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The Wivenhoe Encyclopedia
|31 May 2003. A phone call from Stephanie Fearn says her uncle, who has just died, has been living on what might be a sailing smack, called the Volante, at Ipswich. She believes the vessel was built in Wivenhoe approximately 150 years ago.
Stephanie lives in Cumbria and thought to do a web search on Wivenhoe, and found the Wivenhoe Encyclopedia. I put her in touch with Bill Ellis who, the following day, advises she was probably built around 1870 by John Harvey in Wivenhoe’s upstream yard.
The vessel needs a new owner; someone interested in restoring her. Whilst she floats, and still has her spars, she is in need of considerable renovation. She is available for viewing at the Orwell Yacht Club
Stephanie may be contacted on 01768 898742 if you are interested in talking to her about the Volante.
8 Jun03: Bill Ellis has been to see the vessel and completed some research as follows: The Volante is a cutter built by Harvey & Coy of Wivenhoe in 1870 (Official number 87289) with sails by Madder. Her dimensions are length: 37′ x breadth 10.5′ and draught 5.3′. 16 Tons (Thames Measure).
In 1886 the yacht was owned by Mr W.F. Cook of St Pauls Churchyard, London. Possibly the vessel was built for him. Note: Stephanie Fearn believes her uncle bought ‘Volante’ from a Mr Cook in 1953 – perhaps the same family as the 1886 owner.
Request for more info by Stephanie Fearn: It has been suggested that Volante might have been built with a double-planked hull, rather than having a second skin added later as we thought. Does anyone have any information on this – apparently it was an experimental design in 1870. Please call Stephanie with any info on tel 01768 898742.