Historic boat sails to join Commonwealth flotilla

White Wing from Scottish Fisheries Museum will be in the Commonwealth Games flotilla.
White Wing from Scottish Fisheries Museum will be in the Commonwealth Games flotilla.

Hard on the heels of the much-publicised Baton Relay being carried through Fife on its way to the official opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, another local is soon to be heading for Glasgow.

At nearly 100 years old, the Baldie fishing boat White Wing must be one of the oldest participants in the Games.

Part of the Scottish Fisheries Museum’s collection, White Wing will be passing through the Forth and Clyde Canal on Tuesday to join a flotilla of 250 boats sailing from Greenock to Glasgow on Friday.

She will be spending her time at various locations in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games, where she will be open to the public.

Though smaller than her better known big sister, Reaper, the flagship of the Anstruther museum, White Wing has some interesting features.

She was used in the early 20th century for long-line fishing in the North Sea, often using a pair of two-mile-long hooked lines to catch haddock.

Built with two lug-rigged masts, she had an engine in the stern.

In the bow were two berths – sleeping quarters for the crew – with the fish hold between the sleeping quarters and the engine in the stern.

She is maintained by the Museum’s Boats Club and is usually sailed with her dipping lug rig.

White Wing has visited several local harbours – she was recently in Portsoy for its Traditional Boat Festival) – and later this year, she will also be involved in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Forth Road Bridge.

Other appearances in recent years have included attending the opening of the Falkirk Wheel at the union of the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals.