Don’t miss Watchet Boat Museum

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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.

Flatner of Burnham, 1905

boat restoration; wooden boats; sail boats; turf boats; traditional boats

2 thoughts on “Don’t miss Watchet Boat Museum”

  1. You'd have to ask the WBM people – they've certainly got some nice flatner lore in their researches, though I think we're talking long pamphlet rather than short book.

    I think that sailing a flatner on that particular coast without an engine is a rather hair-shirt activity, and I believe I've heard that Tony James the builder and owner of Yankee Jack doesn't sail his flatner any more and has moved on to a little trailer-sailer.

    If you like eccentric British flat-bottomed boats, check up on the Fleet trow also…


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