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Classic Boat Museum is flying with wings!

The Museum have taken delivery of the the huge solid wing used on a test boat and in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup during the 35th America’s Cup from Ben Ainslie. The wing joins the hull which arrived a few months before the opening of the new Museum ‘ Boat Shed’. This solid wing combined with the huge carbon fibre foils enabled Ben and his team to perfect ‘flying’ on foils which enabled the team to successfully compete in Bermuda in 2017.

The hull and wing create an interesting and historic story, which will take visitor to the museum back to another era when Saunders – Roe, manufacturers of marine aircraft in East Cowes, built the incredible flying boats of the time. The link between sailing and flying is closer than many may realise both use principles of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics to generate lift either in the air or the water. Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup catamaran was almost the perfect combination of the two principles whilst not completely leaving the water!

Mark Mc Neill commented, “ It has been a fabulous summer for the Museum, we have opened our new ‘Boat Shed’ on the opposite bank of the Medina river to our East Cowes Gallery and hosted out first party during the Cowes Classic Week. The Boat Shed opening allowed us to take delivery of the final part Ben of Ainslie’s test catamaran and the enormous solid wing is now proudly on display in the new Shed. Interesting flying boats are all part of the Cowes heritage and it’s over a century since the first Saunders-Roe flying boat was launched from docks in East Cowes”

He added, “I would like to thank Ben’s team for their generosity in allowing the museum to continue immortalising the history of the America’s Cup in its original home of Cowes” with a special thanks to the shore team for all their help in delivering and assembling the wing with our volunteers”.

Notes to editors

About: The Classic Boat Museum

The Classic Boat Museum in Cowes, Isle of Wight was established in 1996 by Maurice Wilmot.

Maurice died in 2009 but the Museum and Gallery continue to go from strength to strength. The fine collection of classic and unique craft and artefacts reflects the on-going care and dedication of the Trustees and of the committed team of volunteers over many years.

The aim is to increase awareness of maritime craft and showing their historic development and how this relates to the development of the Island and its marine heritage.

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

Heritage Lottery Fund and support for First World War heritage
  • Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

  • To date, £82million in HLF grants has been awarded to projects across the UK so they can mark the Centenary and explore all aspects of First World War heritage that matters to them. Through its First World War: then and now programme, HLF is making at least £1million available per year for six years until 2019. It is providing grants between £3,000 and £10,000 enabling communities and groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict. To find out how to apply for funding visit If a group needs a grant of more than £10,000 for a First World War project, it can apply to HLF through its open programmes

  • To join the conversation on social media please use #understandingww1

Further information:

For further information, images and interviews please contact:

Mark Mc Neill, Chairman, Classic Boat Museum 07790 777101

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