Sail Swallow and Amazon

The classic dinghies from the original Swallows and Amazons 1974 film.

I would like to Donate

The Arthur Ransome Society Payment Site ( and use the donation option marking it “S&A Fund”, adding any specifics thing you want to give for, or it will go into a general fund for either boat.  All donors will receive a certificate and have their on a board of honour. Cash option (cheque or BACS will be available once the bank account is created).

Within 24 hours of the Board decision we had received £500 to the S&A Fund, so only £23,000 restoration to go! Thereafter the boats should almost earn their keep. ☺

Amazon: Amazon could be made ready to row and to sail (in light winds) this year for around no more than £500. 


Swallow is in need of a considerable amount of repair and restoration.

  • There are at least 8 or 9 cracked or broken ribs
  • The ‘knees’ which secure the thwarts to the hull are cracked and will need replacing. 
  • The port side gunwale is rotten and will need replacing and the inwale, the piece of timber the other side of the gunwale will become loose when the gunwale is removed and would be better replaced at the same time. 
  • There is a little woodworm in the top of the gaff and the wood is rather soft.  This can be removed and a new piece scarfed in. 
  • The bottom boards should probably be replaced.  We can retain the old ones for display and new ones can go out with her when she is used.  Kinder to the boat and probably cheaper than trying to repair and re-varnish the originals.
  • The varnish inside and out has seen better days and one day will need scraping off and a complete re-varnish. A very time consuming and labour intensive job so rather expensive.
  • The bottom has been anti-fouled. It will need cleaning off so that the planking can be inspected.  
  • The keel is probably oak and will need a careful inspection after the anti-fouling is removed, the rudder mounting point is rotten.

Though Swallow has not been afloat for some time she has taken up and become tight which is encouraging. The above should cost around £2,000 – £3,000. Then, as Swallow is at least 60 years old, she needs a full strip and re-varnish which may reveal more work being needed. That will cost c. £10,000.

Amazon will need the same in due course so we are budgeting for that as well.

Detail for Swallow’s restoration:

This is all we have at the moment, but we are planning that donations will have a certificate stating what the donation represents, so if you want yours for a particular thing, please say so.

  • Labour £30/hour
  • Removing and replacing ribs is a two-man job. The cost of materials, the time to steam a rib ready for fitting, the time cleaning and preparing the surface would be at least five  hours labour,   £150 + materials £50 + VAT = £240 per rib.
  • Knee replacement:  £TBA
  • Bottomboards: also tba
  • Gunwale by the foot:  tba
  • Repairing the gaff: tba
  • Varnish and painting: £15 per square foot (£30 per hour plus materials)