Boats

The Boat Hall tracks the development of boats in Shetland, from their Scandinavian roots to the present day. Look out through the full length windows to see boats from the floating collection in Hay’s Dock.

The indoor display offers dramatic views from both the lower and upper galleries, with boats suspended up to 14 metres in the air.

Themes in this zone include: The use of boats for transport, fishing and pleasure, how landowners forced their tenants to fish, and methods of fishing and boat-handling.

Highlights include:

  • The last original sixareen (six-oared boat) – which waited nearly 50 years to be displayed. It was used as the basis of the design for the new sixareen – ‘Vaila Mae’ which the Museum and Archives built in 2008, and can be seen in the dock.
  • Grøtti kettle – this huge cauldron, used to melt fish livers, shows the scale of the fishing industry 150 years ago.
  • Innovative use of materials such as pigskin to make buoys and floats.