Folding boats at the Isle of Wight Classic Boat Museum, Newport

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Berthon collapsible rescue boat

Folding ship's lifeboat built by Salter

(Top) The Reverend Berthon’s collapsible rescue boat.
(Immediately above) Salter’s folding ship’s lifeboat

My partner Julie has just returned from the Isle of Wight with a nice collection of photos, from the island’s Classic Boat Museum at Newport.

Folding boats have been a popular theme on this weblog and I’ve had small folding boats very much in mind in the last few days after an unpleasant late-night incident in an inflatable, so I thought I should start with a couple of new examples I haven’t seen before.

The first is a Berthon collapsible lifeboat designed by the Reverend Edward Lyon Berthon, and built at Romsey, close to Southampton across the water. Apparently Berthon began designing his folding lifeboats after one of his clergymen survived a shipwreck in 1849. This particular boat was probably built fairly early on – that is, close to 150 years ago.

The second was constructed by Salters of Oxford, in what is believed to have been the year 1898. I gather the museum is exploring its options with a view to getting the boat back to a launchable condition. I do hope they manage it.

Thanks for the photos Julie!

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The Wikipedia on punts and punting

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Punt builder\'s workshop, photo from the Wikimedia Commons, taken by Thruston

Punt in boatbuilder’s workshop, photo from the
Wikimedia Commons, taken by Thruston

I really can’t add anything to this excellent Wikipedia entry on the punt – one day all its entries will be like this.

Do you know there are still people out there, particularly in publishing, who think the Wikipedia is useless? I once had a rancourous argument with a senior director for a magazine and events company when I dared to suggest that the model was a good and useful one. No doubt sour grapes can grow almost anywhere…

The names of a punt\'s various parts

The names of a punt’s component parts, image from the
Wikimedia, drawn by Thruston

See also:

Henry Taunt’s 19th Century photos of the Thames

Punts galore at Oxford

Free online boatbuilding plans for a racing punt

The grandest boatsheds we’ve yet seen?

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Chris Partridge of the weblog Rowing for Pleasure has pointed out the astonishing projects below. See them, and gasp:

University College Oxford boathouse


Lea Rowing Club boathouse