The Peggy, the Nautical Museum site in Castletown, and the Quayle archive are one of the most significant elements of our collections and holdings. Peggy is the only surviving example of a small wooden yacht once found in their thousands around the western British Isles. She is very well-preserved, with original paint, masts, tiller, gaff and guns.
The preservation of the 18th century yacht, Peggy, is the largest project we have ever undertaken. She is one of the oldest wooden boats to survive and one of few that are not naval vessels. Fitted with drop-keels; an experimental innovation in 1789, no other boat survives from that period with them. Uniquely she has her own dock and boat house, and a wealth of documents associated with her. Her owner, Captain George Quayle, was a person of significance on the Isle of Man and beyond.
The links below gives background information on the boat and explains her history and incomparable significance. This story alone is sufficient to justify our interest in her, but the project is equally an important platform for conservation-restoration both on the Island and internationally.
During 2013 we designed and fitted a new, steel support cradle using a three dimensional laser survey of the hull. Then, in 2014 archaeologists undertook an excavation to make way for the removal of Peggy from her cellar revealing, in the process, her original dock. Finally, in January 2015 Peggy was lifted and then transported to a dedicated conservation facility for examination and treatment. Before us lies a great deal of work to stabilise her timbers and fixings.
The intimate links between Peggy and her boathouse are so very important that the final stages of the project will look at ways of housing her nearby when the conservation work is completed.
For more detail on the Peggy Conservation Project please follow the links to the Peggy FAQs, project blog, below. There you will find pictures and videos, commentary and also links to documents and background information. The Nautical Museum which was formally George Quayle’s eccentric boat house and the home of the Peggy, still poses many questions to architectural historians regarding his methods and intentions. The museum will remain open without the Peggy and now features a dedicated gallery telling the personal story and history of George Quayle and his family and including a scale model of the ‘Peggy’ herself, made by Mr John Gawne of Fistard in 1949.