Scrabster is a harbour, ferry, fishing port and industrial business centre near Thurso in the far north of Scotland. The port is well known for its recreational sea angling with boat trips fishing off the Caithness coast and Orkney. The Scrabster to Stromness Ferry provides year round access to and from Orkney, weather permitting. Scrabster has an important commercial fishing industry where large boat off load their catch for processing and sale, while local boats fish for crab and lobster.
With the development of offshore electricity generation the port has developed the capacity to handle large industrial offshore developments. Scrabster has a number of companies and businesses operating from the ports industrial centre.
Scrabster has accommodation overlooking the port and in the nearby town of Thurso which is about 3 miles away.
Scrabster also has a lovely small beach which can be accessed most days except during high tides. The Pentland Firth Yacht Club has its club house and car park next to the beach.
Scrabster also gets visits from the occasional large cruise ship and smaller privately owned boats. The marina has greatly expanded the recreational use of the harbour and has been off great benefit for local users as well as visiting guests to the area.
The Scrabster to Stromness ferry provides a quick way to travel over to Orkney in comfort with the 90 minute ferry journey. During the summer months there is three ferries over from Scrabster to Orkney, Monday to Saturday and two sailings available on a Sunday. Outwith the summer sailing times there is two sailing times available from Scrabster.
For all sailings you need to be at the ferry arrival point at least 30 minutes before sailing, for cars boarding the ferry it is recommended you arrive 1 hour before departure. You need photo id such as a passport or drivers licence to board this ferry with a vehicle.
Scrabster has a lovely sandy beach which can be accessed most days, except for the highest tide times. The Pentland Firth Yacht Club has its club house and car park next to the beach.
Sea angling fishing trips are available from Scrabster and a number of species can be caught off the Caithness and Orkney including cod, haddock, ling, dog fish, shark, flounder are among the fish species caught off the charter boats operating from Scrabster. Protected species are returned alive.
Scrabster is famous for its tremendous sea angling off the Caithness and Orkney coastline. A number of charter boats for sea fishing trips are available from Scrabster.
The boats Eun Na Mara and Hebridean Warrior are available with an experienced skipper from Chris Bennet who can be contacted on 07989 473204.
One of the best boats in Scrabster for sea angling is Chris Bennett's Eun Na Mara. The boat is very stable and has lots of power to push through heavy seas off Caithness and Orkney. The boat travels at a gentle 12 knots when moving between fishing marks and faster when going over to Orkney and will easily keep at 17 knots through the strong seas in the Pentland Firth.
When planning a fishing trip our from Scrabster it is advisable to wear waterproofs and ideally a proper two piece survival suit to keep you warm and dry. Even during summer months it can be cold while fishing off the north of Scotland.
The marina is open to visiting leisure boats as well as for local boats and yachts. The new pontoon layout makes it safe and easy to board boats throughout the day irrespective of tides. Before this marina development getting on/off boats would often involve using the harbour ladders, not idea when lugging fishing tackle and off loading fish caught on day trips on the local fishing boat charters.
In 2008 Scrabster Harbour Trust started a port infrastructure development with the redevelopment of the Old Fishmarket Pier to create the new Jubilee Quay, was completed in June 2013. The harbour plays an important role in supporting the Oil and Gas offshore industries as well as renewables including offshore wind farms and the new technologies being developed to harness tidal energy in the Pentland Firth.
The port supports the local fishing industries with a fish off loading facility and market as well as berthing for local fishing boats. The catch of fish, prawn, crab, lobster and shellfish is processed locally and often sold at the Scrabster seafood market before being transported to market in the UK and abroad.