Historic vessel resumes her restoration

Long-anticipated work to restore the hull of the historic Maggie Helen has started, Shetland Museum and Archives has said.

A shipbuilding crew from Brittany and England from traditional sailing vessel The Swallow will begin the work.

Once work is finished the former fishing boat, built by Hay & Co in 1904, will move south to be completed.

Curator Dr Ian Tait said: “We are delighted to see this team of skilled shipwrights arrive in Shetland to embark on the next restoration phase of the Maggie Helen.

“After many years as a working fishing boat, then later as a yacht, the vessel had fallen into disuse.”

The 13-metre long vessel was designed by John Shewan.

Her hull was carvel built with larch planking, oak frames and a redwood deck fastened with iron nails. She has a pointed bow, a plumb straight stem and a Zulu stern.

Dr Tait added: “We’re pleased to have secured a commitment from the Swallow crew to take on the considerable cost and work required to bring the Maggie Helen back to her former glory.

“Once work is done, the vessel will leave Shetland for completion further afield, to take up a working life especially along the west coast of Britain and in France.”


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