Swan Trust offers ladies only sailing weekend, with all female crew

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8 March 2022

The Swan Trust is to offer a ladies only trip later in the year, with an all-female crew. The weekend trip will take place in September, exploring the east side of Shetland, and will be the first time the Swan has been crewed exclusively by women.

“The all-women’s trip with our new skipper Maggie Adamson in charge demonstrates that the Swan is much more than a vessel of historical interest.” said David Goodlad, Chairman of the Swan Trust, who continued “The first trip where she will be skippered and crewed exclusively by women is long overdue. Shetland has a wealth of competent women sailors, and it is great to see them taking command of the Swan.”

The Swan is a vital part of Shetland’s rich historical fishing history. When the Swan was built, the women worked as gutters in the herring curing yards while the men took the Swan and the other 400 herring boats to sea. That was over a hundred of years ago and times change. In contemporary Shetland, this beautiful old fishing boat is now being taken to sea by an all-female crew. With many of the women being previous sail trainees aboard the Swan, this trip is also credit to the Trust’s work over the past 26 years.

Brian Wishart, Trustee with the Swan Trust, said: “Trustees are incredibly proud of The Trusts achievements in teaching our young people to sail and welcoming all to volunteer with the Trust. Over the years we have carried many hundreds of sail trainees, with a fairly even spread of boys and girls, and we also have a good mix of women and men who volunteer with us. Sailing has never been gender specific, at one time most people in Shetland were familiar with sailing, as it was the main way to get about. However, maritime careers did tend to be male dominated and, as Shetland modernised, many sailing skills died out. The Swan’s educational programme over the past 26 years has helped to reverse this trend, and show both girls and boys that a marine career is open to them.”

He continued: “We have had enquiries in the past about ladies only trips. With the appointment of Maggie as skipper, we thought this was the perfect time to offer it, and with an all female crew to reflect the fact we have a range of competent female crewing volunteers, as well as male.”

Taking place 9th - 11th September, ladies will enjoy a weekend aboard exploring the east side of Shetland whilst taking an active part in operating the vessel and life on board. Maggie Adamson, Skipper with the Swan Trust: “I have sailed with many men and women over the years and find that they are equally capable in operating any vessel. This ladies only trip will be a milestone for the Trust and I am proud to be at her helm for it.”

To find out more, and book your trip, click here

For details of other trips available on the Swan check out our upcoming trips

Follow these links to donate or volunteer with the Swan Trust.


Want to get involved in maintaining and operating a traditional wooden sailing vessel? There are a number of different ways you can volunteer to safeguard, care for and sail this unique heritage asset.

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