The Carstairs Collection

The Betty ‘Joe’ Carstairs Collection came to the Gallery after the closure of the Basildon Motorboat Museum and much of it is on display in the Gallery.  As well as trophies there are albums, press cutting books, and photographs.  Joe Carstairs was an heiress who led an unconventional life style in the 20’s and 30’s in Europe and later in the Bahamas.  Having sailed competitively on the English East coast in her yacht Sonia, and on coming into her inheritance from her grandfather (Standard Oil – Esso!) in 1921, she came to Cowes and commissioned Sammy Saunders to build her a succession of racing power boats in which she was highly successful in world racing circles, at one time being the fastest woman on water, with her engineer, Joe Harris.  She eventually opened her own yard, the Sylvia Yard, in East Cowes.

Grandfather's house, New York

Grandfather's house, New York

Ambulance driver, Dublin 1917

Ambulance driver, Dublin 1917

Sonia, just before the start.  CYC 1st season race 1924

Sonia, just before the start. CYC 1st season race 1924

HRYC regatta June 1924, start over 10 tons.  Douglas Went photo

HRYC regatta June 1924, start over 10 tons. Douglas Went photo

Joe Carstairs on Newg, Cowes

Joe Carstairs on Newg, Cowes

Newg II, East Cowes, 1927

Newg II, East Cowes, 1927

Estelle I and Estelle II

Estelle I and Estelle II

Outside the Columbine Building, East Cowes

Joe Carstairs and Joe Harris, engineer

Joe Carstairs and Joe Harris, engineer

Estelle II, Detroit 1928

Estelle II, Detroit 1928

Joe, Joe and Capt. C Marshall, Joe's manager

Joe, Joe and Capt. C Marshall, Joe's manager

Estelle IV meeting the press

Estelle IV meeting the press

Joe with Joe Harris

Joe with Joe Harris

Joe Harris was Joe Carstairs' engineer - both smoking over the engines of Estelle IV

Estelle IV in Canada

Estelle IV in Canada

Estelle IV

Estelle IV

Gar Wood, Joe, Joe Harris, Capt. C Marshall, Joe's manager

Gar Wood, Joe, Joe Harris, Capt. C Marshall, Joe's manager

Estelle V

Estelle V

Joe Carstairs with Capt Malcolm Campbell, at Brooklands, March 1930

Joe Carstairs with Capt Malcolm Campbell, at Brooklands, March 1930

Finishing touches to Vergemere II

Finishing touches to Vergemere II

Launching Berania Aug 1 1932

Launching Berania Aug 1 1932

Built at the Sylvia Yard, East Cowes

M Y Berania

M Y Berania

Launching at Sylvia Yard, East Cowes

Sonia

Sonia

Joe and seaplane at Whale Quay

Joe and seaplane at Whale Quay

Joe in the West Indies

Joe in the West Indies

East Cowes Gallery

 

Columbine Building

Columbine Road

East Cowes

PO32 6EZ

 

Tel.  01983 244101

Cowes (West) Boat Museum and Restorations workshop

 

117a Medina Yard

Thetis Road

Cowes

Isle of Wight

PO31 7DJ

 

Classic Boat Restorations Registered in England

No. 4083685

The Classic Boat Centre Trust

Registered Office

36 Castle Road

Cowes

Isle of Wight

PO31 7QZ

Registered in England No.

3439192

Charity Number:

1064643

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HRYC regatta June 1924, start over 10 tons.  Douglas Went photo