National Maritime Museum Cornwall is a branch of the London National Maritime Museum. The Cornish museum covers small boats and Cornish maritime history. It has given the museum the opportunity to display its extensive collection of small boats. Many of the exhibits are actually suspended in mid-air and can be therefore seen from all angles.
The Gallery, a very large open area in the museum, has been used to display the small boats. The huge gallery space has been sub-divided into 12 state-of-the-art galleries, each offering a view on a different aspect of boats and boating. The National Maritime Museum Cornwall has been particularly keen to offer 'hands-on' display
Set Sail is an exhibit with nine boats, and an audio-visual experience for each boat. Films, sound, photographs, interviews with sailors, are used to bring to life the stories about the boats and the people that sailed in them. Every year National Maritime Museum changes the focus of the displays, which should give you a good reason to go back again.
Waterfront is a hands on exhibit with radio-controlled sailing boats that you can control yourself. Fans generate wind, and after that its up to you to control your yacht around the course. If you have never sailed a yacht yourself before, its a nice way to learn how and why sail boats can move with the varying wind directions.
Boat Building Workshop shows how boats were built, from early log construction, right up to today's boats. Of special interest is a Cornish pilot gig under construction. These originally took the pilot out to large ships wishing to enter harbour, and today are used for races around the Cornish coast.
The Tidal Zone gives you an underwater view of the harbour through two large windows. The exhibits tell you how the sun and the moon influence tides.
Bartlett Library houses a collection of 10, 000 books, periodicals and archive material open to public reference. The collection was donated by J.V. Bartlett.
Navigation Station is a gallery with interactive exhibits focusing on navigation and meteorology, plus a real-time link with the Met Office for up-to-date international weather information. There is a weather station on the top of the tower that collects data on the local weather conditions.
National Maritime Museum, Cornwall web site
Cornwall Tourist Information Cornwall Calling front page
The hotel to stay at when visiting Cornwall is Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall find out more about it