The Scottish Fisheries Museum has sailed into £500,000 of government funding to refit their flagship vessel Reaper.
The six figure funding was announced by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop as part of the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology,
The funding will allow for a full refit of the historic herring drifter, which for the last thirty years
has acted as an outreach ambassador for the museum, for Fife and for Scotland. This will be its most comprehensive refit since 1903.
Reaper is regarded as a member of the core collection of vessels by National Historic Ships, which includes HMS Victory, Cutty Sark and Discovery, and is one of the few boats in the collection which are kept in seagoing condition.
Crewed by volunteer members of the Museum Boats Club, in recent years Reaper has visited over 50 separate venues around the UK, from Portsmouth to Lerwick, and taken aboard over 180,000 visitors, and has even provided a backdrop to episodes of the second series of hit show ‘Outlander’.
“Reaper is an important example of our maritime history as well as the flagship of the Scottish Fisheries Museum’s seagoing fleet,” said Mrs Hyslop.
“Over the years it has brought to life Scotland’s fishing heritage for thousands of tourists from home and abroad, as well as becoming a key asset as part of the museum’s excellent educational outreach work.”
David Corner, chairman of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, welcomed the announcement.
He said: “This funding will allow thousands more people to enjoy this excellent illustration of our fishing tradition.”
“The boat is what makes our museum very special. She is a flagship for us, for Fife and for Scotland.
“She will be completely restored by May 2018 when she will continue her extensive programme of outreach to schools, fishing communities and the like.
“She is recognised, on a UK basis, as a National Historic Ship, but, more importantly, is much loved by all who see and visit her.”
Work on the refit is expected to start in October and is scheduled to be completed by May 2018.