Eyemouth museum boat and historic maritime items collection goes under the hammer

Auctioneer Sweeney Kincaid is selling the contents of the large Eyemouth World of Boats collection held at locations at Eyemouth, Cardiff and Lowestoft.  Be quick, for it closes 12 Noon on Wednesday 26th July.

The item are being sold under the instructions of the liquidators of Eyemouth International Sailing Craft Association Limited (Eisca), a Scottish registered charity.

It is a genuinely big sale, with some 270 boats from around the world including working boats from the UK and round the world (fancy buying a junk, sampan, a pearling dhow or an Azorean whaleboat?) classic racing dinghies, a currach, and a gorgeous North American Whitehall skiff. There really is some very interesting stuff here…

There’s also a photo archive, books and maritime ephemera. To get a sense of it and find items you might be interested in, see the online listing.

The collection started life at the Exeter Maritime Museum (ISCA) in 1968 and was added to during the time it was in the hands of Eisca.

Frankly, it’s a stunning collection – and I don’t think we’ve seen anything like it since Turk’s sold its collection of boats used for film and television work some years ago. Both sales underline the fragility of collections held in the private and voluntary domains – if things don’t go well, at any moment collections and material can be lost, including both the artefacts and the information about them.

The entire contents of Eisca locations throughout the UK will be auctioned individually, here online, closing online on Wednesday 26th July at 12 noon.

Shipwreck photograph collection for sale by Sotheby’s


Sotheby’s is auctioning a remarkable archive of 1000 negatives of shipwreck images taken a period of nearly 130 years by the Gibson family of photographers over four generations – see a gallery of the shots here.

Do read the notes with each one – some of them are as vivid as the shots themselves – check out the fate of the Granite Slate and the Horsa. My thanks to Griselda Mussett for spotting this one.


Sharpies and a skiff up for auction at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

sharpie 1


sharpie 2 sharpie 3 sharpie 4

sharpie 6 sharpie 5


An email from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has reminded me just how much boat types vary around the world – and it has to be said that the contrast between the form of the curvacious-lined and heavily built Whitstable oyster smack Emeline and the sharpies of the East Coast of America, also often used for oystering, could hardly be greater – as the shots above show.

The photos from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum depict a series of boats given to the museum for sell for fundraising.

Apart from the 34ft sharpie and the 20ft Chesapeake sharpie shown at the top of this post, there’s also an example of RD Culler’s Good Little Skiff design up for sale, and an example of L Francis Herreshoff’s widely admired Rozinante design canoe yawl. These too are very unlike the general run of British boats – we do have our own small flatties, but there aren’t many of them and we don’t generally think of flat bottomed boats as being desirable.

It’s worth checking out the geography of the Chesapeake area to get a sense of the waters for which some of these boats were developed.

There’s a lot of other stuff up for sale by the museum – the auction is to be held on the 31st August, and the boats for sale by the museum are listed here.

Good little skiff 1 Good little skiff 3 Good little skiff 2

Good Little Skiff 

Rozinante 3 Rozinante 2 Rozinante 1