Collections

Collections

The Museum’s Collections consist of a range of objects, boats, art, books and archives in support of its mission to promote an understanding of small boats and their place in people’s lives, and of the maritime Heritage of Cornwall. We are currently working towards making a full catalogue of our collections accessible online.

Kuwaiti Tishaala Dhow, Tala

Small boats tend to be shaped by the lives of those who make and use them. so around the world vessels built for the same purpose differ greatly, due to the availability of materials and tools, traditional techniques and the unique local environments in which the boats are used. This Kuwaiti Tishaala Dow, Tala, is … Continued

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Percy Blandford – a centenarian boat designer and builder

“There is a tremendous satisfaction to be had from boating, and many possible ways of going afloat, …(there is) something special in adventure and romance and particularly the satisfaction of being skipper of your own craft. That often misquoted bit by Water Rat about there being nothing half as much fun as simply messing about … Continued

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Jack Holt 1912 – 1995 – A boat designer for the people

Jack Holt was one of the boating world’s most prolific and influential designers. In a career spanning more than 60 years his designs fostered an explosion of home and professionally built craft, making it possible for people who previously found sailing unaffordable to get on the water. John Lapworth Holt was born the son of … Continued

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Peter Milne – designer of the International Fireball dinghy

Peter Milne, who died in 2008 aged 73, was one of Britain’s most versatile designers of small boats. Milne was born in Stockport, Cheshire, on September 20 1934, the son of an engineer. It was near Chichester that he learned to sail and was influenced his father Cecil’s interest in making things. His first boat, … Continued

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Wayfarer, Wanderer – a dinghy owned by Frank & Margaret Dye

Wayfarers have been built by professional boatbuilders and DIY enthusiasts in their thousands, and have proved themselves to be very stable and seaworthy boats. The class has been enduringly successful, particularly with sailing schools as a training boat. Wanderer, however, made some remarkable journeys under the ownership of Frank and Margaret Dye. Built in 1958, … Continued

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Oselvar boat, based on Viking designs

This style of boat is typical of those still being built in and around Os, a town situated in south-west Norway, near Bergen. It represents a type used in this part of Norway from Viking times until the present day. The oldest documentation of Norwegian boat building is portrayed in ancient rock carvings dating from … Continued

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Nordkapp kayak

In 1975 four members of the British Kayak Expedition completed a journey from Bodo to Nordkapp in Northern Norway, Europe’s most northerly point. Their chosen craft for this pioneering expedition was a kayak designed by Frank Goodman – the Nordkapp. The 480 mile journey, which took a month to complete, was undertaken through the worst … Continued

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Mirror Dinghy #1, Eileen

‘All the fun of messing about in boats. Build it yourself from the kit. Easiest on the pocket and the easiest job you’ve ever tackled. And remember she weighs less than most wives. The Mirror is a true car-top dinghy. Yours in kit form for just £63.11s cash!’ – So ran an advert for the … Continued

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Ladies’ sailing dinghy, Gweneve

The Victorian yachting era existed in an age when being part of the “set” required a large bank balance. In return its participants enjoyed a position in society which others only dreamed of. One small boat born into these elegant times was Gweneve, a rich man’s gift to his daughters. Gweneve was designed and built … Continued

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