Holiday in Portsoy at the Sail Loft, build a boat in the Boatshed – and take it home!!

Combine the comfort and quality accommodation available at the Sail Loft with the purpose designed and equipped workshop at the Boatshed and you have the perfect residential and working facilities to build your own boat, learn the basic skills involved in traditional boat building or create your own team building exercise.

What do we offer?

The Sail Loft

Housed in beautifully restored buildings where sails were once made, this brand new self-catering accommodation includes 25 luxurious beds and bunks and boasts a carefully designed modern open-plan communal kitchen, dining area and lounge, laundrette and drying room.  Our showers with plenty of hot water offer comfort after a day in the workshop – and if that’s not satisfying enough take a dip in our outdoor hot tub!

The Boatshed

In a lovingly restored building right beside Portsoy’s historic harbour – which dates back to 1693 – you’ll find the Boatshed. You’ll discover an open, friendly atmosphere in a purpose built, well equipped workshop with the machines and traditional tools to build boats. No previous experience or particular skills are required, we’ll help you learn, or simply provide you with the facilities you need to carry on under your own steam.

What would you like to do?

We are very happy to talk to you about what your needs might be, but the following will give you some ideas:

Build a Portsoy Harbour Tender

This handy craft is suitable for youngsters to row in sheltered waters and for use by adults who require a readily portable harbour tender. With some basic woodworking skills, this could be built in 5 days.  In a group with friends or family, build your own boat at the Portsoy Boatshed with help and advice on hand – and take home your own Portsoy Harbour Tender.

Guide cost – £875, which includes:

  • Materials, oars

  • Assistance as required

  • Use of the Boatshed and its facilities

Traditional Boat Buillding

Accommodation can be arranged at additional cost at the nearby self catering Sail Loft Bunkhouse, or for campers and caravans at Portsoy Links Caravan Park, with 10% discount applied to their very reasonable prices.

Guide cost does not include transport and catering.

Build an Optimist

This classic little sailing dinghy is suitable for youngsters wishing to learn to sail. It is a proven design and a long standing favourite in the sailing world. With some basic woodworking skills, this could be built in 5 days. Stay at the Sail Loft with friends/ family, build your own boat at the Portsoy Boatshed with help and advice on hand – and take home your own Optimist

Guide cost – £1,750, which includes

  • Materials, mast, sail, rigging and paddle

  • Assistance if required

  • Use of the Boatshed and its facilities

  • Accommodation at the Sail Loft for a group of four

Optimist Dinghy

Guide cost does not include transport and catering.

And for something completely different we can provide…

Corporate Team Building

There are many team building activities available from a host of suppliers and advisers, but we believe the combination of the accommodation at the Sail Loft, the working facilities at the Boatshed, plus Portsoy’s beautiful location can provide a very special (and fun) challenge. The exercise can be tailored to meet your requirements, but a suggested programme might include:

Day One: Build a Boat…Day Two: prove it floats with the builders on board!


Day 1 – Evening, arrival at the Sail Loft, meet and greet coffee and briefing

Day 2 – Build the boat at the Boatshed

Day 3 – Water activities on Loch Soy, debrief and depart

Build Process

Teams of 4 each build a Pragmatist in one day

Leaders to be nominated by you or picked by us:

  • Leader briefed alone and left to brief others

  • Leader changed without warning after a couple of hours

Team members briefed on the Boatshed, tools and safety

Boat kit laid out in correct order on floor, team left to work out how to assemble with no input from us

Water Activities

Different leaders for each one: leader briefed and then left to brief team, each team has one paddle and a rope long enough to cross the Loch.

Exercise 1 – Get all 4 team members across the Loch.

Exercise  2 – Collect 3 items, one on each side and one on the end, once collected at least one team member must stay with each item.

Exercise 3 – A bucket tied on one bank can be used to collect water that must be used to fill a bucket tied on the opposite bank, water carried in a bucket tied into the boat. Drill a small hole in one bucket to make it interesting!

Exercise 4 – Perhaps more: just let your imagination go!

If you require, all team members can be assessed on performance with follow up confidential debriefing.

Guide costs would include:

  • Materials required for the Pragmatists – £250/boat
  • Use of The Boatshed and its facilities for 2 days – £100
  • Accommodation at the Sail Loft per night – £24/person
  • Course supervision – £400

Costs do not include transport or catering.