The sailing ketch Peter Duck was commissioned by the Ransomes in 1945 to replace Selina King, and completed in April 1947. Arthur wanted a sort of "marine bath-chair", a "minimum of work to sail and yet provide the maximum comfort for two". She was designed by Jack Gyles of Lymington, and built by Harry King of Pin Mill. Genia could not find a good thing to say about her, and after sailing in her once with Colonel Busk Arthur decided to finish with the sea and sell her for £1,200; then in just over a month he bought her back, so losing over £300!
She was a ketch 28 feet 3 inches long with a draught of 3 feet 6 inches and a beam of 9 feet. She had a Stuart Turner engine. She had two bunks as specified, but Arthur was horrified there was only 2 feet 6 inches headroom at the aft end instead of 3 feet (though the plans he had been given showed 3 feet headroom only at the forward end). She leaked under rain, and there were difficulties with the sails and the Pin Mill mooring.
Swallow II a 10 foot clinker dinghy was towed behind Selina King and Peter Duck as a tender to avoid having to haul a dinghy on deck.
They were dissatisified with her (though the class became famous with over 40 copies being made), and sold her about 1950 to Philip Hayleman for £1,692. She was replaced by the first Lottie Blossom.
George Jones, a yacht agent, bought Peter Duck in 1957 when his daughter Julia Jones was three years old and her brother Nick just fifteen months. When a third child Ned was born in 1959 he was taken on board and out to sea within months. Peter Duck had become a perambulator. Compare her newfound status with Ransome's marine bath-chair.
Peter Duck was sold by the Jones family after George Jones died. None of the family was well-placed to take on the responsibility of the boat at that time and Peter Duck was sold. Once again she was lucky and, after a single short-lived ownership, was bought by Greg and Ann Palmer in 1987. Peter Duck is a fine sea-boat as well as a reassuring family asset and the Palmers explored her potential as never before. Finally Greg sailed her to Russia where he died in 1997, unexpectedly young. ( see also NBUS pages 186-210 & 253-4).
Julia Jones bought Peter Duck when the yacht came up for sale soon after Greg Palmer's death.
- [Peter Duck page on Golden Duck website]