Itchen Ferry project
Itchen Ferry boats are small gaff cutters that were built on the River Itchen in Hampshire during the 19th and 20th centuries. Originally used for fishing in the Solent and surrounding waters, they later started to take part in local regattas. Roxana was built at the turn of the 20th century (possibly around 1910) and has the typical proportions of her type: a plumb bow, round forefoot, a lightly raked, hourglass transom, mild sheer and tumblehome. From the 1960s she was often raced in the Dartmouth Regatta and other yacht rallies along the south-west coast.
Now in need of complete restoration, the boat is no longer seaworthy. However, she has been kept under cover and has new deck beams as well as a bowsprit, boom and gaff, shroud plates, stem fitting, tiller and rudder, mainsail, staysail and jib.
Roxana was converted to a cabin cruiser in the 1950s but initially had a centreboard design, making her quite rare and unusual. A lovely little craft, she deserves to be returned to her former configuration with an open or three-quarter deck – the Itchen Ferries Nellie and Wonder are typical examples of this.
Length on deck: 20’6″
Length overall: approx. 27′
Length waterline: 19’4″
Carvel-planked in Siberian pine, copper-fastened to steam-bent oak timbers.
Elm keel, stem, sternpost and transom.
External iron ballast keel (approx. 1 tonne).
New oak deck beams overlaid with two layers of marine ply.
Gaff rig with varnished gaff, boom and a tabernacle – no mast.
Rock Elm bowsprit.
Stainless steel chainplates.
Mainsail, staysail and jib, in reasonable condition.
New oak deck beams laid in a cabin cruiser layout with a bridge deck.
The present owner has stripped the topsides. Planks are in remarkably good condition on the portside and seem to have been tight-seam constructed at an earlier stage but have since been caulked. The sheer planks, made of teak, need some surface repair. The stem is in reasonable condition.
Three-quarters of the starboard side seams have been routed out by the previous owner and filled with epoxy in an attempt to spline them.
The boat was originally built with a centreboard but later converted to a cabin cruiser. The slots in the original keel were filled and she was fitted with an external cast-iron ballast keel, extending her draft to 3’9″. This enhanced her sailing capability but also weakened the garboard and existing floors, necessitating a new garboard and keel. The present owner has cut and shaped a new oak keel to the existing spec, which could be included with the boat. Alternatively, it is still possible to return to the centreboard arrangement with the newly cut keel.