The historic Lowestoft smack Excelsior was built in 1921 and is recognised by the National Maritime Museum as one of the top fifty most important vessels in our maritime heritage. And yet it’s possible for the ordinary joe to book time sailing on her for a day, several days or maybe a week to the Tall Ships Race, or perhaps to help other volunteers keep her in good condition.
Based at Lowestoft on the East Coast, the Excelsior Trust also maintains the 1884 Hull sailing trawler City of Edinboro’ and is restoring the Rye Harbour East Channel Punt Estralita. The Trust also runs the Excelsior Shipyard, which welcomes historic vessels for slipping. It’s well worth a visit, especially if you can take the opportunity to go sailing as well.
If you haven’t visited before, the National Register of Historic Ships is a real find, and is enough to keep any hardened boat nut busy for hours.
To bookmark a post, click on the headline, let the post open and bookmark
The Watchet Boat Museum is one of my favourites. Just like Watchet itself, it goes its own way and hasn’t a hint of pretension, and I try to visit whenever I stay with my parents a few miles down the coast.
When I say WBM goes its own way, it really does – its exhibits include the wonderfully strange restored sailing flatner, turf boats and withy boats from the Somerset levels, and an astonishing mud horse used for collecting shellfish on the mudflats.
The site’s well worth a visit and includes no less than two potential Christmas presents: for the brave and for those who like to frame such things there are drawings for building a full-sized flatner, and for the more timid a set of plans for a model!
The old postcard shows a flatner off the coast at Burnham in 1905.
boat restoration; wooden boats; sail boats; turf boats; traditional boats