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Commercial Fishing



Scottish Fisheries Museum 50th Anniversary Launch. National Museum will launch its 50th Anniversary celebrations with the return of flagship the Reaper as featured in episodes of Outlander.

The Scottish Fisheries Museum is a national museum based in Anstruther and first opened its doors in 1969. This means that in 2019 we are celebrating our 50th Anniversary and we have a whole year of events planned to mark this important milestone.

Starting on the 4th of July 2019, we kick off the year by welcoming the museum’s flagship the Reaper home from major restoration work in Babcock’s Rosyth facilities and she will be accompanied by a flotilla of up to 50 boats.

On the day we will have a packed programme including the Kingdom FM roadshow from 2-6pm and performances from Isla St Clair and Fusion Dance School. The arrival of the Reaper and the other boats will be marked by a lone piper and canon fire around 4pm for the Reaper to moor against a new pontoon. East Neuk Outdoors will be running free water sport taster sessions throughout the day also.

The Reaper

The Museum’s historic vessel, the Reaper was built in 1901 by Forbes, J & G Ltd in Sandhaven, near Fraserburgh. She was built as a herring drifter and served as a fishing boat in both the First and Second World Wars. In the late 30s she even held the record in Shetland catching close to a quarter million tons of fish.

The Reaper was bought by the museum in 1975 and since then has welcomed generations of people on her deck to marvel at her unique design. She is the last surviving first class sailing lugger of the Fifie type and is now the only example of this once prolific type of vessel. Also, in her retirement from fishing, The Reaper has appeared in many TV shows such as Outlander and a full episode in Tom Cunliffe’s 2010 series The Boats that Built Britain.

Since her last major refit over 25 years ago, the museum has secured grants and donations in order to complete extensive restoration required to enable a return to sea going duties. Successful fund raising has allowed restoration of the main structure at Babcock’s Rosyth facilities, but efforts continue to raise funds for the final phase that includes interior fit out, full electrics and new masts.

Upon completion the Reaper can then get back to doing her job as a floating museum and welcome future generations through an annual community outreach programme on the Forth and beyond.

More information about the Reaper can be found on The Scottish Fisheries Museum and National Historic Ships websites.  We will be sending out regular Press Releases regarding feature events, and the programme as a whole as it all becomes confirmed so please do express your interest if you intend to receive updates on what we are doing throughout the year. This is a very big milestone for us and will be great for the local community, but also will mark us as a great tourist destination.