Windermere Jetty’s collection is unique. It is one of the world’s most important collections of boats related to a single location. Originally brought together by George Pattinson, a private collector of steam launches who founded Windermere Steamboat Museum in 1977, the collection now comprises 40 vessels that tell the story of boating on Windermere from 1780 to the present day. When we open, over half of our collection will be on display.
Our collection includes some of Lakeland’s finest examples of boatbuilding, including SL Dolly, one of the oldest mechanically powered boats in the world; Margaret, the oldest sailing yacht in the UK; world record breaking speed boats; Esperance, one of boats that inspired Captain Flint’s houseboat in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, and even Beatrix Potter’s rowing boat.
The collection includes every type of wooden boatbuilding construction, and as such it captures a wealth of traditional boatbuilding techniques that have been developed over hundreds of years. It charts the development of boat design and innovations in engineering. Many of the boats were made by local boatbuilders, and so its story is also one of Lakeland life and local history.