Meeting to discuss future of Pilot Us

A meeting will be held next week to discuss the future of historic fishing boat Pilot Us.

It comes as the Shetland Museum holds a review of its maritime collection.

The museum is extending an invitation to anyone with an interest in the vessel to attend the meeting, planned for next Monday.

It is hoped Shetland Amenity Trust, which is responsible for the upkeep of the vessel, can explore the “longer-term best options” for the vessel.

In recent years the vessel, which dates back to 1931 but has been berthed at Hay’s Dock for several years, has been at the centre of attention from online enthusiasts keen to see her given a new lease of life.

Pilot Us was built from wood by Willie MacKay Forbes of Sandhaven, and spent much of her early years as a duty boat in Scapa Flow in Orkney during the Second World War.

She was involved in the rescue of survivors from the Royal Oak after the battleship was torpedoed by a U-boat.

She first came to Shetland in 1948 when she was bought by brothers Joseph and Magnus Watt of Scalloway, better known as Dodo and Ninky, for the grand sum of £1,200.

It was widely believed that the Watts would never manage to pay her off, but she grossed £600 in her first year and was fully paid off within three.

She was originally powered by a 30hp Kelvin diesel engine before being re-engined with a 48hp Gardner engine in 1950 and then a 56hp Gardner in 1968.


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