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Small boats in Shetland


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I'm trying to find as much information as I can regarding owning a small boat in Shetland (motor cruiser/inshore fishing etc.) and wondered if anyone can point me in the right direction please?

 

I've heard there are day skipper courses that can be done as evening classes (Perhaps at the NAFC?)

 

I need to learn about the local waters so any advice I can get would be greatly appreciated.

 

Hoping to berth in East Voe, Scalloway if I can.

 

Thanks in advance!

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The day skipper course is great, but i think you'll find most small boat users haven't been on it and the majority have no intention of doing so either. It's not a legal requirement, though commendable if you want to go for it.

 

Buying a chart would be a good step (or photocopying one though i couldn't condone that :wink:) Getting it laminated or vac-packed is a good idea too.

 

Getting a berth in the marina would make life easy for you, if you can get one. Laying a mooring of your own would be a second, more traditional option. Fairly straightforward and reliant on common sense.

 

Getting to know your way around the isles can be done with caution without a chart. It is only in recent years that many boats would carry such a thing. Heck, even a decent OS map will give you all the info you need for day cruising. The waters off Scalloway contain few hidden hazards which only really become deadly when it's flat calm as you can see the water breaking on them most of the time.

 

Essential to have a compass though, i'd never leave the shore without one now, though did almost daily in youth. Carrying flares is the responsible thing to do and a VHF radio is a nice bit of peace of mind. It also helps for finding out where the fish are, even if you are just eavesdropping on scan mode. :wink:

 

I could rattle on a lot more but it's dependent on your knowledge and proposed usage and type of boat. (echo sounders and the like)

If it's your first boat, i'd say don't buy an overly fast one, much easier to get to grips with something solid at a moderate speed. And much cheaper to run too. :wink:

[edit] Top priority rule! Always wave at other boat users in passing, you never know when you might need them.

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Guest Anonymous

^^^^

Some good advice there.

I would add lifejackets, to the list of essentials. And I would recommend carrying a camera with you. I've taken some stunning pictures from a boat, and also regretted many times that I didn't have a camera, especially when I came across Killer Whales, and White Sided Dolphins.

 

Although it can be difficult to get a permanent berth in some of the Marinas, without going on a waiting list, there are often temporary berths available for hire on a weekly or monthly basis.

Best fishing out from Scalloway, in my opinion, is the Haddock Sands near Reawick. That's even marked on OS maps. Cod, Haddock, Whiting, and a few other less edible species. That area is about 5 mile from Scalloway, used to take me about 15 minutes. But even with a slower boat it's a worthwhile trip because the scenery among the small islands is fantastic.

 

Anyway, the main thing about a boat is having fun, while getting fish which you know is fresh. :D

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Thank you both very much for your valuable advice, much appreciated. It's something I've promised myself since moving back to Shetland, we started the Navigation classes at school, back in the 80's which gave me a taste. Sailed a little whilst South but I think the motor/fishing combination appeals more nowadays.

 

Thanks again folks, much food for thought.

 

:-)

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Try to get a few runs out with an experienced local boater/angler and they will be able to give advice on where to go/avoid. Boat handling requires practice, most boats turn better one way rather than the other and going astern can be 'difficult' as some can steer going astern and others have a mind of their own :!:

Filter diesel fuel as you fill the tank, old nylon stockings are good for this :D , Learn how to bleed air from the fuel lines. A diesel engine will run forever on clean fuel and air.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Try and get a berth in the marina ive had various boats ranging from rowing/small outboard lying on beach, 16ft day boat tied on mooring below house, trailerd inflatable and now a day angler lying in lerwick marina and i have too say marina is best option for peace of mind if nothing else have the boat on a mooring in rough weather can be worrying (she was always there in the morning lol)

 

I know fees for lerwick are 10 a mnth if you want what they call a winter bearth which is usally someones berth leased out while they arent using it i was in one for a year was worth the money!! of course better buy a full time which i have now but waiting lists are usally long!

 

scalloway def best for fishing but there are a few underwater rocks best peice of equip u can carry is a gps and a chart and get a fishfinder as this tells u depth. all three could be got for around £300

 

Boating in pricy no matter what kind of boat u buy as marine parts esp for outboards can be expensive however buy a decent one in the beginning and save yourself a lot of heartache plus you have reliablity

 

the likes of scalloway is a good place too start as many boat users there and at least if u did break down in the channel a passing salmon boat etc will always help of course your expected if able too help someone also hence the remark too waveing too everyone (plus its nice too be nice) as u never know when you will need them!

 

Also stay withing your limits untill your comfortable tootle around harbour etc untill confident too go out furthur

 

Wouldnt advise dayskipper as its more for yachtys i would say good course which i have done is powerboat courses as the teach practial boat handling and theroy at a fraction of the cost of dayskipper!

 

Good luck and many happy times can be had on the water!

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  • 3 years later...
Try to get a few runs out with an experienced local boater/angler and they will be able to give advice on where to go/avoid. Boat handling requires practice, most boats turn better one way rather than the other and going astern can be 'difficult' as some can steer going astern and others have a mind of their own :!:

Filter diesel fuel as you fill the tank, old nylon stockings are good for this :D , Learn how to bleed air from the fuel lines. A diesel engine will run forever on clean fuel and air.

 

Great advice Heimdal, if you can get out with someone that is experienced then you will definately benefit as they will tell you all the areas to look out for. I went for a while without doing a day skipper course but I did have experience in the areas that I visited so all was fine, however, the day skipper is an excellent course and will make you far more aware of what to do and how to read charts properly (planning routes, tides, boat lights/shapes, buoys, entering harbours etc) it definately gave me more confidence.

 

If you don't do the day skipper course, then the minimum i would recommend are some charts, plotter, compass, vhf and some spares for the engine e.g belts, filters, lifejackets are an absolute must and flares.

 

I would not recommend photocopies of charts as they are nowhere near as clear to read unless colour. If it's black and white you'd spend most of the time trying to distinguish whats sea and whats land. (sounds silly i know but try it if you want)

 

 

Also, if you don't have knowledge of local areas, the charts and plotter are unbeatable as some of the voe's have rocks near the entrance which can't be seen unless the tide is right. For example, whiteness is a bit of a dogs leg to get into. So, you would check on the plotter and cross reference on the chart to make sure your not missing anything (or missing everything i probably should say).

 

If you do decide to buy a boat then can be worrying going out with no experience, but once you know the areas, you will definately have some of the best times ever with scenery, fishing, wildlife etc.

 

Best wishes ,and i'd still recommend doing the day skipper course.

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