More than 50 restored boats on the move

The Classic Boat Museum has began moving its heritage boats to a new Isle of Wight location.

Over the next few months the collection of boats and maritime memorabilia is moving from its Newport Quay site, where it has been since 1996, to a new home in East Cowes.

More than 50 boats are moving, including Uffa Fox’s Airborne Lifeboat, which is reputed to have saved more than 200 lives in World War Two, Prince Philip’s Flying Fifteen, Coweslip, and Rosabelle (pictured), the former photoboat of Frank William Beken.

The Classic Boat Trust has a gallery in East Cowes already on Columbine Road and the new site in the Albany Building will be just yards from that. As well as the museum, it will also house restoration and repair workshops.

Jessica Hart, chair of the Classic Boat Trust, said: ‘We have a big task ahead of us. It’s a bit like taking a huge jigsaw puzzle apart and then putting it all back together again.

‘But we’re really excited about our new home, which will give visitors much more room to explore the collection and allow the boats to be shown to their full potential.

‘It also means the museum will be closer to the gallery, which is such a big part of the overall collection and offers a fascinating insight into the island’s important maritime history.’