Nova Spero

Cruises around Scotland

Skarv Lines and her vessel Nova Spero is owned and run by John MacInnes and alongside his crew of 3 (cook, steward/deckhand and engineer).  The team operates cruises around Scotland throughout Scottish coastal waters and occasionally international waters (Norway and perhaps the canals throughout The Netherlands in the future) for up to 11 guests.

Since John’s purchase of Nova Spero in May 2014, the vessel has undergone extensive refurbishment while remaining afloat and operational.   She has been at MacDuff shipyards between Sept 2018 and April 2019.   During this time she has undergone complete installation of passenger accommodation and facilities with final passenger coding to Category 2 in April 2019.

Our vessel is equipped with holding tanks for both black and grey water and additionally has a sewage plant which meets latest DNVGL requirements.

Over the refit period power systems have been modified to see what suited vessel best.  Last year full rewiring took place of 24 V systems and 230 v in crew accommodation by RD Downies Fraserburgh meeting latest regulations.  Power systems allow us to go silent in evenings with battery power through an invertor supplying 230V, music excepted of course.  This helps protect the environment by reducing carbon emissions and noise pollution, for canal transits and your own quiet space on a Scottish Loch or Norwegian Fjord. Our silent generator supplies power daily for all other domestic requirements.

Nova Spero is also equipped with shore power facilities which will use whenever available.

Our vessel has an aluminium watertight bulkhead fitted with access to forward section of accommodation through a watertight door.    This safety measure is above the current legislative requirements, further enhancing safety and stability of vessel.  It also increases sound proofing.

In our lounge area below the original shelterdeck we have 2 external doors leading onto the afterdeck.  There is additional watertight door in the forward Lounge leading out to bow under the shelterdeck.  This lead to a walkway running down starboard side of the vessel. Portholes on Starboard side are protected by Shelterdeck which allows us to have natural ventilation in Lounge whatever the weather.   The loss of natural light due to this is well balanced by a skylight in our Lounge, a unique vessel feature.

On Port side Portholes are set into the original shelterdeck, so you have a view straight out to sea.  The only other opening on the port side is to a double bed cabin.  This ensure we keep the vessel looking true to her original lines – she very much looks like a fishing vessel with the added benefit of having no compromise on safety.

In Lounge area we have a fully self-contained Galley kitchen with external Bulkheads of Aluminium construction and 100% fire proofing on the inner walls.  There is also toilet & shower facilities in the lounge area.

For your security & safety, our vessel has fitted cameras covering: exit doors from the lounge area and wheelhouse, external decks and the engine room.


The main accommodation is located in what was originally the Fish Hold (completely gutted and painted If you pardon the pun).  Our accommodation configuration is as follows:

  • 2 x 2 Berth Cabins: Each Cabin has 1 x 80cm x 200cm bed and  1 x 90cm x 200cm bed in aft section of the hold
  • 1 x 2 Berth Cabin: 1 x 90cm x 200cm  bed &  1 x 80cm x200cm bed
  • 3 x 2 Berth Cabins with Bunkbeds: Lower Bunk : 80cm x 200cm, Upper Bunk: 70cm x 200cm in the forward section of the hold
  • 1 x Double Bed Cabin with a 110cm x 200cm bed adjacent to the Guest Lounge

All guest rooms are heated and have a wash hand basin with hot and cold water (except the twin cabin in the forward starboard side) and storage for clothing and personal belongings.

None of the cabins are en-suite however shower and toilet facilities as follows:

  • Toilet in the aft section
  • Shower and toilet on the starboard side of the main accommodation in the forward section.
  • Shower toward the bow with access to escape hatch to Lounge deck.
  • Additional shower and toilet on the Lounge deck



Nova Spero has a really impressive fishing reputation on both Coasts.  On the North East of England she fished out of North Sheilds and Eyemouth.  She fished from both North East of Scotland and on West Coast where she pair trawled with FV Stardust II (retired fisherman In Tobermory remembered her and said she had caught a lot of herring in her time!).

Boat Facts

  • Origin

    MFV Nova Spero, built by MacKay Boatbuilders of Arbroath in 1973. She is one of 5 vessels designed by Millars, St Monans and built by MacKays.

  • Power & Generator

    D353 Caterpillar engine overhauled by Bob Sinclair and winner of Fishing News competition : Fixed Pitch single Shaft / Right Hand Pitch Propeller. We use a Mitsubishi/Sole Generator: 13.4 KW.

  • Shore Access

    When moored off-shore, we have a RIB for accessing the shore.

  • Main Engine

    Powers 2 Alternators supplying 24 V to Engine and Lighting Batteries / with feed to GMDSS/Emergency Batteries.

  • Licences

    We are fully licensed to serve food & alcohol, and use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

  • Vital Statistics

    Length 20.4m (68 ft), Beam 6.5m (21.3ft), normal Draft 3.0m (10ft).

  • Voltage

    We have both 230 V and 24 V supplies to power everyday electrical items that you may require on board.

  • Insurance

    We are fully insured for passenger travel with additional public indemnity insurance.

  • Environmentally Friendly

    Where possible we operate environmentally friendly practices such as recycling, waste water disposal, gas heating & cooking facilities etc.

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