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“Venus”, a Shetland fourareen (with base)

“Venus”, a Shetland fourareen (with base)

Built in 1898 on Foula, one of the most remote islands in the Shetland archipelago, this traditional fishing vessel (known in the Shetland as a ‘fourareen’) was made from pieces of driftwood.

The crofter who built “Venus” used boat building techniques that had been passed down from generation to generation and were similar to those used by Vikings on their Longboats. “Venus” would have been used by the crofter to catch fish and collect flotsam and jetsam from the sea.

In 1964 it was bought by Paul Earling Johnstone who gave it a deck and tiny cabin and a Bermudan yawl rig, converting it into a yacht. He used it for long distance ocean sailing (including a single-handed trip across the Atlantic in 1965) and it remained in storage in Savannah until 1982, when it became part of the collections of the Scottish Maritime Museum.

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