Windermere Jetty | Collection


Windermere Jetty has one of the most important collections of boats related to a single location worldwide. Originally brought together by George Pattinson, a private collector of steam launches and Founder of the Windermere Steamboat Museum, the collection now comprises over 40 vessels telling the story of boating on Windermere from 1780 to the present day.

The collection includes some of the finest examples of boatbuilding including 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 capturing a wealth of traditional boatbuilding techniques 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 it reflects the local history of Windermere.

To find out more and to explore some of the highlights from the collection that will be on display when the museum opens, choose a boat from the categories below.

Steam Launches

Sailing Boats


Racing Boats


Conservation is at the heart of what we do. It’s so important that we’re able to care for the boats and look after for them years to come, that we’re building a dedicated workshop where our team of boatbuilders can conserve them and you can see them working on the boats. With over 50 boats in the collection, of all kinds of construction, a one-size fits all approach isn’t right for us so we developed a conservation management plan that guides the thinking and decision making for every vessel.

The conservation management plan outlines six different methodologies that we can apply to each boat which helps us to understand what is best for the boat, where it should be displayed and what conservation work we will undertake. The different methodologies include Stabilisation, Preservation, Conservation – operational, Conservation – static, Deconstruction and Re-use.

In order to determine which one to apply to each boat we assess a number of different factors such as originality of the boat, it’s history and use and how this has changed the boat, current condition and past repairs and future maintenance requirements.

We developed the conservation management plan following years of discussion with experts in the maritime world and with support from Ian Clark Restoration to develop the right methodologies for the collection. We are guided by the approach from National Historic Ships and their excellent publications within the series Understanding Historic Vessels. Our Conservation Management Plan is available to download for information here.