Website of the Friends of the Jersey Maritime Museum

Association of Jersey Charities Number: 167

Maritime Jersey

fomm compass (sm) FJMM flagpole

Fiona - 108 J

Originally built in the 1860s for long-lining and potting, she is a typical traditionally-built fishing boat.  She was the first of the Jersey Heritage collection of traditional boats to be restored.

  • LOA: 25.9ft

  • Keel: 18.6ft

  • Beam: 8ft

  • Draft: 3.3ft

  • Depth: 4.9ft

  • Displacement: 5.51 tons


In common with most Jersey-built boats she is carvel-built and has a shallow draft and long keel for taking the ground on her moorings when the tide goes out. The long, deep rudder gives better control while the raked flat transom keeps her dry in following seas. The long bowsprit is brought in-board when it is not in use.


When she was originally built in the 1860s she had two masts carrying lugsails. In light weather she would have had a topsail and a staysail. The beauty of this rig was that all the spars (masts, yards and boom) could be stowed on board the boat when not required and it also meant that several combinations of sail could be set depending upon the weather conditions. At the turn of the century Fiona was modified and she was given a new rig as a single-masted cutter. She carried a gaff mainsail, a staysail and jibs.


Just after the First World War she was fitted with a small engine and it was this version of Fiona, skippered by W Furzer that joined the flotilla of small boats from Jersey that evacuated Allied troops from St Malo in June 1940. She was laid up in St Helier harbour for the duration of the German Occupation.


She was in regular use until the 1960s. In 1987 she was surveyed by Alan Buchanan and as a result of his work plans were  made to restore her to her former glory. This project took the Friends of the Maritime Museum three years to complete - from its beginning when small groups of Friends gathered in their spare time to scrape the hull down to its end when local shipwright, Dennis Aubert, was employed to get her seaworthy. She was finally launched in June 1993 by Mrs Joy Vibert whose family had owned the boat for many years.


Fiona now lies in the Marina outside the Maritime Museum and is sailed regularly by the Friends.


In 2000 and in 2010 she took part in the commemorative trips down to St Malo.  It was following the 2000 trip  when due to lack of wind she had to be towed back to Jersey that it was decided to fit her with an engine again.  A 3-cylinder 27hp Lombardini  LDW 903M diesel was fitted and at the same time a small foredeck based on an accurate description of the boat written in 1931 was added - this new cuddy provides shelter and storage as required.


In 2009 Fiona was entered on the National Small Boats Register as NSBR 1214.



Fiona Fiona at sea FIONA_2 Fiona in sunset Fiona 1950s Fiona 4