History / Hanging boats removed from museum due to ‘safety issues’

The space where the boats once hung. Photo: Shetland News

THE WOODEN boats that were hanging from the ceiling in the Shetland Museum are now in storage because of safety concerns.

The five traditional boats are now in storage after the safety issue became apparent as part of a scheduled maintenance programme, according to Shetland Amenity Trust’s cultural heritage manager Jacqui Birnie.

Among those hung up were a traditional fourareen and a drag boat.

They were removed from the four-storey space by specialist riggers from the mainland.

A spokesperson for Shetland Amenity Trust, which operates the museum, told Shetland News: “The traditional boats which were suspended in the Shetland Museum’s boat hall have been brought down, due to safety issues.

“We are exploring alternative options for the space, including installations with a maritime focus.

“At Shetland Museum and Archives the care and preservation of the collection is our priority; as such these boats are currently being stored.

“As part of our ongoing review of improvements to the museum we are looking at ways to develop the permanent display space for all the boats to make them more widely accessible to everyone.


“The review will involve consultation with interested individuals and groups and is due to be completed by autumn 2023.”

The museum is also looking into displaying them in the boat shed during the Tall Ships visit next month.

The plan is to put the boats back up in the future, but the team are needing time to work through the best way of rigging them up again.

The Boat Hall has hosted a range of events over the years, from weddings to concerts. This picture shows the hanging boats above a gig back in 2016. Photo: Davie Gardner

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.