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Nominees for Restoration Award

Two of our East Coast boats have been nominated for the annual Classic Boat Magazine Awards. Sadly, they’re in competition with each other in the Restoration under 40′ category. Both boats are deserving nominees. They are presented here for visitors’ perusal: ‘Peter Duck’ and ‘Growler’ are very different projects with interesting stories to tell. Please take the time to read about these and other boats which are nominated and make your choice. There are, of course, several other categories with many more interesting tales of restoration to tell.

Visit Classic Boat: online voting ends on 11 March 2024.

Two years of major maintenance work at Woodbridge Boatyard have meant that Arthur Ransome’s well-known ‘marine bath chair’ will be safe for decades. The work was done for her owner, another children’s sailing author, Julia Jones.

‘Peter Duck’ at Aldeburgh, 2023 Photo: Jane Russell

When Arthur Ransome had her designed and built in 1946, she wasn’t just new, she was modern! ‘Peter Duck’ is distinctively post-war, quite a different style of yacht to any other he owned before or afterwards. Ransome knew that he needed ‘a sort of marine bath-chair’, but this jolly little ketch with her ‘motor-boaty’ bow and small, easy-to-handle, Bermudan sails – set quite high so no one gets hit on the head – was not to his taste. ‘She looks ree-dick-ulous,’ said his wife Evgenia, probably adding a few well-chosen words about lollipops on sticks, when her husband had sailed their new yacht past her, wondering whether it mightn’t be worth a photo. 

Julia Jones
‘Why would you vote for ‘Peter Duck’? You don’t have to!

The resurrection of ‘Growler’, a half-sized barge yacht from bare hull, was carried out over four years by Ash Faire-Ring. He started the project aged just 17 while still at school. The hull was partly sound, but there was some re-planking to do and the rest of the boat was a hulk. Ash was lucky enough to have some mentors and inspirations, like local man John Owles and, further away, Greg Powlesland, a past winner of this award himself.

Find more about the ‘Growler’ project here.

‘Growler’ Photo: Ash Faire-Ring