Traditional boat event returns again

Scotland’s biggest gathering of traditional boats returns to Portsoy, Aberdeenshire, this year as the 17th annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival takes place on June 26 and 27.

The festival celebrates traditional boats, local produce and flok and shanty singers, with the event’s main marquee dedicated to GalGael Trust, who work with local people to rekindle a sense of community and purpose and skills, such as rigging and boat building.

The Festival will also be the location for one of the first gatherings of the St Ayles Skiffs, a 22ft boat developed for the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project by The Scottish Fisheries Museum, which aims to encourage communities to get involved in boat building and rowing.

Several boat building projects taking place around Scotland, including the Portsoy Faering Project team, will attend the festival to sail their skiffs.

Roger Goodyear, chairman of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival said: ‘Since the Boat Festival was launched 17 years ago it has grown in stature and has become much more than a celebration of the breadth and diversity of traditional sailing and fishing. It blends together age old crafts, music and traditional values with maritime culture.

‘The craft demonstrations we held last year were so popular that we have expanded the range of displays this year, the GalGael Trust is known for engaging with the community to build and sail traditional boats and there is no better fit than the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival.’

Entry to the festival is £8 for adults, £5 for concessions and children aged 5-15 with under fives going free.