An old lady, but one of the belles of the river

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The 160-year old Dan Hatcher-built Itchen Ferry boat Wonder has turned up at Faversham in Kent.

Bursledon Blogger Max put up a post about her when she came up for sale, but I was perhaps just a little slow to make the connection with the ‘foreign’ boat I noticed in a local boatyard some months ago. But when I saw her on the water a few days ago, the connections came together. Hoorah! At least I got there in the end.

The Solent’s loss has been our gain, and it’s great to have her in our sailing area. I hope she has many happy years with her new owner, and among our favourite creeks.

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3 thoughts on “An old lady, but one of the belles of the river”

  1. Gavin, great to know where she's gone , certainly a loss to the Solent, but looks like she's in good hands- just hope that caulking I did a few years ago holds up!!!!

    Max

  2. Strange coincidences at work here.

    Many years ago my brother (who was a naval architect and old boat nut, and worked for Campers and then Vosper Thorneycroft at Southampton) was one of those who helped look after 'Wonder' for the Nicolay family. In return he occasionally sailed her. I never did, but had seen pics of her.

    So I'm trundling down Oare Creek in the Spring 2010 in my boat (modern plastic fantastic, sorry!) and passing Testers yard, I idly glanced across and saw a small black bow up on the hard with the lettering 'SU120'. Hmmm, I thought, rings a bell but I can't think why. And thought nothing more of it.

    The VERY NEXT DAY I received an email from someone I had never heard of, sent to the secretary's email address for the club at Hollowshore. I am the Hon Sec this year. Hello, it said, I am the owner of an Itchen Ferry down near Portsmouth, and heard that another, called 'Wonder', has been sold up your way. Do you happen to know who's bought her?

    One of those moments when you wonder if there are strange forces at work! The sender of the email was pretty astounded too when I rang him up, and since then he's been in touch with my brother.

    In the meantime, I have enjoyed seeing 'Wonder' out on the Swale several times this year – she looks splendid, and whoever the owner is certainly knows how to sail her.

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