Antiques Roadshow expert emotional as he gives five-figure value for famous sailing boat

Antiques Roadshow: Swallows and Amazons sailing boat valued

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Rupert, 60, arrived at the Windermere Jetty for an episode of Antiques Roadshow that aired early this year, to assist a gentleman who had got his hands on the sailing boat from the film. Swallows and Amazons had quite a big impact on the expert of the BBC programme when he was younger, therefore, he was rather overwhelmed to be sat in the vessel. However, when it came to valuing the iconic creation, Rupert thought it was well worth its weight in gold.

Beginning the segment and against the backdrop of the gorgeous scenery, Rupert said: “I’m sitting on a boat and not just any boat but the boat from Swallows and Amazons movie released in 1974 which I saw aged 14.

“It’s fair to say it got me into sailing just watching the romantic lives of these children in this wonderful summer.

“It never seemed to rain, the sun was always out and it was filmed and shot here. One of these islands could have been the one they spent the night on.

“How did you get her?” he asked the guest, who proceeded to give a little more background information on the relic.

“After the film, it was stored in a boatyard on the [River] Thames and 35 years later, they decided to downsize and move so all the boats they were storing came up for auction.”

The guest continued: “And the author of the book Arthur Ransome got to hear of this and a few of us decided we had to try and buy Swallow.

“So, my colleague Magnus started crowdfunding basically and there were about 85 of us who chipped in to buy her.

“The group of us paid £5,500 or just under and our objective is to keep her in the public domain to take people out sailing.

“I like to think she was made in about 1930 when the book was published. So that would be a nice coincidence,” he added.

It’s just so powerful

Rupert Maas

Rupert replied: “And she’s not overly restored or spruced up. She’s in this lovely workaday condition. So you can just take her out any time you want.”

“That’s right and we take lots of people out. In the book, she was a rough and ready farmer’s boat, so we don’t want to over-restore her,” the guest said.

The expert continued to analyse the vessel as he went on to say: “She’s got these lovely mahogany clinker-built planks here and I think they’re elm, these ribs, which are bent, aren’t they around the shape of the boat?

“They’re steam-bent and then clenched with these copper rivets. She’s just gorgeous. I’ve got to value her,” he added.

“Surprisingly, there are quite a few boats of this kind of vintage still around, really,” the expert explained to the guest.

Beginning his valuation, Rupert said: “And if one comes up, you’d think it might be worth around £2,000, £3,000, or something like that.

“But the association of that iconic film, it’s just so powerful. It is to me and I think to a generation of sailors.

“And so, without hesitation, I’m going to put £20,000 to £30,000 on it,” he revealed of the five-figure sum, clearly emotional using words such as “powerful” to describe the vessel.

As the expert felt rather nostalgic over the boat, the guest replied: “Well, I’m glad we crowdfunded and bought her because that’s incredible.”

Rupert was eager to experience life on the water himself as he asked: “I hope that value won’t stop me using her to sail, will it?”

“No, not at all. No, that’s what she’s for, that’s what boats are for as you know,” the guest explained as the camera watched them sailing away.

Taking to Twitter, it seems fans were also impressed with the find as one wrote: “Swallows and Amazons forever! #AntiquesRoadshow.”

Antiques Roadshow airs Sunday at 8pm on BBC One.

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