A magnificent 18th Century, Ratsey and Lapthorn sail maker’s loft on the seafront of Cowes is the home of the Sir Max Aitken Museum.
This ditinctive pink building with it’s friendly figure head welcomes the visitors on to the Island on first arrive by boat. Inside you find an exciting world of marine history with the personal collection of historic and nautical artefacts of Sir Max Aitken.
Spanning the entire length of the museum is a Gaff from the Royal Racing Yacht Britannia. It is approximately 51 foot long and weighs about 900pound, this dates’ from the 1920s. There are several other items from the Britannia including the king’s chair, the tiller, some mast hoops, blocks and rigging, anchor chain and clock.
The museum tables were made especially for the room by Lallows in the 1960s, they are Honduras Mahogany and are still used today. Sir Max entertained many friends and dignitaries in this room over the years.
Other exhibits include several models and half models of various yachts, junks, clippers, yawls etc. One of these is a replica of Nelsons flagship Victory, made from Ivory and Silver, another (made by a prisoner of war) is a replica of the French Flagship, Redoubtable, this is made entirely of bone.
There are many navigational instruments and other nautical memorabilia.