The restoration

The damage to the swan was greater than first thought. What started off as extensive repairs became a rebuilding exercise. She needed a new keel, new bilge stringers, and all her decks were to be renewed. It was also discovered that her nails had rusted away. So, a decision was taken to replace all of the planking. In retrospect this was one of the best decisions taken, as it allowed necessary changes to be made to make the ship comply as a passenger vessel.

Skilled carpenters undertook the work through the summer of 1992. After many months of hard labour, the swan was once again ready to take to water on Saturday 16th April 1994. A proud day for all of the committee and workmen.

If you’d like to know more about the history or restoration, look out for 'The Swan - Shetland's legacy of sail' by James R. Nicolson, available from the Shetland Times Bookshop - both online and from the shop in Lerwick.

  • The SWAN lying desolate in Harlepool  » Click to zoom ->

    The SWAN lying desolate in Harlepool

  • Lifted out of the water  » Click to zoom ->

    Lifted out of the water

  • Initial renovation, undertaken by Keith Parkes, begins  » Click to zoom ->

    Initial renovation, undertaken by Keith Parkes, begins

  • Rotten sections are removed  » Click to zoom ->

    Rotten sections are removed

  • Temporary planking complete  » Click to zoom ->

    Temporary planking complete

  • Sanding, preparing for painting  » Click to zoom ->

    Sanding, preparing for painting

  • A new propellor is fitted  » Click to zoom ->

    A new propellor is fitted

  • Launched, ready for the journey north  » Click to zoom ->

    Launched, ready for the journey north

  • The SWAN at Hartlepool  » Click to zoom ->

    The SWAN at Hartlepool

  • Ready to head north  » Click to zoom ->

    Ready to head north

  • Tammie Moncrieff on Swan at Aberdeen  » Click to zoom ->

    Tammie Moncrieff on Swan at Aberdeen

  • Tying up on arrival at Lerwick  » Click to zoom ->

    Tying up on arrival at Lerwick

  • Delivery crew  » Click to zoom ->

    Delivery crew

  • Ready for lifting out (1)  » Click to zoom ->

    Ready for lifting out (1)

  • Ready for lifting out (2)  » Click to zoom ->

    Ready for lifting out (2)

  • Lift out (1)  » Click to zoom ->

    Lift out (1)

  • Lift out (2)  » Click to zoom ->

    Lift out (2)

  • Lift out (3)  » Click to zoom ->

    Lift out (3)

  • Lift out (4)  » Click to zoom ->

    Lift out (4)

  • Lift out complete  » Click to zoom ->

    Lift out complete

  • Extent of decay apparent (1)  » Click to zoom ->

    Extent of decay apparent (1)

  • Extent of decay apparant (2)  » Click to zoom ->

    Extent of decay apparant (2)

  • Extent of decay apparant (3)  » Click to zoom ->

    Extent of decay apparant (3)

  • Framework for work shelter (1)  » Click to zoom ->

    Framework for work shelter (1)

  • Framework for work shelter (2)  » Click to zoom ->

    Framework for work shelter (2)

  • Shelter complete  » Click to zoom ->

    Shelter complete

  • Fore hold showing old engine beds  » Click to zoom ->

    Fore hold showing old engine beds

  • Billy Smith removing bad timber  » Click to zoom ->

    Billy Smith removing bad timber

  • Douglas Moore starts work  » Click to zoom ->

    Douglas Moore starts work

  • Gordon Smith wielding the adze  » Click to zoom ->

    Gordon Smith wielding the adze

  • Wilfie Bruce sawing frame  » Click to zoom ->

    Wilfie Bruce sawing frame

  • Planks being steamed (1)  » Click to zoom ->

    Planks being steamed (1)

  • Planks being steamed (2)  » Click to zoom ->

    Planks being steamed (2)

  • Restoration crew  » Click to zoom ->

    Restoration crew

  • Billy Smith & Raymond Sinclair fitting frames  » Click to zoom ->

    Billy Smith & Raymond Sinclair fitting frames

  • Chain saw work  » Click to zoom ->

    Chain saw work

  • Stringers replaced  » Click to zoom ->

    Stringers replaced

  • New deck beams underway  » Click to zoom ->

    New deck beams underway

  • Wilfie Bruce fitting deck beams  » Click to zoom ->

    Wilfie Bruce fitting deck beams

  • Billy Smith & Gordon Smith shaping beams  » Click to zoom ->

    Billy Smith & Gordon Smith shaping beams

  • Continuing work on beams  » Click to zoom ->

    Continuing work on beams

  • Combings being formed  » Click to zoom ->

    Combings being formed

  • Decks in progress (1)  » Click to zoom ->

    Decks in progress (1)

  • Decks in progress (2)  » Click to zoom ->

    Decks in progress (2)

  • Decks in progress (3)  » Click to zoom ->

    Decks in progress (3)

  • Decks complete  » Click to zoom ->

    Decks complete

  • Planking underway  » Click to zoom ->

    Planking underway

  • Planking  » Click to zoom ->

    Planking

  • Painters start work  » Click to zoom ->

    Painters start work

  • Shelter removed  » Click to zoom ->

    Shelter removed

  • Final touches  » Click to zoom ->

    Final touches

  • Getting ready for re-launch  » Click to zoom ->

    Getting ready for re-launch

  • Re-launch (1)  » Click to zoom ->

    Re-launch (1)

  • Re-launch (2)  » Click to zoom ->

    Re-launch (2)

  • Heading for Malakoff slip  » Click to zoom ->

    Heading for Malakoff slip

  • Malakoff slip for rudder fitting  » Click to zoom ->

    Malakoff slip for rudder fitting

  • Malakoff slip  » Click to zoom ->

    Malakoff slip

  • Reconditioned old engine & fuel tanks  » Click to zoom ->

    Reconditioned old engine & fuel tanks

  • Fitting the engine (1)  » Click to zoom ->

    Fitting the engine (1)

  • Fitting the engine (2)  » Click to zoom ->

    Fitting the engine (2)

  • Masts from T Neilson of Gloucester delivered by Shetland Trader  » Click to zoom ->

    Masts from T Neilson of Gloucester delivered by Shetland Trader

  • Masts on pier  » Click to zoom ->

    Masts on pier

  • In position for masts  » Click to zoom ->

    In position for masts

  • Installation of rigging  » Click to zoom ->

    Installation of rigging

  • Masts & rigging complete  » Click to zoom ->

    Masts & rigging complete

  • Robert Wishart & Tammie Moncrieff bending on sails for first time  » Click to zoom ->

    Robert Wishart & Tammie Moncrieff bending on sails for first time

  • Trying out sails  » Click to zoom ->

    Trying out sails

External black and white photos by Malcolm Younger.
Internal black and white photos by Graeme Storey.