Model of a ‘Zulu’ Fishing Boat
Ullapol Museum

In the late 1800s Scotland experienced a herring fishing boom. Herring was considered a delicacy in Europe and Russia and in great demand. Ullapool was one of many Scottish coastal ports and villages that became a hive of industry during the summer fishing season.

The first Zulu fishing boat was constructed in 1879 and the name comes from The Zulu War raging in South Africa at the time. Zulus quickly became very popular with fishermen because they were larger, stronger, and faster than previous types of fishing boats. Their design made them easier to control and the three sails allowed them to sail further out to sea and return swiftly to port.

Herring is a fatty fish and had to be landed and quickly cured in barrels with salt to prevent it from rotting.

By the late 1800s Scotland had the largest fishing industry in Europe and in 1913 there were over ten thousand boats involved in the Scottish herring industry. The herring industry gradually declined after World War One and no full-sized Zulus survive today afloat.

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Date: 1890
Materials : Wood, Cloth
Size : 60cm x 40cm

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