“Kelpie” Another halv yoal, Sandwick

“Kelpie” minus her keel and boddamrunner (garboard) missing


“Kelpie” is a four-oared boat, but, is the same size as the “Phar-Lapp” and so could be easily converted to a six-oared boat.


The outboard bracket to take a seagull outboard which was added by John Irvine. The folk in the background are: Dr Ian Tait, Davy Johnson & Brian Wishart.

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky to be shown a lovely halv yoal called “Kelpie”. The boat belongs to Davy Johnson. “Kelpie” originally was the Laird’s boat and the boat was given by Mrs Valmai Bruce to Malcolm Smith. Davy acquired “Kelpie” when it seemed the boat was about to be burned. Continue reading ““Kelpie” Another halv yoal, Sandwick”


Documenting the “Phar-Lapp”, a peerie yoal.

The “Phar-Lapp” amongst the other museum boats.
The boat ready for documenting.
The strange aft stem. I have no idea why there is a chunk missing from the aft stem!
The fore-stem, I am assuming with the original wooden keel band, there is an iron band on top of this one (the end of the metal band can be seen at the bottom of the photo).
One of the kabes with a modern stainless steel thole pin.
Rudder and tiller.
The oars, these are of different length to take into account the different widths of boat at each rowing position.


This week I documented a rare kind of Dunrossness boat, termed a “peerie yoal”, which along with the rest of the collection not on display has recently moved to their new home (the new boat store, Staney Hill).  The information in this blog post has been kindly provided by Laurie Goodlad, Collections Assistant, Shetland Museum & Archives. 

Boat “Phar Lap”, white hull, blue gunwales, cream inside, blue tafts with circular cream sectrion in the middle and red tilfers.  She has 6 oars, 3 tafts, 6 tilfers, 2 nameplates and 6 metal kabes.  She is in need of a paint up. This boat was built by Geordie Eunson, Punds, Eastshore around 1890s.  Was laterly LK 203.

Bought for £8 by Harry Young (Braeview, Virkie) c.1940.  Left to donor (Harry’s son) in 1944.  Sold to G. Eunson (Exnaboe) 1952 for £15; thought that he put LK 203 on her.  Sold to B. Smith (Bressay) c.1972, sold to Young in 1974 for £30. 

Won every longship race and Lerwick regatta rowing race that she was in 1979/80. (Sometimes against two dozen boats). 

Named by Harry Young after famous Australian racehourse Phar Lap. 

Original colour = dark green topsides, white below. fir ran inside.  Briefly had iron mast step in 1940s.  Iron tholes original since 1940s at least – thought kebs originally (Steel tholes recent, c.1990). 1940s at least – thought kebs originally (Steel tholes recent, c.1990)

 LOA 19ft 10 inches.

I am really looking forward to drawing the boat during the next week or two.