The Boat Shed
The Boat Shed has an impressive collection of nearly 90 vessels which 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. Also on show is Sir Ben Ainslie’s 2017 America’s Cup test boat BAR-T1.
This year 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 singlehanded across the Atlantic in 1969.
The Boat Shed is a hive of activity in the restoration of classic boats, such as the ongoing work on the 150 year-old cat boat, Vigia, and the steam launch, SL Louise.
It also houses Green Light Isle of Wight, teaching wood carving to young people with special needs.