World’s “oldest” yacht to be excavated

An archaeological dig has begun to free up what experts believe could be the world's oldest surviving Manx craft

It was discovered on the Isle of Man after being concealed in an underground cellar for 120 years. Now plans are underway to extract and preserve the boat.

Peggy is a 26ft clinker-built yacht with fitted sawn frames and a mast, built between 1789 and 1793 for Castletown politician and bank owner, Captain George Quayle. The boat was used as a cargo vessel in the Irish Sea where it was said to have smuggled brandy and took part in a racing regatta on Lake Windermere.

Edmund Southworth of Manx National Heritage insists the craft is a “Manx treasure which needs rescuing”. The MNH have embarked on a five-year programme to remove and study the boat. Caroline Raynor, of Oxford Archaeology North, and her team will have to move more than 50 tonnes of 19th Century landfill before the yacht can be transferred off-site.