Selina King (cutter) was designed by Fred Shepherd and built by Harry King of Pin Mill for Arthur Ransome. She was 35 feet long (28 feet at the waterline) and 10 feet beam, with a mainsail, staysail and (rarely used) Genoa. Arthur decided there was no need for a third bunk in the forecabin. She was launched on the eve of Munich, September 1938.
She was laid up for the war in Robinson’s yard at Oulton Broad (NBUS pages 124-161). The Admiralty issued a sudden unexplained appeal for small boats. Arthur offered “Selina”, but she was rejected: he realised afterwards that her tiny engine, useful only in a calm, would have been no good at Dunkirk (Life, page 434).
She was sold in 1946; his broker Maurice Barton had suggested asking £2,500 but Arthur put her on the market at £1,800 and he accepted £1,600 from Peter Davies as he wanted to concentrate on the writing of Great Northern. Her fate is unknown (NBUS pages 253) -(She lives on in Bermuda). She was replaced by Peter Duck.
November 2011 - Selina King was purchased by Mr Martin Pollard and is being restored in Bermuda.
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.
In 1945 his doctor told him not to sail Selina King as she would be "too much for him to handle", though "of all his craft (she) came closest to meeting their requirements". But years later Genia said that it had been a great mistake to part with the nicest boat we ever posessed .... Selina was designed for single-handed use and easy moving through the water; if we cut or permanently reefed her sail we should have managed her (Life page 407 and NBUS pages 186, 253).