Arthur Ransome’s last yacht was a six-ton aft-cockpit Hillyard sloop which he had built to replace the centre-cockpit Lottie Blossom – which he and his wife Evgenia hadn’t got on with.
They transferred the name Lottie Blossom to the new boat, and the new owner of the earlier boat renamed her Ragged Robin III, under which name she still sails.
Alas, Lottie Blossom 2 (as she has come to be known) has disappeared without trace. She was last seen in a garden near Guildford in 1990, in a state of partial restoration, but when the Barlow family who owned her moved away, contact with her was lost and we assume that her restoration was abandoned and she has by now rotted away.
However, when Roger Wardale was researching her for his 2010 book “Arthur Ransome Under Sail“, he visited another boat, Malina, one of only three other Hillyards built to this design. He took measurements from her, to build a balsa wood model.
Malina is now for sale, by her owner of the last 10 years, Daniel Eugenio. By coincidence, she is laid-up ashore at Birdham Pool in Chichester Harbour, where the Ransomes kept both of their own Lottie Blossoms.
She appears to have been well maintained, in traditional style (she even has a classic Taylors paraffin stove!), and for anyone looking for a cruising yacht with Ransome connections, she’s a bargain at the present asking price of £4,000.
Daniel also sent us these photographs of Malina, Roger Wardale’s model, and a couple of the Ransomes aboard Lottie Blossom herself.