operated by a mercury switch

When the ring net was shot, the winkie was attached to one end. Once in the water, it would float to an upright position, the mercury would make contact, and the light would come on. Once lit it marked the end of the net in the water; it was often difficult to see and would appear and disappear on the waves. The name winkie most probably comes from the blinking action as perceived by the onlooker.

The Fending Off Pole

The fending off pole seen here tied alongside the main mast came from the Evelyn (ex Afton Waters).

Ring net boats fished with a neighbour, when bringing herring on board the two boats would come together to close the ring net. The fending off pole was used to keep the boats from getting too close to each other.

The Winch

The McBain Bros Ltd. winch is kindly being lent to the trust for a short time by courtesy of the Carradale Network Centre.

This winch originally came form the Siver Lining and is exactly the same as the winch Shemaron had on board when launched as Wistaria. These winches had a legendary reliability they often outlived the boats they were originally put on and went on to work on other boats. The story goes – they were so long lasting that the company who manufactured them couldn’t get enough repeat orders and went out of business.


The Scoop

The scoop also came from the Evelyn (ex Afton Waters). It was used to literally sccop the herring into baskets. Similar scoops are still used today.

The Brailing Pole

The brailer pole was kindly donated by the late Jim Campbell and came from the Irma. The Irma was a 48ft boat slightly shorter in length than Shemaron’s 50ft and consequently the pole is slightly shorter than the original would have been.

The brailing pole swung out over the sea and was used brail the herring on board.


The Goggle or Fairlead

The red one here is the same age as Shemaron and the grey is a slightly younger version. The grey fairlead was never used and had lain for many years in a shed. It was donated to the trust when Shemaron visited the Tarbert Traditional Boat festival in 2015.



The feeling wire consisted of a length of wire 50 to 100 fathoms long, which was wound round the side of a herring box. The wire was lowered into the water where it was weighted by a piece of lead. Fishermen could feel a shoal of herring when the fish knocked the wire.