Our aim is to raise the awareness of small maritime craft and crafts, showing their historic development.


The Museum exhibits restored boats and associated artefacts, with records of the part played in their construction and design by companies and people of the Isle of Wight in particular.


Wherever possible we aim to keep the collection sea-worthy and used and we welcome any offers of support, in time or money, and offers of craft that may complement and expand our collections in the future.

The Gallery is situated in the Columbine Building, the former Saunders & Roe factory - an amazing example of British 1920s industrial architecture.

In the Gallery you will discover people’s fascination with the sea, a thing of beauty but also an element to be feared. The oceans have inspired artists, craftsman and designers alike. We have amassed a vast collection of maritime memorabilia which reflects all aspects of being on the water, from work boats, to pleasure craft and racing vessels.

The Boat Shed reflects the importance of preserving our maritime heritage through the meticulous restoration of classical keelboats and dinghies. We are delighted to display over 85 yachts, motor and lifeboats which tell the impressive story of the marine history of Cowes and the Isle of Wight. We hope you will enjoy discovering the history the people and the spirit of Cowes through its very special marine maritime heritage.