The Steam pinnace 199 project is holding an open day this Saturday at the Maritime Workshop, Gosport, Hampshire, from 10am to 3pm – she’s been undergoing a refit at the workshop since February 2012.
Built in 1911, Steam pinnace 199 is a wooden-hulled picket boat powered by steam machinery and is the sole operational survivor out of 634 vessels of her type. Picket boats were essential to the effective operation of the Royal Navy: their role was to defend capital ships while anchored.
Steam pinnace 199 is thought to have served alongside HMS Monarch at Jutland during the First World War, and is operated and maintained for her owners, the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
Throughout Saturday there will be opportunities to learn about her history as well as to talk with volunteers who have undertaken over 3,000 hours of work so far.
The current group of volunteers were recently awarded a highly commended certificate for their preservation work by National Historic Ships.
Entry is free, but I’m sure donations large and small will be very welcome!
To date the volunteers have raised £86,500 of the £97,500 required for the restoration project, including a £50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £30,000 from the Friends of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and £1,000 from National Historic Ships.
Directions: approach via Forton Road and Mill Lane. Take the third right turn into St Vincent College grounds and proceed down to the end where there is a parking area next to some moorings. Note that the workshop’s official address is 50 Ferrol Road but this through the old shipyard entrance and access is very restricted unless you are on foot.