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Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy - the Diapers of Itchen Ferry
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Early Days Itchen Ferry Village The Captain's Table At Sea Genealogy
The museum contains a permanent display of the town’s maritime history and many of the artefacts have connections with the Diapers. Use this trail to take you around the museum, it will finish at the ‘Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy – The Diapers of Itchen Ferry’ exhibit.

Click here to download the Diaper Education Trail
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Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Yacht Building

River Itchen an important centre for construction, repair and fitting out of yachts. As early as 1833 the Cross House Yard of John Rubie was working on yachts, in 1841 Henry Payne set up his yard and Arthur Payne established himself as a boat builder at Beach View, Chapel Road. Payne dominated the British yachting scene until the first World War he had a yard at Crabniton near to that of Dan Hatcher another well known name in the industry. Payne and Hatcher specialised in the building of small yachts and work boats such as the Itchen Ferry boats. It was these boats which started to take part in local regattas. Built of pine on oak frames, three-quarter decked with a small cuddy and trawl deck just below the square transom. By the 1880’s the rig of these fishing boats had developed into a powerful pole masted cutter able to take a topsail and a boom mainsail. A very close relationship existed between the work boats and the racing boats of the Solent. It was not uncommon for the Itchen Ferry boats to act as yachts during the season and concentrate on fishing during the winter months. In this way the fishing boat designs and the racing yacht designs owed much to each other.

Dan Hatcher was one of the first local boat builders to experiment with composite construction of wooden planking on iron or steel framework. In 1865 Hatcher built the 40 ton cutter, Niobe, which won the Southampton 100 Guinea Challenge Plate in that year. She was owned by William Gordon and skippered by Thomas Dutch Diaper. Between them they devised a triangular running sail to be set at the mast head with its clew boomed out. The sail was very successful and became generally known as the ‘Niobe’ for a few years until it became known as the ‘spinnaker’.

On the east side of the river, in the village of Itchen Ferry was Luke’s yard which mainly built small fishing boats of the Itchen Ferry type as well as a number of ketches for the local coastal trade. The yard also built a number of wooden hulled screw steamers. Near the Floating Bridge yard was a small yard building yachts, fishing boats and trading ketches under the ownership of John Foot. There was also Field’s of Woolston and White’s Yard at Millstone Point.

From SHIPBUILDING IN VICTORIAN SOUTHAMPTON Adrian Rance