‘Yotties’ is a term often given to the cruising sailors around the west coast by locals, however the terms is also one of affection that refers to members of the Association of Royal Yachtsmen of Britannia, based in Edinburgh.
For the past few days, the Royal Yacht’s decks were alive with the padding plimsolls of over 50 former Royal Yachtsmen, returning to their duties on Britannia for ‘Yotties Week’.
The Royal Yachtsmen returned as volunteers to don their bright white overalls and work alongside Britannia’s own Maintenance team for 4 days of painting, scrubbing, sanding and polishing.
Visitors to the Royal Yacht will have an unforgettable opportunity to meet the crew of the world’s most famous ship and discover what made Britannia so special to all who knew her. When Britannia was in Royal service, over 220 Yotties lived and worked on board.
As this was the Royal Yacht, unique customs and practices were in operation for the crew. Every measure was taken to preserve Royal tranquillity; orders were given by hand signal, soft-soled white plimsolls were worn to reduce noise, and any work near the Royal Apartments had to be completed by 8.00am. The crew were to be as unobtrusive as possible, and if a Yachtsman did encounter a member of the Royal Family, he had to stand still and look straight ahead until they had passed. Formalities were relaxed on occasion, such as when the 'Yotties' performed in end of voyage 'Concert Parties' in front of the Royal Family or during the annual Western Isles holidays.
As one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions. The Royal Yacht Britannia is owned by a charitable trust and all surplus funds are reinvested in protecting her for future generations. The Trust’s responsibility is to maintain and preserve Britannia in keeping with her former role and to display her to the public as a key part of British maritime history. The Trust is a wholly self-funding, not-for-profit, charitable organisation.
RYA Members can enjoy a discount on entry and look out for future competitions with RYA Scotland during their 21st year in Edinburgh.
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