Sunday, 24 March 2013

Victorian pleasure cruising for the rich and famous!

During a recent holiday in Cornwall I revisited the excellent National Maritime Museum in Falmouth and came across this beautiful Thames steam launch 'Waterlily', designed and built by John Thornycroft in 1866.  She has a riveted wrought iron hull and is still in working condition.  She is 42 feet long (3 feet shorter than Patience), with a 7 ft 6 in beam (about 8 in broader than Patience), has a forward saloon, an aft cabin and a vertical boiler and steam engine amidships.  They knew how to design stylish boats in the 19th century, but I have to say that the similarly sized Patience offers much more in the way of covered accommodation, if not quite so much polished teak!

At the other end of the luxury scale, the museum also has the original prototype Mirror dinghy (sail no.1).  This could be bought as a kit in 1963 for less than £64.  I sold my Mirror (sail no. 18929) in 2011 for a little more than that, see earlier blog entry.

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