World of Boats – a new waterfront museum charting the history of boats – will open in Cardiff Bay on August 25.
YourCardiff reported earlier this year that the new museum was preparing to open on Discovery Quay in Porth Teigr, displaying historic boats and major maritime restoration projects.
Exhibition designers Experience Design and Management, who have worked on the project with Eyemouth International Sailing Craft Association (EISCA) have now announced that the museum will open to the public at 10.30am on August 25, with more than 40 boats on display.
The boats from around the globe will range from some of the earliest reed and papyrus boats, to 19th century vessels, all drawn from EISCA’s collection of 400 vessels – many of which are housed at its headquarters in Scotland.
The idea behind the Cardiff museum is to tell the story of the boat and navigation from their earliest forms up to the invention of steam power, and will be housed in a 3,500 square foot building with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the Bay.
Elsewhere in the museum, there will be a Boat Lab where visitors will be able to witness the restoration of at least one historic vessel, and learn about the basics of boat design.
The first vessel into the Boat Lab is the Elena Maria Barbara – a 70ft Tall Ship, which is a replica of an 18th century armed topsail schooner.
Combining hi-tech displays with old fashioned craft, visitors will be guided around the museum on-screen by TV presenter Dick Strawbridge – known for shows including BBC’s Coast, Channel 4’s Scrapheap Challenge, and ITV’s The Hungry Sailors.
Stephen Walters, from EISCA, said: “We will endeavour to tell the story of man’s use of lumps of wood to cross the water, how this was then turned into a hollowed out log with a paddle, developed into a sea-going boat with sails, which then became both cargo boat and warship to take him across the world. By 1860, mankind had developed a steam engine, fitted it into a boat to drive paddle wheels or propellers.”
Martin Wilkie from Experience Design added: “This collection is a fascinating glimpse into maritime history with vessels from almost every corner of the globe. I’m guessing that this must be the first time a Venetian Gondola will have been spotted in Cardiff Bay.”
The new museum has cost more than £500,000, with most of this coming from EISCA’s private backers. Partners including Visit Wales have also provided small contributions.
World of Boats costs £7.50 per adult, with children under 16 admitted free with each paying adult. Concessions cost £6.50, additional children £3.50, and a family ticket for two adults and two children will be £14.
For more details, visit the World of Boats website.