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The Boat Shed

The Boat Shed has an impressive collection of nearly 90 vessels (60 of which are on display). These tell the fascinating story of the maritime history of the Isle of Wight and Solent waters. It features dinghies, classic yachts, power boats, and lifeboats, including the Jessie Lumb and Queen Victoria. These can be viewed at close range – you can even touch them or go on board the Jessie Lumb.


There is an activity and play area for children. 


It also houses Green Light Isle of Wight, teaching wood carving to young people with special needs.


We have a special display commemorating 50 years since Uffa Fox’s death. We showcase his extraordinary contribution to dinghy and keel-boat design with the International 14, the Firefly, Flying 10 and Flying 12, and we exhibit Ankle Deep, a 25 foot open launch in which he cruised the Solent in his later years. Uffa’s ingenuity is especially demonstrated in the Airborne Lifeboat, which saved many downed airmen’s lives in WWII, and in Britannia - a robust rowing boat in which John Fairfax was the first person to row single-handed across the Atlantic in 1969.


The Boat Shed is a hive of activity in the restoration of classic boats, and preparation for the display of contemporary classics, such as the production of foil arms for the America's Cup boat, the AC75 Britannia II, which competed in Auckland in 2021.

This year we are celebrating the Bicentenary of the RNLI with a new Survival at Sea Trail, connecting the 8 lifeboats in our collection. 

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