Scotia W is an 80ft wooden-hulled luxury cruise vessel that has an intriguing history. Here is her story.
Built in 1972 by Richard Irvine and Sons of Peterhead, she sailed in the North Sea fishing fleet as the Fraserburgh-registered Achieve (FR100). For the next 30 years she rode the waves of the North Sea bringing home a precious cargo of white fish that was destined for the dinner plate.
In 2002, the vessel’s original owners transferred her fishing quota rights to a newer boat, brining the Achieve’s successful fishing career to an end. Coinciding with the reduction in size of the Scottish fishing fleet, this could have been the end of this boat’s story. However, the potential of this beautiful vessel was spotted by former North Sea fisherman Alex Wood. He had the vision of creating a vessel that could offer luxury cruise holidays around Scotland’s coast. Alex purchased the boat and set about planning her conversion into a luxury mini-cruise ship. It would be an all consuming project.
The plans for her conversion were drawn up by Macduff Ship Design and her transformation into a cruise ship saw the installation of a new aluminium superstructure. Much of the vessel’s interior was completed by Alex who is a skilled joiner. Tradesmen and professional advisers were called in when necessary. The 134-tonne vessel retains her traditional larch plank hull, which has been re-caulked, and is powered by a 425bhp turbocharged straight-six Caterpillar D353 engine which was rebuilt as part of her transformation.
The transformation from trawler to cruise ship was completed in 2011 and the vessel was renamed Scotia W. Wearing a green and cream livery she now offers luxury cruise holidays in the Moray Firth, along the Caledonian Canal and around Scotland’s West Coast. Facilities onboard cater for up to 10 guests in four twin and two single en-suite cabins, and the vessel boasts a large dining and lounge area and extensive outdoor deck space.