As a small child I was always fascinated with toy sailing boats, the traditional summer seaside holiday was never complete without me at some point gazing in awe at the seemingly endless range of models offered, alongside the obligatory children’s buckets and spades, in the typically colourful seaside gift shops that were a prevalent feature of all 1960′s British coastal towns.
One name in particular – “Star Yachts of Birkenhead” stands out and brings all those wonderful memories flooding back. Their beautifully crafted models, which proudly boasted “guaranteed to sail” on the deck emblem, had been in production since just after the first world war when a Belgian refugee, Franz Marie Denye, set up the company and over the years they’ve manufactured a vast array of model yachts until, sadly, the company finally closed its doors in 1990.
There were other commercial makers of course – Ailsa, Albatross, Alexander of Preston, Bowman of Norfolk, Gamages and KyleKraft – to name but a few although, again, all these traditional iconic names have suffered the same fate and their products have now become highly prized as collectables or evocative and decorative pieces for display as props commercially or around the home.
Fortunately another manufacturer – Skipper Yachts, who’ve been in production for over 20 years now, are still producing just such traditional wooden pond yachts for children of all ages… Their yachts are beautifully crafted, they have solid wooden hulls fitted with steel keels and their genuine sailcloth sails have adjustable rigging which enables kids to experiment and learn the basic principles of sailing boats. Such timeless designs allow a child to experience the excitement of sailing their very own little boat across the uncharted waters of the local pond and are an ideal introduction to model boats for any budding young skippers out there…!
For those who love the idea of vintage model boats, we’re constantly on the lookout for beautiful examples of those mentioned above and we endeavour to offer for sale a regularly updated selection on our website. Although these models should no longer be considered as toys suitable for children, they were designed for sailing and anyone who’s interested in finding out more about this addictive pastime should enjoy visiting the small sail boat section of the Vintage Model Yacht Group website.
Additionally – if you have an interest in Star Yachts and require display stands for your treasured models then please view another of our threads – Star Yacht model sailing boat display stands.