Vintage boats on show on Isle of Sheppey

The 'Cambria' sailing barge arriving at Queenborough for the Classic Boat Festival Photo: KentOnline The 'Cambria' sailing barge arriving at Queenborough for the Classic Boat Festival Photo: KentOnline

Vintage boat enthusiasts have flocked to the fourth Classic Yacht & Motor Boat Festival at Queenborough Harbour on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.

The festival, held on 31 August to 1 September, featured more than 15 boats, tugs and yachts, all designed or built before 1970. Any boat, be it wood, steel, aluminium or fibre glass, sail or steam, is welcome and highlights included a 79 tonne wooden sailing barge and the Hjordis, built in 1956 and restored from wreck after being purchased at auction in 2015.

The weekend, which coincides with the 61st round-the-island yacht race is ‘the place to be, if you love old boats’ said Queenborough Harbour operations director, Geoff Reed. Organised by the Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club, the 40-mile endurance race is the UK’s longest dinghy, sailboard and catamaran race.

Thames sailing barge

The Cambria was built of wood at Greenhithe in 1906 and was the last barge to trade entirely under sail, taking her last cargo in 1970. Owned and operated by the Cambria Trust, she was moved from the Dolphin Yard Sailing Museum in Sittingbourne to Sheerness Docks in 2006 and then to Faversham for restoration in 2007, completing in 2011.

Another highlight was the much smaller Hjordis, built in 1956 and bought as a wreck at auction in July 2015 by Ian and Jamie Bone. "The poor boat was in a dilapidated state and looking very sorry for itself. Once we started work many marine professionals and shipwrights advised us it may be kinder to get a skip and dispose of her," said Ian Bone.

‘Beauty shines through’

When the restoration began to reveal mahogany planks beneath the flaking paint the new owners pressed ahead. “We spent thousands of hours of hard work. Now her beauty now shines through," said Ian Bone.

Another classic is Doris the Thames Bawley, the XPilot, which runs trips to the Second World War Maunsell sea forts, and the Spirit of Sheppey which is reintroducing ferry trips from Queenborough to Southend after a recent engine transplant.

Latest Press Releases

The Poole Harbour Boat Show Exhibitor Stand Space and Sponsorship Sales Open Now

The Poole Harbour Boat Show is now officially launched for a return in 2020 to the spectacular boati... Read more

Barton Marine take key role in showcasing UK Manufacturing Excellence

New for 2019 the Southampton Boat Show, powered by Borrow a Boat will be welcoming visitors into the... Read more

The International Paint Poole Regatta - Shaping up to be even Bigger in 2020

The International Paint Poole Regatta 2020 is developing to be the biggest event yet, with the organ... Read more

MS Amlin Seamanship Award Entries Close on the 20th August

Your chance to enter the MS Amlin Seamanship Award 2019 closes at midnight on Tuesday 20th August. Read more

Damage to the Environment - Episode 5 of 80 Seconds with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Dee Caffari look at how the environment at sea has been damaged over the... Read more

MS Amlin Go Round the Island 2019

MS Amlin Yacht, the boat insurance specialists have now been race partners of Round the Island Race ... Read more

View all