Arthur Ransome Wiki

This is a listing of boats from the Swallows and Amazons series of books by Arthur Ransome. Arthur Ransome based many of the boats on real ones that he knew or had owned.

Sailing dinghies[]

  • Swallow - A Morecambe Bay sailing dinghy with a small keel and a brown sail, based on a Ransome's own sailing dinghy also called ''Swallow''. The fictional ''Swallow'' was owned by the Jacksons of Holly Howe. She features in four of the books.[1] [2]
  • Death and Glory - A converted ship's lifeboat used by the sons of Norfolk boatbuilders in ''Coot Club'' and ''The Big Six''.
  • Flash - A racing dinghy owned by Mr Farland and crewed by Port and Starboard in ''Coot Club''. She is based on a class of Norfolk racing dinghies.
  • Wizard and Firefly - Sailing dinghies used by the Swallows and Amazons while exploring ''Secret Water''. Each of the three Eels from the ''Lapwing'' also has an (unnamed) dinghy. 
  • Scarab - A sailing dinghy similar to the Amazon which was built for the Ds in ''The Picts and the Martyrs''. She has a centreboard and a red sail. It is based on Ransome's own sailing dinghy, ''Coch-y-bonddhu'', which replaced the ''Swallow''.[4]


  • Wild Cat - A small green schooner, formerly a Baltic trading schooner. Captain Flint decked over the hold to make a saloon with four cabins, and used her to take the children on the adventures described in ''Peter Duck'' and ''Missee Lee''. The ''Wild Cat'' is fictional.
  • Viper - A large black schooner sailed by Black Jake and his crew in pursuit of the ''Wild Cat'' across the Atlantic Ocean to Crab Island in ''Peter Duck''.
  • Teasel - A [[Norfolk Broads]] cruising yacht featured in ''Coot Club''. Ransome hired similar yachts when sailing on the Broads.
  • Imp - Black-painted tender (dinghy) to the Goblin.
  • Lapwing - The yacht owned by the Eels' parents in ''[[Secret Water]]''; called a "missionary ship".
  • Sea Bear - A cruising yacht which ''was an old Norwegian pilot cutter'', used by Captain Flint to take the Swallows, Amazons and Ds on a cruise in the [[Hebrides]] in ''[[Great Northern?]]''. Borrowed from "Mac". 
  • The Shining Moon - a small Chinese junk owned by Missee Lee herself which takes them back from the Three Islands via Singapore to St Mawes, Cornwall at the end of ''Missee Lee''.

Working sailing vessels[]

  • Sir Garnet - A Norfolk wherry skippered by Jim Wooddall (with Simon Fastgate), appears in ''Coot Club'' and ''The Big Six''. Peter Duck himself owns a wherry, the '''Arrow of Norwich'''.
  • Welcome - A Thames sailing barge' skippered by Jack Whittle (with 'Awkins) appears in ''Coot Club''.

Motor boats[]

  • Margoletta - A large powerboat hired by the Hullabaloos in ''Coot Club'', typical of 1930s cabin cruisers.
  • Cachalot - A smallish white motor cruiser (designed for fishing and appropriately named), is lent to the detectives by her fisherman owner in ''The Big Six'' to act as bait for the real culprits who are casting off yachts. 
  • Captain Flint's Houseboat appears in ''Swallows and Amazons'' and ''The Picts and the Martyrs''. She has blue sides, and is called the ''Fram'' in ''Winter Holiday''.  
  • The Beckfoot Launch comes ''chug, chugging'' to the landing place at the end of ''Swallows and Amazons'', and also appears in ''Swallowdale''. She is kept in the Beckfoot boathouse, along with a rowing dinghy or skiff. 
  • Come Along - A motor tow boat which tows the ''Teasel'', ''Titmouse'' and ''Death and Glory'' home at the end of ''Coot Club''.  She is owned by Old Bob.



Each of the following has an unnamed rowing-boat:

  • In the "Lake" books, Holly Howe, Dixons Farm, the houseboat, Beckfoot, Swainsons Farm, Sammy the police constable
  • In ''Peter Duck'' the ''Viper'' (probably three as Bill is set adrift in one, and they have one or two at the island).