. (1983) Working Boats of Britain. Their Shape and Purpose. Conway Maritime Press, London.

McGrail, S. (1974) The Building and Trials of the Replica of an Ancient Boat: The Gokstad Faering. Part 1. Building the Replica. Maritime Monographs and Reports. No. 11. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Morrison, I, A. (1978) Aspects of Viking Small Craft in the Light of Shetland Practice. ed. by. Baldwin, J, R. Edinburgh. Scottish Society for Northern Studies, 57-75.

Osler, A, G. (1983) The Shetland Boat South Mainland and Fair Isle. Maritime Monographs and reports No58, National Maritime Museum, London.

Reid Tate, E, S, Scot, F,S, A. (1955)  Some Notes on the Hanseatic Trade. The Shetland Times Ltd. Lerwick.

Sandison, C. (2005) The Sixareen and Her racing Descandants. Facsimile Edition. The Shetland Times, Ltd. First Edition (1954) T. & J. Manson, Lerwick.

 Sandison, C, Sandison, D. (1954) ‘The Shetland Boat’. In The Viking Congress Lerwick, July 1950, ed. Simpson, D, W. Oliver Boyd, Edinburgh.

Smith, B. (2000) Toons and Tenants Settlement and society in Shetland, 1299-1899. The Shetland Times Ltd. Lerwick.

 Smith, H, D (1978) ‘The Scandinavian Influence in the Making of Shetland’, in Scandinavian Shetland. An ongoing Tradition? Scottish Society for Northern Studies, ed, Baldwin, J, R. Edinburgh, 23-40.

 Smith. H. D (1984) Shetland Life and Trade 1550-1914. John Donald Publshers Ltd, Edinburgh.

Thowsen, A. (1969) ‘The Norwegian Export of Boats to Shetland, and its Influence Upon Shetland Boat Building and Usage’. In Norwegian Yearbook of Maritime History. ed. Peterson, L.; Thowsen, A. Bergen- Sjøfartshistrisk  Årbok, 145-208.

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