The Classic Boat Museum
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The Classic Boat Museum

The Classic Boat Museum
4.5
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The Museum houses a unique collection of historic small craft and memorabilia that have been brought together to form a fascinating exhibition. Covering many aspects of maritime heritage over the past century or so, our displays relate to boatbuilding, sailing, yachting, cruising, racing, and much more. All exhibits are under cover and on one ground floor level. Free adjacent parking. Refreshments. Shop.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
58 reviews
Excellent
34
Very good
21
Average
2
Poor
1
Terrible
0

alucken
London, UK34 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
This museum is a must if you are either staying in East Cowes or if you arrive early to get your ferry across to Southampton.
Our little boy wanted to go in to the Classic Boat Museum and we were only intending to look around the gift shop (very cheap by the way) but the lovely couple that run it were keen to show us around the museum. The lady gave us loads of detail around the different exhibits and got our son involved in a couple of activities. Our son is 7 and he loved it.
Entry to the actual museum is £5 (children go free I think).
It’s hidden out of sight a bit so I don’t think they get many visions which is a real shame. It’s situated at the start of the Esplanade next to the Red Funnel port. Couple of pictures attached.
Also attached a picture of their leaflet.
Definitely worth a visit.
Written August 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NatTrem
Northampton, UK120 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
We visited the museum because we were staying just round the corner and have a passing interest in boats. We were so pleased we popped in.
The staff/volunteers were wonderful, welcoming us in and particularly making a fuss of our dog! They were helpful and informative.
There are some great exhibits here with really interesting stories.
Written August 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Giulia M
Franschhoek, South Africa19 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
Fabulous little gem of a museum. The perfect place to get a sense of Cowes’s sailing history. The museum is run by a group of passionate volunteers who are full of knowledge. A must so when visiting the island.
Written July 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

nysue44
Boston, MA37 contributions
Sep 2019
We actually only managed to see the exhibitions in East Cowes but it still was an interesting place to visit. We had come over on the ferry, gone inland to have a good lunch and by the time we returned to the terminal area, it was too late to do both museums. Great fun talking with the on-duty volunteer that day. If we are in that area again, we would definitely try to go to the West Cowes section of the museum to see more boats.
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

travelgang_10
Grimsby, UK260 contributions
Oct 2019
if you are interested in boats and flying boats and the history of cowes it's well worth the visit, there is a fun sink the warship game to play it made for light entertainment Knots to tie hats to try on etc
Written October 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

peterkirchem
London393 contributions
Jun 2019 • Solo
Absolutely worth a visit but yes, it’s hard to find, made somewhat more confusing by the fact that the exhibitions are in fact in West Cowes ... underneath the huge black crane.

Imagine coming off the chain ferry in West Cowes ... take the first road left ... and then the first road left again ... then you can’t miss it.

Lots of nicely restored wooden boats, some with a close connection to the Island ... interesting also is that boats are being hand restored there in front of you.

Friendly people who will answer all your questions. I think there’s a cafe there as well.
Written June 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chris M
Whangarei, New Zealand76 contributions
Feb 2014 • Solo
Beautiful collection of small sailing, rowing and power craft, with much other nautical stuff, and a second collection of local maritime history. Especially interesting to the IW-born (like me) but something for everyone. Very helpful and knowledgeable staff, great value for money
Written February 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

2TravellingEast
Penang Island, Malaysia172 contributions
Apr 2014 • Solo
Right by the side of the Historic Saunders Shed, now Venture Quays with the giant Union flag on the doors.
This museum ( in two buildings) house fantastic boats and artifacts from this famous boating area
Too much to mention but will not disappoint if an enthusiast.
If you have time take a stroll over to the Museum of East Cowes which has a fine collection of material re the history of East Cowes.
Take a chain link ferry ride back to West Cowes to complete your maritime experience.
Written April 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

johnwetherill
Bath165 contributions
Not the easiest place to find on a first visit but very worthwhile if you like historic boats.

Tucked away on the Medina River in Newport the Museum IS signposted but only once as far as we could see and that if you are heading up towards East Cowes. Coming down from East Cowes we did not see any sign. However the eventual finding was well worth it even lateish on a Saturday in November. A great collection of mostly working (ie floatable and mechanically operative) boats including a brilliantly restored Flying lifeboat from WW2 and as many proper wood built dingeys as anyone could want to see and some speed boats that despite their age, quite take your breath away.

Great fund of knowledge from staff on duty their and great skills are being preserved in the restoration shed adjacent to the museum.

GREAT value entrance fee and the Friends of the Museum Annual fee at £10 is less than it should be for all the work being done there.
Written November 25, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NB1957
674 contributions
May 2019 • Solo
Like others and someone I was speaking to I went to East Cowes expecting to see the boats. In East Cowes there is the archive and an exhibition but the boats themselves are in West Cowes by the hammer crane. The museum is open on Tuesdays and Fridays and once you find it (please put some signs up) off Thetis Road in WEST Cowes it really is an absolutely fascinating museum. It is run by volunteers who really know what they are talking about and their insights and comments on the stunning range of craft was captivating. There is so much from a beautifully restored Thames pleasure craft to a parachute dropped rescue boat from WW2 and from a lifeboat to a "boat" sailed by Sir Ben Ainslie. The Uffa Fox boats are a real lesson in craftsmanship and are real works of art and objects of beauty. There is much ongoing restoration obviously being done with so much care and affection for the exhibits. I defy anyone, including those who think that they have no interest in boats not to be absorbed by what is on display here. I am just so glad that I was lucky enough to visit.
Written May 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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The Classic Boat Museum (East Cowes) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about The Classic Boat Museum

The Classic Boat Museum is open:
  • Tue - Tue 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Wed - Wed 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Fri - Sat 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM


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