Shetland islands, the pearls of Scotland, are a subarctic archipelago of about 100 islands. They lie northeast of Scotland, situated about 110 miles north of the mainland of Scotland. Only 16 islands out of around a hundred are inhabited, and the driving force of the economy is fishing and the oil and gas industries. However, more and more people see the potential in other business sectors, like tourism, renewable energy or yachting. More and more yachting enthusiasts come to the Shetlands because of good sailing conditions, the beauty of the scenery and the favorable climate.
Marinas on the islands
Shetland owes a lot of their popularity to their excellent geographical positioning. They are close enough so they can be reached by smaller vessels from north west Europe, but isolated enough to be attractive for sailors. There are more than 20 marinas of different sizes scattered across the islands, mostly situated around larger settlements. They offer a range of services, depending on their size and available equipment, but you can expect a warm welcome in all of them. If you happen to be a tourist with a little bit of yachting experience, visit Yacht Charter in Miami Beach and check if they have something to your taste.
Things to know when yachting in the Shetlands
Every properly equipped vessel can navigate the seas around the islands. However, we advise you to carry a heavier anchor because most of the ocean floor is covered with a layer of kelp which can make anchoring tricky. Yachters often praise the weather conditions here because, even though you are sailing as far north as 60 degrees latitude, the weather is warm and relatively stable. It is due to the warm waters of the Atlantic ocean. Fog is not common in the summer.
As it is the case in the North Atlantic, tides can be strong, especially around headlands and in between islands of greater size. Experienced sailors will know how to use the tide to their advantage, but we recommend everybody to have their Admiralty Tidal Stream Atlas at all times. Along with this atlas, yachters should carry the Admiralty Chart Catalogue so they can chart their cruises.
Fish farms are common around the islands, and they are, in most cases, properly marked by buoys. Of course, sailing around fish farms demands careful navigation. As we mentioned above, marinas are plentiful, they are usually well-equipped, and the locals are open for advice and a helping hand. The usual marina charge is 10 pounds.
Pay a visit to the Shetlands, and you might even want to stay
If you love island cultures, good food, beautiful sceneries, yachting, and wildlife, then the Shetland islands are a place to visit. Also, if you plan to move to a calmer, more peaceful surrounding when compared to the rush of the big cities, then you should consider the Shetlands, too. Business opportunities are opening up in many sectors and no matter if you are a computer programmer, an artist or an engineer, you will surely find your place among the Shetlanders.