Arthur Ransome Wiki

Lottie Blossom was in fact two sloops, the first in 1952, and the second which Arthur and Genia Ransome had from 1953 to 1954 was their last boat.

The first Lottie Blossom, a five ton sloop with a centre cockpit, was built largely to Evgenia’s specifications, including only two berths ("We don’t want friends"). Evegenia named her after a character from one of their cherished books The Luck of the Bodkins by P. G. Wodehouse (Lottie Blossom was an American film star who kept an alligator in a wicker basket to deter Customs men from uncovering her smuggling operation). She was built by Hillyard’s of Littlehampton who had built the Nancy Blackett, and first went to sea on 19 April 1952. But they wanted a really spacious cabin, and with a centre cockpit she could not be a true single-hander. She was sold on 10 November 1952 to Sir George Mallinson for £1,425 (she had cost £1,589) provided her name was changed, and she became Ragged Robin III (NBUS pages 211-224).

Lottie Blossom (II) had a rear or aft cockpit and three berths, based on a 5½ ton sloop being built for General Gale. She had a roomy ten foot long main cabin plus a focsle with a third bunk plus sail bin and W.C. She was launched on 24 April 1953. They covered over 600 miles in 1953, their most sailing since 1937. The trouble with the 8 hp Stuart Turner engine was eventually traced to the 1924 Rotex dynamo designed to run at 1000 rpm being run at three times that speed. But in 1954 Arthur (at 70) agreed with Genia that they should stop sailing (NBUS pages 221-243).

She is now owned by Christopher Barlow who is restoring her (NBUS pages 244-5), (LAR pages 418-419) & (AAR pages 352, 354).