A rare speedboat is on temporary loan to Windermere Jetty Museum. Visitors to the Museum can see the boat display inside the boathouse during the winter season. 

Built in 1963 by Albatross Marine Ltd, Albi is a type of boat that was used for water skiing and racing. Inside Albi is particularly powerful Coventry Climax engine. Only a small percentage of Albatrosses had this type of engine installed. Coventry Climax were specialists who also produced engines for Formula One. The unique design of the engine allowed the boat to reach extremely high speeds.

Shipped all across the world during the height of their popularity, Albatrosses were adored by celebrities, royals, and boating enthusiasts alike. They were owned and enjoyed by Prince Rainer of Monaco and his wife, Grace Kelly, as well as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Eventually aluminium boats were overtaken in popularity by those made with cheaper fibreglass.

“Albi is a beautiful example of British engineering and innovation at its best” comments Sophie Terrett Curator at Windermere Jetty Museum. She goes on to say, “Albi first arrived on the lake in 1965, after journeying to Windermere by railway. Then named Estabelle, it spent many years based at the Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club. The family of its present owners enjoyed using Albi on the lake each summer. During this time Raven, which can be seen awaiting conservation on the Windermere Jetty Museum boat wharf, was rented out as a houseboat. Albi’s owners used Raven as a base for their days out on the lake, as it provided a convenient spot for picnicking and sunbathing between rounds of water-skiing.”

Visitors to the Museum can find out more about the spirit of innovation and desire for speed that saw the evolution of boat design from rowing boat, via steam to diesel. There is also a daily Conservation Conversation at 11am with a member of the boat building team, where members of the public can ask questions.

Albi is kindly on loan to Windermere Jetty Museum from a private family collection and will be on display throughout 2022.

Windermere Jetty Museum is open daily, 10am – 4pm, but closed on 25-26 December 2021 and 3-23 January 2022. Admission is £9 standard, concession available. www.windermerejetty.org.uk

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