Visit the official Shetland boat week website: The first Shetland boat week
So, these drawings were completed quite some time ago now! Better late than never I guess!
Well, apologies for not posting anything for several months, it is the count down until my PhD funding ends, so, I am just focusing on writing the thesis, and tying-up research loose ends. One of which is the last boat I am documenting for the PhD called “Ann” LK15 a fourareen built by Laurence Goodlad in Lerwick in 1899. I measured the boat last week and started to draw her yesterday evening. I will post the drawings once they are completed in a couple of weeks.
This for me is a wonderful photograph taken in the early 1900’s. The fourern in the photo belonged to James Aitken, and was built by Da Houllsie (John Inkster of Houlls) at the dock at north Houlls. Of note in this photo is the fact that the mast is raised, Laurina says that whenever possible boats would sail from Burra to Quarff. The mast being stepped in the centre of the boat means that it was squaresail rigged. The sail can be seen rigged to the yard which is lying in the boat, forward of the mast. This along with the rudder being shipped suggests that the boat was sailed from Burra to Quarff. Obviously there is not a breath of wind in this photo, so the oars are near the kebs ready for use (perhaps the wind died on the way across and James rowed).
If you look carefully at the oars you will see the lovely long and slender blades. There is no spine on either face of the oar blades, which was normal practise in Shetland up until recent times. Having no spine on the face of the blades means that they will have been flexible, rather like the oars found in the region of Bjørnefjord, south of Bergen in Western Norway. Also of interest is the rudder stock which unlike Shetland boats of more recent times does not have a curved headstock (the curve allows easy shipping and removal of the helm).
A chap called Tom Edwards contacted me about a boat he has recently acquired, and he wanted to know some more about it. I am pretty certain this is a Jimmy Smith boat, may have even been built by one of his apprentices: Jack Duncan, Robbie Tait or Alan Moncrieff.
So, this is Tom’s story about this boat.
“My brother and I bought a skiff from a man on the Isle of Barra which is marked with a plate ‘Allcraft Lerwick’. The boat is about 16ft long stem to stern and came with a gunter rig and two oars, it’s in pretty poor condition. The boat is now in Edinburgh.
I have been told that the boat, which has no name, was bought in the 60s from Lerwick by an artist couple from London who visited Barra every summer. They used to sail with the local Doctor (Dr Hill) who also had the same type of boat, also bought directly from Lerwick, and were sufficiently impressed that they bought their own. I understand that the doctor’s boat has been restored and is owned by his family on the Isle of Seil. Our boat went through three hands on the Isle of Barra before it came to us. Most of this information came from the widow of Dr Hill who I believe is in her eighties.
We have discovered that it might have been made by Jimmy Smith and would be interested to know more about this boat.”
Tom Edwards, Edinburgh
These are the completed drawings of this lovely boat.