Dolly Varden, possibly the last Solent Smack (large Itchen Ferry) built in 1872 to fish, then bought by Thomas Ratsey (before he joined up with Mr. Lapthorn). She has had a long and distinguished racing career with an ever changing rig as she was used extensively for testing sails and rigging under the ownership of the famous sailmakers. To enable this her square fore foot was cut away and hull strengthened so she could be used for racing and rig development. The great and good of Victorian and Edwardian yachting sailed aboard her and she had a long and illustrious career.
“PROBABLY THE FASTEST BOAT OF HER LENGTH IN THE WORLD IN SPITE OF HER 63 YEARS” – UFFA FOX stated in 1935
She is now (2015/6) undergoing restoration at the IBTC in Portsmouth.