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East Coast Gaffers featured boat: ‘Fanny of Cowes’

Our featured boat for August is one of the oldest in the OGA fleet at just over 150 years old. She’s one of only a few still sailing who took part in the first East Coast OGA Annual Race 60 years ago in 1963. She has an outstanding racing record both on the east coast and Solent where she was built.

Built in 1872 as a copy of ‘Star,’ the champion Itchen Ferry in the 1860’s, Fanny was 12″ longer at 23’ and still sails under her original fishing no. CS12. She was built for the Paskins family of Cowes fish merchants and had various owners to 1938 then lay neglected on the beach. In 1946 she was overhauled, given a new transom, new rigging and sails. At this time, a petrol model T Ford engine was fitted. Laid up in 1948 for ten months, she was then sold for £70. A Coventry Victor engine was fitted in 1958. ‘Fanny’ was bought by David Cooke of Ipswich in 1959 and sold in 1972.

‘Fanny of Cowes’ has always had a successful racing record and was keenly raced by Mr. Cooke, making regular appearances in the East Coast Old Gaffers races. Her longevity is probably partly due to the fact that every piece of timber on her was thoroughly soaked in linseed oil by her first owner. She’s one of only four boats to take part in the first and 50th Anniversary OGA East Coast races. This year, she will be attending the OGA60 Jubilee Party on the River Orwell, sailing up from her home port in the the River Blackwater.