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Nil Desperandum

Volunteers remove the mast from the Nil Desperandum - Photo: Shetland Amenity Trust

WORK is under way to safeguard an iconic Shetland fishing boat after a sufficient number of volunteers pledged their time and commitment.

The Nil Desperandum, a 63 year old seine netter, has been berthed at the restored Hay’s Dock, in Lerwick, for several years after the vessel was gifted to Shetland Amenity Trust by retired fisherman James Wiseman.

On Monday, several volunteers were on hand to assist in dismantling the vessel’s mast, which will shortly be followed by the removal of the heavy winches.

Volunteers Peter Chroston and Tim Senften working on the Nil Desperandum - Photo: Shetland Amenity Trust

Built for the Ministry of Defence in 1947, the wooden vessel was purchased by the Wiseman family in 1951 and used for fishing the local waters for the next half a century.

Following a successful request for volunteers Shetland Amenity Trust has now drawn up a plan to carry out essential repairs with a view to having her fully restored and open to the public.

A cover will be fitted to enable the volunteers to carry out repairs to the deck and deck beams while protecting the boat from deteriorating further. This work will continue over the winter months.

Coordinating the repairs is Peter Chroston, a boat builder with 25 years of experience in the restoration and the building of wooden boats.

He is supported by Tim Senften, a retired teacher originally from Ohio in America.

“I like the identity of old boats and feel that it’s an important heritage point for people to identify with their past,” Senften said.

The amenity trust is keen to recruit a few more volunteers. Anyone interested in the work should contact the trust’s deputy manager Alan Blain on 01595 694688.

Nil Desperandum at Hays' Dock on Tuesday - Photo: Hans J Marter/ShetNews