St Mary's Boatmen's Association - St. Mary's

There are daily trips to the islands and out to see the wildlife and lighthouses.  Boats leave from 10:15am and return until 4:45pm.  The service is seven days a week from just before Easter or the beginning of April until the end of October.  There are evening trips available through the main part of the season.

There is an attractive special offer on purchases of ten or more tickets.  We can cater for special groups and parties.  Made up of the ten largest boats operating from St Mary's, we are the prime mover of visitor traffic.

Contact business
St Mary's Boatmen's Association at the quay on St Mary's
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Additional Information

St Mary's Boatmen's Association is made up of ten individual skipper/owners that work together to provide a comprehensive ferry and excursion service for people based on St Mary's.  Formed in 1958 following an agreement between the main operators at the time, the Association eventually expanded to the current ten vessels.  St Mary's Boatmen's Association operates all of the larger passenger vessels serving St Mary's and provides daily scheduled trips to all the inhabited off islands and Samson.  There is also a selection of "circular" (excursion) trips and we try and provide at least one option daily all season, however there should be two or three choices of circular through May until the end of September.  Following on from the daytime excursions there are a variety of evening trip options from 6pm.

There is a daily format for the trips and the standard departure time is 10:15 in the morning and 2:00pm in the afternoon, plus 11:15 and 12:15, or 11:45 options (depending on which island), during the busier part of the season.  Essentially the main alterations to the blackboards each day are the allocation of the respective boat to whichever service according to our rotas, that said weather and tides are a factor in the daily service.  The skippers meet up each morning and the times and destinations are finalised for that days trips, the information is then updated on the blackboards.  The skippers also go and visit many of the guest houses and the hotels with the days trips written up on a sheet which is generally posted on a notice board or left in the dining room.  This is a chance for guests to quiz the boatmen about what is happening that day.

The Association launches are certified to carry between 72 and 100 passengers depending on the boat.  This means that all ten boats together can lift over 800 persons and passengers merely need to purchase a ticket and board the relevant boat, we do not operate a booking system.  The boats are organised in such a way that if one of the boats fills up there is a back up boat waiting to come in and carry any surplus.  Admittedly, on really busy days we can end up with all the boats occupied and some passengers still waiting.  Fortunately, the boats that filled up first will be back within a short time.

Opening Times

Ticket Kiosk opening times: 

9.30am – 11.15am    
13.30 – 14.00 
16.00 – 18.00

At all other times, tickets can be purchased at the following places: The Tourist Information Centre on Porthcressa Beach, Tideline and R Douglas Chemist.

Facilities & Features

  • Trips to all inhabited islands offered, seven days a week
  • Wildlife trips - see seals and sea birds
  • Fully qualified skippers and crew
  • Good local knowledge
  • Where to buy tickets

Prices & Conditions

DIRECT RETURNS (to any island)
Adults : £9.50
Children : £4.75

Adults : £15.00 
Children : £7.50

Adults : £17.00
Children : £8.50

Adults : £13.00 
Children : £6.50

Adults : £7.60
Children : £3.80

PILOT GIG RACING (Wednesday and Friday Evenings) 
Adults : £6.00
Children : £3.00

Child fares apply to children from one year old up to fourteen years old.
A fifteen year old counts as an adult.  Under one year goes free.