The Orkney Historic Boat Society (OHBS) was launched in 2013.

Our Vision: To preserve the boating history of Orkney for future generations.

Our Mission: To preserve historic boats and related traditional boat building skills and crafts. To collect preserve and communicate knowledge relating to boats built in Orkney or having contributed significantly to Orkney life and to further the education and knowledge of the public in relation to historical Orkney Boats, including establishing a boat museum and workshop.

The society is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) with Charity Number SC044884.

OSCR Logo for SC044884

This website

Here the society retains information of interest in the long term. This includes information of preserved boats and their equipment. Latest News and Event information is distributed via the society Facebook page.

The society is seeking information on potential boats for gifting towards restoration/preservation and display in the established Boat Museum. To ensure the right boats are selected for potential work and showcasing, an acquisition process has been developed. Please click on this link to download the OHBS Boat Acquisition Form. This form should be completed and then sent to the OHBS for assessment.

Get Involved
You don’t have to be an expert in research or renovation to join the Society. We welcome members who share our belief in the importance of preserving and promoting Orkney’s nautical heritage and traditions. Obviously experience in boat building or renovation would be welcome but we also need folk who are happy cleaning, painting and varnishing.

A lot can be learnt about working with wood and jobs can range from transporting water, wood, coffee and tools right up to actual renovation tasks. If you want to give it a go, contact us. You are welcome to come along for one or two sessions to see if you like it, but be warned, you might end up hooked!

There are few greater pleasures than knowing that you have contributed to the preservation of Orkney’s maritime heritage.

Join the Society
Subscription Rates and Membership Type:

Individual Membership (Annual): £15.00
Junior Membership (Annual): £2.00
Life Membership: £150

Annual Subscriptions are renewed on 6th April each year. If you would like to join please click on this link to download the OHBS Membership Application Form.

Make a donation to OHBS here.

Past OHBS Newsletters are available here.

OHBS Policy documents are available on this page.

Latest News

On Facebook

On Workgroup Activities

  • Although not yet fully restored, Waterlily has been cleaned and repainted. Her sails were washed before being put into storage a long time ago, We felt it time we got all the pieces together and put the sails back up. The last time Waterlily had any sails on her was in August 2019. The nice […]
  • The contractors had made no progress on the new boat door in the past week. However, in preparation for when we can get the bigger boats inside we started reorganising the small boats already inside and locating missing bits of rigging. Work was also started to clean up some of the bench tools which had […]
  • The contractors have made some progress with the installation of the large boat door. The supporting metal frame has been installed on the inside of the building. Inside Saga is having new rubbing strakes attached and the keel of Shamrock is about ready for a new keel band. The table saw refurb is just about […]
  • More typical weather conditions prevailed through this week so normal work activities could be resumed. The electric motor removed from the table saw was reinstalled with a new drive belt and new wiring. Painting of White Wings, work on the re-decking of Saga and work on the keel of Shamrock continued.Reinstalling the electric motorPainting White […]