World of Boats at Cardiff Bay
World of Boats is a brand new attraction which opens this month on the waterfront at Discovery Quay, Porth Teigr in Cardiff Bay, featuring a unique collection of boats from around the globe. It also tells visitors of the history of evolution, navigation, use and restoration of boats. Using hi-tech displays and old fashioned craft, World of Boats highlights the best of boats and the skills used to keep them afloat. Interactive areas and fascinating displays mean there’s plenty for the whole family to ‘Sea, Discover and Explore at World of Boats’!
There are over 40 historic craft on display, from primitive dug outs and reed boats to current examples of familiar vessels. Many of the boats are the last surviving example of their kind anywhere in the world. The selection on display comes from the UK’s largest collection of historic craft run by the charity EISCA. Their collection of almost 400 vessels will mean that the display will be regularly changed and updated.
World of Boats will also feature the Boat Lab. Inside the Boat Lab, you can learn about the fundamentals of boat design and how it works. In addition, you have the chance to see current restoration techniques. New projects will be regularly undertaken by skilled craftsmen. Currently housed in the Boat Lab is the 70 foot ‘Tall Ship’ the Elena Maria Barbara. She is a version of an 18th century topsail schooner being lovingly brought back to sea-worthy condition.
Martin Wilkie of Experience Design, the company creating the attraction, says: “It’s a rare opportunity to see at first-hand the skills used in restoring such a huge vessel, and I mean huge!”
Dick Strawbridge, popular presenter of hit TV shows such as BBC’s Coast, ITV’s The Hungry Sailors and Channel 4’s Scrapheap Challenge, hosts the exhibition on-screen and takes us through the evolution of boats, the story of their propulsion, navigation and much more.
Supported by Visit Wales, World of Boats promises to be a major new attraction in Cardiff Bay and is the result of a new venture between the boat charity EISCA (Eyemouth International Sailing Craft Association) and exhibition designers, Experience Design & Management EISCA has an incredible collection containing hundreds of boats at their store and visitor attraction at Eyemouth in Scotland and their new dingy and river boat display at Beale Park near Reading.
Martin Wilkie, of Experience Design, says: “This collection is a fascinating glimpse into maritime history with vessels from almost every corner of the globe. I’m guessing that this must be the first time a Venetian Gondola will have been spotted in Cardiff Bay.”
Stephen Walters, EISCA spokesman, says: “We will endeavour to tell the story of man’s use of lumps of wood to cross the water; how this was then turned into a hollowed out log with a paddle, developed into a sea-going boat with sails, which then became both cargo boat and warship to take him across the world. By 1860, mankind had developed a steam engine, fitted it into a boat to drive paddle wheels or propellers.”
World of Boats also features The Look Out Café Bar where visitors can take time out to enjoy a range of refreshments, meals, snacks and ice creams, while overlooking the water during their visit to the attraction. The 600 sq m exhibition, shop and café are located right next to the new Doctor Who Experience in the bay.
Martin says, “The venue is just so amazing, we couldn’t have asked to be nearer the water and what a fabulous view of Cardiff Bay. And it’s been great to have Dick Strawbridge involved; he’s such an enthusiast for these sorts of projects and really helps to tell the stories to the visitors.”
Martin continues: “I think there’s something for everyone here, it’s quite a unique exhibition and has certainly opened my eyes to the role boats have played in man’s evolution. The World of Boats really is a great new addition to Cardiff Bay, kids get in for free and there’s the best waterside café in the city - what more could you ask for?”
World of Boats opens to the general public on Saturday August 25 and then will remain open every day from 10.30am. However please check website for seasonal variations.
World of Boats Admission Prices:
Remember, children under 16 are admitted FREE with each paying adult!
All entry wristbands allow unlimited visits and re-entry on day of issue.
Additional Child £3.50
Family 2+2: £14.00
Group and school rates are available, so please contact us for further details.
How to find World of Boats:
World of Boats
Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay, CF10 4GA
Contact: 07971 055 811
World of Boats is right next door to the new Doctor Who Experience. There is extensive car parking available in Cardiff Bay, and plenty of rail and bus links, including the No 6 bus.