Cruise the isles (Skye, Mull, Arran, St Kilda, Islay, Jura, Canna, Rum, Barra to name but a famous few) and spectacular coastlines of the west coast of Scotland onboard a classic vessel, the ex-tall ship, St Hilda, a traditional, beamy, 54ft wooden (larch on oak) ketch, fitted with a quiet, six cylinder 112 HP Kelvin engine. St Hilda is a vessel with an incredible Scottish lineage. Built in 1973 to the highest standard (Lloyds 100A1) at St Monans, Fife, by the internationally famous Millers boatyard (a family run business with 200 years of wooden boat building) and designed by G.L Watson, the world famous Glasgow based naval architect, who created the world's first yacht design office in 1873 and designed early America's Cup challengers (such as Thistle, Shamrock II, Valkyrie I and II) as well as the famous racing yacht Britannia.
St Hilda was built specifically for sail training with a crew of 20. By 2007 St Hilda was converted for cruising with only eight people - six guests and a skipper and chef - and that is why today she is so spacious inside. St Hilda is one of the smallest of the “Tall Ships” and has competed in several Tall Ship Races. Although St Hilda has sailed across the North Sea on a number of occasions, she is more of a motor sailor than an "ocean greyhound"! We will usually get her under sail during a cruise (weather permitting, of course) however, because of our busy itineraries and like many yachts, we will usually not be able to reach our various night anchorages under sail alone.
The well-lit, roomy deck saloon is where everyone dines and socialises and here everyone enjoys a convivial atmosphere that is encouraged by shipboard life aboard this sturdy, ocean-going wooden ketch.
Cabins are warm and comfortable with six berths for our guests: a double en-suite, a twin en-suite (with a toilet, washbasin and opening porthole) and two single berths in the fore cabin (a shared cabin). The two berth cabin without en-suite facility is adjacent to the toilet and shower rooms which are of a high standard for a yacht. The spacious aft cabin has a double bed and the en-suite, with toilet, washbasin and shower, has pretty opening portholes. All cabin linen and towels are supplied.
The outdoor decks are large and safe, perfect for spotting wildlife and relaxing and eating al fresco when the boat is at anchor or under way. You also have plenty of deck space to embark your own equipment such as canoes, windsurfers and surfboards.
Your professional skipper is passionate about boats, sailing, and the natural environment of the islands and sea lochs of the Hebrides and Argyll. He is more than happy to share his knowledge of the area to those on board while ensuring his shipmates have as much fun as possible. You also have your own on board chef who provides wonderful meals, locally-sourced and freshly prepared from the galley.